Integrating with Salesforce for Automated SMS, MMS and Email Orchestration: an Interview with Vibes' Josh Freeman

We sat down with Josh Freeman, Senior Director of Technical Services within Customer Success, to learn more about what exactly the Salesforce Marketing Cloud integration with Vibes is, what makes it so powerful, and how easy it is to get set up and quickly see its benefits as a business.

Josh Freeman
Senior Director, Technical Services
Table of Contents
Table of Contents

We’re hearing a lot about how brands have pressure to drive more value with less cost, and that consolidation efficiencies are at the top of every business’s priority list. How do technical integrations help solve this for a company?

Love this question since more of our customers are asking about efficiencies, integrations and how Vibes can help drive more value with less available budget.

Brands are constantly seeking ways to optimize their operations and streamline processes while keeping costs in check. At the top of every business's priority list is the pursuit of consolidation efficiencies. This is where technical integrations step in to help companies transform their operations and achieve greater efficiency.

Technical integrations help brands streamline data consolidation and processes, automating tasks such as audience segmentation, and enhance the overall customer experience by being able to access data to deliver personalized messages at the optimal time, place and channel.

What does that mean exactly? Let me break it down for you:

  • Data Consolidation: Technical integrations enable the consolidation of data from various sources, like customer relationship management (CRM) systems, marketing automation platforms, and e-commerce websites. By centralizing this data, businesses can gain a unified view of their customers, leading to more informed decision-making and more targeted marketing efforts.
  • Automation: Integrations automate repetitive tasks, reducing the need for manual work and saving a company both time and resources. This can include automating SMS and email marketing, social media posting, and even customer support processes. We do this a number of ways in the Vibes platform through our automated triggered campaign management features, as well as our suite of open APIs for SMS subscriber audience management and message delivery.
  • Enhanced Customer Experience: Integrations allow for a more personalized customer experience. By connecting various touchpoints, companies can provide customers with tailored content in their most-preferred channels such as SMS, in-app push, or email, ultimately driving customer loyalty and increasing lifetime value.
  • Real-Time Analytics: Integrations can also provide companies with instantaneous access to data and analytics. This is critical for making informed decisions quicker, whether adjusting advertising spend, optimizing website performance, or refining product offerings. With Vibes, we offer the ability to integrate all of our customers’ data sources using real-time API callbacks so that, no matter where a customer’s data lives, it’s continually updated so that every SMS subscriber profile is as accurate as possible.

At a high level, can you tell us what Salesforce Marketing Cloud’s Journey Builder tool is?

Salesforce Marketing Cloud's (SFMC) Journey Builder is a marketing automation platform that empowers marketers to orchestrate customer communication journeys to deliver the right message to consumers.

Picture it as a canvas where you can map out the entire customer experience, from the first touchpoint to conversion and beyond. It seamlessly integrates multiple communication channels like email, SMS, social media, and mobile apps.

Its best use lies in personalization and automation. SFMC Journey Builder harnesses data to tailor each and every customer interaction, making them feel like the brand is speaking directly to them. You can set up a variety of messages to automatically trigger based on customer behaviors, as well as test different messaging scenarios to optimize your campaigns.

What does it mean when we say Vibes is integrated with Salesforce’s Journey Builder solution? What are the nuts and bolts of how it works?

By saying Vibes is integrated with SFMC Journey Builder, it means that we have established a seamless connection between our two platforms in two key ways: customer data and campaign execution.

Seamless customer data synchronization. Vibes and SFMC Journey Builder continually sync up customer profile data. This data sync includes real-time status updates to a customer's subscription to a program, message delivery confirmation, and message engagement. This is what makes it possible for brands to design unique customer journeys across various digital communication channels including email, SMS, MMS and Mobile Wallet. The data synchronization is automated, using a combination of Vibes API callbacks and batch files.

Data generated from customer interactions are shared between Vibes and SFMC Journey Builder, providing brands comprehensive analytics and insights into campaign performance and customer behavior, which brands can use to refine their digital marketing strategies. Additionally, Vibes offers other data sharing solutions via Snowflake so the data can be easily accessible across all of Salesforce's digital solutions.

Seamless campaign execution. This integration allows brands to leverage the capabilities of both systems for more effective and personalized customer engagement - all within a single platform. In other words, brands can easily architect each customer journey to deliver the right message at the right time and in the right channel all within the SFMC Journey Builder tool, they do not have to hop between Salesforce and Vibes' platforms in order to properly set up their campaigns.

In essence, the integration between Vibes and SFMC Journey Builder enhances a brand's ability to create and execute highly personalized, multi-channel customer journeys. It streamlines the campaign setup process, reduces manual tasks, and ensures that a brand's marketing efforts are data-driven, ultimately resulting in more engaging and effective campaigns.

What does the SFMC Journey Builder setup with Vibes look like?

The setup is actually quite easy and quick! Vibes can get the connection between the two systems installed in under an hour, and then the remaining time spent before a brand goes to market is testing out the building of the campaign journeys. Vibes also offers white-glove implementation services with access to strategic consultation and technical resources to ensure every brand's journeys are set up to be as effective as possible for achieving their business goals.

Once the integration setup is complete, an option for Vibes SMS / MMS messages (which we call an "activity") appears in the Journey Builder user interface tool for brands to include in any of the journeys they want. We offer detailed guides on how to utilize the Vibes SMS / MMS activity within a journey.

While you've already touched upon some of them, can you summarize the main benefits a business receives from the Vibes integration with SFMC Journey Builder?  

Absolutely! The main benefits include:

  • Campaign automation. Brands can map new automated paths in individual customer journeys using mobile engagement data that will trigger the right message in the right channel.
  • Expanded messaging capabilities, including the ability to send MMS messages through Journey Builder, and personalized messages with information unique to individual subscribers. There's also access to Mobile Wallet for creating items such as digital offers or loyalty cards, which is a channel Salesforce doesn't offer without the Vibes integration. With the integration in place, brands are not only able to create mobile wallet campaigns, but they are also able to use data from Salesforce to hyper-personalize them and target them effectively.
  • Embedded mobile messaging compliance guardrails and real-time SMS / MMS database subscription management to ensure the integrity, credibility and trust of every message sent.
  • Access to the most reliable, fastest SMS & MMS provider in the SFMC ecosystem, with direct, Tier 1 messaging connections to every US wireless carrier.
  • Enhanced reporting that helps brands take appropriate action based on the data and insights provided.
  • Platform consolidation efficiencies that sync message engagement data in order for brands to see everything in SFMC vs. having to toggle between multiple platforms.

Is there any criteria a company needs to have, or needs to already be strong in, in order to realize the benefits from this integration?

As long as a company has a short code provisioned with Vibes and has access to SFMC Journey Builder, they should be good to go. The Vibes Customer Success team offers a true partnership with our customers to make them feel like pros from the start. Whether a customer has been in the mobile space for 10+ years or just starting out, we will work with them to build the most relevant and engaging customer journeys using the Vibes + SFMC integration.

Can you share a couple of examples of how existing customers are thriving with this integration?         

Of course!

One customer who's benefited so much from this integration is Progressive Leasing. They came to realize some of the limitations of email with their customers, but did not want to abandon the channel altogether. With the integration, they were able to easily begin implementing SMS campaigns in the tool they were already using, getting them to market faster and allowing them to test and learn faster so they could more quickly optimize their digital messaging strategies to engage, convert, and retain more customers.

Another customer that comes to mind is one of ours in the music entertainment space, and there's a specific journey I am really proud of: they use Mobile Wallet for digital concert tickets that contain specific offers available during the concert. The tickets are delivered via SMS so concertgoers can simply save their tickets to their mobile wallet for easy access when it came time to show their tickets at the door and redeem their offers at concessions. Each time a ticket is scanned, the ticket would update to reflect the transaction from the venue. As an avid concert festival goer myself I know how poor the reception at venues can be, so the mobile wallet version of my ticket not only helps ensure I know what offers I have available to use, but that I also have access to actually use them. I really wish more entertainment brands offered this type of experience to their customers!

Overall, I would say that the customers who have gotten the most out of the Vibes + SFMC integration have capitalized on the wide variety of capabilities available for them to use, from delivering digital wallet offers and sending personalized MMS messages to subscribers out of a single journey.

Josh Freeman
Senior Director, Technical Services
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