Top Five Dreamforce 2017 Lessons For Digital Marketers

So, as you have probably read on here by now, I went to Salesforce’s Dreamforce event last week and it was, of course, incredible.

This week, I’m going to present to you a quick rundown of the top five things I learned, digital marketing related and otherwise, at this amazing event.

 

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5. Scanned Badges = Spam Emails Later = Not a Good Look

For those who may not know, when you go to a conference like this, they give you an ID badge to wear so security knows you’re not some random schmo who snuck in and also so if you meet different sponsors and vendors, they can get in touch with you. Apparently all of your contact info is associated with your badge.
Genius, right? No need to carry around business cards or leaflets and flyers that can get lost or ripped during your day.

Well, neither Salesforce nor any vendor told me this and I spoke to tons of vendors.

All the vendors said, ‘Hey, can I scan your badge real quick?’ whether I was just walking past the booth or if I actually wanted more information. I assumed that they did it to keep track of how many people came to their booth or whatever, so like an idiot, I let them.

Keep in mind, I spoke to tons of vendors.

Tons. Of. Vendors.

So what happened?

I checked my work email after the conference and my inbox was just a sea of spam.

Spam from this company, spam from that company, spam here, spam there, everywhere spam.

What did I do? That’s right! I just put a check next to all the boxes and clicked ‘delete’.

Didn’t read a thing.

The lesson here is this: if you’re a company and you’re a vendor at a trade show, for the love of everything that is holy, TELL PEOPLE THAT THEY ARE GOING TO GET EMAILS FROM YOU IF YOU SCAN THEIR BADGE. 

A conference is not another opportunity for you to get email addresses to spam. It doesn’t look good for you and it doesn’t make the unknowing person who has to wade through all that noise when they get back to town very happy either.

Not everyone is a business conference veteran so some people will be completely surprised when they get an email from a company they just happened to be walking past when someone said ‘Hey, can I scan your badge real quick?’  that says, ‘Hey, it was great talking to you at XYZ Conference this year! Here’s the information you wanted..’
Also, it’s a waste of time because, as I told you earlier, all I did was click all and delete. I didn’t open a thing.

 

4. If You’re In Marketing and You Use Salesforce, You Need the Marketing Cloud

 

I was lucky enough to see a demo of this and let me tell you, even though the interface isnt as ‘slick’ as some others out there, this tool is powerful. It can track your users’ journeys across multiple channels, give you detailed customer stats and analytics and, the best part is that it, of course, syncs with Salesforce so you have everything in one place instead of having to import and export .csv files all day like this was 2002.

This works for B2B customers and B2C customers and can house your social, email and other channel efforts as well.

I can’t even begin to get into why I liked this tool so much so I just suggest you check it out for yourself here. Whether you’re a B2B company, a B2C, a Non-profit or a Fortune 500, you should really look into this if you use Salesforce.

Which leads me to my next point…

 

3. Non-Profits Need to Start Thinking and Acting Like For-Profits

 

Are you a non-profit organization?

Does your non-profit organization sell things?

Does your non-profit organization have a website?

Does your non-profit organization sell things on its website?

Did you answer ‘Yes’?

Congratulations, you need to stop half-assing things and actually do real work on your site and your digital marketing.

disclaimer: This DID NOT happen at Dreamforce..or maybe it did and I missed it…

At Dreamforce, we saw some major non-profits like The Girl Scouts of America represented and this just proves something I’ve been saying to non-profits all along:

Yes, you’re a non-profit and your end goal isn’t to make money. Yes, you’re a non-profit and you have a limited budget to work with. Yes, you’re a non-profit so you probably don’t have the staff or the resources a major corporation would.

But you know what?

The internet doesn’t care.

Algorithms don’t care.

Artificial Intelligence doesn’t care.

Your customers don’t care.

Face reality. You’re competing with for-profit companies for that advertising space. Act like it.

Google’s algorithm doesn’t care that you’re a non-profit when it comes time to rank your site in the search results.

AdWords doesn’t care that you’re a non-profit when you aren’t bidding high enough and your tech isn’t good enough to help win those auctions.

Facebook Ads doesn’t care that you’re a non-profit when it comes to winning those social ads auctions in your target market.

Most importantly of all, people who visit your site don’t care that you’re a non-profit when you’re asking them to put their credit card into a site that looks like a 1996 Geocities nightmare.

Look, it’s like this:

Yes, your budget is limited but that means you have to stretch your dollar.

Here’s what it does not mean:

‘You know what, let’s just cheap out on everything because what the hell, we’re a non-profit! We’ll get by on our super duper name (which we don’t really have but just think we do), member donations (which are drying up for some weird reason but it couldn’t possibly be because we haven’t updated our site or membership benefits for 20 years) and telling people how great we are instead of giving people what they actually want!’

If you’re going to half-ass things like that because you’re a non-profit, you may as well just whole-ass it and just get a free trash Wix website and be done with it. Better yet, pay a guy to spin a sign with your name on it on the corner during rush hour. You’ll have about the same amount of success.

 

2. Personalization Is Key To Everything

 

Want to know how to be successful in marketing? Personalize everything.

If your only method of making your message personal to your customer is to pull in some nonsense in your emails from a merge field, you’re doing it wrong.

 

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We already know that targeting your ads properly is something we need to do but take that a step farther. We need to be borderline-creepy when it comes to personalization. We need to know where that specific customer is, what channels they want to be reached on and what message they respond to. At Dreamforce, Adidas had a great demonstration of how they do this via Salesforce and the marketing cloud but even if you don’t have access to that, you need to be doing these techniques as well.

People make decisions in micro-moments – ugh, I hate that word but it’s true – so you need to be there when that happens and the only way to do that is to get super personal with your marketing. I mean almost stalk your customers. Everybody says they don’t like it and they think it’s weird when they see ads for things they were only talking or thinking about but really, that kind of advanced, predictive knowledge of your customers works and that is why people do it.

 

1. Make Sure Your ENTIRE Company Knows The Effect Of Your Digital Channels

 

So at Dreamforce, there was this speech that really worked for me by the people from the hat store, Lids. It was all about how they use something called a ‘Press Box‘ which is basically a social media command center powered by the Salesforce Social Studio (part of the marketing cloud) to monitor all social channels all the time.

Great idea, right? I thought so and if you don’t, you really need to up your social media game.

Lids, however, takes it a step further and they have these giant TV monitors in their offices so literally every employee can easily see not only what Lids is saying on their social accounts and what people are saying about them but also what kind of effects this is having on their business.

I love this to no end.

This is the perfect thing to implement in your company if you have the following issues:

  • Old fogeys who think ‘Bah! Social media is for those whippersnappers that book the faces! It doesn’t do anything to help you sell things!’
  • People who are obsessed with one particular channel to the detriment of other channels (eg: LinkedIn all day, all the time! Twitter is awful! Facebook is horrible! LINKKEEEDDDINN!!!!!!!)
  • People who think social media engagement doesn’t directly translate into positive business for your company (eg: It’s just talkin’! It didn’t help me sell anything at all and I need moneyz!!!)
  • People who have no idea what your company is even talking about on social media (eg: “Wait…we have a twitter account?”)
  • People who have no idea what people are saying about your brand and yet have a strangely inflated positive sentiment that is totally unwarranted by the market (eg: “Our prices are perfect!!! We don’t need to change anything at all!” meanwhile every single person is saying your products are overpriced and are literally laughing at you when you post your ads because you really think someone will pay that much for your crap)

 

More than that, though, it can also encourage your employees and visitors to like, share and comment on posts from your official account to their friends and followers.

You see, monitoring and responding to your social channels and giving people what they actually want on there is how you build a brand. It’s how you build brand ambassadors. It’s how you build a loyal following and audience. If you don’t know why this is important and how it will make things so much easier for you when you’re trying to sell something, then stop reading this and go attend a Marketing 101 class.

If your company happens to have product managers, executives or salespeople who have no faith in social marketing, then this is the perfect way to convert them – if you’re doing social right, that is.  It’s no longer ‘that one Facebook guy from marketing’ screaming about how great of a job he’s doing, it’s actual hard numbers, statistics and customer comments showing them on a screen how effective social can be.

 

The Bottom Line:

 

So there you have it, those are my personal top five takeaways from Salesforce’s 2017 Dreamforce event!
While it didn’t make my personal top five list, an honorable mention goes to the drastic rise in Artificial Intelligence. Einstein, Salesforce’s AI, in particular. 

Machine learning, from Google’s Rankbrain to this, I think, is going to be critical in all facets of marketing in the years to come so now is the time to get involved  in figuring it out.  If you’re not getting on this boat now, you’re going to sink later.

Also, the Dreamfest concert was gangsta. Just sayin’.

 

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