End the Marketing Cloud

It’s time for the Salesforce Marketing Cloud (product) to end.

If only I could get Luke Skywalker himself to utter these words the same way he delivered a similar line in the Last Jedi, “It’s time for the Salesforce Marketing Cloud (product) to end.” Especially, after the recent renaming for the Community Cloud (product) as the Experience Cloud (blog). That name change was made to include various enhancements and product additions.

The term marketing does not encompass all that the cloud it represents is capable of doing. It hasn’t for a while. I’ve had countless conversations with friends, colleagues, and customers who share a similar point of view. Sure, you can market with it, but not everyone that uses it, markets, at least that not all they do. The Marketing Cloud platform, which is what it truly is, does so much more than just market.

The Marketing Cloud support multiple channels, and when combined provide a omni-channel engagement and communication solution for many industries and organizations. For example, many higher education institutions use Marketing Cloud’s email, mobile, and social tools to engage with its students and their families on a number of topics. Add in former and prospective students to the mix and you’re looking at marketing, service, fundraising to name a few.

A few years ago, after delivering a session focused on Marketing Cloud, I referenced an old analogy that organizations are either looking to increase revenue or decrease costs. This analogy fell flat with the higher education portion of the audience. A good friend of mine, who is a career member of the higher ed community and present at the time, gently corrected me. That’s when I realized the Marketing Cloud is all wrong. It’s not inclusive enough. It’s far too limiting, and does not project to current and potential users what its true nature is.

The Salesforce CRM (Sales/Service Clouds) in many cases is considered the source of truth (SOT) or system of record (SOR). This is very common when integrated with the Marketing Cloud, which I like to refer to as the system of engagement (SOE). That is why Salesforce should “end” the Marketing Cloud as we know it. It’s time for the rise of the Engagement Cloud!