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Key Insights from Salesforce Connections 2022

Why connected data, hyper-personalization, automation, and customer innovation are key trends for the coming year in retail and ecommerce.

Marketing, commerce, and digital professionals gathered in Chicago this month for Salesforce Connections 2022. During the event, attendees gained insight from industry leaders and visionary speakers, discovered new ways to work across teams, and learned how to build their businesses around the customer experience.

With over 200 product experts and more than 100 unique breakout sessions, it’s nearly impossible to soak up every important idea. To help recap, we highlighted the key themes and insights covered during the conference.

Managing Your Connected Data

To grow relationships and revenue, brands must “wow” customers with moments that build loyalty. Deb Hannah, SVP of Marketing and Corporate Communications at Shoe Carnival, shared that, “moments for us are often little things. We’re not solving world peace, we’re selling shoes. But you can do that in a way that makes having your kid outgrow their shows more fun, connecting them with their next size, and reminding them […] to go on the website, look at my local store, and know the exact size and color combination I want is there.”

Data serves as the primary way for marketers to create personalized, trusted customer experiences and drive greater ROI. While marketing data is complex and cross-functional, it doesn’t have to be difficult to access. If you understand how to effectively harness data, you can improve outcomes across the entire customer journey. Throughout the conference, attendees learned how companies are creating data strategies that focus on outcomes, unlocking value across the customer lifecycle, and gaining insight from data-driven marketing by utilizing a Customer Data Platform (CDP), Marketing Cloud, and other innovations like Salesforce Connect.

Salesforce Connect provides seamless integration of data across system boundaries by allowing your users to view, search, and modify data that’s stored outside Salesforce. During the conference, Salesforce announced the release of an admin-friendly Connect Adapter that connects data from AWS Services, like Amazon DynamoDB, into Salesforce Objects.

DynamoDB is an AWS database service that provides fast and predictable performance with seamless scalability. Previously, the focus was on ingestion into Salesforce for crucial customer profile data. For example, while order transactions hold key information about a customer, you may find it difficult to integrate the data given the size of the data set. Now, if you store the information in DynamoDB and leverage the Connect Adapter, you can view and update the data in Salesforce’s user interface. The added functionality makes it easier to access and control information.

Driving ROI Through Hyper-Personalization

Personalization across touchpoints helps deliver exceptional customer experiences, which ultimately builds loyalty and drives growth. Experts explained how companies can take personalization to the next level by using artificial intelligence (AI) to achieve one-to-one connections at scale and deliver personalized engagement to mobile-first customers in a cookie-less world.

The Chief Digital Officer at Crocs, Adam Michaels, highlights the importance of personalization to their brand. “We’re also launching a brand-new customization program that will start with B2B, where we’re talking to companies, schools, universities, and teams to apply your logo and team colors to crocs, and really connect employees, students, and athletes like never before. As we think of the future, we certainly see a B2C offering coming to do that. It’s a remarkable opportunity to further connect with our customers and fans,” he shared.

As an easy entry point into hyper-personalization, the latest Marketing Cloud release offers new capabilities use your data and AI tools to personalize marketing. One of the more compelling features is the Einstein Engagement Frequency tool that determines how customers will feel about your email. Are you sending too many and causing email fatigue? The new dashboard predicts how your email send will impact engagement and allows you to test multiple message frequency scenarios.

Improving Decisions with Automation

Automation can improve your company’s bottom line. Sessions highlighted how AI-powered insights can fuel better decision-making, optimize outcomes, and enhance productivity. Attendees learned how automating customer experiences with Platform and MuleSoft and winning loyalty through seamless post-purchase experiences.

In addition, experts stated that 80% of B2B sales will occur in digital channels by 2025. They went on to detail how companies can grow revenue with digital storefronts that optimize sales and unite data across the entire lifecycle. 

Building Trusted Relationships with Customer 360 Innovations

Salesforce introduced new Customer 360 innovations that connect marketing, commerce, and service data on one platform so companies can deliver connected customer experience on any channel. These innovations help companies take advantage of automation so they can focus on driving productivity and building relationships with customers.

Companies can utilize Tableau to blend Salesforce data across the Customer 360 platform with other business data for increased visibility and a deeper understanding of customers. During the conference, attendees learned that Tableau released a solution that helps jumpstart data analysis. Tableau Accelerators allow users to leverage templatized dashboards without starting from scratch. Users can quickly:

  • Click and sync out of the box, which allows for deployment to analysis within minutes.
  • Cover broad use cases, including sales, services, revenue clouds, etc.
  • Create dashboards that can be modified to best fit your needs.

Those attending the event learned how the next generation of Marketing Cloud brings together data, teams, and technology to help you understand your customers better. Using that knowledge, which is enhanced by AI, you can personalize and continually improve each interaction at scale in real-time.

Salesforce also announced that they are partnering with TikTok to make it easier for Commerce Cloud merchants to engage with the TikTok community, which includes advertising to users and making products more discoverable. This partnership is the latest Commerce Cloud platform investment to help businesses reach those who shop via social media.

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