Salesforce Connections 2018: Day 1 Recap

Salesforce Connections 2018 kicked off today in Chicago.  For those of you who aren’t aware, Connections is Salesforce’s yearly event that highlights all things marketing in the company’s product platform.  This includes Pardot, Marketing Cloud (Email Studio, Journey Builder, Ad Studio, Social Studio and much more!), Wave Analytics, Einstein DMP, etc.

If you are are attending Salesforce Connections (or you just happen to be in Chicago on Tuesday June 12th – Thursday June 14th) and want to connect with me please reach out or send me a message on LinkedIn.

Our posts over the next several days are our meager attempt to share takeaways and highlights of the event.  I am but one man and, with an event boasting hundreds of sessions, I’m bound to miss tons of great material. Nonetheless, below is a best effort at sharing everything you need to know to sound like you were there whenever the subject comes up at your next cocktail party.

Session #1 – Automating your Workflow with Pardot

Like any great Salesforce event, the sessions are packed with massive lines down the hall.  If you’ve been to Dreamforce or any other Salesforce event before, this is par for the course.  I was hoping things would be different this time around. Dare to dream. My first session “Automating your Workflow with Pardot”, was a discussion on automation best practices and strategies you can implement with Pardot to simplify and organize daily life.  The speakers discussed uses for Engagement Studio, Automation Rules, Dynamic Content, Progressive Profiling and Tags. The session was pretty crowded and I realized that I already knew most of the material. I gave up after 20 minutes and made a break for the exhibit hall where there’s a lot more room and I could network before heading on to the next session.

Session #2 – Hidden Gems: Marketing Cloud Features You may Not Be Using That You Should

The speaker shared several “gems”, but I felt that two were most compelling.

Einstein Engagement Scoring

First was Einstein Engagement Scoring.  This feature was released last year at Dreamforce and it is obviously a big new feature for marketing cloud as it came up during several other sessions.  Einstein Engagement Scoring takes all your email performance metrics from the previous 90-days and the provides 4 predictions on all emails you execute for the next 14 days.  

The 4 predictions include:

  1. email click rate
  2. email open rate
  3. likelihood to convert
  4. un-subscription rate

You can watch a quick 3 minute video on Einstein Engagement Scoring (ESS) here:

For more info visit the FAQ section devoted to ESS in the Salesforce help and training portal.

Automated Persona Development

The second interesting feature is automated persona development.  Einstein will evaluate all your email performance data and classify recipients into 5 personas:

  1. loyalists
  2. selective shoppers
  3. window shoppers
  4. win back
  5. dormant

With this data you can then deliver selective content to your customers based on the Einstein developed segmentation.

Marketing Cloud Content Block SDK

The third “gem” is the launch of the Marketing Cloud Content Block SDK (software development kit).  The SDK allows third parties to create widgets that make email more engaging with prospects and customers.  During this session they shared an example where a ski company can embed a real-time weather report so that when a customer opens the email it shares the current weather.  One company currently making widgets is called Liveclicker.  Their app allows you to embed live video in an email.  It is available for both Marketing Cloud AND Pardot. You can learn more in this press release about Marketing Cloud’s new SDK features.

Session #3 – Amplify Your Advertising with Your CRM Data

As many of you may know, Salesforce has been making a big push with its Advertising Studio.  It’s one of the marketing products that can be used with Marketing Cloud AND Pardot. In fact, Pardot recently launched new pricing where, if you buy Pardot Ultimate Edition, you can get Salesforce Advertising Studio for 50% off.

A couple of tidbits and recommendations came out of this session.

Advertising Studio + LinkedIn

First, as you may know, Salesforce Advertising Studio audiences currently works Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google.  In the coming months, you’re going to be able to use your segmentation to serve up targeted ads on LinkedIn.  For our B2B clients this will be a huge opportunity worth exploring.  I’m trying to identify if there’s a Beta in place that you can use today.

Suppression Lists in Advertising Studio

One of the big best practices that the presenter made was using Advertising Studio segmentation for suppression list.  She shared that this is a use case that is often overlooked by customers. A typical use case for this may be building a list of your customers and then setting them up as a suppression list within Google so that you’re not posting your ads to them  – they’re an active customer!

Session #4 – ROADMAP: The Future of Marketing Cloud Einstein

My final session for the first day of Salesforce Connections left me pretty excited for what is to come.  Did you know that Salesforce Marketing Cloud is currently making 2,000,000,000 predictions everyday. Pretty impressive!

Here’s what’s coming down the pike for Salesforce Marketing Cloud Einstein:

Data, DMP, and Ads

Einstein segmentation, will be expanded to look at attributes and identify other personas that may be hidden under the surface makes persons.  This will offer marketers significant opportunities for improved personalization. Einstein reach is an effort to make sense of all your acquisition data and buying signals and identify the “golden path” that buyers need to take to maximize the conversion rate.  

Messaging and Journeys

This appears to be the next iteration of personalized content.  With this improved functionality you’ll be able to deliver content based on location or other factors about the recipient’s location.  For example, imagine sending an email where the images are based on the weather of the recipient’s location at the time of email open.

Two more quick mentions:

Campaign Insights

Einstein will dig into all your campaign metrics and point out interesting factors that you should consider in your next campaign.  For example – subject line “A” is the winner – avoid subject line “B”.

Text to Object Search

When searching your assets Einstein will associate words with images that you have in your library to make searching much easier.

That’s all for today.  Time to rest up for day 2.