In March, we shared Salesforce's vision for a new customer data platform (CDP). Today at Salesforce Connections, I'm excited to share that we're expanding Salesforce Customer 360 by introducing a powerful new set of services that will enhance data management across all of Salesforce, the #1 CRM for sales, service, communities, commerce, and marketing. These platform services build upon Customer 360, first announced at Dreamforce '18, to help teams discover new insights and deliver one-to-one engagement at scale — on the customer's terms and in the moments that matter.

Now, Trailblazers around the globe will be able to use the first enterprise-grade customer data management and activation platform to build a unified profile of each customer and deliver hyper-personalized engagement across marketing, commerce, service, and beyond.

 

Customers continue to demand personalization

Customers are demanding personalized and integrated engagements from the brands they consider and buy. Tolerance for channels that perform in a vacuum and companies with ad hoc memories is going away.

Nevertheless, brands admit they're still not integrating well. Internal processes and workflows can be as uncoordinated as customer data, which too often sits in databases that are difficult to connect. Our latest State of the Connected Customer report found that of customers expect connected experiences in which their preferences are known across touchpoints and their information can be accessed quickly, yet the average enterprise uses 900 different applications, 29% of which are integrated. In an environment where more nimble competitors are just a swipe away, inertia is not an option.

These dynamics are exactly why we've seen the rise of CDPs, and it's why their popularity is growing. CDPs are a natural reaction to market themes we've been following for a while. These include data integration, personalization, customer consent and data management, predictive analytics, and the need for more real-time engagement.

Ultimately, customers want personalization and companies want to provide it, but it starts with clean customer data. For marketers especially, their woes are escalated by a burst in the number of discrete data sources. Our State of Marketing report revealed a 25%+ annual growth rate in the number of significant sources of customer data. In another survey, brand leaders said they maintain an average of 39 disparate front-end systems to manage engagement, including point-of-sale, mobile, call center, ecommerce, email marketing, social, and content management.

It adds up to a deluge of customer data that can't be properly managed or activated by most enterprises.

 

Starting with a unified ID across Salesforce apps

When we introduced Customer 360, it was a new way for companies to connect Salesforce apps and deliver unified cross-channel customer experiences. In other words, Customer 360 represents a fundamental commitment on the part of Salesforce — including marketing, sales, service, and commerce — to provide a unified customer profile that can be used across our customers' organizations.

With Customer 360 we promised to deliver a unified ID. With it, companies can easily connect and resolve customer data across their various Salesforce apps. The ID points to a single customer (or other key entity), fires up deeper, more connected insights, and enables stronger engagement across the entire customer journey.

Imagine a world where a call-center agent knows how a customer uses your app so they can serve them better; a sales associate knows the kinds of products a shopper likes so they can save time in the store, and a website adapts based on a prospect's recent product reviews. That's a quick glimpse at the promise of unification for a Salesforce customer.

 

New Customer 360 goes beyond current CDP capabilities

 

A unified ID is a fundamental step to better customer data management and activation across Salesforce, but there's more work to do to deliver the kind of platform that will really help our customers succeed. Customer IDs are only as useful as the customer data they point to — the implicit and explicit attributes, events and preferences that companies collect with consent from customers.

That's why we determined that it was time to expand Customer 360 to be able to:

  • Centralize consented data from any source in order to create a persistent, unified customer profile

  • Segment and activate customer data to deliver personalized engagement across marketing, commerce, and service

  • Analyze performance to make adjustments and improvements with the power of Einstein AI

By adding new innovations to Customer 360, we are creating a comprehensive customer data solution for our entire ecosystem. And we're excited to share that it solves exactly the challenges today's CDPs are trying to address and more.

Look for details this week at Connections, where we're spotlighting the announcement in our Connections main-stage keynote and the Marketing Cloud keynote, as well as a number of breakout sessions throughout the event. Additionally, we invite you to check out the new Customer Data Management for Modern Marketers learning module for free on Trailhead.

I'm excited about all that we can do together on our journey to data integration and activation with the new Salesforce Customer 360.

Find the complete Customer 360 news release in the Salesforce Newsroom.