ExactTarget Connections is always a fantastic digital marketing event. This year, Salesforce Marketing Cloud (formerly ExactTarget) moved Connections from Indianapolis to New York City so that they could accommodate the 18,000 registered attendees. It was a mass of humanity and my break out session with Jonathan Wilbur from Fanatics and Arthur Sweetser eDatasource was standing room only.
But the real buzz at the conference was about the many new innovations from Salesforce and their partners.
Speed: True to theme that customer now rules, and speed is the new currency of business; Salesforce Marketing Cloud improved the performance of the email application. The platform is now faster and they made it easier to use.
Journey Improvements: The next generation Journey Builder includes improved testing capabilities, analytics and they have completely integrated sales cloud and service cloud into the marketing journey. For example, this makes it possible to pause an individual’s marketing journey if there is a serious service incident. Once the service case is closed, the marketing journey resumes or can be adapted based on the context of the service incident.
Connecting Advertising: The Salesforce Marketing Cloud now makes it easier to trigger ads based on CRM customer data and they have expanded their partnerships so that ads can be displayed anywhere. SoMedia announced a new video ad production integration and listings with Salesforce. Further improving Salesforce’s Active Audiences, LiveIntent has partnered with Salesforce Marketing Cloud to empower marketers to orchestrate personal advertising campaigns as part of every touch point along the customer journey. The partnership will allow Salesforce Marketing Cloud customers to leverage the LiveIntent platform for people-based marketing campaigns in email.
Social Studio Upgrades: The adoption of Social Studio has increased 20x year over year and these new adopters will no doubt be delighted with the increased number of platforms that are supported including LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook Video and Google+. Social Studio is now fully integrated in to Journey Builder now with a single sign on and new iPad app. Social Studio will listen across any of the social networks and allows users to build processes around it, such as leveraging an individual’s social disposition in the customer journey. Social studio is also integrated into Active Audiences, which empowers the marketer to target ads based on what they are listening for the social net.
The 1+1+1 Model: Philanthropy continues to drive the Salesforce culture. To date they have delivered 920K service hours, $85 million dollars in grants and 25K non-profit organizations operate for free on Salesforce.
Continued Growth: As 6th largest software company in the world, Salesforce was recently added to the Fortune 500. They have 16,000 employees and for FY 2015 Salesforce expects to be a $7 billion dollar company.
In addition to the great speakers and keynotes, in Salesforce style there were some fun surprises that included a performance by The Roots, Elle King and a cameo by Derek Jeter who briefly talked about leadership.
It was a great event and I always appreciate their invitation to have me speak, and if you missed my session we will be running it again in a few months at Dreamforce in California. The Relevancy Group team looks forward to seeing you there.