Connections 23’ was last week in Chicago, and we sent a solid crew to represent Cloudtegic. This year’s theme was how AI + Data + CRM leads to magical moments for customers. Salesforce had some big announcements out of this year’s Connections, but did a great job at highlighting the core value at Salesforce: Trust, as it pertains to AI being incorporated into tech stacks, and the value of integrating AI into our work as marketers. Although, not being replaced by it, which should be a relief from those in our profession.
AI and data have emerged as the primary drivers of effective connections and personalized experiences in today’s business world. Salesforce has made substantial investments in AI and data, transitioning from a traditional CRM/SaaS platform to leading the charge as a true AI CRM, resulting in company efficiency, and making magical moments for their customers.
Salesforce is actively pursuing partnerships and integrations with leading technology providers, such as Snowflake, OpenAI, and Google to help enable this vision. These collaborations enable Salesforce to offer customers a wealth of data resources and facilitate seamless data integration without the need to duplicate data across different platforms.
Salesforce recognizes the immense value of AI and data in today’s business landscape and is making significant efforts to position itself as a dominant player in this realm through its partnerships with industry leaders bringing the most value to its customers.
Now… For the moment you’ve all been waiting for… Here are some of the key product announcements from this year’s Connections:
Among the several large announcements made at Connections this year, the standout for me was Marketing GPT, new AI capability that is slated for GA in Spring 24’. This harnesses the power of AI and Large Language Models (LLMs) to empower marketers to utilize natural language prompts to enhance their day to day activities. Some of the most notable use cases that were discussed were:
1. Segment creation (GA Oct 23) – As part of Data Cloud inoperability, this feature will allow for rapid creation of segments without the need to write queries to enhance targeting capabilities.
2. Email Content Creation (GA Feb 24) – Marketing GPT will leverage prior successful copy & content from past customer journeys to provide value to marketers. Salesforce also announced a partnership with TypeFace for generative AI images, which was highlighted in the opening keynote “Calling all TrAIlblazers”, which featured Sarah Franklin (recently promoted to President and Chairwoman Advisory), Leah McGowen-Hare (SVP Trailblazer Community), Kelly Thacker (SVP Commerce Cloud & CMO Retail & CPG) and newest Golden Hoodie awardee, Kaelan Moss (Salesforce Marketing Cloud Program Director at the Revolent Group).
3. Segment Intelligence (GA Oct 23) – Leverages Data Cloud to provide analytics to enhance intelligence on audience engagement.
Generative AI is also projected to be coming to several clouds include Sales, Service, Tableau, and Slack!
Expanded Partnership with Google Cloud
- Salesforce Data Cloud + Google BigQuery (GA 2024) The new integration between Salesforce Data Cloud and BigQuery will enable companies to more easily create unified profiles of their customers to provide new, highly personalized experiences. Salesforce and Google Cloud will provide customers with seamless data access across platforms and across clouds, akin to having their data housed in a single location — with zero-copy or zero-ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) that can reduce the cost and complexity of moving or copying it while maintaining governance and trust.
- Salesforce Data Cloud + Google Vertex AI (GA late 2023) New integrations between Salesforce Data Cloud and Google Cloud’s Vertex AI will enable customers to bring their own models from Vertex and use them across the Salesforce Platform, addressing the specific needs of their businesses – such as predicting buying behavior, or churn likelihood – across their Salesforce Customer 360 data. Zero-copy data access for AI model training can maximize a company’s AI investment by providing immediate access to unified customer data, thereby streamlining the model development process and enhancing the accuracy and efficiency. of AI predictions and insights.
Reminder that Marketing Cloud & GA4 Integration will be live later this year!
Initially announced as Genie/CDP at Dreamforce 2022, Data Cloud, as it’s now known, has seen subsequent investments in new features and integrations, driving home the value customers can derive from connecting all their customer data into a single source of truth. By automating the collection of data from multiple points of data, marketers gain access to an ‘Engagement Feed’ that highlights critical events such as website visits, website behavior, segment additions, journey data, and more into a single unified customer profile allowing companies to create magical moments for their customers.
It was also announced that several efforts were being made to align Marketing Cloud & Data Cloud to help drive to the singular unified customer profile encompassing data from all parts of the customer journey.
TAFKAP (The Artist Formerly Known as Pardot)
Many exciting AI enhancements were announced to our beloved Pardot, now known as Marketing Cloud Account Engagement. Though there were several announced, 2 in particular stood out:
- Einstein Attribution – Automating marketing attribution and highlighting ROI in marketing spend
- Einstein Campaign Insights – Helps answer the question on which campaigns are the most effective & uncovering look alike audiences
In an exciting start to the week, Salesforce announced AI Cloud to drive their efforts towards aligning AI + Data + CRM + Trust via Einstein Trust layer, setting a new industry standard for trusted enterprise AI. AI Cloud is a suite of capabilities optimized for delivering trusted, open, and real-time generative experiences across all applications and workflows. AI Cloud will enable sales reps to quickly auto-generate personalized emails tailored to their customer’s needs, and service teams to auto-generate personalized agent chat replies and case summaries. Marketers can auto-generate personalized content to engage customers and prospects across email, mobile, web, and advertising. Commerce teams can auto-generate insights and recommendations to deliver customized commerce experiences at every step of the buyer’s journey. And, developers can auto-generate code, predict potential bugs in code, and suggest fixes.
Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed seeing the roadmap of where Salesforce is headed as industry leader in the AI + Data + CRM space and are excited for the new announcements. Head over to our LinkedIn to check out some snapshots of our crew at the event! If you didn’t get a chance to attend Connection 23’ in person, catch up on sessions at Salesforce+.