A Review: Salesforce Marketing Cloud Connections Digital Marketing Event

Recently, three eROI team members traveled to NYC to experience the Salesforce Marketing Cloud Connections 2015. Focusing on state-of-the-art products across email, mobile, social, web, marketing automation, data, analytics, and more, the Salesforce Connections is a digital marketing conference filled with inspiring keynotes, informational sessions, training, and networking.

This year, it was free to the public and jam-packed full of marketers from every part of the globe. Here are some of our team’s takeaways from the event.


Campaign Support

Salesforce Connections was an experience that made me excited to be a marketer. From listening to Rob Schneider’s daughter, Elle King, croon some wondrous lyrics (she is AMAZING!) to a surprise pop-up performance by The Roots, the spark was in the air. In the journey through Connections 2015, I took away valuable tips and new insights about what it means to elevate good brands into great brands.

Most all of us have been to an Apple store and have observed the Apple experience. It’s clean and spacious and pleasantly calm, despite the millions of people in the store. Apple had vision to create a luxurious brand for everyday people. In order to create this luxury feel, they didn’t go to a competitor to see what they could do better but went in a whole new direction. Apple visited luxury at its finest, on Fifth Avenue. Apple studied The Ritz Carlton’s customer experience. This is an example of a brand taking its customer focus to the highest level. Why be good, when you can be the best? And guess what? They are the second most profitable retail location by square foot in the world (Tiffany’s is number 1). Customers need to feel like they matter. Apple was able to make the customer’s journey special, down to the individual going in, soaking up the experience and walking out with an iPhone that made them feel like they just bought a $40,000 Rolex – aka luxury for everyone.

You can make any brand into a luxury customer experience, even if you sell fertilizer. They are not expecting any more, but why not wow them and focus on the shit you sell? When customers are able to see revenue from what you sell to them, they know YOU really care about them as a customer. Create luxury experiences from anything. Give customers the real value of why they should do business with you. Make them feel like they matter and you will benefit greatly, even if you sell shit!

Connections sparked a lot of ideas in me, but overall I was able to say that I love the passion and hunger marketers have for making a brand the BEST. We rely on each other for ideas to drive change for this industry. The real passion comes down to every person that runs these companies. The individual passions are created from experiences.

See you all in 2016!


Performance Lead

Three hot and muggy days in midtown Manhattan can be rough, especially when much of it was spent packed with hundreds of other digital marketers in the Javits Convention Center. But, we were on a mission from the Email Gods to learn all that could be learned.

Highlights of the program included Lynn Vojvodich, Executive Vice President & CMO for Salesforce, who delivered insightful remarks about the need for marketers to master 1:1 communications through all digital channels. Later, in the 1:1 Customer Journeys Track session, we traced best practices of acquisition, onboarding, engagement, and retention all starting with nothing but an email list.

As is the case with most business conferences, the best learning often happens between the speeches, in the informal one-off conversations with other professionals, where insider knowledge can be shared. One social media consultant told me how his business had switched from reporting likes and retweets to actual engagement via eCommerce conversions. “The clients don’t care about shares anymore; they want to know the ROI for their social budgets up front.”

Another conversation with a marketing director told me how he had left their ad agency, and hired an internal insights team to manage the marketing for their brand, to “make sure the messaging was more personal down to each customer.”

ROI, measurement and 1:1 connections—the conversations kept landing on these topics. What struck me most about so many of the talks was how our agency is ahead of the curve. Our leaders understand the vital role measurement plays in our efforts, how we must learn to reach our audience on a personal level, and how valuable it is to communicate that value back to our partners before beginning a long campaign.

Maybe next year we’ll deliver some of the speeches.


Development Lead

Highlights from Salesforce Connections this year were Duke’s men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski keynote on day one, the afternoon breakout sessions on email by Litmus, RedBox, and Fleetcor on day two. Coach K’s talk was an insight into how he, one of the greatest ever, approached leadership and adversity. He is the type of personality that could have been a great leader in anything he wanted.

The Litmus session was my personal favorite. They looked into email campaigns that had high percentages of email forwards. It’s rare for marketing emails received by subscribers to be forwarded to someone in their circle, so Litmus analyzed what traits and characteristics are common with the more highly forwarded emails.

Overall, the conference was a great experience. New York never sleeps and with the buzz in the air, neither did we. Thank you, New York, for having us and thank you Salesforce Marketing Cloud for the unforgettable experience. Did we mention we got to see a Yankees game?

About eROI

eROI crafts compelling digital experiences across email, web, and social channels. Our work has been consistently successful in driving revenue and exceeding goals for our partners.