Salesforce and IBM Just Teamed Up for a Super-Charged Marketing Cloud

Einstein, meet Watson

The marketing world got a big surprise in the partnership.
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Most people didn’t see this partnership coming—IBM and Salesforce are combining data sources and predictive capabilities to offer the latter’s customers a super-charged marketing cloud.

Both companies offer so-called marketing clouds, though Salesforce’s leans more directly toward brands’ customer relationship management needs (email, lead-generation, ad targeting) while IBM has gained notable recognition for its artificial intelligence system called Watson. Salesforce has an AI program of its own, dubbed Einstein.

Now, Salesforce clients will get the best of both futuristic entities. Most of the combined features will go live in the second half of 2017, including forecast data from IBM-owned The Weather Company, that allows insurance companies and hardware retailers to pounce on weather changes with targeted advertising and marketing.

"The combination of Einstein and Watson will make businesses smarter and our customers more successful."
Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO, Salesforce

Their press release this afternoon described the development this way: “The partnership will bring new insights from Watson directly into the Salesforce Intelligent Customer Success Platform, combining deep customer insights from Salesforce’s Einstein with Watson’s structured and unstructured data across many sources and industries including weather, healthcare, financial services and retail. Together, Watson and Einstein will ingest, reason over and derive recommendations to accelerate decision making and drive greater customer success.”

“The combination of Einstein and Watson will make businesses smarter and our customers more successful,” said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO, Salesforce, in a statement. “I’m thrilled to form an alliance with IBM—no company’s core values are as close to Salesforce’s as IBM’s.”

Ginni Rometty, chairman, president and CEO of IBM, added in a statement that “the power of Watson will serve the millions of Salesforce and Einstein customers and developers to provide an unprecedented understanding of customers.”