Connect, connections, connectivity, connected devices, Internet of Things, wearables, interactions, multi-channels, omni-channels, so on and so forth – it’s the constant discussion across all businesses and all industries. But what does it actually mean? What are you supposed to make of all this? Leaders and visionaries across marketing, sales, operations and more gathered in New York City for the Salesforce Connections event to better understand exactly that – what does all this discussion actually mean and where are these technological changes taking us?
Traditional marketing sought to segment and stereotype demographics. However there are over 7 billion of us on the planet with a unique story, perspective, wants and needs. In the search for commonality across populations, we realized that the greatest commonality is individuality. People are on their own journeys, and we now have the ability to customize their world in their way, personalize their experience, and make them the center of their experience. The ongoing heartbeat of this phenomenon is the proliferation of four key technology shifts which are forever changing the way people interact with one another, with devices, and ultimately with brands:
1. The Cloud – allows for high performance, massive scale, and real-time access
2. Social – has opened up a brand new place for customers to go and engage, and for brands to join them
3. Mobile – lead to the creation of the always on, always connected customer, always connected experiences
4. Data Science – pioneering highly relevant and personalized brand and customer interactions
Most of us may consider brand a static entity – a specific color, design, meaning, shaped and promoted by its owners. However, it is very much fluid, shaped by the many ongoing interactions customers have with your brand. Once more, with these four technologies playing a larger and larger role, not just in the marketplace but in everyone’s daily lives, interactions have grown exponentially.
So the question becomes, how do you capitalize on all of these connection opportunities, and the blending of the digital and physical world?
Here is a look at how 3 global brands that have done exactly that:
Michael J. Fox Foundation
The Michael J. Fox Foundation, the global leader of nonprofit funding for Parkinson’s research, named after movie star Michael J. Fox who battles Parkinson’s disease, joined Scott McCorkle, CEO for Salesforce Marketing Cloud, to share their connections story. In the past the foundation faced challenges engaging patients and spread across the globe. One creative solution was the Tour de Fox in which an adamant employee will bike 14,000 miles across the country, simultaneously driving awareness and engagement on the ground while the foundation uses ‘Text to Donate,’ Radian6 social listening, and Salesforce Non-Profit to create geo-targeted and personalized campaigns to the area’s the Tour is passing through. Click on the image to watch the video of Sam’s Journey.
McDonalds, a brand that really needs no introduction, combined its available CRM data, its tremendous social presence, and email campaigns to create highly personalized customer journeys. Using data accrued based on Facebook likes, they sent specified ads simultaneously across a host of channels – social ads, banner ads on users’ favorite sites like New York Times, TMZ, even the Kardashian phone app – coupled with a follow email. McDonalds saw an astounding 22% increase in conversion rates, and 77% increase in reach.
The legendary Coach Kryzewski, who has lead the Blue Devils to 5 NCAA basketball championships and Team USA to 2 Olympic Gold Medals, joined the Connections keynote and reminded everyone of a valuable yet true lesson. Cloud and mobile technology might drive your initiatives, but at the end of the day, it’s people you are trying to connect with, and the best way to do so is maintain a level of humanity in your campaigns. On the court he preaches, “The three ingredients to success are adaptability, ownership, and trust.” Make sure your messaging and campaigns are adaptive to everyone’s unique needs and wants. By personalizing their experience, you’ll give them ownership of their journey, and in the end you will gain their trust and loyalty of your brand.
Salesforce Connections in New York was an incredible event that relayed the importance revolving around connectivity, that is exemplified through the successes of the companies and foundation mentioned above. With the many digital channels linking the physical world and technological world, make sure your company capitalizes on this shift and gets the most out of connectivity.