Digital Marketing 101: How Salesforce Powers 8 Essential Concepts

Marketing in the pre-digital era largely consisted of a single strategy: Find people and (metaphorically) shout at them. The 1860s

4 min. read

Marketing in the pre-digital era largely consisted of a single strategy: Find people and (metaphorically) shout at them. The 1860s brought us the first billboards; the 1920s, the earliest radio ads. After that came TV commercials and telemarketing. New channels, but the same idea.

The internet, of course, changed the game. No longer do marketers have to seek out every single potential prospect or customer — thanks to search engines like Google, they can get customers to find them. For the first time since the industrial revolution, then, there’s a totally new way of doing things in the world of marketing. And those who can successfully combine the old with the new will be poised to achieve their goals.

In other words, those who build on foundational concepts — like campaigns and lead conversion — with new web-based strategies will be able to reach larger segments of the population. But to do this, your marketing organization will need a technology platform capable of powering this new hybrid methodology.

Enter Salesforce’s suite of products, which power the most essential elements of digital marketing. Here’s a closer look at how.


How Salesforce Powers 8 Essential Elements of Digital Marketing


You can think of a campaign as the collective efforts of a marketing department to implement a particular strategy to boost awareness of a product or service. 50 years ago, a campaign might have consisted of a few TV spots and magazine ads. In the world of digital marketing, a campaign could include some combination of email marketing, social media posts and Google AdWords. In Salesforce, campaigns are a standard object that allow you to “link together your marketing initiatives, and the leads/opportunities that are generated as a result.” In practice, that means you’ll be able to see which elements of a campaign provided the highest ROI — valuable data as you work to refine your messaging and strategies across channels.


A conversion happens when a contact completes a specific action and moves from one stage of the buying cycle to the next. For instance, when a stranger downloads an eBook to become a prospect, or when a prospect schedules an initial call to become a lead. Before someone becomes a customer, then, they will likely go through several conversions, depending on where they enter the funnel. Salesforce makes it easy to convert a contact at the appropriate stage — as simple as clicking a button, in fact. This eliminates the need to ever re-enter basic information, not to mention the risk of losing out on a sale by reaching out in the wrong way to a misclassified contact.

Content Marketing

The idea behind content marketing is to attract potential customers by providing insightful and valuable content to your audiences, including blogs, webinars and eBooks. Salesforce’s marketing automation tool Pardot — and we’ll have more on marketing automation in a minute — is able to deliver this content in the most efficient and effective ways. Let’s say your company sells at-home beer brewing products. Using Pardot, you send an email to a segment of your customer base that includes a blog about the potential problems associated with not cooling ales rapidly enough after brewing. One home brewer reads this blog, realizes he hasn’t been cooling his beer as quickly as he should, and decides to buy one of your company’s top-selling wort chillers — easy.

Drip Marketing

Often used when a customer is still in the investigative stage and not yet ready to buy, drip marketing is a strategy where communications “drip” out to contacts and customers over time — usually via email. This approach allows marketing departments to build and nurture relationships

until somebody is ready to buy. Both Marketing Cloud and Pardot make it easy to set up and automate various drip campaigns, freeing up marketers’ time to tackle other things.


A lead is any potential customer (whether an individual or a business) that expresses an interest in your company’s product or services. And given that Salesforce is a CRM, tracking leads is the platform’s bread and butter. You can easily see where a lead came from (in other words, which marketing initiative brought them into the funnel), and sales teams can prioritize and work through the best leads first.

Marketing Automation

Marketing automation refers to any platform or technology designed to spread marketing efforts across several different channels. Marketing automation eliminates repetitive tasks, measures the performance of a marketing effort or campaign, and powers the creation of streamlined landing pages, blogs, email templates and more. As mentioned above, Pardot is an example of a marketing automation platform.

Search Engine Optimization

Often abbreviated SEO, search engine optimization is a way to maximize the visibility of your website and blogs in a search engine by utilizing keywords. The theory behind SEO is that the higher your website ranks on a search engine results page, the more visitors you will receive. SEO takes into account how search engines work, what people search for and what keywords they use to search for that item. To get the most value out of SEO, however, you need to know which keywords to focus on — which ones matter most to your audiences. And as Salesforce points out, “The content, topics, questions and conversations in your CRM tell you what your customers are thinking about and searching for. They are therefore an excellent source of your keywords.”

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is pretty much what it sounds like — using different social media channels to post attention-grabbing content in order to increase web traffic and interest in your business, products or services. With Marketing Cloud’s Social Studio, you can draft, share, schedule, review and publish content across social channels, then analyze the results of your efforts.

The 8 terms above are essential, but they aren’t the only ones you should know. To learn more, check out our eBook: