Insights for marketers from Dreamforce 2012

By Summer Palma

Having been a Salesforce.com marketing user and administrator for years–last week I was fortunate to attend the 10th annual Dreamforce conference, one of the world’s largest technology events hosted by Salesforce.com, global provider of customer relationship management (CRM) solutions. This year’s conference brought a record 45,000 attendees to the streets of San Francisco. It was thrilling to be among thousands of people hustling to educational sessions, meeting with vendors in the exposition hall, working on laptops on bean bag chairs and listening to bands play on the makeshift green.

Of all the sessions I attended, many led by big name marketers — book authors, analysts, top bloggers, and world-renowned speakers —two themes seemed to emerge again and again:

  • Killer content is the new marketing playbook. Brands have become publishers, and marketers need to produce compelling content that people love and want to consume.
  • Don’t overlook the power of social media. People are more connected than ever, which gives us an opportunity to extend our reach and engage with our prospects and customers

 

Moscone

Let’s dig a little deeper…

COMPELLING CONTENT IS KEY

Inbound marketing has become an essential strategy for marketers to acquire new leads. The key is offering relevant, timely and compelling content for your audience. Some of the most popular inbound marketing techniques are blogging, downloads such as white papers and e-books, search engine optimization, and webinars. Use a variety of marketing tactics, such as email marketing, direct mail and social media to link to your content. By creating great content on your website, you’ll rise in organic search results, create linkable content, and educate your audience. All of these outcomes will help you bring in warm leads that have been pre-qualified through a Google search for relevant terms or by reading similar content that links to you.

When creating content keep the following in mind:

  • Is it “laugh, love or learn” content? If it doesn’t make people do one of these things, it’s bad content!
  • Is it RTTV? Relevant, timely, targeted and valuable?
  • Understand your customer – what are they interested in? How and when is the best way to communicate with them?
  • Be patient and nurture your audience – they don’t need to be sold to right away
  • Keep your titles short (under 140 characters) so your content is easier to share socially
  • Tell good stories. Humans like stories–they touch us, inspire us and move us to action. What’ll make people want to retell them?


BUSINESS IS SOCIAL – GET ON THE BANDWAGON

With people spending 25% of their time online on social networks and making 150 million brand comments every day, “The Social Enterprise” was a fitting theme for this year’s Dreamforce. Not only are leading businesses leveraging a social framework within the enterprise to increase productivity and collaboration, they are leveraging social to increase brand awareness and make every campaign a success.

How can you accelerate word of mouth marketing with promotions, referral and engagement campaigns?

  • Use social apps to create compelling reasons to engage and share. By employing sweepstakes, voting, and other engagement techniques, your audience feels closer to the content.
  • Create engagement to motivate sharing. What makes people share? Keep in mind reputation, access to something exclusive, co-creation, competition, and altruism as you create your campaigns.
  • Make every campaign social. Create an opportunity for them to engage and think about the social aspect to each campaign that you run.
  • Identify your key advocates. Make sure you know who is sharing your message.
  • Be human and real in your interactions. Connect with people as fellow human beings.

The payoff of peer-to-peer sharing campaigns is…

  • Amplified reach from all existing marketing
  • Deeper engagement and advocacy with prospects and customers
  • A bigger database, new customers, revenue

To sum it up, I had an amazing week at Dreamforce bringing out my inner marketing geek (Salesforce handed out t-shirts that said “I’m a marketing geek”). It’s been a pleasure sharing some of what I learned with you. If you learned something new, share it!