The cloud CRM platform Salesforce has joined forces with Google in the last week and, whilst Google partnerships often come and go with relatively little attention, this particular tie-up has the potential to change how marketers use data and deploy automation campaigns.

In essence, the tie-up will see data from Google’s ‘G Suite’ of tools and Google Analytics integrate with Salesforce’s tools, and it will see Salesforce customers have the ability to more easily ‘join the dots’ between Google Analytics, and their own CRM data.

So why does this matter? Well, it’s a step closer to what many marketers have found, up to now, an elusive aim.

A next generation of customer data

Salesforce customers (and customers of other CRM platforms) currently have plenty of insight into how their audiences engage with their content on channels such as email and social media, and have no problem in deploying marketing automation campaigns and sales campaigns based on engagement with those channels.

But it becomes much harder for marketers to track activity away from those channels, and joining up the dots between those channels and Google Analytics has notoriously been a major pain-point.

This partnership will change that, allowing marketers to follow a user not just through Analytics, but across the G-Suite.

Multi-channel marketing automation

What this means is that marketers can deploy specific pieces of automated content based not only on engagement from social media and email communications, but also based on page visits, time on site and various other metrics measured by Google Analytics.

It also means that marketers could deploy content based on factors such as user location data, device data or from search data – data that typically isn’t available in marketing automation and CRM systems, but could provide a significant insight into the behaviour of that particular user or audience segment.

A step towards the single customer view

That takes marketers towards achieving what is often known as ‘the single customer view’ – a singular understanding of who their audiences are, what content they are consuming and how they behave online.

An Econsultancy survey in 2015 highlighted that “developing a single customer view” was the biggest headache facing marketers and two years on, marketers are generally still no closer to that ideal. This could potentially change that.

This partnership promises to take away one of the biggest headaches for marketers – trying to join two siloed reporting systems to make sense of customer activity. That will bring that data together to not only join up CRM and web activity, but also to join up with wider online activity, allowing marketers to understand the content that users are consuming away from their own content, and to build much more intelligent marketing automation campaigns.