Salesforce Product Retirement: Social Studio Sails into the Sunset

The Salesforce platform social media scheduling tool, which we all know as Social Studio, has officially entered sunset mode and has a retirement date set for 2024. 

While the writing’s been on the wall for over a year, it may still be a shock for people who keep everything on the Salesforce platform and rely on Social Studio. We’ve seen a wave of big news, like product name changes, from Salesforce lately. And this news increased our collective jaw drops.

But, but, but… why would Salesforce retire social studio and duck out of the third-party social posting game? This seems like an odd decision.

In reality though, it’s a practical decision that team Salesforce has been working toward for a while. In this post, we’ll break it down for you so you can accept it and adjust your marketing strategy as you plan for the future.

Why is Salesforce no longer selling Social Studio licenses?

We (as-in, the Sercante marketing team) recently discovered the news about Social Studio’s journey into the sunset while shopping for social media scheduling tools. 

During our shopping process, we learned that Salesforce hasn’t made any updates or enhancements to Social Studio in over a year. Then, we contacted a Salesforce AE who informed us that Salesforce is not selling Social Studio licenses after January 31, 2022. 

So, we moved forward with one of our other social media scheduling tool options and said sayonara to the idea of using Social Studio.

Social Studio end-of-life dates

Here are important dates you should know about if you’re a Salesforce Social Studio customer:

  • August 1, 2022 – no Social Studio product renewals after this date
  • November 18, 2024 – end-of-life target date for Social Studio

You will still have access to Social Studio until the end of your contract date or November 18, 2024 (subject to change), whichever comes first. 

Other social media scheduling tools do it better

Salesforce tries to do it all within the platform. But social media scheduling is (arguably) one of the things their competitors do better. 

While there’s no official statement about the reasoning, we’re guessing team Salesforce has rightfully accepted the superiority of competing platforms.

Who will feel the greatest impact of the Salesforce Social Studio retirement?

Some people are going to feel Salesforce Social Studio’s retirement more than others. While other third-party social scheduling platforms include functionality that’s superior to Social Studio, there’s a few major things the competition hasn’t figured out yet.

Here’s who will feel greater effects of the Social Studio retirement moving forward.

Social Studio users who include organic Facebook carousels in their marketing strategy

We have a client who uses Salesforce Social Studio. They have had great success with the inclusion of organic Facebook carousel posts in their marketing strategy. But, they now have to revisit their social strategy based on the news.

We’ve evaluated several third-party social scheduling apps and haven’t found any that can handle posting organic Facebook carousel posts. Let us know in the comments if you have a solution for that.

People who integrate Social Studio with Salesforce Service Cloud

As you’d expect, Social Studio has easy-to-use integrations with other Salesforce clouds, and now teams that rely on those integrations need to revisit their setup.

The two main things you can currently do through Social Studio integrations with other Salesforce clouds is create Sales Cloud leads and respond to or create Service Cloud cases. These features may seem insignificant to some, but they are game changers to teams that rely on them.

If you’re using Social Studio integrations with other Salesforce clouds, then you’re going to need to find an alternative before the tool goes away forever.

Best Social Studio alternative for Salesforce users

The good news is that Salesforce is already working to create alternatives to Social Studio by teaming with third-party social scheduling platforms.

Depending on your company size, industry, and goals, we have a few recommendations for alternatives you can implement before Social Studio is completely retired. You’ll want to evaluate a few alternatives to Social Studio before jumping on board with one. 

For example, you may not need the robust capabilities of one platform if all you do is share simple text social media posts. Or, you may need an advanced platform if you’re scheduling social media posts for an enterprise-level company with many social channels and lines of business.

A few of our favorites are:

One thing we’re already excited about is all of these alternative platforms have better reporting capabilities than what was available in Social Studio. For example, most of these alternatives give you a holistic view of engagement reporting across ALL social channels. Whereas, Social Studio only offers engagement reporting for individual channels.

Sprout Social and Salesforce partnership

Salesforce and Sprout Social logos

Salesforce and Sprout Social recently announced they’ve joined forces to create an integration between the two platforms. According to the release, the integration connects Sprout to Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, and Slack.

The great part about this partnership is that many of the same functionalities from Social Studio will be available through the integration with Sprout Social.

The Sercante team jumped on board with Sprout Social, and we’re happy to report that it meets all of our social scheduling needs. It’s easy to use, we can manage multiple brands, and it has other helpful features, like the integration with Canva.

How to connect Sprout Social to Salesforce

The integration is already live and ready for you to integrate Sprout Social with your Salesforce org. This integration allows you to create Sales Cloud leads and respond to or create Service Cloud cases just like you did with Social Studio. 

You can find instructions for integrating Sprout Social with Salesforce here

Goodbye Social Studio, and fare thee well

Whelp Social Studio, it was a good run. But Salesforce is giving you the it’s not you… it’s me treatment. And we’ve already moved on.

For the team at Sercante, the partnership between Sprout Social and Salesforce made choosing a third-party social media scheduling tool easy. The integration means it will do all the same stuff Social Studio does — plus a bunch of other features that make our lives easier. 

However, you may find an alternative platform that meets your needs better. And that’s to be expected. 

What third-party social media platform are you using? What are your favorite features and what do you wish yours could do better? Tell us in the comments.

Original article: Salesforce Product Retirement: Social Studio Sails into the Sunset

©2022 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post Salesforce Product Retirement: Social Studio Sails into the Sunset appeared first on The Spot.

By |2022-04-19T15:47:05+00:00April 19th, 2022|Categories: Community, Industry News, Pro Tips, revive, Strategy|

A Hot Take on the Pardot Rebrand to Marketing Cloud Account Engagement.

It’s official — Pardot is going to be called Marketing Cloud Account Engagement going forward.

This is a big, bold change.

I have a lot of respect for whoever did the work on this rebrand, and whoever ultimately had to push the button and make the final approval on these changes. Having been a part of several corporate rebrands, I have a tiny peek at how much work goes into that.

Time and Twitter will tell how the new names land. Like most things — there are both pros and cons for this change. I suspect there will be a lot of strong opinions on both sides.

Quick background on the Marketing Cloud name changes

Here are the latest name changes affecting marketers who use Salesforce:

  • Marketing Cloud Email Studio (aka ExactTarget) 🡪 Marketing Cloud Engagement
  • Pardot 🡪 Marketing Cloud Account Engagement
  • CDP 🡪 Marketing Cloud Customer Data Platform
  • Interaction Studio 🡪 Marketing Cloud Personalization
  • Email, Messaging, and Journeys 🡪 Marketing Cloud Engagement
  • Advertising Studio 🡪 Marketing Cloud Advertising
  • Datorama 🡪 Marketing Cloud Intelligence
  • myTrailhead 🡪 Salesforce Sales Enablement
  • Salesforce CMS 🡪 Digital Experiences

Get all the details on the recent Salesforce product name changes here.

What I like about the name changes (particularly the Pardot one)

Let’s start with the good stuff.

1. It sets a vision for the connection between Salesforce products

The new naming conventions for the Marketing Cloud suite of products emphasizes that these products are part of the same family. 

Salesforce has made a large number of acquisitions in the martech space, and retaining the individual brand names dilutes the message that they’re all one platform. A unified naming system simplifies the message for the existing stack, and makes it easier to name and talk about future additions.

2. It aligns with marketers’ big picture needs 

Marketers need more than a pile of point solutions.

They have a vision, and they need infrastructure to execute on that. This line in Salesforce’s announcement about the change stated it perfectly: 

“As you consider how to make the wow moments that build customer trust and loyalty, we know you’re focusing less on one channel or technology and more on the full experience. Our job is to deliver the how behind the wow.”

This shift also mirrors a recent change that we made in the positioning of this blog. We announced a few weeks ago that “The Spot for Pardot” is becoming “The Spot” and broadening its focus to a broader subset of martech — and this need is exactly why.

3. It focuses on what the products actually DO from a customer’s perspective

If you already know what Pardot is, you know what it does and what problems it solves. If you already know what Datorama is, you know what it does and what problems it solves.

But no one is sitting around saying “I need a Datorama.” 

They’re saying: “I need actionable business intelligence.”

Putting the names in the customer’s language simplifies the message, in some cases, on why a particular product is the solution of choice for a particular business challenge.

4. It makes it clearer that Pardot + ExactTarget play nice in the sandbox 

For whatever reason, Pardot and ExactTarget have often been viewed as “competing” with one another. People liked to compare features, list pros and cons, and generally viewed it as a “this or that” choice. 

Really, the products both send email, and that’s about where the similarities end. They are totally different tools, designed for totally different customers, with totally different admin experiences. 

Using Sercante enterprise customers as a sample, I’d estimate about half use both ExactTarget and Pardot in different subsets of their business. Having both ensures their marketing teams can run fast and solve hard problems for the business. 

(Somehow in this “either or” narrative people seem to forget that’s why ExactTarget actually bought Pardot before Salesforce scooped them both up. Clearly their founders recognized they were better together than they are apart.)

4. It’s easy to pronounce!

First, at least people will pronounce the new name correctly. Goodbye, Par-dough. 

Silver linings, guys.

Some challenges with the rebrand

Now, for a gentle critique.

1. It’s going to be hard to unstick the legacy brand names

My friend’s mom decided she wanted to be called “Grand-mère” when her daughter brought little humans into the world. 

Her grandchildren decided she was, in fact, “Lulu.” 

Why? Not a clue.

But it stuck.

Take it from the 2 year olds: it’s really hard to tell people what to call you.

The ExactTarget brand was “sunsetted” ages ago. But people still call it that today, mostly for disambiguation with Marketing Cloud. It was rebranded Email Studio. Then Messaging & Journeys (kind of.) Now it’s “Engagement.” 

Jury’s out on how Pardot customers will react to this change.

2. It’s going to make things harder to talk about 

While the new naming system does have a unified nomenclature, it looks clean and sharp on a slide deck, it messages the right things from a customer perspective… 

…it’s going to make the products really hard to talk about.

Take Salesforce Personalization for example. Formerly known as “Interaction Studio,” Salesforce Personalization provides a category-leading experience for AI-driven personalization in cross-channel marketing campaigns. It can be used alongside both Marketing Cloud or Pardot (see also: 3 Interaction Studio Features Marketers Should Look Out For from our Pardot conference last year.)

But labeling it with the generic word “Personalization” makes it really hard for people (customers, colleagues, the community, etc.) to know what you’re actually referring to. 

Because you can personalize content with Pardot using handlebars merge language, dynamic content, or legacy variable tags. You can personalize content in Marketing Cloud with AMPscript or personalization strings. And we call those things “Personalization” too.

I don’t think it’s super clear in the current naming system that “Personalization” is its own thing that requires a separate SKU on your Salesforce order form and requires its own implementation.

3. “Account Engagement” doesn’t reflect the needs of all Pardot customers 

“Account Engagement” implies a go-to-market model where sales reps are identifying target accounts and getting after them, and marketing is complementing those efforts through an ABM strategy. 

That reflects the use case of some customers, for sure. 

But many others use Pardot differently. They use it to communicate with students and donors. They use it for community engagement. They use it for recruiting and internal comms. And Pardot is pretty darn good at those things. The new name doesn’t jive with this. 

4. It makes talent acquisition more confusing 

If I see “project managed Pardot implementation” or “reported on KPIs to stakeholders using Datorama” on a resumé, I have a pretty clear vision of what that person did and what they can do for my company. 

If you take away the OG brand names, it sounds like nonsensical fluff. Project managed Account Engagement? Reported on KPIs to stakeholders using Intelligence?

This is going to need some work.

5. It makes finding a partner more confusing 

The AppExchange made a change to its filters a few days ago, presumably to align with this change to remove “Pardot” and “Datorama” from their filter criteria:

Expertise implementing one part of Marketing Cloud does not always translate to other parts of Marketing Cloud. In the short term, I think this change to the searchability of the AppExchange is going to really damage the ability of customers to find and vet qualified partners. 

In the long term, I think we will see an increased emphasis on partners growing to support across the entire Marketing Cloud. But that will take some time.

6. It makes Googling your way to success more confusing 

What do you search if you’re looking for Pardot help in the future? 

“Marketing Cloud Account Engagement Tips for _______” is almost certainly going to turn up a lot of irrelevant content.

I have a lot of faith in Google, but it’s going to be tricky there for a while.

How I expect the Pardot community to respond to the name change 

The Pardot community is going to full-on rebel in the wake of this name change.

Mostly kidding.

I think a decent subset of Pardot customers, consultants, and long-time users will see the intent of what Salesforce is trying to do with the naming update and get on board.

I also think a decent subset of Pardot customers, consultants, and long-time users will call it “Pardot” until their final days. 

Remember back in 2019 where Salesforce tried to force a name change of Pardot User Groups to “B2B Marketing User Groups”? Yeah, they’re still called “PUGs.”

The Spot has several digital community hubs to rebrand following this change:

More to come on those after the dust settles from this announcement. 

The bottom line 

I believe in the “why” behind the Pardot name change 100%. I appreciate that Salesforce is aligning with customer needs and meeting them where they’re at when they’re talking about their business challenges.

I have faith that Salesforce is going to work on the details and logistics of what this means to customers to make this a net positive at the end of the day. There will be some bumps in the road. And many people will hold on to the Pardot name. And it will continue to help marketers kick butt and take names with engaging their audiences in a scalable way.

What’s your take on the name change? 

I’m dying to hear what ya’ll think of this renaming. Are you for or against? Spicy feelings? 

Drop a comment with your opinion and let’s discuss.

Original article: A Hot Take on the Pardot Rebrand to Marketing Cloud Account Engagement.

©2022 The Spot for Pardot. All Rights Reserved.

The post A Hot Take on the Pardot Rebrand to Marketing Cloud Account Engagement. appeared first on The Spot for Pardot.

By |2022-04-07T19:26:00+00:00April 7th, 2022|Categories: Community, Industry News, Real Talk, revive|

Salesforce Name Changes: Pardot & Marketing Cloud Get A Rebrand

Salesforce announced today that they’re changing the name “Pardot” to… drumroll… Marketing Cloud Account Engagement. Along with this rebrand, they’re changing the names of about a dozen products — but of course, Pardot is nearest and dearest to my heart.

Do I have opinions? Ohhhh yes. And I will be sharing those in a blog tomorrow.

In the meantime — here’s what you need to know about the future of the Pardot brand. 

2022 Salesforce product name changes

Salesforce likes renaming things. It’s what they do. Having been a customer and partner in this ecosystem for 12 years, I’ve kind of accepted it.

In this quarter’s wave of brand updates, Salesforce itself is actually getting an upgrade. The company announced in March 2022 that Salesforce.com is changing its legal name to Salesforce, Inc. (Sorry, I’m still going to call it SFDC though.) 

The most recent wave of Salesforce name changes

Several products are also getting the rename treatment. Pay attention — you’ll have to use these new names when communicating with Salesforce support agents. 

Here are the latest name changes affecting marketers who use Salesforce:

  • Marketing Cloud Email Studio (aka ExactTarget) 🡪 Marketing Cloud Engagement
  • Pardot 🡪 Marketing Cloud Account Engagement
  • CDP 🡪 Marketing Cloud Customer Data Platform
  • Interaction Studio 🡪 Marketing Cloud Personalization
  • Email, Messaging, and Journeys 🡪 Marketing Cloud Engagement
  • Advertising Studio 🡪 Marketing Cloud Advertising
  • Datorama 🡪 Marketing Cloud Intelligence
  • myTrailhead 🡪 Salesforce Sales Enablement
  • Salesforce CMS 🡪 Digital Experiences

Wait, what? Why?

The word Salesforce has used as a touchstone when communicating these product name changes is that they are EASY. 

Salesforce EVP & GM Digital Experiences Lidiane Jones echoed this in the official announcement about the name change: 

The Marketing Cloud portfolio is now more aligned with the language marketers already use, so the capabilities and value are easier to understand. For example, many marketers are looking for the capability and value of real-time Personalization, not an “Interaction Studio” solution.

We’re expecting to hear more on Salesforce’s logic behind the changes at the Sydney World Tour. 

What is NOT affected by the Pardot name change

With the name change, there’s lots that is staying the same:

  • Product features & functionality (continuing to grow and expand as part of the normal release cycle) 
  • Pricing 
  • Packaging / bundles
  • The actual SKU names on your Salesforce contract

Not ready to accept the new brand? Let’s cope together. 

If you’re anything like us, Pardot is your BFF and you know all the Pardot trivia, including how Pardot got its name.

So, you might need some time to process the news from Salesforce — especially since Marketing Cloud Account Engagement just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

Spotify playlists for your recovery

While we are still waiting for the ecosystem to establish its own moniker (McKay, anyone?) we have just the thing to get you through all of your stages of grief — some tunes to carry you through. Check out our breakup playlists on Spotify. 

What’s your reaction to the new name? Share your take in the comments while we all process this.

Original article: Salesforce Name Changes: Pardot & Marketing Cloud Get A Rebrand

©2022 The Spot for Pardot. All Rights Reserved.

The post Salesforce Name Changes: Pardot & Marketing Cloud Get A Rebrand appeared first on The Spot for Pardot.

By |2022-04-06T18:13:53+00:00April 6th, 2022|Categories: Community, Industry News, Real Talk|