Meet the Marketer: Michael Lazerow, Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Michael Lazerow, chief strategy officer, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, channels the disruptive spirit of his startup days.

Serial entrepreneur Michael Lazerow founded and sold businesses including social media marketing platform Buddy Media (to Salesforce for $689 million in 2012), college newswire service UWire, and sports website

Lazerow is now chief strategy officer of Salesforce Marketing Cloud, having previously been CMO, but he still channels the disruptive spirit of his startup days: "We move fast and break stuff."

That’s a handy attitude when Salesforce is in an integrated marketing cloud dogfight with Adobe, Oracle, IBM, and SAP. Each tech giant is building an arsenal of tools for marketers spanning social, mobile, email, and the Web.

In 2012, Salesforce bought Buddy Media, the company Lazerow and wife Kass founded that was being used by some of the world’s biggest brands to manage social media publishing and engagement.

Lazerow met Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and the two were on the same page. "Salesforce is run by entrepreneurs focused on growth and innovation so, culturally, the companies complemented each other," says Lazerow.

Marketing tools
Lazerow uses Salesforce Social Studio every day. Via his smartphone, he can publish, listen, and engage on trending topics and conversations around Salesforce in real time. The company’s marketing team uses its own ExactTarget Journey Builder platform for multi-channel marketing automation.

Brands including McDonald’s use tools such as Social Studio to manage its 14,000 Facebook pages and produce engagement on the strength of its content, amplified by a small amount of money. Lazerow believes social marketing will become more than promotion and will drive bottom-line results.

"The lines between sales, service, and marketing continue to blur," he says. "This will be the year of connecting the dots, as customers no longer tolerate ineffective engagement across different channels."

Issues for marketers

  • Internal structure

Most marketing units are still siloed by channel, but a consumer can be engaged across multiple points in the digital world, and every marketer needs to operate in a multichannel system. Implementing that mindset, along with that software is difficult: "Whether it’s Salesforce or Unilever, we all need to get our shit together," he says.

  • Unified data

With so many different channels, it becomes difficult for companies to integrate customer data sources and unify them in an actionable way. 

"First-party data is crucial and most agencies are not using it, since CRM hasn’t traditionally been their space," Lazerow says.

This article originally appeared on PRWeek's sister brand The Hub.

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