Day: June 28, 2018
Alex Corzo

Salesforce is Getting (Even More) Personal

Several of my colleagues and I recently returned from the 2018 Salesforce Connections conference in Chicago — an outstanding event focused on supporting connected customer journeys. There were dozens of sessions designed to help digital marketers better understand how to how to create personalized experiences at every touchpoint, specifically in light of constantly evolving technology and the new ways in which customers interact with devices (you can read some of our takeaways here). The conference was also an exciting opportunity to learn about many of the upcoming changes for the Salesforce 2018/19 roadmap, including a partnership with Google and the introduction of Interaction Studio.

Salesforce Connections Conference

Friendly Giants

In his keynote address, Salesforce President and Chief Product Officer Bret Taylor announced data integration between two giants of the cloud — Google Analytics 360 and the Salesforce Marketing Cloud. New Google Analytics 360 integration will evolve the capabilities of marketers to ingest analytics information into their Marketing Cloud journeys, and consumer insights from both Marketing Cloud and Google Analytics 360 will be brought together into a single analytics dashboard (inside Marketing Cloud). Conversely, Marketing Cloud data will be viewable inside Google Analytics 360 for attribution analysis and also to empower Marketing Cloud information to deliver more customized web experiences.

Salesforce President and Chief Product Officer Bret Taylor announced data integration between two giants of the cloud — Google Analytics 360 and the Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

Also in the pipeline (a beta version will be available later this year) is the ability to create audience segments, such as loyalty members and abandoned browsers, in Google’s Analytics 360 before connecting with those audiences within Marketing Cloud. “For the first time ever, audiences created inside the Google Analytics 360 platform can be activated outside of Google, in the Marketing Cloud,” explained Taylor.

Relevant Experiences in Real Time

Taylor further announced the official launch of Interaction Studio, a new Marketing Cloud solution that enables companies to deliver contextually relevant experiences in real-time across their channels. The introduction of Interaction Studio will change how marketers evaluate cross-channel messages to see a holistic view of when and how customers are interacting with a brand to deliver unique messages based on key moments that matter most to customers. With Interaction Studio, marketers can now see, track, and manage consumer experiences in real time from multiple channels.

This new solution continues to evolve personalization by integrating data and platforms that were once siloed and allowing marketers to better anticipate, predict and act on customer patterns. Interaction Studio will make it easier for marketers to translate those insights into timely and relevant communications.

Bigger and better things are on the horizon with Salesforce that take customization and personalization to the next level. At Smart Panda Labs, we will be using these tools to help clients provide the personal touch and instant gratification their customers now expect.

Key Takeaways

  • New Google Analytics 360 integration will evolve the capabilities of marketers to ingest analytics information into their Marketing Cloud journeys.
  • Consumer insights from both Marketing Cloud and Google Analytics 360 will be brought together into a single analytics dashboard (inside Marketing Cloud).
  • Marketing Cloud data will be viewable inside Google Analytics 360 for attribution analysis and also to empower Marketing Cloud information to deliver more customized web experiences.
  • Also in the pipeline is the ability to create audience segments in Google’s Analytics 360 before connecting with those audiences within Marketing Cloud.
  • The introduction of Interaction Studio will change how marketers evaluate cross-channel messages to see a holistic view of when and how customers are interacting with a brand to deliver unique messages based on key moments that matter most to customers.

 

Day: June 28, 2018
Charlene Hixon

Digital Marketing: What’s Now + What’s Next

It seems like with every passing day our digital world is exponentially more exciting — and more personal. Google knows when it’s cold in my house, Apple knows when and where I go for my run and Amazon knows what I bought for my grandmother last month. Personalization is happening at our fingertips, on our wrists and by command (“Alexa, make my life easier.”) And as a digital marketer, I know that customers – both B2B and B2C – now look beyond product, rewarding businesses that can deliver a more convenient, personalized experience.

Several of us recently attended the 2018 Salesforce Connections Conference in Chicago to learn how technological advances, including Salesforce product innovations, will help our clients succeed in this goal. Here are a few of my takeaways from the three-day conference.

Prepare for Voice

From Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana to Google’s Assistant suite and Amazon’s Alexa, these smart personal assistants are getting better at using artificial intelligence and natural language processing to interpret and fulfill our commands. By 2020, ComScore predicts that 50% of all search will be voice generated. These software/hardware combinations are also becoming more personalized. Last month, Amazon launched the Echo Dot Kids Edition, and currently in development is an Echo that caters to an elder population.

During a session presented by digital strategist Lisa Graves, “Alexa, How Can Marketers Prepare to Utilize Voice Assistants,” Graves discussed the importance of leveraging the opportunity of voice by keeping it simple. “Unfortunately, voice can be difficult if a multi-step process is required to get the result you want.” Brands interested in leveraging voice must offer customers a process for solving problems with smart speakers that offers more convenience than alternative solutions.

Optimize for the Wrist

During “Designing Email for Apple Watch Attention Spans,” Heidi Robbins of Salesforce discussed how the ways in which consumers read and interact with email are changing—constantly. Not only should we be thinking about designing communications for multiple desktop browsers and mobile users, we must now take devices like the Apple Watch into account. That means subject lines (the extent of what fits on a watch face) are the new email. Interesting to note, 141 million Apple Watch wearers are forecasted for 2018, up from 75 million last year.

Wearables market share is rising.

Get Into the AR Game

Since its inception, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have been most closely associated with gaming. That is no longer the case, as brands and companies everywhere seek to add augmentation to their arsenal. Ikea recently launched their AR app that allows customers to view IKEA furniture in their own home before purchase. Jeep’s new AR experience lets you interact with a car that isn’t actually there. And last year Toll Brothers introduced a virtual reality program for personalized kitchen design. According to Penny Gillespie from Gardner, immersive commerce is “enhancing the customer’s interaction with products, thereby increasing conversion and loyalty.”

Go Live to Get Personal

Facebook Live gives anyone with a phone the power to broadcast to anyone, anywhere in the world. Mobile streaming through social media is like live theatre, giving all participants a feeling of personal connection. According to Facebook Product Manager Vibhi Kant, the latest figures suggest that “people spend three times longer watching live video compared to video that is pre-recorded.” Whether through live interviews and events or sharing behind-the-scenes footage, live streaming presents a real opportunity for businesses to connect with their audience.

Be Customized — Not Creepy

Mike Davidson of Lyonscg articulated the growing feeling of “ick” around the omniscience of social networks, especially Facebook—it’s like they’re listening to us right now. During his session, Davidson discussed when tailored experiences start to feel like stalking and shared that the key to personalization is combining it with customization. Give the consumer control of what data they would like to share in order to start the conversation.

Why it feels like Facebook is listening through your mic

Offer Seamless Mobile Experiences

During his keynote address, Salesforce president and chief product officer Bret Taylor touted the virtues of mobile data stream. He gave an example of his Marriott hotel experience during the conference, where his phone was the room key and he could order a toothbrush via the app even prior to arriving. “Mobile is the greatest opportunity brands have ever had to connect with customers,” he said. Other examples of customer-centric mobile apps of course include Uber and Lyft, which provide instant gratification and demonstrate the power of straight-through processing.

Changes in technology are constantly forcing businesses to find more innovative, impactful and exciting ways to talk to their audiences. In an increasingly digital world where the average person spends nearly nine hours per day on digital devices, it’s essential for businesses to not only have an effective digital strategy, but to also regularly review and update how they market themselves to their audience.

A key point for brands looking to jump on the bandwagon of any digital trend is to make sure that it’s an opportunity to add value to the customer experience. Don’t do something just for the sake of doing it, otherwise you risk making a huge investment only to annoy—or even creep out—your customers.

Key Takeaways

  • Prepare for voice. Smart personal assistants are getting smarter, and by 2020, ComScore predicts that 50% of all search will be voice generated. Brands interested in leveraging voice must offer customers a process for solving problems with smart speakers that offers more convenience than alternative solutions.
  • Optimize for the wrist. When creating digital experiences and crafting communications we must now take devices like the Apple Watch into account. That means subject lines are the new email.
  • Get into the AR game. Immersive commerce by way of virtual and augmented reality is enhancing the customer’s interaction with products, thereby increasing conversion and loyalty.
  • Go live to get personal. Whether through live interviews and events or sharing behind-the-scenes footage, live streaming presents a real opportunity for businesses to connect with their audience.
  • Be customized — not creepy. Tailored digital experiences can go too far. Give the consumer control of what data they would like to share in order to start the conversation.
  • Offer seamless mobile experiences. From turning mobile phones into hotel room key cards to the seamless, customer-centric experiences of Uber and Lyft, mobile is the best opportunity brands have ever had to connect with customers.
  • Before you jump on the bandwagon of any digital trend, make sure that it’s an opportunity to add value for your customers.