I’m speaking at Salesforce Exact Target’s Connections Conference. And Salesforce has announced their next generation marketing cloud. For more information follow @salesforce@marketingcloud and #CNX15 on Twitter. With the next generation Journey Builder brands are empowered to create journeys that blur the lines of CRM and span the Salesforce Customer Success Platform – connecting journeys across sales, service, marketing and custom apps. Keeping the connectivity between and from difference departments is very important and critical to the success of providing great customer experiences.

Digital Marketing Event Salesforce ExactTarget Connections #CNX15

With the ubiquity of smartphones, connected products, apps, wearable devices and digital communications there are trillions of customer interactions every day. The customer’s journey and every customer interaction, whether it’s engaging with a marketing campaign, speaking with a salesperson or getting a customer support case resolved or taking to another customers, is an opportunity to build a relationship and define the brand. Because of this, companies are now competing on customer experience.

In actuality, I think companies were always competing on customer experience. But we now have the evidence via social networking to show the affect of a bad experience or comment. Glad times have changed and the Internet because the voice of the people. Markets are conversations – or so say the guys that wrote the book The Cluetrain Manifesto. It’s a must read if you have not read it, no matter what business you are in. READ IT. Seriously. It predicts the future of where we are today and where we are going.

Delivering an exceptional customer experience across all channels is not easy. While marketers have ample access to customer data, activating that data and engaging customers with relevant content across every channel is a significant challenge. To address this challenge, marketers are moving from manually executed batch and blast campaigns to event-triggered automation and real-time personalization.

Saleforce’s Next Generation Active Audiences allows marketers to advertise based on a single view of the customer across the digital advertising ecosystem with partners Krux, Facebook, LiveRamp, LiveIntent, Neustar, Twitter and Viant. Leading global brands like FleetCor, Room & Board and the Michael J. Fox Foundation harness the Salesforce Marketing Cloud to connect with customers in a whole new way.

Here’s more details on what these new additions included:

  • Next Generation Journey Builder: The next generation of Journey Builder empowers companies to guide customers on 1-to-1 journeys across channels and devices to ensure they always deliver the right message, at the right time, via the right channel.  Now companies can make any journey possible and connect every interaction across every department, from post-service customer satisfaction to product adoption programs, and loyalty programs to employee onboarding. Marketers can empower all teams within the organization to unleash the power of the world’s #1 CRM and connect all interactions along the customer journey to deliver customer success.

  • New Native Journeys With Sales Cloud and Service Cloud: New pre-built Sales Cloud and Service Cloud events and activities in Journey Builder make it easier than ever to manage customer journeys that span marketing, sales, service and other kinds of interactions.
  • New Pre-Built Journey Triggers: Now, for the first time, Salesforce objects like contacts, leads, accounts and cases, as well as custom objects are available as pre-built triggers in Journey Builder. Marketers can automate inbound event-driven triggers, such as a customer joining a loyalty program or downloading an app, which then send the customer a message on any channel to begin their journey. Triggers can also automatically modify data in the customer contact record or set up wait times and decision splits to adjust the journey in real-time based on customer interactions across sales, marketing and service.

  • Next Generation Active Audiences: Today, Salesforce announces the next generation of its ad platform Active Audiences, which syncs ad targeting with CRM, empowering marketers to run more relevant ads across all of the places they execute campaigns. New partnerships will extend its scope to reach audiences across the broad display advertising ecosystem. Active Audiences can now help marketers:
  • Connect with customers and prospects across the display advertising ecosystem: New Marketing Cloud partners announced today — Krux, LiveRamp, LiveIntent, Neustar and Viant — will empower Salesforce users to activate CRM data and run ads across more than 100 digital advertising networks and technologies.

  • Coordinate targeted, relevant advertising to drive sales, service, and marketing journeys: Full integration with Journey Builder empowers marketers to bring targeted, relevant advertising in line with sales, service and marketing journeys. Active Audiences orchestrates digital advertising based on the customer’s entire experience with a brand – the emails and mobile messages they open, their purchase history, their engagement with the customer service team and where they are in a sales cycle.

  • Target people across social networks: Salesforce is a Facebook Marketing Partner for ad technology, content marketing, community management, and audience onboarding; a LinkedIn Certified Marketing Partner across sponsored updates and company pages; and a Twitter Official Partner. Through Active Audiences, marketers can reach their customers and lookalikes on Facebook and Twitter. With Salesforce Social.com, they can create and optimize media at scale across Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Pricing and Availability

  • Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Journey Builder are generally available today for customers. Journey Builder pricing starts at $3,750 per month.

  • New Journey Builder activities, triggers and events with Sales Cloud and Service Cloud will be available in Q4 2015.

  • Active Audiences is generally available today for customers. New Active Audiences display features are expected to be generally available in Q3 2015. Active Audiences pricing starts at $4,200 per month.

Are you building next generation customer experiences? Make sure to submit your application to the SuperNova Awards for this fall at Constellation’s Connected Enterprise Conference.

@Drnatalie, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research, Covering Marketing, Sales and Customer Service to Deliver Amazing Customer Experiences