Salesforce.com is releasing an update to its Pardot marketing automation software, which is designed to give marketers a more detailed yet easier visual view of how various aspects of a campaign are performing.
Salesforce describes the new Engagement Studio feature, available June 21, as an online command center where B2B marketers can see and manage their campaign outreach and the results of their interactions with prospects and customers.
What Salesforce calls a visual canvas details everything from lead generation to client outreach and marketing ROI. An example of the latter would be the "canvas view," which vertically displays a set of charts showing the results of email campaigns.
One part might show that 96 percent of email recipients are not clicking on a blog link. The Pardot user can swap in another piece of marketing content, such as a free whitepaper or webinar invitation, without leaving the program, to see if that produces better results.
Shannon Duffy, vice president of marketing for Pardot, said more than 200 Pardot customers have been beta-testing Engagement Studio. One common bit of feedback from testers was an appreciation that it only take minutes to fill the canvas with relevant content. "One beta user said it was as easy as building a Spotify playlist," Duffy told eWEEK.
While that initial canvas might take longer, it can serve as a template for future programs that marketers can create far more simply in minutes without IT support, according to Duffy.
Engagement Studio also includes 50 "triggers" or preset alerts designed to show when a customer has responded to a campaign such as by downloading a file or filling out a form.
Duffy said the number of triggers will grow to a hundred in the near future. The program also works with data from outside Salesforce. For example, a company promoting an event via Eventbrite can see when there is interest in sponsorships or exhibitor participation.
Earlier in her career, Duffy did traditional email marketing that wasn't very precise. "When you hit send, you weren't sure what the campaign would look like. But now with Engagement Studio we've layered testing in as part of the campaign, which lets me see the exact path a prospect takes," she said.
Since Pardot integrates with Salesforce 1 CRM, salespeople can follow up when they see a prospect has downloaded a whitepaper or a promotional discount link. Duffy uses the example of a prospect who says they are interested in the service being promoted, but won't have budget available for another month.
"Normally, that's the kiss of death because you just don't know if that same level of interest will be there in a month and the salesperson has to remember to follow up," Duffy said. But Engagement Studio has a "Nurture" feature for such pending prospects that automatically sends relevant, personalized content to the prospect over the next 30 days.
"Also, it's going to send the salesperson an alert whenever the prospect clicks through on another piece of content, offering another opportunity to engage. This is huge because the salesperson who is first to talk to the customer is going to win."
Elegran, a premier luxury real estate brokerage firm in New York, said it's already using Pardot with Engagement Studio to good effect. "With the granularity of detail Pardot Engagement Studio provides, we're able to dynamically target different types of messaging to different agents to enable them to deliver personalized experiences to their clients, as well as improve the connection and visibility between sales and marketing," Tigh Loughhead, marketing director of Elegran, said in a statement.
Engagement Studio will be available to all current Pardot users starting June 21. The product was announced more than a year ago. Salesforce inherited the Pardot cloud platform when it bought ExactTarget in 2013 for $2.5 billion, a move that added more marketing and social tools to Salesforce's marketing cloud efforts.