Harman is tying its Salesforce Service, Marketing and Commerce clouds together to automate sending relevant, customized marketing messages to shoppers. And it’s automating marketing in other ways as well.

Harman is increasingly striking a chord with music fans online.

The retailer and manufacturer, owned by Samsung Electronics America Inc., sells products including the popular JBL speakers, Harman Kardon soundbars and Infinty subwoofers.

Harman launched its direct-to-consumer ecommerce business in the U.S. in 2015 and today operates 65 ecommerce sites in 40 countries and 17 languages that sell its home audio equipment, says Dave Spinato, vice president of global ecommerce. Plus, large retail chains including BestBuy.com Inc., (No. 10 in the 2020 Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000) Target Corp. (No. 12) and Guitar Center (No. 104) also sell its products online.

Online sales via its ecommerce sites or its wholesalers now account for about 34% of the company’s total home audio sales. In 2019, Harman’s direct online sales grew 25%—far above U.S. ecommerce sales growth of 14.9%, according to a Digital Commerce 360 analysis of U.S. Department of Commerce data. And the manufacturer is projecting 27% growth this year.

To save time and resources related to marketing, Harman is turning to Salesforce to help it automate its marketing. Harman is in the midst of tying its Salesforce Service, Marketing and Commerce clouds together to automate sending relevant, customized marketing messages to shoppers.


“If a customer calls us about our portable speaker, that lights up in Service Cloud [and] then Marketing Cloud can use that data to send an automatically triggered email to that individual about portable speakers,” Spinato says. It also uses Salesforce to deploy cookies so that if a customer who is not registered on one of the retailer’s ecommerce sites places an item in his cart and then visits another site, such as Facebook, he will be presented with ads for that product, enabling Harman to remarket to the shopper without collecting his email address.

54% of retailers spend more than 10% of their marketing budgets on email, according to a Digital Commerce 360 survey of 105 online retailers conducted in May and June 2020. 76% say email is effective. And 53% list email as one of their top three customer acquisition marketing tactics.

But email isn’t the only automation lever retailers can pull. For example, Harman is working on a project to dynamically change the ecommerce homepages of its sites to display products based on the ad the shopper clicked on, such as wireless JBL headphones. “We’ll be there with that by Christmas,” Spinato says.

Beyond connecting its Salesforce clouds, Harman is working on more ways to streamline and squeeze more out of marketing. The manufacturer is currently building a data management platform that will house all its campaign data and results across its divisions including connected cars, lifestyle audio (for individual consumers) and professional audio (for businesses and organizations).

“Typically, you work with an agency and do media buys for one division,” Spinato says. “So, you’ll do one campaign for one division around the holiday. Then, those results are stored in a PowerPoint on someone’s desktop.”


Compiling all campaign data across all divisions—along with data collected about consumers via cookies as they travel to sites such as Facebook or Cars.com—will help it pull in more qualified customers, he says. “Everything—all campaign learnings will be in the platform, whether it’s lifestyle or automotive. So, we could use that platform to find a segment of consumers who show an affinity for sports and are into cars. Then we could target them with wireless headphones,” he says.