Salesforce pitches smarter campaigns with Einstein AI

Artificial Intelligence offering follows $650 million in acquisitions

Technology company Salesforce launched the artificial intelligence product it has been teasing for weeks, Salesforce Einstein, on Sunday.

Salesforce Einstein is the name the company has given to a whole structure of new AI capabilities it is introducing across its suite of products, including the Salesforce Marketing Cloud. The capabilities for marketers include a feature that predicts consumer sentiment, predictive scoring for email performance and audience segmentation based on how likely a target group is to convert into a customer.

The new product also powers a new “visual listening” feature that allows marketers to search through images posted on social media based on their content, not just the text accompanying them. For example, if a retailer was selling pizza, they could search for photos of pizza posted by consumers.

On the sales side, Salesforce will now assign number scores to leads based on its prediction of how likely that lead is to turn into a sale.

The launch follows a string of hefty acquisitions the company as it beefs up its AI expertise. Salesforce has spent a reported $650 million on purchasing leading AI companies, including BeyondCore, Tempo AI and Implisit Insights. According to the company, Salesforce Einstein was built by a small army of 175 data scientists.

Salesforce Einstein is a sign of things to come from the company as it bets big on AI and moves aggressively into the space.

On a press call prior to the launch, Salesforce Einstein general manager John Ball said the goal of the product is to democratize AI.

“AI is out of reach for the vast majority of companies,” Ball said, explaining most corporations – and, by extension, marketers – don’t have the financial resources to create their own AI products for internal use, nor do they have the data required or data scientists on staff to handle the process.

Einstein’s capabilities are built in to some of the company’s current tools and are available for use by current customers. The company is selling access to other new AI features for an additional charge.

Salesforce is expected to show off the new product and reveal addition details during its annual Dreamforce conference next month in San Francisco.

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