Back in 2017 when Salesforce and Sitecore announced a partnership with a limited amount of detail and a lot of fanfare, we were left wondering what exactly this would look like. While Salesforce is known as a CRM company, they actually provide a broad suite of tools, including a powerful tool for Email and Social marketing – Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
For users who have worked with Marketing Cloud in the past, it is clear that Salesforce didn’t fully consider issues of content authorship and governance, especially undervaluing the importance of the website channel. Now it becomes clear why Sitecore is such a powerful addition to that ecosystem.
While an integration between Salesforce CRM and Sitecore has existed for years, Sitecore and Salesforce unveiled the initial release and roadmap for the connector for Marketing Cloud at the recent Salesforce Connections conference in Chicago.
This connector will provide customers of Sitecore and Salesforce the tools to:
- Leverage Sitecore Content in Emails
- Enroll Sitecore Visitors in Journeys
- Coordinate Interactions Across Channels
Let’s review each of these in detail.
Leverage Sitecore Content in Emails
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Your Sitecore site contains a repository of vetted content that is made up of components that can be easily reused in other channels, including imagery. This content, since it has been through a review process, can be provided to your Email Studio team for reuse in emails without a need to copy and paste – Sitecore’s dynamic content library is already the “latest and greatest.” In the initial phase of this rollout, Sitecore is focused on image reuse from the Sitecore Media Library, but the plan is to expand access from Sitecore to Salesforce Marketing Cloud for all of your content.
Enroll Sitecore Visitors in Journeys
Sitecore excels at creating a personalized experience on the site or through mobile, but if that user has left the site, how do we as marketers continue to engage them and move them to the next stage in the journey?
Marketing Cloud Journey Builder provides a way to coordinate interactions on the email or social advertising channel, adapting to the behaviors of that user. In the subsequent phase of the Sitecore connector, you’ll be able to enroll users into these Journeys as a part of your overall Marketing Automation plan.
Coordinate Interactions Across Channels
You need a single view of the user and a solution that lets you impact the journey of that user, regardless of the channel they are on. Future phases of the connector will deliver the ability to impact your strategies with information from all channels.
The obvious opportunities here are complex use cases like: changing the call to action on a page because you know the visitor didn’t open the last email, switching from email to paid social advertising because you know the visitor returned to the site yesterday, etc.
Synchronizing the actionable data between Marketing Cloud and Sitecore will open up strategies that are not currently available in two siloed systems.
As Salesforce loves to say at the start of every talk at their conferences, you should make decisions based on what is released right now – roadmaps and priorities can change. That said, there are a couple key ways that you can begin to prepare to leverage these combined tools:
- Upgrade to Sitecore 9 today– The integration here is made possible by the addition of xConnect to Sitecore. xConnect simplifies the integration of xDB data with other tools, such as CRMs and allows for more scalability in Sitecore.
- Start using Email Journeys – Salesforce Marketing Cloud enhances your email marketing beyond newsletters into communication informed by unique data and adapting to how that user is interacting with you.
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