Salesforce.com Launches Journey Builder for Apps; Partners with Omnicom

At its Connections conference in Indianapolis this week, Salesforce.com launched Journey Builder for Apps, a solution that will allow marketers to use insight from mobile app engagements to inform the rest of the customer journey and deliver more personalized cross-channel experiences. Designed to links apps with the other channels that companies rely on, Journey Builder for Apps can pick up on customers' interactions with a brand's app and trigger specific follow-up action, such as an email.

The future of marketing is the management of the customer journey, and mobile apps now play a significant role in that journey, Woodson Martin, chief marketing officer of the ExactTarget Marketing Cloud, says. With roughly 2.2 million apps available from the Apple App Store and Google Play, apps aren't going anywhere. According to eMarketer, there were roughly 80 billion downloads in 2013, and by 2017, the number of annual downloads is expected to double.

"Apps changed everything. The physical and digital worlds converge thanks to apps, and we live in them," Martin says. "But the problem is that there's a disconnect. Apps are disconnected from the rest of the customer journey, and at this point, customers expect more."

Salesforce.com's Journey Builder for Apps bridges the gap, and generates personal customer journeys and experiences by incorporating data generated inside an app. For example, if a customer abandons a cart within the app, Journey Builder can trigger an email from the sales team to help close the deal. The email might contain a special offer, or simply serve as a reminder. In-app activity can also arm marketers with additional information that can help segment audiences into groups for ads, and can help service representatives identify the best moments to follow up on a problem. The Journey Builder is built on the Heroku platform and also contains templates for prepackaged journeys that automate best practices for basic engagements, such as onboarding a new app user.

"When customers look at some of the most exciting companies out there like Uber, they want every company to work that seamlessly. With Uber, you go to the app first, but once your trip is completed, you receive an email with your receipt, and that's very convenient for customers. The app activity is driving engagements across other channels, and that's what every company needs," Martin says.

In a separate announcement at Connections, Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff unveiled a partnership with Omnicom, a global advertising and communications services company. Through the partnership, Omnicom agencies will be able to access first-party data from within their customers' Salesforce accounts, integrate it to ensure a more complete view of the customer, and deliver more relevant engagements with customers.

"Salesforce.com and Omnicom will empower companies to connect to their customers in entirely new ways," Benioff said in a statement. "By utilizing Salesforce as its customer journey platform for clients, Omnicom will strengthen its role as a trusted advisor to the world's largest brands, creating amazing customer journeys that extend far beyond traditional digital marketing."

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