Salesforce Marketing Analytics Platforms: 3 Platforms Overview

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Marketing Analytics in the Salesforce space is going through a transition phase. As customers of the world’s leading CRM, mixed with the general trend of marketers steering away from vanity metrics, Salesforce Marketer’s expectations are high when it comes to analytics. Salesforce need to stay ahead to meet demands – since their respective acquisitions 6 years ago, the Salesforce Marketing Cloud customer base has grown 6x, and Pardot a staggering 20x.

Salesforce’s intent to deliver serious marketing analytics has been present throughout marketing messaging and in keynote presentations, but the truth is many organisations don’t even come close to leveraging any of the marketing analytics platforms that Salesforce has in its product suite.

To add to the confusion, there are now 3 analytics platforms suitable for marketers on the Salesforce platform (Einstein Analytics, Dataorama, Tableau) – actually, 4 if you drill down into licensing (B2BMA & Einstein Analytics for B2B Marketing).

Salesforce recognise they have a big job on their hands educating potential and existing customers on which tool is best fit for what kind of organisation. Here’s how I make sense of each platform, and how they differentiate from one another – I hope this clears a few question marks for you also.

Einstein Analytics

Einstein Analytics is Salesforce’s main analytics platform. Formerly ‘Wave’, this cloud analytics platform infused AI and predictive technology into its capabilities (thanks to a multitude of acquisitions), earning the ‘Einstein’ label when rebranded a few years back.

Einstein Analytics can be applied to different use cases across the organisation, as well as its maze of other products, such as Einstein Discovery, which puts the powers of a Data Scientist in the hands of business users to discover ‘stories’ told by the data. Although Admins have the ability to bring in external sources of data into Einstein Analytics, the platform is designed to pull in Salesforce datasets from CRM objects.

Generally, buying into the Einstein Analytics platform is not cheap; however, Pardot were faced with a reporting challenge that was rapidly gaining urgency. The WYSIWYG reporting Pardot comes with out-of-the-box just wasn’t cutting it any longer, as Pardot became a serious player in the marketing automation market. The Product Team turned to Einstein Analytics to fix this, and elevate reporting capabilities much, much further. There are two spin-off products for marketers to pay attention to, only requiring one per organisation:

  • B2B Marketing Analytics (B2B MA): is a ‘restricted’ version of the Einstein Analytics platform that is included with Pardot Plus and Advanced edition licenses. It comes with an impressive collection out-of-the-box.
  • Einstein Analytics for B2B Marketing: adds a predictive element into the mix. Analytics tells you what happened already (descriptive), whereas Einstein Analytics tells you what will happen (predictive).

The above is a condensed summary of a post I wrote previously that compares both B2B MA and Einstein Analytics for B2B Marketing.

Side note: to get organisations up and running as fast as possible with EA, Salesforce have based the product around ‘App Templates’. These can be specifically for Marketing use cases, eg. Account-based Marketing, Marketing-influenced opportunity pipeline.

Einstein Analytics – Summary

  • Most closely aligned to cloud products (Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Pardot, etc.), the best option for reporting on CRM objects.
  • Most open in terms of required skills, the least steep learning curve.

Datorama

Datorama was acquired in July 2018 for $800 mil and signalled an exciting move for Salesforce Marketing Cloud – even if we don’t see it yet. Datorama aims to bring in data from sources across the MarTech stack, merging them into one single interface. It takes care of the ETL (extract, transform, load) data processing, too, so that you are able to view and manipulate this data easily. Of the three platforms covered in this post, Dataorama is the only marketing exclusive tool.

Think of Datorama as a platform versus a solely an analytics tool – it’s a marketing intelligence platform with a marketplace, much like Force.com and the AppExchange. The Datorama Marketplace enables developers to create custom and apps that leverage the platform’s layer of marketing intelligence technology; these apps are used by organisations for analytics purposes.

Datorama – Summary

  • Exciting for Marketing Cloud customers. ‘
  • ETL multiple data sources across the MarTech stack
  • Marketing App Development Platform

Tableau

The Tableau acquisition in 2019 was the largest Salesforce acquisition of all time ($15.7 bil), true at the of writing (we update this post if the top posts change). The acquisition caused quite a stir, stoking months of investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), a UK body ensuring the merge adheres to anti-competitive legislation. The most striking thing of all, however, was that it left so many people asking ‘why’.

Tableau’s primary strength is data visualisation, known globally as the leader in this space. Designed for heavy-duty reporting, the platform is best suited for data analysts, who are specifically trained in data analytics, and spend their days knee-deep in data.

So, back to answering the ‘why’. Tableau and Einstein Analytics could be seen as having overlapping functionality, even to the extent of competing products. Firstly, Tableau’s offering is not exclusively cloud-based, meaning it can be used on-premise (vs. Einstein Analytics, which is 100% cloud-based). Secondly, Tableau has a strong customer base that Salesforce will gain. Thirdly, the kind of robust alignment that Salesforce and Tableau require is possible, thanks to Mulesoft, the app-to-app integration vendor, also in Salesforce’s control (acquired May 2017).

The idea, in short, is to utilise Tableau to really plug any gaps in analytics functionality and visualisation. Dreamforce announcements showcased Tableau’s role in driving Salesforce’s ‘Customer 360’ vision. Tableau featured in the Opening Keynote under the new label ‘Customer 360 Analytics’ – “analysis at the speed of thought” the presenter stated, while the demo rolled with some cool data exploration, plus built-in question and answer (where users can type a question and receive an immediate answer).

[image: already in WP SFB_keynote_customer-360-analytics]

Until further notice, “Tableau is going to continue to operate independently, inside of Salesforce under the Tableau brand”, according to Adam Selipsky – CEO, Tableau.

Tableau – Summary

  • Heavy-duty reporting for data analysts, working in enterprise organisations (large corporations).
  • Scale across the enterprise, flexible to any business function.
  • Watch this space for more!

Summary

This post has covered 3 analytics platforms that Salesforce Marketers may have been hearing around the ecosystem, bought into the Salesforce platform by acquisitions, or by strategically evolving products (as is the case for Einstein Analytics spin-off B2B MA).

Salesforce recognise they have a big job on their hands educating potential and existing customers on which tool is best fit for what kind of organisation. I hope this overview has cleared up a few question marks for you, by learning how they differentiate from one another. How these products will interact with one another going forward – whether that will be a consolidation on to one platform, or a distinct divide between Pardot offerings and Marketing Cloud Analytics – is something only time will tell.

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