Salesforce revs up Pardot with two new B2B marketing-automation tools

New mobile capabilities allow salespeople to deliver their own personalized lead-nurture campaigns

Salesforce's new Intelligent Engagement Studio
Salesforce's new Intelligent Engagement Studio

It's coming up on two years since Salesforce acquired Pardot, and on Thursday the company enriched its resulting Sales Cloud B2B marketing-automation product with two new key capabilities.

Intelligent Engagement Studio, for instance, offers granular targeting, testing and reporting capabilities designed to help marketers and sales teams connect with prospects in new ways. For example, the new feature enables adaptive lead-nurturing campaigns that evolve based on more than 100 triggers.

Previously, B2B marketers could see only basic behavioral data such as the rates at which prospects opened their emails; sales-stage data from their CRM systems was not integrated with it. Now, with Intelligent Engagement Studio, marketers can act on the combination of those data points. So, when someone advances to a new sales stage and also views a specific piece of content, Intelligent Engagement Studio will analyze those data points to proactively route the prospect to a new lead-nurturing path.

New visualized campaign testing and reporting capabilities, meanwhile, mean that sales and marketing teams have better visibility into real-time campaign performance and post-campaign results. Once an adaptive-nurture campaign is running, for instance, B2B marketers can easily see which prospects are moving forward or converting and which have stopped engaging. If an email's open rate is too low, the system may suggest improvements such as shortening the subject line.

Sales Cloud Engage is the second key new feature coming to Salesforce's Pardot-powered Sales Cloud B2B marketing-automation product. Designed to empower sales with real-time, mobile marketing tools, the new feature lets salespeople deliver their own personalized lead-nurture campaigns while also equipping them with marketing-curated content and insights. Using the Salesforce1 mobile app, for instance, salespeople can add someone to a lead-nurture campaign right from their phone.

"The buying process has changed and companies need solutions that align the marketer and salesperson for consistent interactions with prospects," IDC analyst Mike Fauscette said. "Companies that empower salespeople to determine the next best action while finding new ways to extend marketing into the sales process will be more successful at creating lifelong customers."

Sales Cloud Engage is expected to be generally available by the end of this month for $50 per seat, per month. Intelligent Engagement Studio is expected to be in pilot in the second half of 2015; pricing will be announced at that time. Salesforce Pardot pricing begins at $1,000 for up to 10,000 contacts per month.

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