Salesforce will let brands use their first-party data to target consumers on social platforms, starting with Snapchat, in an update to its marketing cloud that is designed for advertisers to keep up with the changing privacy landscape.
At its Connect event on Wednesday, Salesforce also announced a new integration with WhatsApp, which will allow Salesforce clients to directly communicate with customers on the messaging platform.
Salesforce is making upgrades to its marketing technology, which works with thousands of brands, as privacy regulations make it more difficult to use data in online ad campaigns. Apple has been the most restrictive, forcing brands and developers to disclose to consumers all the ways they track them on iPhones, and to request permission to use that data.
It’s clear that both Snapchat and Salesforce are developing a new partnership to help maintain the benefits of data in mobile advertising. “We’re giving brands the platform to engage with their customers wherever they are,” says Michael Kostow, exec VP and general manager, Marketing Cloud at Salesforce.
“We’re looking at a cookieless future, and our customers need to figure out that data strategy,” he says.
To that end, Salesforce announced an array of updates to its platform, including the work with Snapchat and WhatsApp. All the updates share a similar theme—Salesforce wants to give brands more tools to manage their own first-party data, which is the information that they collect directly from consumers with their consent; not data that is bought from third-parties.
Salesforce’s marketing cloud has a product called “Advertising Studio,” which will now also enable brands to target ads to Snapchat using first-party data. That data is typically comprised of email lists, web visitor logs, and other contact information. Brands can bring that data into Salesforce, and they will use it to match with audiences on Snapchat.
The tool also helps brands find “lookalike” audiences, which are groups of people online that share characteristics with existing customers the brands already know.
Salesforce will work with Snapchat through Snapchat’s audience match program, which is a common method of buying ads inside social apps. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok and others have similar programs, where brands upload their customer lists to find audiences on those platforms. In March, Snapchat even warned advertisers that Apple’s new data restrictions could limit how many customers brands could target through “Snap Audience Match.”
Salesforce says it is working to build similar partnerships with other social media platforms, but declined to name them. Salesforce does have a new tool for WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook.
“Companies can use Marketing Cloud’s WhatsApp Business Solution to increase customer engagement with keyword detection, transactional messages and more,” Salesforce said in its announcement on Wednesday. “Now, companies can communicate with customers on WhatsApp directly, easily setting up an account, channels and message templates.”
Salesforce said the Snapchat data matching product was expected to be available this month, while WhatsApp integration would be available immediately.