It’s all about the connection

Partner Perspectives

Ever experience a relationship that wasn’t a good fit? You may like them, but as hard as you try, there’s a key connection missing, causing miscommunication and additional challenges that drive you apart. And it’s often an obvious contrast when you do find the right fit and can move forward with the relationship effortlessly.

In the same way, when a customer’s encounter with a brand’s digital experience is rife with confusing interactions and communication gaps, it’s a recipe for disaster. All too often, disconnected digital experiences create friction points, such as an email taking them to a misaligned mobile and web experience, or interactions with the brand’s siloed sales teams. Moving between marketing, commerce, and service channels that are garbled and inconsistent make customers feel like they’re not making the right connection.

During our work in the trenches helping large companies fine-tune their digital strategies, one thing has become clear: customers want a frictionless multichannel experience. They expect you to understand, anticipate, and proactively respond to their individual needs. They don’t care how your sales, marketing, product, and customer service teams internally interact (or don’t interact).

Customers want a seamless, easy-to-navigate brand experience across every online and offline touchpoint. If you can’t meet this expectation, they’ll switch to a competitor that does. Sitecore and Salesforce together, empower you to deliver connected omnichannel experiences that drive lasting customer relationships.

See real examples of customers using the full potential of Sitecore and Salesforce’s connected technology in the on-demand webinar, "Winning the CX battle with Sitecore & Salesforce Marketing Cloud."

Two core benefits of fusing Sitecore + Salesforce

Like any lasting relationship, these experiences need to be developed with customers, not for them. Technology can support this, but it’s never a solution on its own. Achieving the ideal customer relationship hinges on two key imperatives:

  1. Establish a complete 360-degree customer view.
  2. Automate that view to deliver personalized, scalable campaigns that drive unmatched ROI.

Together, Sitecore and Salesforce complete the end-to-end customer journey — equipping companies with the tools and data needed to drive targeted marketing campaigns, intuitive customer service, and intelligent commerce.

How do you bring this vision to life with Sitecore + Salesforce?

Think of the Sitecore and Salesforce relationship like a theater production. Your customer-facing interfaces — websites, ecommerce and service portals, emails, chatbots, social media, etc. — are the on-stage aspect of the show. Backstage, your integrated data and predictive artificial intelligence (AI) tools support the production and keep everything on track.

In many cases, your website is the entry point for prospective customers. If you want to effectively target audiences and create engaging customer-facing experiences, you need to power the backend at the same time for capturing intelligence on behavior as visitors interact with your content. The minute you connect web visitors to information stored in your customer relationship management (CRM) system, you can hardwire campaigns to revenue — the Holy Grail for any marketer. So, how do you achieve this connection that achieves a 360-degree customer view? The answer: Sitecore Connect for Marketing Cloud.

Here’s what this tool can deliver for your marketing team:

In the Sitecore platform, marketers can quickly leverage content assets to build connected email and social campaigns. And when you incorporate Salesforce’s easy drag-and-drop user interface into the mix, you no longer have to spend valuable time importing, exporting, or switching back and forth between applications — Sitecore Experience Platform (XP), Sitecore Experience Manager (XM) and Sitecore Content Hub DAM. All the content is available on-demand in Salesforce Marketing Cloud. In other words, you can create content once and deploy it across multiple touchpoints.

By utilizing behavioral data captured in Sitecore, marketers can personalize emails in Email Studio and quickly build tailored journeys through automation plans in Journey Builder. Essentially, this means they are empowered to craft 1:1 experiences in real time.

All too often, software integration projects result in a custom development sinkhole. But since Sitecore Connect is purpose-built for Sitecore and Salesforce Marketing Cloud, you get the benefit of minimal upfront maintenance investment, resulting in less technical support and a faster time to market.

This tool enables you to provide deeper personalization at scale. Bolstered by Salesforce data on the back end, Sitecore’s digital experience platform helps you give customers what they really want — across channels, countries, and languages.

Talk is cheap. What does this look like in practice?

Sitecore + Salesforce empowers brands to deliver relevant content across an infinite number of touchpoints. Here’s just one example:

  1. Marissa just relocated to Minneapolis for her dream job. She’s heard that Minneapolis is a bicycle-friendly city and wants to purchase a bike for her commute. Your analytics tell you she’s researching brands and reading customer reviews.
    (Sitecore Experience Platform and Salesforce Marketing Cloud)
  2. You send Marissa an email that compares the bikes she’s spent the most time researching. Marissa clicks the link in the email, launching your website to view the side-by-side comparison.
    (Sitecore Experience Manager and Salesforce Marketing Cloud)
  3. Marissa is a big fan of how easy you made it to compare products. However, she still wants to give them a test ride before making a significant investment on a high-quality bike. She opens your locations page, which shows her the closest retail store with her preferred models in stock. She clicks to schedule an appointment.
    (Sitecore Experience Platform and Salesforce Sales Cloud)

    One day before Marissa’s appointment, disaster strikes — one of the models sells out. You send her a text to let her know and ask if she wants to reschedule or keep her existing appointment. (Salesforce Marketing Cloud)

  4. Marissa decides to keep her appointment anyway. When she gets to the store, an associate is ready to show her the models she looked at online. (Salesforce Sales Cloud)
  5. Marissa tests three bikes out and decides on a mint green fixie. Since she can’t fit the bike in her two-door sedan, she opts for free, same-day delivery. The associate verifies her address, which the store has on record from her online visit. Marissa checks out in two minutes.
    (Salesforce Sales Cloud)
  6. You send Marissa a text to confirm her delivery. The text includes a link to view her delivery status in real time.
    (Salesforce Marketing Cloud)
  7. Once the delivery has been confirmed by your shipping team, you send Marissa an email with a list of care tips and local bike trails.
    (Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Salesforce Sales Cloud)
  8. Marissa opens the article on your website. She’s greeted by a chatbot who knows her name and asks how she is liking her specific model.
    (Sitecore Experience Manager and Salesforce Marketing Cloud)

Final word and invite to the on-demand webinar

Regardless of screen or situation, the one-two punch of Sitecore + Salesforce ensures your content always stays relevant. When marketers gain a deeper, collective understanding of each interaction, the light bulbs truly turn on and there is a better understanding on how to better serve and communicate with your customers. This empowers marketers to measure the impact of personalization and optimize in real-time to develop meaningful and lasting 1:1 customer relationships. And when you achieve this level of personalization, your ROI goes through the roof.

We invite you to view our on-demand webinar where we’ll explore real examples of customers using the full potential of Sitecore and Salesforce’s connected technology to engage customers like never before.

Arturo Mendiola is the Vice President of Client Services and Strategy at Horizontal Digital: A Platinum Solution Partner. Follow him on LinkedIn.