Salesforce Connections is a one-of-a-kind experience bringing together the brightest minds in digital marketing and commerce from across the ecosystem. Held June 8-9, 2022 in Chicago, IL, Connections offered technology professionals the opportunity to skill up teams, deliver powerful new customer experiences, and access the full potential of Salesforce Customer 360. Changemakers, big thinkers, and industry-renowned leaders comprised an inspiring lineup of speakers, and over 200 product experts educated Trailblazers on the future of Salesforce across more than 100 unique breakout sessions.
Cloud for Good was fortunate enough to have several of our Goodies in attendance to take in the momentous event and report back on their findings. Here are a few of our key takeaways.
Major Keynote Announcements
Salesforce CMO Sarah Franklin kicked off this year’s event proceedings with a rousing keynote speech discussing how businesses can wow customers by building an economy of trust. Franklin expressed the importance of efficiency, connected data, and artificial intelligence in this pursuit, with an all-encompassing focus on achieving a net-zero climate impact in the process. It was during Franklin’s keynote that the four prevailing themes of Salesforce Connections 2022 were unveiled:
1. Connected Data – Learning how to create a data strategy that focuses on outcomes, unlocks value across the entire customer lifecycle with a Customer Data Platform (CDP), and envisions what’s ahead for the future of data-driven marketing.
2. Hyper-personalization – Exploring how artificial intelligence helps marketers achieve 1:1 connections at scale and deliver personalized engagement for the mobile-first customer.
3. Automation – Winning loyalty with seamless post-purchase experiences through automating customer experiences with Platform and MuleSoft.
4. Career development – With the newly-launched Marketer Career Path learning hub on Trailhead, Trailblazers are granted an all-in-one place to learn in-demand skills, connect with a community of skilled marketing pros, and build their dream marketing career.
These themes all circle back to the ever-refining pursuit of creating meaningful moments for customers. When marketing and commerce professionals humanize digital interactions, build brand loyalty, and upskill to incorporate new technologies, they raise the ceiling on customer experience and create unforgettable interactions that deepen the relationship with our brands.
Connected Clouds Create Consistent Experiences
One of the most prevailing themes of Salesforce Connections 2022 was the mindful integration of Salesforce’s Clouds to create a consistent customer experience. Many sessions focused on such an integration’s ability to create hyper-personalized customer experiences through the layering of your marketing tools, such as Marketing Cloud layered with Intelligence, Personalization, and CDP. While these themes were presented with for-profit brands in mind, the ideas, strategies, and motivations behind creating a consistent customer experience ring true for both the nonprofit and higher education spaces as well.
To this end, Salesforce introduced new Customer 360 innovations that link marketing, commerce, and service data on a single platform, leading the way towards more connected and automated personalized interactions that help build relationships at scale. Attendees were able to take this one step further by participating in Circles of Success (if you’ve never been to a Salesforce event, Circles of Success are small roundtables of likeminded individuals sharing information to help each other solve common problems) to learn best practices for master data management strategy across the connected clouds.
The Next Generation of Marketing Cloud
The next generation of Marketing Cloud featured heavily in the event’s new feature and product announcements. A new feature for triggered campaign messages was unveiled that brings together Marketing Cloud Personalization and Engagement for personalized customer engagement based on new product catalog and behavioral triggers. With this advancement, organizations can utilize trusted first-party data to better understand a customer’s preferred products and engagement preferences to offer a seamless customer experience.
A new Digital Command Center for Slack was also debuted, allowing organizations to increase productivity, monitor activity, and track performance across both Marketing and Commerce Cloud through a singular command center. New partnership between Google Ads and Salesforce CDP, too, will help automatically connect a brand’s first-party data into a unified customer profile that paves the way for more efficiently planned, activated, and optimized Google Ads marketing campaigns.
Additionally, an Intelligence Ecommerce Marketing Insights App was announced to help unify data and create actionable insights through interactive dashboards, as was an Intelligence Connector for B2C Commerce Cloud that unlocks insights into product, revenue, and sales performance over time. Salesforce also announced a number of new partnerships that will help expand the CDP and Commerce ecosystems on the Salesforce AppExchange.
The Next Generation of Commerce Cloud
Innovations to the Commerce Cloud platform revealed at Connections sought to bring a new approach to digital commerce and enhance revenue opportunities through every customer touchpoint. Finding and targeting new audiences has never been easier thanks to a new social integration for Commerce Cloud allowing TikTok ads to be created and redirected back to commerce sites. This social integration grants businesses the ability to create and automate product feeds and segment audiences with exacting precision.
A new commerce marketplace was revealed that presents brands with the opportunity to quickly create, manage, and scale on Commerce Cloud. This marketplace effectively extends a brand’s catalog range with products from other companies and helps them reach new channels and buyers. New revenue streams driven by increased cart sizes, commissions, and membership subscription fees from vendors round out this exciting new product announcement’s innovation.
Salesforce also announced the pilot of a new NFT Cloud promising to expand customer experiences to Web3 environments through trusted, sustainable blockchains. Brands will now be able to mint, manage, and sell non-fungible tokens (NFTs) through the centralized Salesforce Customer 360 Platform. Customer data will be securely connected to aid in gaining a 360-degree view across a customer’s physical and digital worlds.
New Commerce for Customer Service announcements highlighted new capabilities granting service agents a greater view of a customer’s relationship with organizations across order history and tickets, and digital engagement capabilities like bots for post-purchase service experiences were also revealed. These many updates and new product announcements all served to build more seamless commerce helping to save time and money through an all-encompassing platform.
All in all, Salesforce Connections 2022 invited Salesforce professionals to get inspired, learn new skills, build relationships, and succeed together. Being surrounded by like-minded individuals pursuing a common goal across a multitude of experiences and industries is a feeling like none other. If you couldn’t make this year’s Salesforce Connections, fear not, you can playback the best speakers, sessions, and showcases from the event on Salesforce+.