Learn About Today's Marketing Challenges



In this module, we refer to:

  • The accounts you sell to as businesses.
  • A business’s customers as customers.

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Describe the evolution of marketing.
  • List the marketing challenges that businesses face.

Four Industrial Revolutions

The invention of the steam engine started the First Industrial Revolution. Mass manufacturing marked the start of the second. Computers started the third. Now, with technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and the internet of things (IoT), we’re entering a new phase of human progress—we’re at the beginning of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. 

Changes through history created opportunities for businesses bold enough to embrace the times. As a Salesforce Partner, you help businesses evolve and succeed in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. In this module, you’ll learn how businesses succeed at marketing with Salesforce and Marketing Cloud.

To start, let’s learn how marketing changed through each of the four industrial revolutions.

Marketing Through Each Industrial Revolution

In the First Industrial Revolution, people discovered new products by word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family. 

In the Second Industrial Revolution, mass marketing with print and TV commercials informed people about new products.

Digital marketing started with the Third Industrial Revolution. Advertisements on web pages, pop-ups, and so much more became the norm.

Now, at the start of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a new type of marketing is emerging, intelligent marketing. Intelligent marketing uses AI and other technologies to deliver tailored, timely offers and messages that meet customer interests.

A personalized email advertisement

At every point throughout history, the goal of marketing has stayed the same: 

  • Improve the company's brand
  • Grow the return on investment in marketing

Oh, but how things have changed! Today, 79% of customers think the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services. And customers expect a lot. Modern customers expect personal experiences like the kind that Amazon, Google, Apple, and Netflix provide. Customers expect every business to suggest products and services they’ll like.

Modern Marketing Challenges

Many businesses have a difficult time meeting customer expectations. Businesses face three main challenges:

  • Connecting information from multiple sources
  • Using data responsibly
  • Providing personalized marketing

Let’s consider each.

Connecting information from multiple sources

Remember how we just described marketing through each of the industrial revolutions? Many businesses still have tools and systems left over from the days of mass marketing and the digital age. These systems were never designed to be able to share information with each other. Why is this a problem? 

Picture this: A company sends emails to a customer attempting to sell them a specific product. The customer buys the product. The next day, the company sends the customer another email trying to sell the same product! Waste of time and resources, right? But this happens all the time when the system that sends the emails isn’t connected with the purchasing system. These sorts of miscommunications create big frustrations for customers and damage their perception of the brand. 

Using data responsibly

There’s a fine balance in marketing: How does a business provide personal experiences to the customer without violating privacy and trust? If a business uses too much information, customers feel the company is collecting too much data about them. If a business doesn’t use enough information, customers feel the company is too impersonal. Getting this balance right is hard.

Providing personalized marketing

Seventy-five percent of customers expect companies to provide a consistent experience whenever they communicate with them. What does an inconsistent experience look like? Imagine a pet supply company you’ve purchased from sends you an advertisement for dog food when you only have a cat. Wouldn’t that seem strange? Customers expect businesses to provide personalized communications.

Marketing Cloud addresses these three challenges. How? That’s the topic of the next unit. See you there.


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