Salesforce Active Audiences


Recently, Salesforce announced the release of their updated Marketing Cloud and Active Audiences. New features enable brands on the Salesforce platform to seamlessly target their already known customers across the web. In addition to the typical owned channels (email, direct mail, SMS, and app notifications), brands can now communicate to customers via paid channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, video, and display.

1:1 Advertising

Advertisers have long awaited the trackable and measurable world we live in today. The digital wake consumers create across the web and across devices provides a bounty of clues that are leveraged to enhance ad targeting. However, one data source that seems to elude advertisers most often — the richest of all — is the customer file, which includes previous online and offline purchasers, prospects, or those who opted in for marketing communications.

With the revamp of their Marketing Cloud and Active Audiences product, Salesforce brought the age old concept of “1:1 marketing” to the digital advertising world by enabling big brands to target individual customers across Facebook, Twitter, and hundreds of ad networks. The customer file has now gone from the inbox to the browser and mobile screen. Advertising has become more personalized, targeted and part of the customer journey once owned by the marketing domain.

This was possible before by patching together a variety of technologies, ecosystems and APIs, but Salesforce wrapped all that pipework up into a neat package and made it available to the thousands of brands that utilize the cloud provider to manage customer data. Salesforce also made the process of creating and maintaining segments across publishers easy, secure and automated. As customers are added and removed to a segment within Salesforce, those customers will also be added and removed from the segments that exist within Facebook, Twitter, and other publishers in near real-time.

How Will It Be Used?

Those in the email realm have used Salesforce and other vendors to create automated, triggered, and personalized email campaigns for years. As consumers, we see the output of these efforts frequently when we make a purchase that triggers a series of communications inclusive of e-receipts, thank you emails, and welcome emails. With Active Audiences, these communications will now include social, display, and video ads across devices. Instead of a brand’s communication being limited to the ~20% of those who opened an email, it will reach a greater portion of the target audience – wherever they may be.

Acquisition campaigns also benefit from Active Audiences. For example, brands can now create a segment that includes their best customers, push that segment into a publisher like Facebook as a Custom Audience, and create a lookalike model that targets other Facebook users most similar to those customers. As the segment changes within Salesforce, the Custom Audience gets updated within Facebook, and the lookalike model is refreshed. Furthermore, brands will be able to suppress current customers from acquisition campaigns to optimize performance.

Benefits to Advertisers

  • The ability to target known customers for retention across multiple paid media channels
  • The ability to create and automate lookalike models of high value customers for acquisition across multiple paid media channels
  • The ability to suppress customers from advertising efforts
  • Synergy between advertising and other marketing communications
  • Expanding reach of owned channels (e.g. targeting those who did not open an email)
  • More personalized messaging across paid media (social, search, display, and video)

For information on how to get started, please contact Mike Addonizio at

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