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Exploring the Future of Salesforce Marketing Automation at Connections 2022

By Oliver Sava 07.21.22
Reading time: 4 minutes

Salesforce Connections is an industry event that brings marketing, commerce, and digital professionals together to inspire, educate, and, of course, connect. This year’s sold-out event was held on June 8 and 9 in Chicago.

A group of Silverliners gathered with other industry leaders and cultural visionaries at Connections to grow and learn from one another. Silverliners discovered fresh ideas and new innovations to take back to our teams and clients.

Connecting at Connections

“Being able to connect face to face with clients and colleagues was amazing. There’s nothing that can beat it no matter how many Zoom calls you get on and how many times you turn your camera on, it’s not the same,” said Danielle Laffey, Senior Director, Insurance. 

The irony was that the best part of Salesforce Connections was, well, connections. It took on new meaning since it had been over two years since the last in-person conference, and attendees were very excited to see each other face-to-face instead of across a screen. It was also the first opportunity for many Silverliners to interact with new colleagues they had yet to meet in person.

Tanner Mueller, Specialty Manager, Marketing Automation, said Connections was all about “People, people, people. Everyone I talked to was just glad to be talking with people. We started using the super corny way of saying, ‘hey connections is actually connections.’” 

Collaboration from those connections was also a central emphasis of the event. The features of Slack are all about collaboration, and that theme was embedded within Connections. 

“Salesforce shared a lot of innovations around Slack that are meant to collaborate and rotate us into this very digital world and, hopefully, get back to where we’re actually in person too,” said Mueller.

That collaboration extended to Silverline colleagues as well. Jim Slavo, Marketing Automation Solution Architect, shared, “I’m kicking off a large project, and I was able to do a lot of meetings with the stakeholders from that project. It’s almost as if we’ve created this great bond, which was possible because we were able to spend quite a bit of time together at Connections.”

Slavo continued about the positive effects of seeing his teams, “We were able to talk about the various sessions and figure out what is actionable today versus what’s possible, and really unpack where it’s going to take Silverline as we go forward.” 

New tech innovations help solve industry challenges

At Salesforce Connections, there were over 100 sessions covering how companies across industries grow their businesses, valuable insights into current trends and best practices, and announcements of the latest Salesforce innovations. 

The sessions, roundtables, and demos were rooted in the importance of personalizing every customer interaction, predicting customer needs, and growing those moments into unified, trusted customer relationships that lead to revenue. The session content at Salesforce Connections mainly focused on these themes:

  • Connected data: Leveraging data-driven marketing and having a data strategy that focuses on outcomes to unlock value across the entire customer lifecycle with Salesforce CDP (Customer Data Platform). 
  • Hyper-personalization: Using artificial intelligence to achieve 1:1 connections at scale and deliver personalized engagement for the mobile-first customer.
  • Automation: Automating customer experiences with the Salesforce Platform and MuleSoft to win loyalty with seamless post-purchase experiences.

For Slavo, the entire conference was essentially driven around CDP and helped validate how the messaging around CDP is being told.

“I spent hours grilling some lead engineers on CDP to understand all the various use cases, how it’s designed, and how it will work for specific Silverline clients. I was able to wrap my head around not just understanding CDP from a textbook concept but actually talking to people in real life who were behind some of the builds.” 

Key learnings for the present and future

Although some Silverliners would say that their key learning from Connections was which of their colleagues are Cubs fans, the main learnings went beyond the ballpark and centered around gaining greater knowledge of Salesforce products.

Tim Stone, Marketing Automation Solution Architect at Silverline, concluded, “I learned more about how Salesforce products are created to help the end user move across the crawl, walk, run phases of the Salesforce portfolio. I’m excited to see more transformation happen over the next couple of years and how Salesforce is piecing it all together in really constructive ways.”

During Connections, Salesforce introduced Customer 360 innovations for Marketing and Commerce Clouds that are designed to help meet the challenges of increased customer expectations, data privacy issues, and a cookieless future.

“Salesforce is helping to solve these issues by focusing on connected data, which is CDP essentially, and collaboration, which is around Slack. I like how Salesforce is using some of its new technologies to help people solve those industry worries,” said Mueller.

New Marketing Cloud Customer Data Platform features include:

  • Digital Command Center for Slack: Brands can increase productivity by monitoring activity and performance across Marketing and Commerce Cloud from one digital command center. This helps avoid lost revenue or increased opt-outs and empowers marketers to identify and resolve issues before they have a meaningful impact.
  • Google Ads: An expanded strategic partnership with Google automates first-party data interoperability between Salesforce CDP and Google Ads. You can now connect a unified customer profile in CDP to Google Ads to activate privacy-focused advertising campaigns and gain new segment-level insights into audience affinities for smarter segmentation and planning. 
  • AppExchange: The Salesforce CDP ecosystem is expanding further with new privacy-safe apps for customer profile enrichment and advertising activation through partnerships with Annalect, Acxiom, Criteo, LiveRamp, MediaMath, MetaRouter, Neustar, Nine Digital, Streamlytics, The Trade Desk, Yahoo, and WPP Resolve.

Make a connection with Silverline

Attending industry events like Salesforce Connections is just one part of what Silverliners do every day to stay on top of industry trends and Salesforce innovations. Staying in the know is the best way for us to deliver our clients the top skills, expertise, and knowledge to drive digital transformation. Find out how our team can help you implement marketing automation solutions.

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