Marketing Cloud is one of the hottest buzzwords today, especially in MarTech space and there is a fierce competition to win the market share. Among the many leading giants such as Salesforce (the original pioneer of CRM market), Adobe, Oracle, Microsoft and smaller players, what is a better choice & why ?
I will present top reasons/features that separate Salesforce Marketing Cloud as the front runner among the crowded marketplace. So let’s get in to it-
- Robust Platform: The Salesforce Platform delivers the robust, scalable, trusted, and flexible infrastructure to empower cloud technology for top brands and they have proven over the years with their CRM (Sales/Service Clouds), that they have a winner in Marketing space as well.
- Rich feature set: The list of features that Salesforce Marketing Cloud provides is simply unmatched to anything out there. Here are some of feature highlights:
* Journey Builder
* Email Studio
* Social Studio
* Advertising Studio
* Mobile Studio
* Interaction Studio
We will get into details of each in another post but you should know that most of these features are either not available in other marketing clouds or they lack advanced functionality needed to achieve the same results.
- CRM Data Power: Most Marketing Clouds work in silos or are not as powerful as SFMC, simply because they don’t have industry leading CRM connectivity natively built into product families. Since Salesforce owns it’s CRM & Marketing Cloud technology, end users benefit the most by leveraging Marketing Cloud Connector, which is like a bridge between CRM & Marketing Cloud to it’s fullest. What usually would take multiple technology development resources, now can be simplified by integrating CRM data into Marketing Campaigns directly. This helps tremendously with personalization & custom marketing messages that are on the target and you can see results seamlessly such as opens, clicks, bounces, unsubscribes etc. Plus additional cost savings from less API calls, data storage, development efforts is an added bonus.
- King of Personalization: Adding ‘first name’ to email copy or other profile attributes is nothing new and most platform do offer some level of customization capability these days but SFMC is the King of Personalization. It essentially has a backend data structure that works like relational database, totally customizable, scalable and pair that with local scripting language called AmpScript, you can do the magic that no other marketing cloud can match. Some examples include completely building entire campaign on-the-fly, block by block, personalized with the most updated information, thanks to CRM integration.
- ETL Automation: Extract, Transform & Load is a vital concept in marketing technology to carry out backend operations for data loads, conversion & extraction between different systems. This is another area where SFMC excels using it’s Automation Studio that allows automating SQL Queries, Filters, Export, Imports etc so that you can be assured the process would not only run but get the job done at assigned time. It’s also completely built with notifications, error handling etc. Example-If file is old, don’t import same repeat data or send same repeat email etc.
- Email Deliverability : Anyone can send an email but can you ensure it lands in the inbox ? Well technically, nobody can guarantee that but SFMC has the technology and tools it provides or integrates with that ensures it’s pretty close to 99.99%. Examples-Dedicated IP, Custom Domain, Return Path, Litmus are some of tools that can be leveraged to have much better Deliverability and engagement metrics. Also, CAN-SPAM is an important aspect of email marketing, so ensuring unsubscription is handled properly is vital and SFMC provides tools such as profile, subscription center out of the box, that can also be customized. You can even customize sender company or from addresses that helps building relationship with ESPs (Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail) and keep campaigns away from spam folder.
- Brand Alignment: SFMC works with each client to ensure customer experience is seamless between their branding and marketing campaigns. Example-Brand builder, SAP package with image/url wrapping, cloud pages etc all can be customized to align branding between client websites, app, email campaigns and landing pages.
I have not talked about pricing because quiet frankly that should be the last item on your list as a client/marketer if you are comparing apples with oranges or peanuts. Just a note that their pricing varies by each client and is based on what you purchase and options available for your industry/market.
One thing I can say is, SFMC is worth every penny, if you want better long term results but just like anything, you need to invest in the right features/tools and have the right resources to implement it to get full return on your investment.
Not every client is same and the needs can be different and vary by market segment, customer demands & channel, so think about the next 3-5 years of where you want to be and if you need a MarTech partner to help with growth, Salesforce Marketing Cloud may just be the right choice.