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The Theme That Defined Salesforce Connections 2024: Unification

CRM CRM, Customer loyalty, Data, Data maturity 4 min read
Profile picture for user Jeremy Bunch

Written by
Jeremy Bunch
GM, Pre-Sales and Advisory Services

Collage of images featuring the Media.Monks team at Salesforce Connections 2024.

Last week, Salesforce Connections set the stage for a whirlwind of exciting product announcements and invaluable insights. As expected, the premier AI and marketing conference focused on innovation and practical AI applications, offering marketers actionable strategies for leveraging technology and data.

But a key theme was the need to unify disparate data sources, orchestrating teams around unified workflows to maximize data impact—in one word, the event focused on integration. This strongly resonated with me, because it’s exactly what my team is built to help brands achieve; as a unitary partner and systems integrator, we specialize in creating platform solutions that seamlessly integrate AI and customer data to drive growth. From new product announcements to sales stories, let’s look at the growing need for an integrated approach to customer relationship management (CRM) and the role that a unitary partner can play in helping brands maximize its impact.

Here's what Salesforce announced this year.

One of the most exciting announcements was the introduction of Einstein Copilot for Marketers, set to release in June. This tool translates customer data into actionable campaign briefs, offering generative AI features like copy creation and automated communications. Salesforce is also now orchestrating seamless handoffs between multiple Copilots to enhance team collaboration. These innovations bridge the gap between customer data insights and content creation to drive impact across the business. For example, you can pair Einstein Copilot for Marketers with Einstein Copilot for Merchandisers to uncover up-selling opportunities.

Salesforce also announced enhancements to Data Cloud for Commerce, providing a unified view of customer data from numerous commerce data points. This empowers marketers to create hyper-personalized experiences—but when paired with Einstein Copilot products, these efforts become even more impactful.

Another major announcement was the Zero Copy Data Partner Network, connecting technology, system integration, and data ecosystem partners. This network allows marketers to draw data from a broader array of sources (without that data needing to be housed on their Salesforce platform), amplifying their AI-driven efforts.

What’s interesting about these announcements is the emerging, overarching theme of integration and collaborative workflows to help marketing teams work better together. This is the bread and butter of a unitary partner who can ensure that data accessibility, unified customer views and team collaboration are optimized across the business. By bridging together expertise across disciplines like data, media, content, and technology, such a partner is best suited to deliver the full potential of these solutions as they work in harmony with one another.

Peek inside the success stories that were shaped by seamless integration.

While at Salesforce Connections, I had the chance to speak with brands—learning their needs, pain points and the opportunities they most look forward to—and got to watch the different speaker sessions that we hosted or participated in. These conversations presented a range of success stories demonstrating how integrated solutions helped brands unlock new possibilities in their marketing. Here are three goals that my team has been able to help brands achieve.

Data integration and unified customer views. In a talk that is available on demand, Alex Furth, Marketing Manager, Digital Innovation from Gatorade shared how Einstein AI and Data Cloud unified fragmented consumer data, enabling effective and tailored marketing strategies. Theresa McCombs Marketing Director, Brokerage Services and Julia Homier Digital Marketing Consultant, from Holmes Murphy told a similar story in the talk “Drive Financial Services Marketing ROI with AI-Powered Data,” where they detailed their journey with Salesforce's Marketing Cloud to enhance customer engagement and data management through centralized automation tools and Einstein AI. Both brands’ successes show how unified data solutions significantly enhance engagement and performance metrics, exemplifying the need for centralized, strategic data management.

Personalized engagement and customer loyalty. Our session with PepsiCo, “Data-Driven Engagement for PepsiCo Tasty Rewards,” focused on their Tasty Rewards loyalty program, which uses Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Einstein to drive loyalty and increase long-term value. They achieved a 100% increase in open rates and a 170% increase in click rates. If you missed the talk, you can still learn more about PepsiCo’s approach to scaled personalization from a different angle in a previously recorded webinar.

Meanwhile, Broadway Across America showcased how Salesforce’s solutions personalized customer experiences, significantly increasing month-over-month (MoM) subscriptions. “My favorite part of Connections was talking about some of the innovations we’re helping Broadway Across America with, mainly the SMS texting strategy for them in 25 different markets, and they’ve seen awesome results,” my colleague Amy Downs, VP of Commercial at Media.Monks, noted. “Their MoM subscription increase was 7%, compared to a 0.14% increase before we implemented that strategy.”

The lesson: data-driven engagement strategies drive significant increases in subscriptions and long-term customer loyalty—an important consideration for marketers who are embracing product-led growth strategies.

Marketing automation and strategic alignment. Another significant consideration that Theresa and Julia at Holmes Murphy emphasized was the importance of consolidating varied automation tools. By implementing Einstein AI and aligning marketing strategies with business objectives, together we were able to streamline operations and surpassed industry engagement benchmarks. Centralizing operations through consolidated automation tools not only boosts engagement but also enhances overall marketing efficiency, demonstrating the critical role of integrated, strategic automation in achieving business goals.

That’s a wrap on an event that’s all about connections.

Attending Salesforce Connections was an exhilarating experience, showcasing the transformative potential of integrating AI and data to drive marketing innovation. The success stories from brands like PepsiCo, Gatorade, Broadway Across America and Holmes Murphy highlighted how unifying data with Salesforce's powerful tools opens up new possibilities. These brands have achieved remarkable success by leveraging coordinated workflows and seamless data integration, and I’m excited to continue supporting brands in their journey to do the same by unlocking the full potential of their CRM and the technologies like AI that rely on it.

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