It’s a question we hear a lot: What features come standard with Marketing Cloud? With so many add-ons available, it can be hard to know where Salesforce’s core product ends and where its various “builders” and “studios” begin. If you’re struggling to figure out what your company will be capable of with a basic, out-of-the-box configuration, this guide is for you. Below, we’ll highlight Marketing Cloud’s core functionalities, as well as some common upgrades that many companies choose to make.

What Comes Standard

Unlike other core Salesforce solutions like Sales Cloud and Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud isn’t built around the idea of “objects” (which, in case you need a quick refresher, are like tables in a spreadsheet — they’re collections of records that all represent the same type of thing). Instead, Marketing Cloud Campaigns live “above” the other tools in a user’s navigation bar, providing a more flexible way to organize data. In this way, they’re less like spreadsheet tables and more like folders.

What kinds of data can you store? Well, in addition to contact info (this is a Salesforce platform, after all), you can keep track of the emails you send via Email Studio. That’s right: The core aspects of Email Studio come standard with the “Basic” edition of Marketing Cloud, meaning you can use simple templates and drag-and-drop tools to send messages to specific segments of your database. Then, after the fact, you can track open rates and other analytics — information that will help you send an even more effective email next time.

Overall, the “Basic” edition of the platform is meant to help your company keep track of key relationships and reach contacts via email. If your needs don’t extend too much further than that, it’s probably the right choice. However, if you need to support more complex workflows, an upgrade might be in order.

Common Upgrades

While targeted emails are powerful, automated targeted emails are even more powerful. That’s why many companies choose to upgrade to the “Pro” edition of Marketing Cloud: It gives you the ability to automate your messages. Let’s say a customer visits a specific page on your website, but doesn’t make a purchase. With the right automation in place, that visit can trigger an email with relevant content — maybe a discount code — to be sent to the customer’s inbox. Now multiply that by a hundred, or a thousand or even a hundred thousand — without any extra labor, you can nurture interest at scale and drive a tremendous increase in sales.

Another popular upgrade is the “Corporate” edition of Marketing Cloud, thanks to the inclusion of Journey Builder. Journey Builder is an advanced marketing automation tool that allows you to create customized, multi-point experiences. To better illustrate what I mean, let’s return to our example from above. Imagine that email with the discount code is still sitting in the customer’s inbox. With Journey Builder, your company could use an engagement split to automate multiple possible next steps based on the customer’s behavior. If he opens the email and decides to use the code to make a purchase, for example, he might be signed up to receive future offers about related products. If he doesn’t open the email, however, he could receive a follow up the next day offering an even greater discount, in an effort to encourage the sale. Each decision he makes will determine the next branch of his journey.

Journey Builder isn’t only for email marketing, though — it’s a cross-channel solution. With Mobile Studio, Advertising Studio and Social Studio, you can create complex journeys designed to reach contacts in different ways. For instance, instead of a particular customer behavior triggering an automatic email, why not an SMS message? Or an ad on Facebook? These tools don’t come standard, but serve as powerful additions.

Okay, those are the basics. Obviously, the platforms and tools mentioned in this post are capable of much more than we were able to mention, but we’re happy to chat if you’re looking for more detailed information about which Marketing Cloud cloud configuration would work best for your business. We’ve got a few experts on our team who’d love to help out. 

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Tech, Salesforce for Marketing

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