Release Notes: Salesforce announces innovations for uncertain times

At a press conference this morning, Salesforce executives announced three areas of innovation aimed at responding the current business environment. Adam Blitzer, co-founder of Pardot, and now GM and EVP for the Marketing, Commerce, and Community Clouds, characterized the present moment in terms of three crises: a pandemic, an economic turndown, and systemic racism.

In response to the latter, Salesforce has established a Racial Equality and Justice task force led by its Equality, Recruiting, Philanthropy, Procurement and Government Affairs teams. Today’s announcements were focused on supporting Salesforce customers.

Humanizing digital interactions. Humanity and empathy need to be prominent in today’s digital interactions. Salesforce Interaction Studio, powered by Einstein AI, will analyze brand engagement with customers across all channels, and make real-time decisions on what to show or tell them, moving beyond previous rule-governed personalization. This will be generally available in the third quarter of 2020, and reflects expertise derived from the acquisition of the 1:1 personalization platform Evergage.

Engaging B2B customers with empathy. The new Pardot Premium offering, available this month, is aimed at helping B2B customers anticipate and respond relevantly to their customers needs. Among the new features are B2B Marketing Analytics Plus, which uses AI not only to understand but to predict campaign performance, and Einstein Attribution, designed to apportion credit for revenue to multiple touch-points in the customer journey.

Optimizing budgets and impact. Two more acquisitions combine to help optimize spend and ROI—Datorama, which draws and normalizes data from multiple sources to create a single source of truth, and Tableau, which enables rich visualization of the data. Data aggregation will now be automated, using over 150 API connectors, and drilling down will be made easier for non-data scientists through Tableau’s advanced visualization.

Why we care? Blitzer was asked whether these stages on the roadmap would have been reached at this time anyway, and he said that elements of development were accelerated in response to this multi-crisis moment. Enhancements to Salesforce’s dominant marketing suite are always of interest, and the attempt at least to frame them in the real world context seems worthwhile. Attribution and ROI are critical in a time of tight budgets.

This story first appeared on MarTech Today. For more on marketing technology, click here.

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About The Author

Kim Davis is the Editorial Director of MarTech Today. Born in London, but a New Yorker for over two decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space. He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020. Prior to working in tech journalism, Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.

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