What I Learnt From Salesforce World Tour. Hint: It Wasn’t About Salesforce

Digital Disruption in the food industry

If you have the best sales cloud in the world… AND the best marketing cloud (self proclaimed) then what else might you be good at? Among other things; marketing, relationships, finding and communicating value the customer journey and customer retention. 

Founder Rachael Hedges shares with us her insights from the conference.

With that in mind I went to one of Salesforce’s biggest marketing and customer relationship activities of the year, the Salesforce World Tour Conference. It’s giant, it’s unforgivingly bold with a distictly American flavour and it’s inspirational. Here I will share some of my learnings from the execution of their event, rather than the content. 

Triple Bottom Line: Salesforce began their first keynote on the the topic of community, charity & essentially their triple bottom line/ corporate responsibility. They encouraged everyone to follow suit and showcased what good they were doing in the community. They shared their reasoning: people want to do business with good companies. Makes sense, right?

Credibility & Relevance: To boost credibility and relevance, Salesforce had posters all over the walls of inspirational and recognisable clients that were ‘Trailblazers’. This prompts the ‘oh you work with them’ and ‘if they’re using them I should too. Maybe I can be like them’ thoughts.

Salesforce didn’t speak too much about themselves. Instead, they showcased credibility and utilised word of mouth advertising by inviting high profile clients on the stage to share their impressive case studies. They had experts speak of topics of value to their audience, which weren’t necessarily related directly to one of their products.

Personal connection: When presenting, the speakers constantly hopped on and off the stage, walking around the audience, engaging with them in their physical space. Their performance was like watching an actor or actress – very impressive and still authentic and easy to engage with.

There were Salesforce people everywhere and ready to talk to you / guide you at the drop of a hat. Instead of having to avoid ‘sales’ people, there were demonstration areas where you could go to find out more about a product offering that interested you. You went to THEM.

Surprise & Delight: Was I at the Salesforce World Tour or Ellen? Surprise guests, gifts, emotion from guests used to pull at crowd emotions. Hidden prizes under chairs. Emotive videos. There was lots of surprise and delight going around. And what do people do with surprise and delight? They talk about it. They share what happened. They spread the word of Salesforce.

What’s next? Each presentation was finished with a wrap up of ‘ here’s what you can do tomorrow to action this in your organisation.’ Providing these first steps provides an even easier way for the audience to begin their journey to integrate what they learnt from the speaking AND to lead them to potentially contact Salesforce for a new or extended offering.

Product Personification and Event Theming: The theme for the Salesforce World Tour this year was a camp. Theming plays an integral part to setting the tone, feeling and creativity of an event and Salesforce did not disappoint. Communal areas were floored with fake grass, there were little logs to sit on, fake camp fires to discuss around and the even a camp warden persona to kick off the keynotes. 

Each Salesforce product has been personified. For each product suite there’s a cartoon character – Cloudy, Codey etc and each has a persona complete with favourite quote. 

Community: Trailblazers. Salesforce have created a sense of community, something that people want to be part of. Trailblazers is their term for those that are leading in their field – especially those who have Salesforce to back them to their leading standpoint. 

All pictures of staff and clients at the tour are wearing Trailblazer hoodies (see image above), creating unity and equalisation. They even gave out a gold hoodie to their most outstanding trailblazer from QLD (she cried – hence the Ellen emotion mentioned above.)

If you completed one of their courses there, you were even able to pick up a limited edition plush toy (one of the characters) and earn a trailblazer Sydney World Tour badge – again employing exclusivity to appeal.

Salesforce often speak about their Ohana (means family in Hawaiian) – they see everyone in the Salesforce Community as Ohana. 

In Summary: Salesforce were inclusive, inspirational and worked with feelings and perfectly executed presentations to showcase their product (through others) and valuable lessons for people who use their product. Very impressive. The venue itself was just the stage. 

They spoke of consistency by using Salesforce for marketing campaigns and their execution of this event definitely exemplified that.

I’m looking forward to how I can execute the ‘what’s next’ ideas they shared and to developing my own from inspiration from the World Tour.

I’ll leave you with the link I just found to their top takeouts. Infographic: 5 big takeouts from World Tour 2018