The January 2019 Salesforce Marketing Cloud Release notes are here and we couldn’t be more excited to start the year off with all these new features.

The release itself will be rolled out between January 26th and February 15th, with Social Studio going first, but we couldn’t wait to dive into the notes to drink up all the highlights and bring you a digested version.

Whether you’re a content user, a master admin or a performance analyst (or all three!) there’s something here for you.

2019 will be all about integration. The previously compartmentalised approach Marketing Cloud had to all its components is adapting to the roaring demands of its users and brings a much more streamlined and conjoined management to everything from content creation to reporting.

Google analytics 360

The star of this new strategy is clearly Google Analytics 360.  We see the much-awaited integration finally coming into shape with more control for the master admin user, since the Marketing Cloud enterprise account will now link to the Google Analytics 360 user account, and unlike previously, it won’t be necessary to create a link for each business unit: all child business units will inherit the same link.

Also, persistent IDs can now be generated for a single user, to build audiences and capture behaviour and activities much more seamlessly. Abandoned Cart? Page Exits? Abandoned Browses? All under the same ID. #swoon

Journey builder

In the same line of integration we find that the user experience of Journey Builder has come a long way from its origins: the experience has been streamlined to remove unnecessary or unclear options and provide a more consistent look and feel. Furthermore, gone are the days of having to travel back and forth from Email Studio, MobileConnect and MobilePush to create emails, SMS and Push messages. Users will be able to create those straight from Journey Builder, and as if that wasn’t enough, deliverability performance stats will be also accessible from the same interface where they are created.

Social studio

Social Studio users are in for a treat: Instagram interactions are much more visual now with tagged content, customer replies and whole conversation threads now available to engage and take appropriate actions in a truly centralised way. Instagram Stories are also included there, and with over 300 million people using them each day throughout the world, monitoring its effectiveness from the dashboard is great news for all users.

Messaging

The way companies speak to their customers is changing every minute and Marketing Cloud has read the room: app notifications and inbox messages enter a whole new world of manageability, with features such as the option to either add or update an inbox message, greatly useful in many industries such as the travel industry with flight delay live information.

Push notifications are also now Subscriber Key friendly, meaning you can bring in personalization by pulling subscriber data into your messages.

Distributed marketing emails also get images and free text areas and better sharing rules to manage user access, where groups can be segmented for different sellers, partners or agents.

Content

Content is now getting much more attention, with (finally) the massive time-saving ability to create SMS and Push messages directly from Content Builder. Also, Classic Content gets an extension to its termination date and is now moved to 2020. It would be great to start migrating content now if you haven’t started yet, because from next year creating classic content emails will no longer be possible. Ask us how!

Data

2018 was the year of the GDPR challenge, where most companies and organisations realised the importance of data protection. In this sense, we can still feel the wave left with measures such as employee data protection in Social Studio or Contact Deletion, which we know from experience with our clients, has been a massive issue in the past 12 months: you can now easily review and monitor your contact delete requests in your account.

To conclude, 2019 promises to be a fantastic year in terms of improved security, much more control over features and user access, better reporting capabilities and time-saving content creation strategies.