Last week, I walked in the Hynes Convention Center for my second Salesforce World Tour in Boston. I was pumped up and ready for a fun filled day of learning, networking and trailblazing.
Vala Afshar was the opening speaker at the Pre-Tour Gathering, and let me tell you — if you haven’t had the chance to hear Vala speak yet, you need to! Not only is he brilliant and a very engaging speaker, but he is also inspiring.
For example, this quote of his really stuck with me:
“Do something, help someone and be humble.”
Such simple, yet encouraging words.
He went on to talk about the power of stories and narratives and how sharing our own stories helps us stay engaged and connected within the Trailblazer Community. And I couldn’t agree more — this is what the culture of Salesforce is made up of, the Salesforce Ohana. It’s also one of the hundreds of reasons I love and am passionate about Salesforce. This community is all about influencing, inspiring and helping one another.
Because I was so moved by Vala’s presentation, I wanted to share the top 10 things I learned at World Tour this year:
1. Marketing is the Center of Connected Customer Experiences
This was by far the most important theme I heard around B2B marketing today. During the Pardot session, 5 Marketing Trends You Need to Know in 2019, the speaker mentioned that it is all about the customer experience and that if our customers are not satisfied, they will find another company to buy from. People will pay more for a great experience and AI is critical for success!
2. Customers Expect Real-Time Consumer Engagement
The second-most talked about trend for was the need for real-time consumer engagement — customers today want answers and information in real-time. If we, as B2B marketers, aren’t able to provide real-time consumer engagement, our customers will find their answers elsewhere. This is another area where AI comes into play, big time.
3. Increase Engagement with Creative Emails
To keep your marketing emails simple, try using rich content instead of just text. Make your emails stand out with calls-to-action, or include an interactive survey question. Think about the kind of emails you would open to help you create unique messaging.
4. Marketing and Sales Need Alignment
Our sales teams are our biggest customers. Sales and marketing go hand in hand, so it’s imperative that your sales team understands your Salesforce Campaigns in order to deliver relevant customer experiences in real time. This level of alignment helps sales and marketing teams win together. In fact, “74% of business buyers say sales’ awareness of marketing campaigns is important to win their business and 85% of B2B sales reps who receive alerts to key actions required on opportunities say these alerts help them do their job better.”
5. Data Drives Intelligent B2B Marketing Decisions
First-touch, multi-touch and last-touch attribution models are a great way to help B2B marketers dive in, understand campaign metrics, and make data-driven decisions.
6. The Culture Keeps on Growing
With the release of Trailblazer.me, anyone can make custom dashboards with learning journeys. This helps to create a culture that makes learning fun, scales onboarding processes, supercharges productivity, increases Salesforce adoption, and improves your company’s culture. It’s easy to use and can be customized to showcase your brand. This also gives you the opportunity to build custom quizzes for training, import videos, links, training materials and provide deadlines to keep people on track.
7. Marketers are Focused on Engaging, Optimizing and Modernizing
These are three top priorities for today’s B2B marketers.
- “Engage with Customers in real-time” (there it is again…hot topic!)
- “Optimize the marketing mix for best return”
- “Modernize tools and technologies”
8. Social Media is Your Secret Weapon
If you aren’t already, run monthly social reports to see what people are saying about your brand with hashtags, tags and mentions. Social media makes customers feel empowered and can be powerful tools to help improve metrics for a better customer experience (ding ding, another hot topic: customer experience!). However, if someone is reaching out via social for a request, this is not always a “good” customer experience — answers could be delayed or they could be tasked to call “XYZ” phone number. People want answers right away — another use case for AI.
9. Future of B2B Marketing Looks Good
The future is looking bright for B2B marketers: “Personalized B2C experiences for B2B buyers, increased marketing and sales alignment to win business, continued emphasis on ABM, innovative experiences with AI, VR, and AR, and data-driven decisions,” are the future of B2B marketing.
10. The Trailblazer Community is Everything
Get involved in the Trailblazer Community, there are so many ways to help, and seek guidance from pros, MVPs and other users/customers. You can also join user groups based upon your region. These groups host events, lead training sessions and encourage everyone to join with welcoming arms.The Trailblazer Community has helped me out tremendously on my journey through Pardot and Salesforce and I highly recommend getting involved and attending a user group session!
This wraps up another awesome event with my Salesforce Ohana!