Ask the Expert: Salesforce and the Future of Marketing

November 27, 2015 Jiordan Castle


Whether you wish you could ask a mystic about the future of marketing or are just now looking to get beginner information about Salesforce Marketing Cloud, we’ve got all of your bases covered. We asked our resident Marketing Cloud expert to share insider information on getting started with Marketing Cloud and to give us a glimpse at what we can expect from marketing in the future.

Brett Brewer has 20 years of experience in digital marketing strategy and technology and is the Global Practice Lead for Appirio’s Marketing Cloud practice. He leads a team of professionals focused on cloud-based marketing technology implementations and digital marketing strategy. His team has implemented solutions for a diverse range of clients, including Sierra Club, Equinox Fitness, and LexisNexis.

  • What is Salesforce Marketing Cloud?

BB: Salesforce Marketing Cloud is Salesforce’s suite of technologies that are focused on automating and managing the creation, delivery, and tracking of digital marketing channels — email, mobile, social, and websites. Marketing Cloud allows marketers to build content, leverage that content across a variety of digital channels, and combine messages into automated workflows that deliver content based on time, channel preference, and customer behavior. Because it is integrated into the overall Salesforce environment, Marketing Cloud can leverage data from Salesforce’s Sales and Service Clouds, and can capture information about a customer’s marketing preferences and interactions that becomes part of a 360-degree view of the customer.

  • How should a company get started with Marketing Cloud? (Basically, what are the first steps?)

BB: If you’re new to Marketing Cloud, we often recommend that you start by migrating existing programs — email marketing, mobile, social listening, etc. — from other platforms to Marketing Cloud. For example, many of our clients start by migrating things such as newsletters, purchase confirmation emails, and email alerts, and migrating them over to Marketing Cloud.

Alternatively, some clients find it easier to launch Marketing Cloud by first using it to support an entirely new digital channel. For example, if you’ve never done social listening and publishing, you may want to launch Social Studio (a component of Marketing Cloud) first and then migrate over other existing programs as contracts with other technology vendors expire, your communications strategy changes, or when activity within your business allows for a smooth transition (e.g., if you are a retailer, when the Christmas shopping season is over).

  • What do you think the future of marketing looks like?

BB: In my opinion, the future of marketing is about context sensitivity and modal awareness. In other words, marketing will become less about treating me the same way in every interaction and become more aware of my current “mode” as an individual — knowing where I am in the purchase cycle (am I in the consideration phase? Am I looking to upgrade an existing product I’ve purchased from you in the past?), what other interactions I’ve had with you in the past (did I just call your customer service center yesterday, and does the marketing email I receive today acknowledge that fact?), and the devices/channels I prefer. Marketers who are able to manage and integrate the data required to have modal awareness, and who can harness the technologies available to automate the timing, channel, and content of each communication will stand the greatest chance of success.


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