Salesforce Connections 2018: Day 2 Recap

This is part 2 of our Salesforce Connections event daily recap.   Be sure to check out our recap of Day 1 here.

The exhaustion of your typical Salesforce event hasn’t yet set in.  Everyone is here early, energized, and ready for some Salesforce Marketing love.

Let’s get to it:

Session 1:  Five Key Traits for High Performing Marketing Organizations

This was a really insightful session.  Salesforce evaluated the marketing performance of 7,500 different organizations across industries to identify key factors that made high performing organizations successful over low performing organizations.  They walked away with 5 different insights.

Insight 1 – Marketing Tactics don’t matter

At first this one caught me off guard.  I expected that high performing companies would be executing a set of hidden tactics that separated them from the pack.  Nope. They’re doing the same things but they’re seeing 2-3 times the return.

But, while they were using the same tactics, they did have executive buy-in across the organization.  As marketing was focused on creating experiences – not just messages. So, it’s not the tactics that matter, it is creating a brand experience that stretches across the company.  In summary, the modern brand is the sum of experiences – marketing, sales, product, customer support. Great marketing can’t make up for bad experiences in other parts of the organization.  

Insight 2 – Bigger Marketing Budgets

High performing companies are increasing digital marketing investments 70% year over year.  In addition, they’re increasing their budget in tools by 59% every year.

When we work with clients they quite often ask for benchmarks on marketing investment by industry by customer size and industry.  I’ve often cited numbers developed by Sirius Decisions.  While Salesforce didn’t cite breakdown by industry, they did share marketing investment benchmarks by company stage:

  • Maintaining brand:  2 – 6% of yearly gross revenue
  • Average growth:  7 – 12% of yearly gross revenue
  • Fast growth:  13% – 30% of yearly gross revenue

Insight 3 – Better Technology

High performing marketing organizations use on average 14 tools to create a cohesive customer experience.  On the high end, some were using up to 30 tools.

The number one area of investment – marketing analytics and web personalization.  The example around web personalization quickly turned into Account Based Marketing.  An example was shared when a company personalized the web experience based on the website visitors IP address.  Based on the address a company was identified based on the industry and other segmentation data. Content was served up that addressed the segments pain points as well as call to actions that would move them along the buyer’s journey.

Insight 4 – Agile Marketing

Many high performing organizations have moved to an Agile methodology to develop and implement marketing programs.  For those that aren’t in the know, the marketing agile methodology consists of developing stories, testing hypotheses, reviewing results and executing.  Personally, I’ve hear of mixed results of agile methodologies within marketing, but this research leads me to believe that I may need to do more research.

Insight 5 – Collaboration

High performing organizations are 17x better at collaborating across the customer lifecycle, meaning various organizations within the corporate structure are working together to ensure a cohesive brand experience (see Insight 1).  The big recommendation here was that companies need to look to create a Chief Experience Officer (CXO) to ensure experience consistency across the company. The CXO would need to have sway over product, marketing, advocacy, and support.

Keynote: We Are All Trailblazers: Customer Success in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

This talk was the Standard Salesforce presentation where they share various product announcements as well as customer success stories.  The overarching theme through the Keynote is that we’re now in a new revolution called the Connected Customer, where customers expect personalization and engagement by companies based on who they are and their individual needs and desires.

In order for companies to make the Connected Customer a reality, they need a single view of the customer – (See your AE to purchase today!).

From a product perspective, Salesforce announced that the Interaction Studio is now GA.  Interaction Studio allows you to track the real-time performance of campaigns in Marketing Cloud so that changes can be made on the fly to optimize campaign performance.

From a new feature capability, Marketing Cloud will now be seamlessly integrated with Google 360!  Currently, if you want to integrate G360 with Marketing Cloud, it requires a massive amount of cut and paste work on every email.  The integration between the two platforms is completed with two simple clicks (At the time of posting, I’m not sure when the integration will be GA).

Session 3: Push, SMS and Email – Integrated or Independent?

Spoiler alert: It’s Integrated.

The overarching theme of this session was really focusing on your target customer and delivering content that’s personalized, in the moment, and with context.  There are obviously strengths and weaknesses with each channel:


Strengths: High societal acceptance, broad reach (90% of Americans have an email address), great for persuasion and high impact visuals

Weaknesses: We’re on email overload! (overused) therefore often disregarded


Strengths: Familiar, 98% of messages are read, reaches 46% of Americans, can be 2-way conversation

Weaknesses: Intrusive into recipient’s life, primarily text based


Strengths: Unregulated, geo-targetable, can include graphics, can persist in inbox, strong potential reach (77% of those who download an app accept push)

Weaknesses: iOS messages disappear post unlock, smallest reach or all channels.

A key point to remember is all 3 of these channels are accessible via a mobile device.  33% of ALL humans have smart phones – 66% have mobile phones. 60% of web traffic is from mobile and during this past holiday season 41% of orders were from mobile devices.  

As I mentioned at the beginning, all campaigns need to be integrated, ideally using each of these channels.  For organizations looking at this fully integrated experience, it’s critical that there’s awareness across groups, coordination, and general cohesion in the effort to drive overall campaign success.  

That’s it for today.  Off to the Connections Party to see The Killers at Wintrust Arena.

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