What is Marketing Cloud Engagement? The Salesforce Digital Marketing Hub

What is Marketing Cloud Engagement?
Marketing Cloud is a trend, if you are reading this article it is because you have surely heard the potential of this platform developed by Salesforce. But do you really know what Marketing Cloud is? In the digital world there is a lot of confusion when it comes to cataloging different technologies, although Marketing Cloud has some similarities with marketing automation tools, it really isn’t, it is what is currently called Digital Marketing Hub.

What is the difference between Marketing Automation and Digital Marketing Hub in Marketing Cloud?

As we have seen, both technologies share many similarities, however they are different. Both start from the most basic concept of email marketing, but each has evolved differently. While in marketing automation we always talk about tools, in Digital Marketing Hub we have to talk about a platform. This difference is due to the fact that marketing automation tools are closed solutions that do not require technical development and digital marketing hub platforms are unfinished technologies that require development to start operating.

Another big difference is the business objective of each of them, while marketing automation tools are focused on B2B business models, digital marketing hub platforms are optimized for B2C models. This approach is found in Salesforce, while Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (previously known as Pardot) is the marketing automation tool, Marketing cloud Engagement is the digital marketing hub platform. Following the examples of Salesforce, in Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (previously known as Pardot) we find lead generation, lead management and sales aligment functionalities that are not developed in a standard way in Marketing Cloud. However, in Marketing Cloud we can work with many more channels that in Pardot you don’t find like SMS, mobile or Advertising. Besides being much more powerful in the area of Social Media.

Finally, the big difference also lies in the data management and volume of data. While Pardot is a tool to work with reduced data sizes (less than one million records), Marketing Cloud is a platform to support much more customer data.

If you want to know more about Marketing Cloud continue reading this article, if you want more information about Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (previously known as Pardot) you can find it at Is Pardot the best Marketing Automation tool for B2B?

Marketing Cloud History

Although Salesforce took its first steps in developing a Social Media Marketing suite, it wasn’t until 2011-2012 that it made a strong commitment to digital marketing with the purchase of ExactTarget for $2.5 billion (U.S.) and Radian6 for $376 million. With ExactTarget, he not only acquired the leading platform for mass emailing, but also “bounced” to another set of tools that months earlier ExactTarget had purchased, these were Pardot, CoTweet, iGoDigital and Keymail Marketing. On the other hand, Radian6 positioned Salesforce as a leader in social listening, a positioning that it complemented with the purchase in 2012 of Buddy Media, providing all the social media management functionalities.

Over the last few years, Salesforce has faced the challenge of integrating all these acquisitions under a single platform, which it called the Marketing Cloud. It has also incorporated new acquisitions that have positioned it as the leading customer management platform. Here we find Krux (data management platform or DMP) and Datorama (marketing analysis platform) or Evergage (real time personalization).

The history of Marketing Cloud is key to better understand this platform, since the history of acquisitions is at the same time one of the main disadvantages and virtues of Marketing Cloud. It has all the needs of a marketing department, from advertising, email marketing, mobile the journeys or analytics, and even its own DMP but at the same time makes it complex to operate by non-specialized teams. Marketing Cloud’s latest big innovation has been Data Cloud, Salesforce’s commitment to a Customer Data Platform (CDP). We could say that Data Cloud was born from the evolution of DMP. First called Salesforce CDP, then rebranded as Genie, and finally rebranded again as Data Cloud. This platform is a solution that allows the data of all clients to be unified. Generating audiences or segments for marketing actions.

Marketing Cloud Features

Why use Marketing Cloud in a marketing project? The main feature is that centralizing communications with customers over multiple channels. Different studies indicate that the value of a company that offers a diversification of channels is greater than that related by traditional means.

In addition, the Marketing Cloud is a platform that allows us to develop a personalized digital experience with our customers. Up to 86% of buyers will pay more if they receive a better customer experience, but only 1% of customers think their salesperson meets their expectations. Improving the customer experience allows companies to better understand and adapt to the ever-changing expectations of their customers.

How does Marketing Cloud work?

Marketing Cloud is a platform composed of several subclouds, if we start with the most basic we find Email Studio, Mobile Studio, Social Studio and Advertising Studio that allow working multichannel communications with customers through different digital channels. But the great value of Marketing Cloud lies in combining the full potential of customer data collection with the automation of communications on any channel, for this we find other subclouds that have allowed to work this omnicanality, here we find Contact Builder, Journey Builder, Automation Studio, Analytics Studio, Salesforce DPM or Audience Studio (moved to Data Cloud) and MC Personalization.

Email Studio

This is one of the most powerful email marketing platform in the market, usually marketing teams are used to working with email marketing solutions and not platforms, at this point it is worth clarifying again what the difference between the two concepts is.

While a solution is a completely finished software and only requires small configurations to start operating, a platform is a set of tools that offer the ability to customize even the smallest detail of the processes of a company. There are several advantages when working on a platform like Email Studio:

  • Scalability, allows working with a high performance on databases of millions of records.
  • Control, in Marketing Cloud you work on your own IP, unlike more traditional email marketing solutions that work on shared IPs.
  • Data processing, in addition to working on conventional email marketing lists, incorporates all the power of data extensions, automation study, etc.
  • Integration, all the ETL part of Marketing Cloud allows working almost any customization of marketing or business processes, as well as incorporating on the platform all transnational processes.

If you are interested in knowing everything that offers this subcloud within the Marketing Cloud, visit the following article: Email Studio in Marketing Cloud: What is it and what it offers.

Content Builder

In addition, Email Studio incorporates very advanced tools for the layout and composition of emails, which are part of the Content Builder, the Marketing Cloud content management solution. A tool designed for large corporations that require a highly structured organization where collaboration and security of publications and content prevails.

Advertising Studio in Marketing Cloud

Without a doubt the dream of many marketing teams, to connect CRM data with different digital advertising platforms. Advertising Studio is the perfect tool to generate campaigns and customer omnichannel journeys.

It enhances the possibilities of any marketing team by improving the processes of acquisition, reactivation and loyalty. Work your own databases with the most powerful digital channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google, LinkedIn and Youtube.

Mobile Studio in Marketing Cloud

It allows to connect with customers through mobile messages. On a single platform you can send SMS, push notifications and chat applications. Improves the customer experience and offers real-time communications, from product delivery notifications to meeting reminders or SMS marketing campaigns. It also incorporates the technology needed to perform Geofancing or Proximity Marketing actions.

Social Studio [will be discontinue, scheduled for Nov 18, 2024]

The perfect solution for generating personalized experiences through social channels, connecting CRM, customer care and marketing data. The social listening tool allows you to know what they are saying in social networks about your brand or your competitors, analyzing their feelings and locating where the conversations are happening. In addition, it allows you to work on social contingency plans in real time, allowing you to talk to customers about social channels or activate processes for incident management and customer service. It also incorporates Social Media Management functionalities, allowing you to manage the publications of your social channels through the Marketing Cloud. And all under the content management potential of Content Builder and the possibilities it offers to improve dissemination through paid media campaigns.

If you want to discover more about Social Studio, we recommend you to visit the following article: Social Studio: More than a Social Networking Manager

Contact Builder

audience builder

Marketing Cloud is a tool that collects data from multiple sources:

  • External data, from a point of sale (physical store) to an ERP.
  • CRM or loyalty databases, such as Salesforce.
  • It is also capable of managing data from digital channels: behavior in social networks, advertising campaigns or web activity.
  • Marketing Cloud can be a formula one of marketing but its fuel is the customer data. Having an adequate data capture and organization plan is one of the most important elements to take advantage of this tool.

Marketing Cloud fuel is customer data. Having an adequate data collection and organization plan is one of the most important elements to take advantage of this tool.

Journey Builder

journey builder

The second part of the tool is the core or brain where the communication flows with the customers are programmed, using all the channels offered by the Marketing Cloud.

All this is best understood with an example: a company sends an invitation to its customers by email, which contains a CTA that leads to a web or landing page that contains a form that if completed by the customer is sent a confirmation by SMS, finally the days before the event is impacted through advertising campaigns with discounts for friends and family. It is a flow that communicates with the same customer through different channels but has finds the interaction with each of them to evaluate a next action, is what we call omnicanality. In addition, all the information that we obtain during the process is stored to improve the knowledge about the preferences that our clients have.

Journey Builder is a graphic tool that allows us to configure from the simplest communication flows to complicated customer relationship campaigns. The examples of marketing flows that we usually work from ShowerThinking are welcome packs, on boarding, off boarding, cart membership, renewals, event registration, we miss you, commercial reactivation, etc.

Automation Studio

automation studio

The Journey Builder module works in tandem with Automation Studio, which is a tool that helps us to segment our customers and choose who we communicate with.

Suppose we want to contact those customers who have not made a purchase for more than 90 days. This is precisely the function of Automation Studio, we generate lists of customers that we will introduce in a process in Journey Builder.

Let’s take a more advanced example: we want to automate the sending of an email with a discount to customers who have not made a purchase for more than 90 days, and if they don’t respond to the email, they will enter a retargeting campaign for a month, specially designed to make them consume products again. With Automation Studio we can automate the segmentation and with Journey Builder we can automate the sending of the discount by email and the retargeting campaign.

Audience Studio or DMP (Data Management Platform) [Transfered to Data Cloud]

Audience Studio is Salesforce’s DPM, the Marketing Cloud tool that captures and unifies data, to activate marketing campaigns.
It allows a better knowledge of the customers and generates much more personalized actions to increase customer engagement or experience through advertising campaigns, content and e-commerce. DMP not only works with your own data, it allows you to locate potential audiences through second to third party data.

MC Personalization (previously known as Interaction Studio)

It is a platform acquired by Salesforce in 2020 known as Evergage. It is a webtracking solution that allows to identify users through cookies, similar to Google Analytics, but additionally offers dynamic content functionalities on the web. And all this without the need to make changes in the back end of the websites, marketing teams can modify any element of a website thanks to its dynamic content interface. Personalization integrates natively with Sales Cloud and Data Cloud, enabling customer profiles that combine web interaction data with CRM data. In addition, it has a native connector with Marketing Cloud Engagement, being able to launch journey builders with segments created from Personalization.

If you want to expand your knowledge about Marketing Cloud Personalization, we recommend you to visit the following article: Marketing Cloud Personalization, Interaction Studio, Or Evergage – But What Exactly Are They?

Data Cloud (previously known as Salesforce CDP)

Salesforce’s big bet in recent years is the CDP (Customer Data Platform) solution. One that is revolutionizing the strategies of marketing and business teams.
Data Cloud allows you to connect all companies’ platforms and databases and create a unified customer profile. Offering marketing teams the ability to perform segmentation with just a few clicks, combining all existing customer data (contact, transactional , interactions, profiles, …). It also allow to activate segments on any channel, whether sending automated customizations to Salesforce Marketing Cloud Engagement or paid media platforms like Google or Meta.
If you want to know more about Data Cloud, we recommend you to visit the following article: What Is Data Cloud?

Marketing Cloud Analytics (previously known as Datorama)

analytic builder

We can use the own reports generated by the platform. It is one of the few tools that gives us the possibility to extract all the information in raw and download it through an excel or csv file to analyze it externally.

It also has a very interesting element, called Einstein Predictive Content to make the prediction of customer behavior with respect to content.

Recovering the acquisition history of Salesforce Marketing Cloud, it is the purchase of Datorama in 2018 that has meant a significant advance in the area of analytics. It is a tool focused on both agencies and marketing teams, offering a suite of integrations with the most important digital technologies, as well as a series of functionalities for the design of control panels.

What you need for Marketing Cloud implementation

Choose marketing automation or digital marketing hub

There are dozens of Marketing Automation tools. Marketing Cloud has been highlighted by Gartner as a leader in multi-channel automation tools, a new category called marketing hub and which sets it apart from the competition. There are multiple automation tools with more limited functionalities, some others oriented to a small business segment. There are other tools that are located in a different quadrant since they are open source tools where there is no license fee.

Work team

An important element in Marketing Cloud is to know what kind of human team is needed to operate this tool. Work hand in hand with the Marketing Automation specialists and the technical programmers or developers, while the specialist is in charge of all the automation and segmentation configuration, the technician gives support on the integrations and code requirements. Sometimes, on large Marketing Cloud projects it is necessary to work with Salesforce Architects, who offer security on the performance and stability of the platform.

Marketing Cloud has the possibility of dividing the operation of the platform under different business units, called Business units. For example, if your company is divided into different business units by geographical region or by different brands. You also have the possibility of creating a business unit for a partner company can develop a marketing program coordinated with you.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud Team

Salesforce Certifications

Many of these positions we are talking about require very specialized training. Salesforce has one of the best online training platforms for its products called Trailhead. If you want to go a little further, you also have the possibility of obtaining official certification. These are exams that you can take at authorized centers or online from home if you have a webcam. Specifically, Marketing Cloud has 4 certifications, each one oriented to a different profile:


Marketing Cloud becomes a practically unique tool in those projects where you want to take full advantage of databases, whether for acquisition strategies, reactivation or customer loyalty. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about the tool or would like us to guide you through the implementation and operations of Salesforce’s Digital Marketing Hub.

The Salesforce History, from a garage to the tallest skyscraper in San Francisco

Salesforce History

Salesforce is a very young company that is in the middle of a “Boom”, however it has an interesting story worthy of a Hollywood movie script, ingredients are not lacking and above all we are facing the typical story of the American dream. If you still don’t know what Salesforce is, I invite you to read the article Discover what Salesforce is, much more than a CRM.

March 2019 marks the 20th anniversary of Salesforce’s founding, and in this article we summarize the most important milestones in the short life of a technology company that has managed to become the fastest to generate annual revenues in excess of $10 billion and that will surely also break the $20 billion record.

Revenue forecasting

In 1999 a former Oracle manager creates a cloud-based CRM. It is easy to think today that Marc Benioff is a visionary who has been able to create a technological empire based on the cloud concept. However, if we look at the story of the Salesforce CEO, we really are looking at a “nutcase” who spent 13 years of his life working for Oracle and who. 

When he became Vice President (the youngest in the company), gave up everything because of his obsession with developing business applications on a Software-as-a-Service business model.

Nowadays many startups take their first steps thanks to important financing rounds and investment groups but in 1999 things were a little different. 

At that time Marc Benioff only had three fellow travelers: Parker Harris, Frank Dominguez and Dave Moellenhoff. 

First office

They decorated the room with posters of the Dalai Lama and Albert Einstein to find inspiration. Back then, the platform was far from being the cloud-based CRM that we know today. 

The goal was simply to create enterprise software applications using a model known as Software-as-a-Service: a revolutionary user-license subscription model that completely eliminated the traditional on-premise enterprise software model (large investments in hardware, implementations, maintenance, and updates).

The first prototype saw the light of day a month after starting its development. It was basic and very rudimentary, with a look very similar to the websites of those years, with tabs at the top and multiple links. Although basic, it already supported the current CRM model with accounts, contacts, and opportunities, offering the possibility of reports and sales forecasts.

salesforce screen

In fact, Marc Benioff used Amazon.com as his inspiration. According to his vision, business applications should be as easy to use as any web page, and the king of usability at that time was Amazon.

The first customers came from that first version, and it was thanks to that that in July 1999 Marc was able to devote himself in time to the Salesforce.com project. His first task was to find an office that was suitable for his needs, and by November 1999 the company had 10 employees and new offices in Rincon Center.

The 2000 Revolution: No Software

The launch took place at the Regency Theater and was truly amazing. They put on a performance where they adapted the theater’s stage as if it were a software company’s office, a stage with a hellish, chaotic look: screaming salespeople, caged employees, and people looking to escape that hell by breaking through to the surface, climbing up to find Salesforce.com. Attendees were impressed, and Salesforce made the impact it needed to stand out.

Accompanying this event was a brand campaign with a curious negative slogan that would become the Salesforce benchmark for many years, “No Software”.

no software

The launch took place at the Regency Theater and was truly amazing. They put on a performance where they adapted the theater’s stage as if it were a software company’s office, a stage with a hellish, chaotic look: screaming salespeople, caged employees, and people looking to escape that hell by breaking through to the surface.

Climbing up to find Salesforce.com. Attendees were impressed, and Salesforce made the impact it needed to stand out.

Accompanying this event was a brand campaign with a curious negative slogan that would become the Salesforce benchmark for many years, “No Software”.

In 2003 Dreamforce begins

In its early days, Salesforce had held many events around the country called “City Tours”, which usually lasted a few hours and featured the latest features of the tool as well as Salesforce’s road map for the future.

These were also events designed to get customers networking and talking about how to get the most out of Salesforce.  

But in 2003, they went for a new, much more ambitious, multi-day event format that they called Dreamforce.

Including the Ohana concept in 2004

In Hawaiian culture, Ohana represents the idea that families that are united (by blood, adoption or relationship) each member is responsible for the rest of the family members. And when he created Salesforce in the year 1999, Marc made sure that “Ohana” was at the heart of the company. 

In 2004, the company hosted its inaugural Hawaiian-themed event, emphasizing its core values and uniting customers, employees, partners, stakeholders, and enthusiasts.

In 2005 the AppExchange arrived

In 2005 Salesforce developed a service that would change business software forever, BusinessWeek called it “The eBay for business software” and Forbes compared it to iTunes. The name chosen by Salesforce was the AppExchange.

The key to the AppExchange is the mix of community and business. It gives partners a place to develop their own apps and open them up to all Salesforce customers. An opportunity to broaden the company’s vision and enhance its capabilities and services, building bridges between customers and partners.

history appexchange

Apex and Visualforce, the revolution of 2006

The 2006 Dreamforce brought together more than 5,000 attendees to learn about Salesforce.com’s latest innovations. 

What few expected was what was going to happen there, was the introduction of Apex, Salesforce’s on-demand programming language that allows third parties to write and execute code in a multi-tenant architecture

This would allow customers, partners, developers, and all stakeholders to operate seamlessly in the same unified language and platform, fostering collaboration and efficiency at all levels.

Presentation apex dreamforce

But Salesforce didn’t stop there. Parker Harris developed a technology called Visualforce that allowed companies to customize any user interface, from forms to buttons or links to the ability to embed any custom element. 

All of this was integrated into a platform where customers could build their own custom applications. Apex and Visualforce were the beginning of what in the 2008 Dreamforce was called Force.com.

Chatter arrives in 2009, when it gets the first billion U.S. dollars

It is in 2009 that Chatter comes into our lives, announced in this year’s Dreamforce. The Force.com platform incorporated a corporate social network that included the best of Facebook, Google Apps, and Twitter, as well as various integration APIs and mobile applications. 2011 was also the year that Salesforce managed to exceed $1 billion (U.S.), thanks to its 55,000 customers.

Heroku to drive the jump to cloud computing in 2010

Salesforce’s rapid growth allowed Marc Benioff to buy companies at a stroke, while Salesforce needed to expand its cloud capabilities, so in 2010 it bet on the purchase of Heroku for a total of $212 million in cash. A startup offering platform-as-a-service

Forbes 2011 “The world’s most innovative company”

This year begins the famous ranking of the specialized magazine, where until today Salesforce has always been in the top 3, the last one we find it in the Forbes ranking of 2018.

2012 the social revolution: marketing cloud

Already with the Sales and Service clouds as part of the product suite, Salesforce has taken on a new positioning.

 The strategic moves that would bring about a change in the company’s cycle have begun.


Multi-million dollar acquisitions took place prior to Dreamforce 2012 such as the acquisitions of companies like Radian 6, acquired for $326 million in 2011, and Buddy Media for $745 million. And a year later, in June 2013, ExactTarget would be acquired for $2.5 billion. In total these three acquisitions reached $3.6 billion and formed the foundation of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud. The social revolution was presented in the Dreamforce 2012 keynote address to 92,000 attendees at the event.

2013 the year of Salesforce 1 and mobility

Salesforce anticipated the importance of smartphones in the industry and started with a mobile application called Salesforce Mobile that was quite limited in terms of access to information and functionality.

It wasn’t until 2013 that Salesforce made the big leap to mobility and introduced Salesforce 1, with the goal of reducing the existing GAP between computer and smartphone It made available to its customers a mobile application capable of displaying all the data and most of the Salesforce functionality on any smartphone A revolutionary application that to date many competing technologies have not yet been able to implement. To be honest, the first years of Salesforce 1 were quite complicated, as the loading speed was quite slow and errors were frequent. Today, the mobile application is no longer called Salesforce 1, as it is entirely built on top of Lightning.

2014 the year of the Customer Success Platform

At the 2014 Dreamforce, Salesforce announces its new positioning, as a Customer Success Platform, thus expanding the positioning of CRM and focusing on a complete digital transformation of companies, facing other major technologies in the world of ERP such as SAP and Microsoft. Unlike these companies, Salesforce opted for a digital transformation process focused on the customer and not on financial processes. To this end, it created the concept of sub-clouds: Sales, Service, Marketing, Communities and Analytics.

It is precisely in the latter (Analytics) that Salesforce invested in 2014. He did not want to be left behind in the new trends of Business Intelligence and Big Data, so in 2013 he acquired the company Edgespring, which was the beginning of the Analytics Cloud. In the Dreamforce of 2014 it became known as Wave and later changed its name to Einstein Analytics, with the arrival of artificial intelligence

Lightning and Trailhead announced in 2015

After 16 years, Salesforce’s appearance had remained a constant that required a profound renovation. Salesforce needed a new look to please its customers. Lightning starts in 2014 and is based on the Salesforce 1 design, but it wasn’t until the 2015 Dreamforce that it was officially launched, along with Thunder and the IOT Cloud.

The Lightning look changed the way Salesforce.com integrates into our browser forever no matter what device we were using. Unfortunately, Salesforce brought an unfinished product to market in 2015 and it was impossible to migrate to Lightning because so much of Classic’s functionality was not developed and it was causing serious performance issues. 

Artificial Intelligence and thirteen acquisitions arrive in 2016

The arrival of 2016 also brings new airs of renewal in the company. The technologies related to artificial intelligence were beginning to be a sufficiently mature reality to be able to offer advantages to clients all over the world. Thus, in this year’s Dreamforce, Salesforce announced its new product: Einstein.

Einstein allows all Salesforce customers to access artificial intelligence functionality in a declarative manner.

Einstein’s presentation was received by a crowd of 170,000 people who came to San Francisco for the 4-day conference, in addition to more than 15 million viewers who were able to see every detail of the event via the online webcast.

2016 was the year of acquisitions, a total of 13 of which we highlight:

  • Steal Break for a value of $258.2 million. This is currently called Saleforce CPQ and offers advanced Quote to Cash functionality.
  • Demandware for $2.8 billion, an e-commerce solution that was renamed Commerce Cloud.
  • Quip for $750 million. A project management and document management platform based on a blank canvas on which to work with project management applications.
  • Krux for $800 million, one of the leading DMP (Data Management Platform) that would become part of the Marketing Cloud.

An intense year only tarnished by the failed attempt to take over LinkedIn in a bid where another technological giant, Microsoft, managed to make the best offer by taking away from SalesForce the possibility of taking over one of the most important business networks in the world.

2017: The Fourth Industrial Revolution

The incorporation of Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) marked a significant turning point in Salesforce’s strategic positioning. It not only complemented the Customer Success Platform concept but also aligned Salesforce with the broader narrative of The Fourth Industrial Revolution. 

This strategic shift marked a significant transformation for Salesforce, demonstrating the company’s ambition to expand its footprint within the ever-evolving landscape of business technology. It served as a pivotal moment that highlighted Salesforce’s determination to carve out a more substantial presence in this dynamic industry.

In 2018 move to Salesforce Tower and purchase of Mulesoft and Datorama

In 2018, the time has come to make new strategic acquisitions by the checkbook. First a giant of the same sector, Mulesoft in an operation valued in about 6,500 million dollars. Soon after, another more “modest” acquisition for 800 million dollars, that of the Israeli Datorama, a company positioned in marketing intelligence.

To understand the importance of the first acquisition, we have to think that until that moment, Mulesoft was considered one of the main platform integration providers. Among its clients were Coca-Cola, Barclays and Unilever. A purchase that covers the entire back office that Salesforce needed to continue competing with the business software giants.

In addition, 2018 is the year Salesforce moves to the tallest skyscraper in San Francisco: Salesforce Tower. Construction began in 2013 and has been surrounded by controversy after detecting certain structural problems but these have finally been resolved.

The beginning of the Blockchain era and the purchase of Tableau in 2019

Currently the use of technologies based on blockchains or Blockchain are successfully extending to corporate environments.

That’s why on May 29, 2019, during the Salesforce DX event, Salesforce made a groundbreaking announcement. 

They introduced Salesforce Blockchain, an innovative platform built on blockchain technology, seamlessly integrated with your CRM system. This move demonstrated Salesforce’s commitment to embracing cutting-edge solutions to enhance its offerings within the ever-evolving business technology

salesforce buy tableau

But the big surprise was yet to come. And so on June 11, Salesforce buys Tableau for more than $15 billion, which puts it at the top of the giant of data analytics and CRM. 

With this unprecedented move in the history of enterprise software, it brings together both the largest data analytics platform. 

It also combines the best CRM solution available. It bringing Tableau’s more than 86,000 business customers to Salesforce. In 2019, it was also decided to merge salesforce.com and salesforce.org, with the former putting up $300 to take over the latter.

This year also saw the release of myTrailhead, an e-learning platform for company employees, a production release that was delayed for more than a year from its first announcement in the 2017 Dreamforce.

What about the future?

In 2018 Marc Benioff “got wet” by making a statement indicating that Salesforce’s goal is to become a $60 billion American company by 2034. Therefore, there is still much history of acquisitions and revolutions to be written. We will be updating this article to keep you informed of the history of Salesforce, a company that in just 20 years has been able to move from a garage to the tallest skyscraper in San Francisco.

Discover what Salesforce is, much more than a CRM

Feature image Salesforce much more than a crm

No one doubts that Salesforce is currently one of the most common technologies in the business ecosystem. From micro-SMEs to large corporations, they are betting on the leading platform in customer management. In this article, we will explain what Salesforce is and how it has evolved from its beginnings as a CRM to what we now know as the Salesforce economy. At the end of the reading, you will be able to conclude that Salesforce is much more than a CRM program.

Salesforce CRM

Almost everyone knows Salesforce as a CRM, but the reality is that it is much more than a customer management tool. However, the Sales Cloud (the trade name for Salesforce CRM) remains the company’s backbone. In order to fully understand what Salesforce is, it is important to first understand what a CRM or Customer Relationship Manager is: its very acronym gives a very clear idea that it is a tool in charge of managing business relationships with customers, supporting all the processes of recruitment and negotiation. Salesforce divides the CRM into two modules: on the one hand, we have the acquisition and on the other the negotiation, both linked by monitoring and reporting functions. It should be stressed that Salesforce was created as a B2B CRM and its process is highly optimized for this type of business, although it has now been perfectly adapted to B2C models.

Salesforce CRM is built on a relational data model, linked data tables that support a business process and are called objects in Salesforce. But in addition to being data tables, the objects also incorporate a set of automation and rules that generate a series of specific functionalities to cover a series of business needs. Some of the standard Salesforce CRM objects are:

Leads or customer acquisition

The operational model proposed by Salesforce begins with the capture of potential customers or leads, a task that is normally managed by the marketing teams. Once these potential customers have been captured, they must be evaluated and qualified for the sales force to start dealing with them. To this end, they offer a battery of functionalities that allow the lead generation and lead management processes to be optimized.

Accounts, Contacts, and Opportunities or negotiation with clients

When a potential customer is qualified by marketing it means that they are ready to enter into a commercial process. The Salesforce model involves turning the lead into account, customer, and opportunity. Data that was previously in a single data table or object becomes 3 tables or objects. In this way we strengthen the relational data model, avoiding the typical problems of organization and duplication of information.

Salesforce conversion lead

The Account is the master object in the sales or CRM application, it is the object that contains all the company data: fiscal, headcount, invoicing, industry, etc.

Companies are made up of employees and collaborators, this is registered at the level of the Contact object and contains all identity and contact data: gender, name, surname, telephone, email, position, seniority, etc. Therefore, on an account register, we link several contacts.

Finally, we had commented that a qualified lead is ready to be managed by the sales force, therefore the lead contains commercial negotiation data that in the conversion process go to the Opportunity. One of the keys to the opportunity is that it includes all the stages or milestones through which a negotiation passes. An opportunity is related to a single account and can be related to several contacts, those who intervene in the negotiation process that reflects the opportunity.

Campaigns or management of marketing actions

To support marketing or sales actions, whether for recruitment or loyalty, Salesforce has the object of campaigns. The campaigns are related to campaign members who refer to both leads and contacts. In addition, the campaigns also allow different ways of relating to the opportunities, which helps to adequately measure the ROI of each campaign.

Salesforce campaigns

Activities or follow-up

A CRM is a sales productivity tool and one of the keys is the activities, which help to manage the agenda and tasks of the salespeople. The big difference with an activity manager of any calendar is that each activity we record in Salesforce is linked to the relevant contact record, account, opportunity, or object. In other words, as well as helping us to manage the daily activity, we are recording the relational history of the commercial process in an organized manner. And without forgetting collaboration, the possibility of generating professional relationships between teams.

Salesforce activities

Reports and control panels

Although the panels and reports are not an object, it is worth mentioning them as a fundamental part of Salesforce CRM. Since its origins, Salesforce has incorporated a tool that allows you to prospect your data in a direct and very intuitive way, without the need for code.

Origins of Salesforce

The beginnings of Salesforce are in film. Marc Benioff, Parker Harris, Frank Dominguez and Dave Moellenhoff began working on their dream in a San Francisco flat in 1999 and their dream was to democratize access to business software. To do so, they decided to develop a new business model based on pay-per-use or what is now known as SaS (Software as a Service).

Another of Salesforce’s keys is that it has been based on Cloud technology since its inception. In other words, Salesforce is in the cloud and does not require investment in hardware as is the case with on-premise solutions. It only requires an Internet browser to operate.

And why start with the CRM?

If we analyze it from the perspective of time, we can say that Benioff was a visionary ahead of his time. I explain, the CRM is a software product that has been around since the 1980s and in 1999 (the beginning of Salesforce) the CRM was already a very mature technology, there were many solutions on the market. However, Benioff’s commitment to taking CRM to the cloud and democratizing access to business technology generated a competitive advantage that continues to this day. And as a good visionary, he had luck on his side. Over the last two decades, the CRM has evolved from being a tool for control and commercial management to being the main axis of customer knowledge for any company, in many cases positioning itself above the ERP.

History CRM

Lightning Platform

As we said at the outset, Salesforce has long since moved from being exclusively a CRM to a customer platform. Part of the company’s success is the adaptability it offers when it comes to managing different processes, not just commercial ones. In this respect, Salesforce has grown along two lines: firstly, by incorporating new solutions that cover business areas that go beyond sales (Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Analytics Cloud, Commerce Cloud, etc.) and secondly, by improving the platform’s customisation, configuration and development capabilities.

Lightning platform

Low Code

Today, Salesforce is the number one low code application development platform in the world. And what does this mean? That users have the ability to develop applications without having to enter a single line of code, in a declarative manner (with configuration). Through the configuration of objects, fields, rules, and automation, applications are generated. The applications are hosted in organizations and the organizations are provided with different functionalities depending on the clouds and licenses contracted.

Salesforce low code

No software

Although we have already mentioned it in the origins of Salesforce, one of the advantages of this platform is that it has been in the cloud since 1999, so it does not require an investment in hardware for its operation. The SaS concept (pay per use) was spread by Salesforce with the slogan No Software, which refers to the fact that it does not require any installation, as soon as you buy the license you already have access to the platform. It also highlights issues such as multi-tenancy, metadata and APIs.

Multitenant metada api


As it is in the cloud, all organisations are always up to date with the latest version (Salesforce releases 3 times a year) and this means that you do not have to carry out migration projects every time you change version, as working on metadata ensures that you do not lose any customisation made in the organisation.


Another advantage of the cloud is that all users take advantage of Salesforce processors, AWS machines that have a processing speed at the highest level. And this is the same for any company, whether it’s the Santander bank or the SME below you, all Salesforce machines perform at the same level.


From the outset, Salesforce has known how complicated companies’ technological ecosystems can be and has always been committed to building bridges between data silos. One example is one of its latest acquisitions, Mulesoft, a leading provider of integration solutions.

Salesforce mobile app

Another feature of Lightning Platform is mobility, it has all the desktop functionalities in the mobile version and not only that, Lightning Platform allows the development of totally customized mobile applications.

Salesforce Einstein

For a few years now, Salesforce has been using the name Einstein to refer to the intelligence functionalities it incorporates into its platform. A position that has evolved over time, firstly by giving only the name to the Artificial Intelligence functionalities, but today Einstein Analytics is Salesforce’s Business Intelligence platform, which was previously known as Wave.

Salesforce Ecosystem

We have just seen lightning platform, which is the main gear of the Salesforce ecosystem in which, in addition to being able to develop customised applications, we find some of the main clouds: Sales Cloud, Service Cloud and App Cloud. However, Salesforce has been evolving at a dizzying rate over the last few years, incorporating tools and solutions that are not developed within the Lightning Platform.

Salesforce Clouds

Some of these solutions are focused on serving different areas of companies: sales, marketing, customer service, logistics, IT, etc. This grouping of solutions by area is what Salesforce has called Clouds. The most important of these are: Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Commerce Cloud (e-commerce oriented), Analytics Cloud, Marketing Cloud,IoT, Community Cloud, Integration Cloud, etc.

Multicloud salesforce

App Exchange

Salesforce also has an ecosystem of partners who have developed applications that integrate with Lightning Platform or are even developed on the platform itself. To leverage the entire partner ecosystem, Salesforce launched the App Exchange where Salesforce partners can upload to applications for marketing.

Vertical solutions

And the latest trend in Salesforce is to bring out vertical solutions focused on covering the processes of different industries, among the most important of which are HEDA (university oriented), Finance Cloud or Health Cloud.

Salesforce Economy

If some time ago Salesforce was no longer just a CRM, today we could also say that Salesforce is no longer just a customer platform. More correctly, Salesforce is an economy or a system for producing, distributing, trading and consuming business applications. The numbers of this company speak for themselves, if we look at the report made by the consulting firm IDC we find:

  • By 2022 there will be 3.3 million people working in the Salesforce ecosystem.
  • By 2022, Salesforce’s revenue from its entire ecosystem will reach $859 billion.
  • 89% of the Fortnune 100 companies have Salesforce.
  • For every dollar that Salesforce earns, partners generate 5.
  • Salesforce CRM has more market share than its next 10 competitors combined.
  • Salesforce is the leading customer management platform, not only in sales but also in marketing.

Salesforce economy

Salesforce Community

A large part of Salesforce’s success is how it has cared for its community (customers, partners and employees), understanding the needs of each party. I always like to give the example of wordpress, why has this CMS imposed itself on its competitors? Because the key is in the community. As with Salesforce, any problem or doubt you have is backed up by a community of knowledge that helps you solve your problem or provide you with a solution. In other words, if you’re stuck in the configuration, development or operation within Salesforce and you Google your problem, you’ll almost certainly find a solution to it. Another example is the partner ecosystem, as through platforms such as App Exchange it has been able to share the cake among its partners.


Following the community concept, we find Trailhead, the most powerful software eLearning platform in the world. Salesforce knows how important it is to have qualified professionals to help improve the success of the platform, for that reason it has been developing Trailhead for 4 years. A way to empower any kind of Salesforce user: business users, administrators, developers, etc. In addition to Trailhead, Salesforce provides these users with completely free development environments that help accelerate the learning process. In the following link, you can register a new development environment.

Salesforce Certifications

Finally, Salesforce has been committed for several years to regulated training through certifications. Both partners and clients are challenged to pass their more than 20 certifications, ranging from Administrator or Consultant to Architect. For more information, I recommend that you read the article Certifications in Salesforce: A guide to improving your professional career.


Salesforce is an economy that ranges from a technological suite of business solutions to a community where customers, partners and employees live together. Experienced ICT professionals like to compare the Salesforce “bubble effect” with what happened with SAP a few years ago, a comparison based on the speed of growth that everything related to the Salesforce ecosystem is experiencing. Bubble or not, the truth is that Salesforce has changed the business software model and is now a technology that is 4 or 5 years ahead of the rest of its competitors.