Journey Builder Hype at Salesforce Connections 2015

IMG_9474The highlight of Salesforce Connections the Journey Builder product that will make sales and service cloud insights more accessible to a customer’s marketers to produce a smarter and more consistent customer experience. The new version of the product allows a marketer to track a customer through their activity with the other departments, meaning that a new sale or service experience could help trigger an action the marketer could take. The hope is that Salesforce’s marketing platform becomes easier to user for smart introductions, acquisition and on-boarding of customers and even highly-targeted interactions like anniversary campaigns.

“Where we’ve been headed for a while is managing all the different touch-points of a brand,” says Gordon Evans, vice president of product marketing for Salesforce Marketing Cloud. “We want to help companies use data to better manage all points of interaction.”

The million dollar question is when will Journey Builder be ready for release.  Like Analytics Cloud before it, Salesforce has a history of promising new product and then taking a few quarters to actually deploy the working product.  And while thousands of marketers ate up the demo, one had to wonder if this would be the last stand alone Salesforce ‘Marketing’ Conference.  Dreamforce is billed as the 2nd largest tech show and Connections had similar tracks complete with a musical performances from The Roots.

During his keynote, Keith Block said that the most successful companies “pivot to the customer.” Businesses can no longer look inward for guidance and innovation; instead, they must be fully attuned to their customers, digging deep into data to inform key strategies. They need to know what their customers want before they do to pivot in new directions as their customers’ needs evolve.

A wide mix of speakers from salesforce tech experts to thought leaders spoke at the show with comprehensive material. The range of topics was exceptional – from thought leadership and strategic to deep technically specific expertise – and the right presenter in most all cases apparently.  Here are some key things we took away from show:

  1. Personalization: right time, right place.
    McDonald’s is shifting its customer engagement strategy from large scale mass media to personalized communication via mobile, email, and social. This alone may not strike you as innovative — who doesn’t use those three channels for sales and customer outreach? However, using Social.com and Active Audiences, McDonald’s is leveraging its CRM data to coordinate personalized messaging across all devices and platforms.

    If you’re within range of a McDonald’s restaurant, your location will trigger a push notification to your phone, and ads will stream into your Facebook and Instagram feeds. Rather than having to wait until you pass a billboard on the highway or a poster in the subway to catch your attention, McDonald’s is reaching out to customers in the moment. Not only does this help increase store traffic, but it’s also a lot more relevant to individuals who can now walk into a store a block away and satisfy a craving, instead of salivating on a train platform.

  2. Merging physical and digital experiences.
    Mattel focuses on creating and nurturing lifelong customer journeys. From Fisher Price to adult collectibles, they want customer relationships that last for life. Using Journey Builder, Mattel is engineering a customer journey that begins the moment you place an order. In the confirmation email, they include a banner asking you to download their mobile app. Further communications are sent using date based triggers (ship date, delivery date, etc) to encourage further interaction via mobile and social.

    Once you receive your order — say, a Hot Wheels car — you can scan the QR code in the app and race the car you just bought on a digital track. They’ve leaped beyond the competition by incorporating their physical toys into a digital experience. They have created a unique sense of personal ownership that spans a customer’s physical and digital realities, providing a seamless experience that promotes and inspires deeper engagement.

  3. Creating meaning through social listening.
    Using Social Studio, Alex and Ani, a boutique jewelry company, responds to every customer who interacts with them online. They know that the most powerful voice is the customer voice and prioritize customer comments, concerns, and ideas accordingly. They have always understood the power of customer advocacy and are using Social Studio to boost its influence.

    Social Studio allows Alex and Ani to track, analyze, and engage with every single social media post from their customers and prospects. Did you tweet them about an issue? Not only will they send your comment to their customer care team, they’ll halt all other promotional outreach until your problem is resolved. Did you post a killer photo wearing one of their pieces? They’ll give you a shoutout and will also ask if they can use your image on their website. Alex and Ani defines themselves as “an emotion and meaning based company, delivering that through jewelry.” Now they are using Social Studio to deliver more on that promise.

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