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. By 2023, it has reached the milestone of generating $34.8B, making it the third largest software company in the world.

Salesforce earnings 2023

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. So Salesforce starts taking its first steps in a rented room (and not a garage as the owner says) near where Marc lived in Telegraph Hill, San Francisco.

At that time Marc Benioff only had three fellow travelers: Parker Harris, Frank Dominguez and Dave Moellenhoff. They decorated the room with posters of the Dalai Lama and Albert Einstein to find inspiration.

First office

Por aquel entonces la plataforma distaba mucho de ser el CRM en la nube que hoy conocemos, el objetivo era simplemente crear aplicaciones de software empresarial utilizando un modelo conocido como Software-as-a-Service: un modelo revolucionario de suscripción de licencia por usuario que eliminaba por completo el modelo tradicional de software empresarial on-premise  (grandes inversiones en hardware, implementaciones, mantenimiento y actualizaciones)

El primer prototipo vio la luz a un mes de iniciar su desarrollo. Era básico y muy rudimentario, con un aspecto muy similar a la web de aquellos años, con pestañas en la parte superior y múltiples enlaces. Aunque elemental, ya soportaba el modelo actual de CRM con cuentas, contactos y oportunidades, ofreciendo la posibilidad de informes y previsiones de venta.

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

With the arrival of the new millennium, Salesforce had already set up a great product and a brand new office on One Market Street. It was time for the official launch but compared to other industry giants, Salesforce was too small a fish to capture attention through traditional channels, they had to stand out.

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

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.

Incluyendo el concepto Ohana en 2004

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 1999, Marc made sure that “Ohana” was at the heart of the company. So in 2004, the first Hawaiian-themed event was held, focusing on the company’s own values and bringing together customers, employees and partners.

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 and developers to operate with the same language and platform.

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2tY6qm0Gb0&feature=emb_logo

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. It wasn’t until the end of 2017 that Lightning began to see the light of day. It wasn’t until Greg Rewis joined Salesforce (Lightning’s current product manager) that work on the new interface began.

Also 2015 is announced Trailhead, the most powerful e-learning platform in the technology industry. Trailhead also brought a new image for Salesforce, something more childlike and starring Astro, Codey & friends.

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 IOT and artificial intelligence drove an evolution in Salesforce’s positioning, complementing the Customer Success Platform concept with that of The Fourth Industrial Revolution. This was a major change that clearly marked Salesforce’s strategy to take on more space within the business technology world

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 because it allows sharing information securely and create secure collaborative environments with third parties with little effort. That’s why on May 29, 2019 at the Salesforce DX the launch of Salesforce Blockchain was announced, a platform based on Blockchain and connected to your CRM.

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 and the best CRM solution, bringing Tableau’s more than 86,000 business customers to Salesforce.

salesforce buy tableau

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.

 

Pandemic placed Slack in the head quarter of companies

In 2021 Salesforce acquired Slack for $27.7 billion in cash and stock, introducing a familiar team collaboration platform to its users while intensifying competition with Microsoft Teams. This movement was certainly prompted by the new reality of the pandemic.

“Headquarters are no longer on Madison Avenue or Main Street—they are in the cloud. Every business—in every industry—has to optimize for a digital-first customer, employee, and partner experience.”

salesforce slack

Salesforce and Slack will collaborate to develop the Slack-first Customer 360, which will provide businesses with a single source of truth for their business as well as a single platform for connecting employees, customers, and partners with one another and the apps they use every day, all within their existing workflows.

 

Customer 360: From Salesforce CDP to Genie and finally Data Cloud

In 2022 Salesforce entered the CDP war with its own solution built on the Saleforce Platform. Perhaps in a bit of a hurry, as the first versions of Salesforce CDP were still very immature. However, it posed a new paradigm of data integration based on Big Data platforms and processes. Adding the activation component, data models built on top of a Data Lake that allow to activate audiences on marketing platforms.

In a new rebranding maneuver, Salesforce in 2022 began to change the name of many of its products, among them Salesforce CDP was renamed Genie in the 2022 Dreamforce, but this would not stay here, at the end of 2022 the product was renamed again to finally stay as Data Cloud. But not only CDP changed its name in 2022, another examples can be found in Pardot that changed its name to Marketing Cloud Account Engagment or Interaction Studio that changed to Marketing Cloud Personalization.

 

2023 announcements Einstein 1 Platform + Copilot

In Dreamforce 2023 Salesforce’s first major announcement focused on the trust aspect in AI. According to Benioff, the Einstein AI Platform is intended to be a low-code platform for safe data communication while developing AI applications.

“The AI revolution is a trust revolution. Your data is not our product,” Benioff said.

To address data fragmentation, the Einstein 1 platform interacts with Slack, Tableau, Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, Mulesoft, Heroku, and Canvas, as well as uses the Salesforce Data Cloud. It uses Salesforce  Platform metadata framework to unify data independent of its structure or source.

einstein 1 platform

Salesforce’s generative AI conversational assistant is Einstein Copilot. It uses the Salesforce Data Cloud to conduct natural language conversations with users and provide “trustworthy” responses. Because of the integration of the generative AI with the services section, Salesforce claims it can be used for a variety of workplace needs such as automatic clause drafting, automatic account information updating, automatic email generation for clients, catalog management, building digital storefronts, creating product descriptions, and much more.

What comes next? DATA + AI + CRM + Trust

If one thing is clear, it is that Salesforce wants to lead the challenge of AI applied to the business world and, led by Einstein, is bidding to develop new functionalities that include generative AI. For this reason, it has changed its position from Customer 360 to DATA + AI + CRM+ Trust, a claim that perfectly describes its intention for the future without renouncing its roots.

Interaction Studio – Real Time 1 to 1 Personalization

interaction studio

Companies have an increasing number of communication channels whereby their current or potential customers can relate to the brand with interaction studio.

This involves many challenges and high level of complexity:

  • How to process and enrich all the information we receive from our clients from any communication channel? 
  • How to achieve a level of experience and personalization for our users individually based on all the information we have? 
  • How, given the high complexity of a digitalized world, give the appropriate response, through the appropriate channel and do it immediately?

These are the goals for which Interaction Studio of Salesforce Marketing Cloud has the answer.

Unified Customer Profile & Decisioning Engine

To process all the information regardless of the communication channel through which It

reaches us, Interaction Studio has a dashboard that provides a complete vision of the client/prospect, unifying in a single site their different identities in the different channels and creating an unified profile that groups: contact data, their interactions and the metrics related to their interactions. And all this in real time.

If to all this information, we add the platform’s artificial intelligence tool: Einstein, we will be able to provide our users with more relevant experiences according to their preferences and needs, deciding, for example, what will be our next best action, or carrying out coherent marketing campaigns through any touchpoint, with the user.

This is possible thanks to:

Einstein Recipes: that brings advanced, per-user product and content suggestions using complex algorithms and a deep understanding of user behavior. 


Einstein Decisions: automates the process of deciding who should see what content, rather than relying on the manual creation of complex rules.

decisions interaction studio

Data Sources Integration

And where do we start? First of all, it will be necessary to integrate our different data sources with the platform: Web Behaviour, Product Catalog, Content, Promotions , Email engagement, CRM, Mobile Behaviour, DMP, 3rd Party, AdTech Engagement, Call Center, LiveChat, In-Branch.

To do this, we have several possibilities available: through ETL, through real-time API calls, also through developments tools such as JS or SDK.

Data Sources Integration

Segmentations

Segmentation is one of the key components of Interaction Studio. You can filter your users and accounts based on a wide range of criteria you define, such as : Campaign, Action, Subscription, Visits, Location, Metrics, Third Party, Items.

Once a segment is created, the segment updates happen in real-time, this is one of the great advantages about using Interaction Studio, so any membership changes occur immediately, even during the same visit.

segment interaction studio

The segments can be used for a variety of purposes:

Campaign customization: directing personalized and specific messages for each segment.

Set goals/targets and make filters: segments can be used to filter campaign statistics and see how different groups react to a certain action.

Analytics, trends, and engagement: the creation of segments is also useful when analyzing trends and the level of “engagement” of each segment.

Analyze member details: with the level of detail offered by Interaction Studio it is possible to access the behavioral data of each user of specific account -> Unified Customer Profile.

Import or export segment membership: you can export the data of the segments including any defined segment rule, and it is also possible to synchronize the segments with your CRM to be able to include everything that Interaction Studio has captured about a lead, contact or account.

Campaigns & Templates

Once we have our clients identified and our data sources integrated, it will be the time to start launching segmented communication campaigns and through the appropriate channels.

For that, in Interaction Studio we have the necessary tools to create a campaign.

Selecting first:

The segment, the category and the rules to enter in it.

Then we will have to work with the communication channels deciding where we will show our personalized content: in an area of our website, through a content block in an email, using personalized messages via mobile…

In short, Interaction Studio is a powerful tool that, in addition to providing a 360ª view of users, it will be a great help to any company with a Customer Centric strategy.

Emailapocalypse: What Apple Mail Privacy Protection Means for Marketing Cloud

Mail Privacy Protection

Privacy is coming to the internet while cookies and tracking pixels are going away. Apple is leading a major change in the email marketing landscape with the introduction of Mail Privacy Protection among other new features that professionals and software providers will need to adopt.

Although these changes imply far-reaching effects for many providers, we will specifically discuss some considerations for Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Let’s start from the basics…

This summer 2021, Apple announced a slew of new features that would be introduced with its iOS 15, iPad 15, and MacOS Monterey releases to come this fall 2021. As with past updates, some of these new features were designed to offer users more and better control over the access that others have to their data. In fact, 3 of them are for Apple Mail and have a specific impact on those of us that work in email marketing.

This is nothing new for Apple. Over the past few years, Apple has been tightening up on user privacy. In recent updates it introduced new features that blocked all third-party cookies and required applications to ask for users’ permission to track their activity outside of their own apps. Ultimately, this is what users want. So we can only expect this trend and similar changes to continue.

So, considering how Apple Mail takes up around 40% of email client market share, you may be very interested in knowing just what these newest features are and if they will have an impact on what you do, specifically in Salesforce Marketing Cloud. 

In this article we’ll look at the following: 

  1. What are these 3 features?
  2. How will they affect email marketing and Salesforce Marketing Cloud?
  3. Can you prepare for this change?
  4. How can you adapt to this change?

Three New Apple Mail Features That Will Directly Impact Email Marketing

The main feature that will impact email marketing is the Mail Privacy Protection feature. When a user opens the Apple Mail app for the first time after the fall update they will see the Mail Privacy Protection feature, asking them if they want to have their Mail activity protected or not. (It’s safe to assume that most will opt for protection.)

How does this impact marketers? As Apple says:

“Mail Privacy Protection works by hiding your IP address and loading remote content privately in the background, even when you don’t open the message. This makes it harder for senders to follow your Mail activity.”

the Mail Privacy Protection

Feature #1: “Loading remote content privately in the background” – Marketing emails, newsletters, and some email clients use an invisible tracking pixel to track whether someone has opened an email or not. But with this new feature the emails are automatically loaded, or “opened”, in the background. So for marketers’ purposes, they will show as having been opened, even if they haven’t actually been opened.

Consider that Marketing Cloud includes a tracking pixel in each email to check if and when an email is opened. This feature will thus be affected.

protect mail activity Mail Privacy Protection

Feature #2: “Hiding your IP address” – This means that senders will not be able to determine location or to link email habits to other online activity based on IP address.

Source: Apple.com

Feature #3: Hide My Email – Among the plethora of new features being released this fall for iOS15 and other OS’s is also iCloud+. This is a paid plan that offers such features as extra iCloud storage, Family Sharing, Private Relay, and Hide My Email.

Hide My Email will allow users to mask their email with a fake one. These “fake” emails are random Apple-created icloud.com addresses that provide users with the luxury of providing a type of “burner” address when they don’t want to provide their true address.

This feature will have a profound impact on email marketing since we will no longer be able to identify a specific user. In fact the number of duplications in our database will grow. It will be important to consider a proper consent management and deduplication strategy in your Marketing Cloud instance.

The below diagram gives you an idea of how Apple will implement these new features using a proxy connection between the user and the email services.

hide email

How Will These New Features Affect Email Marketing?

These changes will have a most visible impact on the heavily-monitored open rate. For most subscribers using the Apple Mail app after this update, you will no longer be able to tell if the recipients opened your emails, what time they opened, their geolocation, or which device they used to do so.

open rate Mail Privacy Protection

At first thought, the name Mail Privacy Protection might make you think that it would lead to a drop in the open rate. However, because emails will be automatically loaded “privately in the background” regardless of whether they have actually been opened or not, then rather than leading to a drop it will cause open rates to rise significantly, depending on the proportion of your subscribers that use the Apple Mail email client.

So if open rates become unreliable and geolocation is unavailable for many subscribers, that means that other aspects of email marketing will be affected. Here are some of the big ones:

  • A/B Testing by opens
  • Send time optimization
  • Re-engagement journeys and flows based on opens
  • Localized content based on opens or IP addresses
  • Monitoring deliverability and list hygiene

How to Prepare for Mail Privacy Protection

It’s important that we get a head start by taking a look at what we currently have. Here is a helpful checklist of steps you can take to get prepared.

  • Determine potential impact. Examine your audience and get an idea of what percentage of your subscribers are iOS, iPadOS or MacOS users. Even though the impact will vary based on whether they actually use the Apple Mail app or opt in to Mail Privacy Protection, it will give you a good idea of how large (or small) that segment is. Here’s a step by step guide to how you can use Marketing Cloud Reports to get an idea of these segments.
    • Click on “Reports” under the Audience Builder tab.
    • In the Report Catalog, use the Email Performance by Device report.
    • Change the view to Table View.
    • For the Rows, besides Mobile or Desktop, try adding some of the following: Device Model, Operating System Model, Operating System Name, Email Client Name.
    • For the Measures, besides the initial Opens and Clicks measures you might also try Unique Opens and Unique Clicks.
  • Clean house now, while you can. Take a look at your deliverability and list hygiene. How many unengaged subscribers do you have? It’s a good idea to focus on email deliverability while you can still use opens as a key indicator.
  • Create a reliable opens audience consisting of subscribers that are not using Apple Mail. If you wish to test opens at times in the future, this audience can be your guide.
opens audience

Source: www.t4.ai

(Apple Mail takes up on average 40% of the market. What about your audience?)

How to Adapt to Mail Privacy Protection

It goes without saying that for many in email marketing a world without reliable open rates will require significant effort to adapt. While each audience is different, here are some helpful tips to get you started.

  • Rethink what an engaged subscriber is for you. This means looking at other signs of engagement or combinations of such signs. That could be date of opt-in, unique clicks, purchases, on-site behavior, sign-ups for events and other touchpoints.
  • Establish new baseline metrics. CTR should be key, but keep an eye on other metrics that help to monitor your new engaged subscriber profile, or the opposite, such as the unsubscribe clicks.
  • For automation, set your splits and triggers to be click or time-based rather than open-based.
  • Take a long-hard look at your email UX and content. Does your design guide your readers to your CTA? Does your content motivate them to click? Is your content concise and direct? Is your email mobile-optimized? You would also do well to take a look at your subject lines and sender profile.
  • User identification. Hide my Email creates the possibility of different email addresses for the same user. So you will need to set up an appropriate deduplication and user-identification strategy.

Only More to Come

As mentioned before, privacy changes and Apple is nothing new. We can therefore expect that these changes continue, not only with Apple but that many other companies will follow in their footsteps, as is often the case. Rather than resisting, the best thing we can do is get on board ourselves and adapt to the preferences of users. Ultimately it’s a great opportunity to continually reassess and improve your approach to email marketing. 

Salesforce Marketing Cloud will probably adapt to this new change. With the 5 major releases of Marketing Cloud per year we can most likely expect to see new features to address these important changes.

In the meantime, we will all continue to adapt to the changing landscape of email marketing.

At ShowerThinking we’re always glad to help you on that journey.

5 Keys to Email Marketing Health and Pharma

5 Keys to Email Marketing Health and Pharma

As the limits and bounds of technology continue to expand, one thing continues as a constant in marketing: email is king. And as we drill down into the specific fields of health and pharmaceutical marketing, things are no different. Your email marketing campaigns play a significant role in your results.

So you’ve got consistent email marketing campaigns going. Great! And you’re using new technology like Salesforce Marketing Cloud to manage those campaigns. Even better! But maybe you’re not seeing the results you were looking for.

In this article we’ll take a look at 5 keys to improving your email marketing in the Health and Pharmaceutical fields.

1. Segmentation

Segmented personalized email messages have been found to average 39% higher open rates than normal marketing emails.1 So make sure you are taking the time to personalize your emails and segment your audiences.

email list segmentation results

Source: Lyris, Inc.

Before beginning an effort to segment your emails, you first need to find out which segments you already have defined and which segments would be most useful to you. Certain segments might be a given, such as those based on specialty or geography. But there might be others that would be beneficial for you to analyze and identify.

Considering the benefits, any effort made in this area is always an excellent investment.

2. Content Is King: How is your CTA?

Attractive images and sharp design are also important when it comes to email marketing. Your Call to Action should reflect this. Users have become accustomed to receiving well-designed, eye-catching communications at every level. That means that your competition for a patient’s or healthcare provider’s attention isn’t necessarily another company within your sector, but instead Netflix.

A way to make sure that you easily keep your audience locked in is by making sure that you have a clear message. It should be immediately recognizable as soon as the reader opens your email. If you have more than one message to communicate, it might be better to divide those messages up into multiple emails over a journey.

data extension

Some email marketing platforms, like Salesforce Marketing Cloud (as seen above), offer the ability to spread out emails over journeys.

Another way to get that message across immediately is by focusing on what is communicated “above the fold.” This refers to the part of the email that the subscriber sees immediately upon opening, without scrolling.

Ask yourself: Does the content in this area truly make my readers want to continue reading (below the fold)? Does the content in this area make my subscribers want to click on a link or act on what they see there?

3. Devices and Delivery: Mobile First

We often imagine our subscribers reading our messages calmly at a desktop computer as they sip their coffee during a break, but that’s far from reality. As of March 2019, over 60% of email activity was on a mobile device.

email activity by device

Source: uplandAdestra

That means that when creating emails, we should all be thinking and designing mobile first, then looking at desktop, and not the other way around. Many mobile users also use dark mode. So make sure to take that into consideration and test accordingly.

Another thought is regarding when you send. If over half of your subscribers can receive email on their mobile devices, that means that healthcare providers (HCPs) have that same device with them outside of the office, when they’re not working. So, have you tried email campaigns on the weekends? It could be that your particular audience is more likely to engage outside of work.

4. Deliverability: Is Anyone Reading This?

How would you feel if you put all of this hard work into creating the perfect email, but then it was sent to the spam folder, or worse, blocked by the email client? I think it goes without saying that that is the last thing we want to happen. So paying attention to key factors that can affect the deliverability of our message is another key to email marketing in Health and Pharma.

How big is your email? Some email clients may simply bounce your email if it’s too large for their particular system. So it’s good to keep in mind the overall email size when designing your email. Images and GIFs can increase that size, so use them wisely. Some good best practices are as follows:

  • Keep the email body under 100 KB.
  • Don’t add attachments over 10 MB.
  • If possible, provide links to files rather than attaching them.

Mailbox providers analyze different factors to judge our mail. This results in what many call a “sending reputation.” How’s your reputation, you might wonder. There are several tools available that can help you get an idea of how you’re doing. Some of such tools are EmailOnAcid and MXToolBox.

It’s also important to examine who is showing as the sender of your email. Is it an individual person within your organization or is it a general address from your company? This can also have a direct impact on your deliverability.

5. Integrate Your Campaign into a Complete Client Experience

Have you applied all of the above points, and are looking to take your Health or Pharma email marketing campaigns to the next level? Another key is being able to integrate your email campaigns within an overall experience that spans multiple channels.

For example, you might send a follow-up email to an HCP after they have been visited by someone from the Sales team. Or you might create a campaign that encourages subscribers to sign up for a webinar. When you have a complete view of the communication cycle, then you’re able to use each channel appropriately. You can then integrate email marketing at the appropriate point and utilize it as a launching point for other channels.

integrate your campaing

Salesforce Marketing Cloud allows you to customize a journey to provide the experience your customers need across multiple channels.

For this very reason, email marketing platforms are evolving more and more towards marketing automation. Salesforce Marketing Cloud is an excellent example of one such platform.

It is a leader in the Multi-channel Marketing field and offers the capability to perform mass-send email campaigns or to engage in more advanced marketing automation to create tailor-made multi-channel journeys.

In this article we’ve considered these 5 keys to Email Marketing in Health and Pharma:

  1. Segmentation
  2. Eye-catching and clear content
  3. Mobile-first design
  4. Deliverability
  5. Integration into User Experience

At ShowerThinking we are dedicated and certified pros when it comes to Marketing Technology. Feel free to continue browsing here on ShowerThinking.com or to reach out to us directly to see how Salesforce Marketing cloud and other technologies can help you to efficiently achieve your goals in these 5 key areas of email marketing.

Marketing Cloud June 2021 Release

Markerting Cloud Release

As part of the Salesforce improvement policies, the past 12th of June Marketing Cloud launched a new update. These improvements have arrived to have a better platform experience and to make our job as marketers easier.

The first upgrade is regarding Salesforce CDP. For those readers who don’t know what a CDP is, it’s the abbreviation for Customer Data Platform, which means a tool for unifying all customer information in one data model and simplifying the access from other platforms to make this process easier. This is not an improvement directly to Salesforce Marketing Cloud but it’s a great tool to have a better data ecosystem between Salesforce and Marketing Cloud.

Use Interaction Studio Behavioral Data in Salesforce CDP

You can now connect to an Interaction Studio account from Salesforce CDP.

If we use the new recent solution called Interaction Studio, we can now use all this data from our dataset to populate Salesforce CDP. This can be possible with the new connector in Salesforce CDP:

We just need to select a new Data Stream in CDP to choose all behavioral data from Interaction Studio and make our data more centralized.

This great tool will facilitate the flow of information between Interaction Studio and Salesforce and we will be able to nurture our campaigns and leverage the power of information in our tools.

Load Data from Salesforce CDP into Datorama

You can now load your data from Salesforce CDP into Datorama with the Salesforce CDP API connector and app.

It’s time for Datorama, now we can connect our CDP to Datorama and use all data to make awesome graphics and statistics. Datorama is a tool to make visible our information and data, so we can now make better and stronger reports. This change applies to all Datorama Editions.

Datorama is the perfect tool to translate our raw data into actionable information, so with this enhancement we will be able to have all that relevant information at a glance through graphs and useful dashboards.

Thanks to this integration, we will be able to harmonize the information stored in the CDP to make it more usable by the Datorama data model.

Load Data From Salesforce CDP into Datorama

Datorama Advanced Reports for Marketing Cloud

Better and improved reports for all your needs.

Time to report! Now from Datorama we will be able to consult and generate reports of our campaigns made with Email Studio and Journey Builder.

Thanks to the improvement that Salesforce has developed for this month of June, from Datorama we will be able to create pre-built panels to facilitate the creation of graphs and dashboards. Simply choose the campaign you have run and the results will be there, ready to make decisions and take advantage of the power of information.

In addition to this, Datorama is now able to schedule reports on a recurring way and export them to compatible files such as Excel, CSV, PDF even PowerPoint and PNG for a more visual reporting experience.

Now Datorama has more power and is a little more independent.

This upgrade is available for corporate or enterprise Marketing Cloud editions, or as a Discover add-on SKU for Pro customers.

Datorama Advanced Reports for Marketing Cloud

Einstein for Marketing Enhancements

Our beloved Einstein continues to learn and help us to be more productive with less effort.

In this release, Einstein has learned how to use Pardot, and now he will be able to help us send an email at the perfect time for each user. Salesforce has implemented in Pardot the already known Einstein Send Time Optimization, and we will take advantage of this new feature offered by Artificial Intelligence.

Einstein for Marketing Enhancements

In addition, continuing with the theme of machine learning, we will now be able to predict open rates from the point of view of the subject of an email. Einstein Copy Insights Performance Tester for Subject Lines is now available in Marketing Cloud.

Einstein for Marketing

Advertising Studio Enhancements

Snapchat:

With the latest Advertising Studio enhancements, marketers can now use their first-party data stored in Salesforce to create targeted, personalized advertising audiences for Snapchat. A new social network that can be used to interact with our customers.

Datorama:

Now we can connect Datorama with our Advertising Studio. Thanks to this development, we will be able to harmonize and visualize your results in a more graphic way. As with everything that surrounds Datorama, the advantage of adding more information to this platform is that we will be able to generate visual reports and reports that will help us to make decisions and process raw information.

Accounts as Campaign Members

Power ABM with account targeting.

We can now assign a campaign to a Salesforce account. This gives us the freedom to assign a campaign to several contacts via their Account. This makes it easier to plan our scheduling and get results. It may seem like a minor change, but it gives you a multitude of possibilities.

Accounts as Campaign Members

This has been all about the June 2021 Salesforce update.Now it’s up to us to learn how to use these enhancements and get the most out of them that we can.

Best regards!

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

Metadata

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.

Multinenant

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.

API

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.

Trailhead

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.

Conclusions

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.

DreamForce 2019: let’s discover the Customer 360 experience

Customer 360 experience tableau

Although preparing for the trip to San Francisco to attend Dreamforce (Salesforce’s annual event) is becoming a habit for the team, this year is particularly interesting for me. As I have commented on several occasions, Dreamforce is probably one of the biggest marketing events in the world.

This year the number of attendees will probably exceed last year’s 170,000. Former President Barak Obama and Tim Cook from apple complete the more than 2,700 sessions available to attendees. But there are 2 important developments in the world of marketing that we are looking forward to hearing about in detail:

  • The launch of Customer 360 experience as a new customer identity management platform
  • How Tableau will be integrated as an analytics platform within Salesforce

Improving the customer experience is a critical element of improvement for many companies, and for this reason, being able to know the different identities of the customers throughout the interactions they have with our company is critical. The ability to orchestrate such integration and to unify marketing, sales, analytics, and e-commerce platforms is the secret to success.

Dreamforce 2019 customer 360

Customer 360 experience makes it possible to easily relate the records of the same person in different systems. It creates and stores a customer’s profile and acts as a central office that exchanges data and events in all systems at the moment they are needed.

In fact, no other platform on the market has yet managed to achieve the challenge of unifying them. For years, companies have been trying to get a 360-degree view of their customers, but with their departments using different tools to manage the data, they tend to generate disconnected experiences for their customers.

The center of the main hall at Moscone West is dedicated to this new feature, which gives an idea of the importance Salesforce attaches to this functionality.

All of us who like analysis is very curious to know how the puzzle of analytical tools available to Salesforce fits together. Datorama, Einstein Analytics, Tableau, or the native reporting platform in salesforce itself must find their niche.

In two weeks’ time, we want to tell you from San Francisco what the most important developments are for the marketing world and what the trends are for 2020. See you!

The new Salesforce web development platform

Feature image new and Salesforce web development platform

Until recently, Salesforce had not invested in having a fundamental piece of marketing strategy, its own CMS. But that has changed with the recent launch of the Salesforce Content Management System (Salesforce CMS) – a hybrid CMS system designed to help Salesforce users create and deliver content on any channel or device.

As a result, customers with Salesforce can develop their own websites within the platform without the need for technical knowledge and with functionality similar to WordPress or Sitecore.

Salesforce CMS: simplicity above all

Salesforce cms easy

Salesforce CMS offers fascinating simplicity of use, so any user can create, manage, and deliver relevant content to their customers. This is done through the choice of content by category or by creating custom content, simply by creating the content in the application without the need for technical knowledge.

Salesforce CMS provides multilingual and translation support for companies that have pre-set branding standards and need to create content in multiple languages. It also has the functionality to develop “content collections” that can be added to different experiences without the need to create new content.

Fast and flexible

Salesforce CMS is a hybrid CMS, which means that anyone working with Salesforce can create content in a central location and then deliver it through different digital touchpoints, whether it’s a Salesforce-driven experience or another system.

If the content is to be added to an experience previously built with Salesforce, users can choose between two of Salesforce’s WYSIWYG (“what-you-see-is-what-you-get”) tools: Experience Builder and Commerce Page Designer. This way, content can be added to different channels built with Salesforce through a Drag & Drop system. In addition, both tools mentioned above are compatible with developers, so new components can also be designed through code.

Finally, through a system of “headless APIs” you can easily offer content on third-party websites, which is very useful if you do not have a website built.

Connected

Salesforce cms connect

One of Salesforce CMS’s greatest features is the ability to use data stored in Salesforce CRM or other Salesforce platforms to deliver relevant content to your customers. This makes it a very useful tool for getting to know your customers and providing them with the content they really need.

By putting the customer first, Salesforce CMS is a very good alternative for developing marketing strategies and we consider it to be the essential platform that was missing from the Marketing Cloud suite for effectively developing marketing campaigns in all areas.

At ShowerThinking we specialize in developing automation and marketing management programs with your company through Salesforce. So if you need help or training in Salesforce we have the right team that can help you, so don’t hesitate to contact us!

ShowerThinking obtains the homologation as Datorama’s partner

ShowerThinking certified datorama

We are a partner of Datorama! In ShowerThinking, Intelligent Marketing agency, we have just certified the business level in Datorama, the integration tool that allows to connect all data sources and generate an integrated source that facilitates the analysis and decision making.

We add this new Partnership, which our team of specialists has achieved after a great effort and we demonstrate once again that we bet on the best Business Intelligence platforms to offer the best services to our customers.

What is Datorama?

Datorama is a platform that automatically connects marketing tools and unifies reports on investments, performance and results. In this way, it helps you to be more efficient. It is one of the best tools

Datorama’s main objective is to visualize, analyze and measure the real time impact of advertising campaigns carried out through different channels and achieve success through its cloud marketing platform based mainly on artificial intelligence.

This tool has a fairly simple, intuitive and visual interface, so that a unified view is quickly obtained and also allows you to manage it without problems.

What are the main functions of Datorama?

Managing data can be a difficult and time consuming task, something that marketing professionals do not usually have. Therefore, Datorama provides a series of functionalities to optimize the performance of your marketing strategy.

1. Connect and unify data

Through channels, tools and internal systems immediately in order to measure, report and optimize. Integrates data from social platforms, visualization, search, video, web analytics, CRM and email into the largest API library. Some key integration features are:

  • APIConnect. This is the largest marketing API library. It accesses databases, big data environments and cloud storage platforms.
  • TotalConnect. Automates data entry, compilation, cleanup, and data modeling assignments from all file-based report sources. Datorama obtains strategic information from hundreds of thousands of active data transmissions daily.
  • LiteConnetc. Simplifies data entry and analysis of individual data files. No initial data modeling considerations are required, making it perfect for ad hoc analysis and non-marketing sources such as sales data, geographic data or weather data.

2. Drives business growth

By obtaining scalable and customized solutions in record time to maximize ROI, objectives and activities from analysis and information between different channels such as email, social networks, web, etc. Optimizes potential customers, their conversion with advanced information and knowledge across all channels, sites and devices.

3. Provides complete and fast reports from data

Datorama transforms the data into visual guides and descriptions so that it is better understood and acted upon. It has statistical analysis methods and automated regression modeling to analyze in less time.

With this tool it is possible to monitor and report all marketing data on a single platform and provides all stakeholders with the appropriate KPIs, trends and breakdowns.

4. Link Revenues to Automated Reports

View performance trends, correct KPIs, campaign analysis and segment breakdowns for platforms such as Adwords, Facebook or Google Analytics It also prioritizes improving each investment and achieving campaign objectives by making smarter decisions.

5. Activates data and brings teams together to improve campaign performance

It analyzes and stops low performance campaigns and modifies everything necessary to achieve the best results. Provides automatic predictions to complete objectives and obtain recommendations. And promotes collaboration between teams.

For all these reasons, we have no doubt that Datorama is a tool with great potential.

Salesforce Certifications: A Guide to Enhancing Your Career

salesforce certifications

 

Salesforce certifications, and how to get them, are one of the most frequently asked questions by my students. I’m currently studying my eleventh certification on the platform, and after getting certified as an architect, I think it’s a good time to offer my point of view and help if you’re trying to get certified in Salesforce, or have questions about how it works.

At my students’ request, I’m including below a guide to which certifications are harder to get or which ones are aimed at sales/marketing/managers or programmers. If you have already been certified in one of these, I would love for you to share your opinion and personal experience.

salesforce architect

Despite many years of working at Salesforce, I hadn’t considered getting certified. The truth is that I couldn’t find the reason to invest so much time or the sense to obtain it: after all, I was already working on projects that require continuous training.

My opinion changed little by little, when I realized the value a certification brings, to me personally and to other professionals in my environment.

Obtaining a certification is often a source of pride for many professionals. It is difficult not to be infected by everyone’s enthusiasm and desire to improve. At an international level you can follow the hashtag #SalesforceCerts and you will see how it is celebrated every time a user achieves a new goal. It’s part of the collaborative culture and atmosphere at Salesforce, with its great family #Ohana.

Another issue that has also changed my impression over time is the experience that the certifications themselves can bring you. Some of them, I consider them as small jewels of the formation. You can see the care and detail that has been put into them. They allow you to learn from real cases and environments in which you have not yet worked. In fact over time you will see that many questions are extracted from real support cases that users make.

What demand for employment really exists?

But let’s get to the heart of the matter: Does a certification serve to improve your career? The answer can’t be other than a resounding yes. As you will see in the image below, it is estimated that up to 3.3 million jobs will be created around the platform. It is true that there are no miracles in this life and everything is done on an effort basis, but it is true that including your certification in your LinkedIn profile is one of the safest ways for a Headhunter to call you offering a change in your job. If you are already working, it is a way to demonstrate your knowledge of the platform in your company and to add value to your job.

Salesforce Economy

 

However, my recommendation is that you do not let yourself be carried away by the current peak in demand for professionals in the Salesforce environment. Think that this is a very important investment in time and decide to work in an area that you really like (Salesforce has many).

What is the most appropriate certification for my profile and where should I start?

I will leave you with my personal opinion, since you will probably have to invest a great deal of time in this training. From my point of view, if you have decided to fight for certification, some will be easier than others depending on your profile.

Many people think that the basic certification you should start with is Salesforce Certified Administrator, but Salesforce itself does not propose any of these as a starting point. In fact, from my point of view, administrator training is relatively difficult to achieve and is one of the most frustrating for new students.

For this certification, a previous experience of at least one year in the platform is recommended, but I think that the more technical profiles (IT, Computer Science) or at least if you like some programming have a very important advantage. After all, Salesforce is built on a relational database. I don’t mean that you will need to answer questions about programming in this exam, but I do think that those people with basic computer/programming knowledge have a certain advantage, since many concepts (e.g. security) will be familiar to them. In short, if you dare with technology you can start with this training which is the basis of the platform. If you have already worked with other CRMs, this is undoubtedly your starting point.

If you have a Marketing background I suggest that instead of starting with the Administrator exam, you start with the Marketing area (Pardot Specialist, Marketing Cloud Specialist or Marketing Cloud Social Specialist). They are much more akin to the day-to-day work of Marketing and there will be many elements that will ring a bell (landing pages, contact forms, etc).

If your work is related to data analysis and you already have previous experience on the Salesforce Certified Einstein Analytics and Discovery Consultant platform, this is a specialized certification in this field.

If you have experience as a programmer and especially if you have programmed in java, do not think about it, Platform Developer I is your goal.

In what type of company or department will I end up working with these degrees?

This is an extremely important point since there is a great difference in the type of professional profiles sought by different companies and departments.

We’re going to talk first about the companies that use Salesforce, the so-called end customers of the technology, and then about the partners.

Normally the profiles of Marketing Cloud Email Specialist, Pardot Specialist and in some cases Marketing Cloud Consultant are usually hired within the marketing departments of companies. However profiles such as Marketing Cloud Administrator or Marketing Cloud developer (with exceptions of course) are usually hired by IT departments. There is no rule written in stone, but there is a strong tendency for the more technical profiles to be hired by systems or technology departments. You must take this into account to know how you want to evolve professionally.

If we’re talking about IT consultants or marketing agencies (salesforce partners), things change a lot here. In fact, the profiles are more varied, you could work in the account department, digital creation, implementation/operations or technical support. The Marketing Cloud Consultant profile usually has a more direct relationship with the customer (depending on their years of experience) and the developer profile is usually linked to more technical departments. It will depend in many cases on the size of the agency or consultancy and its involvement as a Salesforce partner, but you can be in almost any related department.

How many years of experience do I need?

Depending on the profile, a different experience is needed. As in many jobs, my recommendation is that after getting your certification you try to get practical experience in a company. Specialist profiles should have appropriate work experience from 1 year of experience, especially if you are facing multiple campaigns with different typologies. A consultant profile needs the experience of several years and several implementations of the Marketing Cloud behind them (in the exam documentation they recommend 4 to 6 implementations before presenting themselves as a consultant). As for the developers, it will depend on the complexity of the project where you are involved, many times they work with senior profiles along with more junior profiles to complete their training.

What kind of certifications are there?

Currently there are 3 levels (from lower to higher difficulty) of certificates in the platform: (Administrators, Specialists and Programmers), Consultants and Architects.

Architect Journey

The specialist and administrator exams are an introduction to the platform, for example Marketing Cloud Email Specialist, Marketing Cloud Social Specialist or Pardot Specialist.

The developer exams are oriented to the more technical profiles and programmers in particular.

Consultant profiles are some of the most complicated to achieve. According to my own experience, besides having multiple projects on Marketing Cloud, the Marketing Cloud Certified Consultant certification is one of the most complicated on the platform. It is not uncommon to have a 6 month preparation for this exam if you already have in your backpack an experience with the installation of 4/5 projects in Marketing Cloud.

The architect profiles (I’m talking to you with the only experience of having passed one and preparing a second one) are another matter. They make sense if you’re professionally very involved and need a few hours of preparation, practice and hard work. But at the same time, you discover new areas of the platform that you may not have known existed.

At the top of the pyramid is the Technical Architect certification where you must present yourself before a committee of professionals who will evaluate you in person.

Are they really that hard to get?

I’m not going to lie to you: the level of difficulty is quite high for any of them. They are meticulously thought out so that you don’t pass them without very good preparation. Think that Salesforce trusts certified professionals and they are part of your company’s image. In short, you take care of the details and need to guarantee yourself a minimum level of knowledge.

I assure you that multiple questions, (where many times all of them are possible) need you to have prepared yourself thoroughly. To give you an idea, I check how many of my students take about 4 months (in some cases more) to prepare for a basic certification.

Here is a guide to the difficulty you can expect in each certification.

level difficult

Otherwise, to better understand the difficulty of the certifications, if we relate it to snow slopes, we would find this classification, where the exams of Pardot Specialist, Marketing Cloud Email Specialist and App Builder would be the most affordable to start getting certified:

snow track

How is the exam?

You can take the exam from home online or at an authorized center in your city. The exam is made up of 65 questions that appear on the computer with a limited time (from 95 in the basic certificates to 105 minutes or more for the architect’s ones). Many of them require multiple answers (answering which of the 2 or 3 options you are presented with are correct) but simple answers are not the easiest either, since it is usually difficult to differentiate between the correct option and you must know the subject in detail.

Be prepared to be calm, impatience is bad advice. Many of the questions are several paragraphs long and you need to read them in detail in order to answer correctly. After more than an hour it is difficult to maintain your concentration, so getting used to the idea that you must keep up and know how to keep your strength is the best strategy.

Personally I always make a quick answer to the questions I am sure of and leave for a second review all the doubtful ones. This saves me time, especially in the advanced exams where there is a lot to read.

How to prepare for certification

The suggestion I make to everyone is to open a free Salesforce account (you can do it at https://developers.salesforce.com/signup) and practice with the platform. You’ll learn in detail how to work and you’ll be able to familiarize yourself with the environment.

The Trailhead training platform, is from my point of view one of the best on the market. It is also free. Each certificate has its Trailmix (set of recommended modules) that you can complete before taking the exam.

Trailhead allows you to start from scratch and advance in your knowledge through different Routes, Modules and Projects.

salesforce trail

In ShowerThinking we have certification courses for Marketing Cloud and Pardot that we give both personally and as training for companies that have just implemented Salesforce in their CRM and do not know how to start. We also teach at ICEMD the Higher Program course in CRM and Marketing Automation.

If you want to give it a boost there are preparation courses given by Salesforce itself or by related companies. For example in ShowerThinking we teach in ESIC, the Higher Program in Marketing about Salesforce that help you in the basic certification.

How much does the exam and renewals cost?

The exams have a cost of 200 Euros (200$ in the United States) and you will have to pay them by credit card within trailhead. If you fail the exam you can take it as many times as you want but it costs 100 ? (100 ? in the United States).

Only in some events you will be able to get a discount. For example at Dreamforce (an event held annually in San Francisco) the cost is reduced by 50% for everyone who wants to take the exam ($100).

Architectural exams cost $484.

Do I take the test online or at a test center?

I recommend my students to take the first exam at a certified center in your city. Both options cost exactly the same but it is easy to get involved with the technical requirements for the exam.

You need to have an external webcam in addition to your laptop that you use that can focus on your entire environment in the room you are in (they will be watching you to make sure you don’t copy).

You will not be able to have a clock, phone, papers or devices on the table.

The exams I have done from home always end up with a reviewer calling me from India (where they have the support center) and asking me to focus the camera on different parts of the room, asking me to show her the glasses, etc.

It’s not annoying, but it takes my mind off the exam. In some cases they have heard some noise from the children at home and have called me to verify that there was no one in the room talking to me: in short, a bit of a mess for the first time.

How much does a Salesforce Certified Professional charge?

And finally the question of the century: How much does a Salesforce professional charge today? According to this information, a Salesforce professional with 2-5 years of experience charges $90,275. We have to take into account the exchange rate to Euros and the variation in salaries between your country and the United States (which will probably be less).

salesforce salaries

Depending on the size of the company that hires you, if it is an international company and the years of experience obviously correct the above figure upwards or downwards.

I hope this information has been useful to you and has motivated you to improve your training. I hope to receive your comments and questions in this post.