• July 25, 2016
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

The 2016 CRM Market Influential Leaders: Scott McCorkle, CEO, Salesforce.com's Marketing Cloud

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When it comes to marketing automation, Scott McCorkle is flying high into the clouds, which is precisely where he needs to be.

As CEO of Salesforce.com’s Marketing Cloud, McCorkle this year has led the business through a series of very lofty upgrades that include a host of predictive, data science, and machine learning capabilities, all of which are about helping marketers be more proactive in their campaigns. Chief among these upgrades was the November release of Predictive Journeys, which applies data science to CRM and contextual data, including Web and email activity, to anticipate the customer’s next course of action.

While Salesforce.com has offered predictive tools in the past, “this is the first time we’ve been able, at the individual level, to understand what the customer is likely to do next,” Meghann York, director of product marketing at Salesforce Marketing Cloud, said at the time.

A few months later, when Salesforce.com unveiled Marketing Cloud Lightning, McCorkle’s team expanded the machine learning capabilities in Predictive Journeys. Previously, the solution relied solely on marketing data to determine how engaged an audience might be with a given email. With this latest addition, the algorithm could take in all CRM data, including information from service or sales.

Marketing Cloud Lightning, McCorkle said, “brings together every ounce of data from the entire customer success platform and makes it available for users to power journeys across sales, service, marketing—every part of the customer life cycle.”

Other Marketing Cloud enhancements include the releases of Advertising Studio, a tool for end-to-end campaign management—from creating content to understanding its impact on audiences and optimizing future performances based on the results—and Email Studio, a content management system that enables users to send and track personalized messages to customers.

Leveraging its partnership with Google, Salesforce.com launched Marketing Cloud for Google Customer Match, enabling marketers to deploy CRM-powered advertising across Google search, Gmail, and YouTube. Also new this year is the Mobile App for the Marketing Cloud, enabling marketers to manage campaigns while they are away from their desks.

Salesforce.com also released Salesforce Strategic Framework for Retail Customer Journeys and Strategic Retail Professional Services. The Strategic Framework for Retail Customer Journeys takes a collaborative approach to helping retailers design customer journeys, build audience segments, create and position content, define digital goals, review existing programs, and identify and prioritize opportunities to accelerate revenue. Once retailers have gone through the Strategic Framework, they can leverage the retail professional services to deploy digital marketing programs and manage retail customer journeys.

While all of that sounds like a lot for one man, McCorkle is no stranger to innovation. He served as president of technology and strategy at ExactTarget prior to the company’s acquisition by Salesforce.com in 2013 for $2.5 billion. He took over the Salesforce Marketing Cloud CEO role in May 2014, when ExactTarget cofounder Scott Dorsey stepped down.

McCorkle “is an incredible visionary and technologist,” Dorsey said of his successor. “I had the pleasure of working with him for nearly nine years and have witnessed firsthand his passion for customer success, commitment to innovation, and leadership in growing a business.”

Prior to his roles at Salesforce.com, McCorkle was the cofounder and president of Mezzia, a planning and budgeting software company, and vice president of the CRM Product Group at IBM. He was also a vice president of development at Software Artistry and a senior analyst at Eli Lilly.

Terry King, acting president of Ball State University, where McCorkle delivered this year’s commencement address, noted that McCorkle’s “passion for innovative products and technology, combined with his dedication to customer success, has been instrumental in building one of the world’s most powerful one-to-one digital marketing platforms.” 

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