What Salesforce’s Acquisition of Datorama Means for Marketers

July 18, 2018

Ryan McCambridge, Global Director Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Salesforce this week signed a definitive agreement to acquire Datorama, a cloud-based AI marketing platform for more than $800 million. This is its fourth acquisition so far this year, following MuleSoft, CloudCraze, and Attic Labs. Collectively, these investments represent a bold commitment to marketers comprised of integration, B2B commerce, and collaboration, respectively.

This most recent acquisition is particularly interesting to me because Datorama is an AI-empowered solution for enterprise marketers. In my view, this acquisition speaks strongly to Salesforce’s recognition that global brands and CMOs have two dominant challenges they are prioritizing today:

  1. Managing and using their data effectively.
  2. Demonstrating ROI from their marketing campaigns and efforts.

Today, marketing organizations run on data–a lot of it. Use cases for AI in marketing highlight how organizations can use data to improve what they understand about their customers, how they interact and target them, and guide and recommend next steps or best actions based on ongoing activity.

When I travel and meet with global CMOs, they are focused on integrating their data across multiple sources, channels and touchpoints, so they increase personalization and relevance with their customers. Personalization and relevance power campaign performance, and ultimately impact return on investment (ROI).

A unique strength of Salesforce Marketing Cloud is Journey Builder, which in my view is key to the value of this acquisition. Journey Builder is a powerful solution that allows marketers to build campaigns and create engagement with customers across dozens of unique touch points, across multiple channels, and across different stages of the customer buying cycle. But Journey Builder is only as useful as the data powering it–both in quality and volume.

AI is particularly suited to help marketing teams put their petabytes of customer data to work, and use Journey Builder to increase both the personalization and relevance of their messages with customers.

Two specific ways Datorama should eventually help extend Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Journey Builder is by helping teams understand audience preferences across all channels and bringing that data into Salesforce for tracking and marketing planning purposes. It should also extend Marketing Cloud’s campaign optimization and reporting capabilities. With these new capabilities, Salesforce distinguishes itself as a cross-cloud customer success platform and Marketing Cloud as a digital marketing automation solution.

I foresee this acquisition helping marketers leverage AI to create stronger personas for campaign targeting and improve their ability to define and pinpoint customers clusters in campaign targeting. In turn, this will support reaching the right target, at the right time, on the right channel, ongoing campaign optimization, and ultimately, marketing ROI.

This may sound like hype, or something that is years out on the horizon. Not true. Datorama already has thousands of global customers, including IBM. And today, we’re working with global organizations to implement Einstein and Watson to make smarter, faster decisions. In marketing, this includes use cases such as intelligent customer segmentation, personalization through integration with weather insights, and social listening that helps customers deliver hyper-targeted marketing messages.

AI is here, and when it comes specifically to Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Journey Builder, marketers can continuously learn how to optimize performance and deliver engaging, relevant, personalized customer experiences at scale.

Bluewolf, IBM and Salesforce are delivering the AI partnership for business. If you're interested in maximizing your Salesforce investment or readying your Salesforce instance for AI, contact one of our experts to help you get started.

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