Improving the Customer Experience with Connected Data: How Marketing Teams can Level Up with Salesforce

AllCloud Blog:
Cloud Insights and Innovation

Now is the time to be bold.

That’s according to Forrester, who argues that the old ways of working will no longer cut it. The analyst predicts that as organizations move toward more human-centered technology initiatives, cloud-native adoption will rise to half of enterprise organizations in 2022.

Recent data from AllCloud supports this prediction. A survey of 200 leaders in Sales, Service, Marketing and IT roles from companies with 300-5,000 employees spanning all industries revealed that companies are not only growing their cloud footprints, but many are expanding their relationship with Salesforce as a foundational element to their digital strategies.

This proves especially important for marketing teams. Let’s take a look.

The Increasing Value of Connected Data: What Every Marketing Team Needs Going Forward

Marketing plays a critical role in accurately reporting on past outcomes to help forecast future wins. Now, more than ever, good marketing requires good data.

When your data is connected, marketing can model engagement programs based on past history, identify current trends, and make better decisions to reach the desired goals. None of this is possible without good data. 

This makes it no surprise that nearly 60% of high tech software companies rate “improving reporting and forecasting tracking” as an urgent business priority.

And with 90% of respondents rating Salesforce as “very important” or “extremely important” to the success of their business, organizations have a lot of opportunities to realize these improvements. Specifically, Salesforce allows marketing teams to connect their data seamlessly and remove blind spots in the data model, which leads to more accurate reports and forecasts.

Taking Data to the Next Level: Improving the Customer Experience in Consumer Goods

Over 60% of consumer goods organizations rate delivering a better customer experience through their Salesforce investment as a top priority.

And at a time when nearly two-thirds of customer interactions now take place online, delivering a better customer experience starts and ends with data.

For marketing teams, this requires the ability to easily enrich data and then introduce data-driven strategies for engaging with customers. For example, effectively using data for audience segmentation and personalization allows for improved timing and relevance of messages, which creates a better customer experience. In turn, this allows marketers to collect even more data to get even more targeted, since customers are more likely to share additional information when it benefits their overall experience with the brand or its products/services.

6 Ways Consumer Goods Marketing Teams Can Use Connected Data for a More Informed, Personalized Customer Experience

Using data to personalize outreach can get customers engaging more deeply and buying more often. Digging deeper, data allows marketing teams to create a great customer experience by keeping recent purchasers informed about their order status at every step of the way. 

Consider the following six opportunities:

  • Buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS): Easily enable customers to see what’s in stock at their local store and place an order in advance for store pickup. Making this process as easy as possible for customers creates a seamless experience for them and supports both digital and physical sales for the brand. A recent HBR study found that  85% of consumers who have used BOPIS have made additional, unplanned in-store purchases when picking up an order placed online.
  • In-store/curbside pickup details: One of the benefits of a BOPIS model for consumers is that coming to the store allows them to get their order faster and save on shipping costs versus shipping the order. To follow through on these benefits, the process of picking up in-store (or curbside) must be straightforward. Doing so requires clear data and communications flow at each physical location.
  • Order status updates: Notifying purchasers about the status of their online order (e.g. started, in progress, ready, etc.) removes uncertainty about availability and timing for pickup or delivery. These personalized, data-driven updates ensure customers feel well-informed throughout the process and know exactly what to expect.
  • Shipping updates: For those customers who do place an order for shipping, managing expectations remains equally as important. Sharing regular shipping updates – including when an order is first shipped, the tracking number, when it’s out for delivery, and when it’s been delivered – are all extremely valuable. These ongoing updates require deeply connected data.
  • Resetting expectations when delays occur: Despite best efforts, delays happen. And when they do, it’s essential to communicate updates to customers early on to proactively mitigate any frustration over an experience that differs from their expectation. Once again, understanding where and when delays are occurring, what the impact will be, and who is affected in order to notify the appropriate customers in a timely manner requires deeply connected data.
  • Customer service awareness: If a customer opens a case with the customer service team, it’s a good idea to throttle marketing messaging while their issues are resolved to be respectful of the fact that they need help and most likely aren’t in a buying mood. Once the case gets resolved, send a follow-up to gather feedback on what went well, what could be improved, and to confirm they are satisfied. Some teams may even choose to incentivize customers to complete the survey by offering a promotion or discount for a future purchase. Managing all of these communication changes requires marketers to remove any barriers within the data model to be able to see the full picture of what’s happening with customers and make decisions based on the context of each customer’s experience to determine the next best action to take.


Critically, not only do all of these instances rely on data to create a better experience, but they also create new data points that can be used for future engagement and improved segmentation.

Deeply Connected Customer Data Matters Now, More Than Ever

For marketing teams of all kinds – and especially those in the consumer goods space – having deeply connected, actionable data matters now, more than ever.

The ability to collect, enrich, analyze and take action on data from across the customer lifecycle will enable marketing teams to create fully personalized, high-touch experiences for customers. And it’s exactly those experiences that will set leading organizations apart from the competition.

Fortunately, achieving this level of connection and actionability with data is well within reach. As many teams have already realized, expanding their Salesforce footprint across the organization can help realize these goals.

Interested in learning more about what it takes and how leading organizations are already taking steps to achieve these types of results? Click here to download the complete study on the expanding Salesforce footprint in organizations.

Chris Zullo

Marketing Cloud Practice Director

Read more posts by Chris Zullo