Florida Dreamin’: A Conference Where Soft Skills Shine

In the beautiful sunshine and chill vibes of Clearwater Beach, FL, Salesforce community members of all kinds came together recently for Florida Dreamin’. The Dreamin’ events are community-led Salesforce conferences around the globe each with their personality. Florida Dreamin’ specifically strives to, “provide inspiration, coaching, and guidance on how to truly blaze your own trail.” 

This comes from a perceived, “gap in Salesforce education when it comes to career pathing and guidance.” From my experience as a first-time attendee, this conference lives up to its vision by serving up an abundance of project management/team dynamics & soft-skill content.  

Of the 44 sessions on offer, over half had a non-technical focus with topics spanning from career path advice and how to negotiate like a pro to advice on building diagrams and running demos that are informative and effective.

Some Soft-Skill Session Highlights

I attended many wonderful sessions across a variety of technical and non-technical topics, but wanted to highlight three soft-skill sessions in particular. Two of them I found especially illuminating and will be taking tips and tricks back to my consulting work and the third one is my speaking session, which I certainly hope provided impactful guidance to those in attendance.

5 Critical Change Management Steps for Successful Adoption

In this session, Paula Cervoni and Stacey Chery of Silverline emphasized the importance of dedicated and continual change management throughout the lifecycle of a project and into the training and adoption phase. Good change management helps get to the end goal of successful happy users which is what we all want! The change management steps Paula and Stacey outlined are:

  • Alignment – to the vision and mission of the project with engagement from Stakeholders, SMEs, Executive Team Members, and end users
  • Communication – a concerted strategy and communication plan to keep users informed every step of the way, 
  • Training – curated applicable training paths for each user group/business role using real-world examples when possible to demonstrate utility, 
  • Reinforcement – making sure that users are actively supported and know exactly who to go to when they have issues at go-live, 
  • Measurement – getting some data behind adoption and success with both formal and informal measurement methods 

With these steps, you too can change manage with the best of them and help your projects succeed, not just from a technical perspective, but from an adoption and satisfaction perspective as well. 

The Surviving & Thriving Handbook for Accidental Admins 

I was honored to give my first-ever Salesforce speaking session at Florida Dreamin’ and am especially happy to be able to join in on the soft-skills theme. My session highlighted my journey into accidental adminship* at a nonprofit organization and the struggles I faced trying to be successful in my day-to-day job as well as my Salesforce Admin duties. 

To help bring myself from surviving to thriving, I enacted a number of actionable processes which streamlined my responsibilities, set expectations for my end users, and increased buy-in and end-user satisfaction. 

Suggested steps for others facing accidental adminship included:

  • Establishing 2x yearly full organization Salesforce expectations and communication meetings 
  • Offering regularly scheduled office hours to your end users 
  • Identifying and leveraging your super users to be your champions, beta testers, and day-to-day support for other users in their departments
  • Setting up a Salesforce Request queue process to allow the Admin to triage, manage, and systematically work through end-user needs and issues
  • Bringing in a trusted partner, such as Sercante, for support

If this sounds like a topic you could use some support on please reach out to Sercante! We are here to help ease your Admin burden.

 * An Accidental Admin is, “someone who had not considered a career in Salesforce until some event brought Salesforce into their work life and who juggles Salesforce admin responsibilities in addition to their regular job” – Source: Salesforce Ben 

Just a Demo? Never! Always Demo Like a Pro

Jennifer Kinstle, Principal Architect at Zennify, gave a super practical guide on how to demo like a pro. She highlighted three key steps to a successful demo which ultimately can lead to increased adoption and project success. 

Her recipe for a great demo is the following:

1. Know the business  – Understand the specific audience you will be demoing to. Tailor your demo to the language and topics that will be most understood and valued by the demo audience.

2. Tell the story – A good demo has a beginning, middle, and end and works with an applicable business use case. Jennifer suggested always “share the why”  – making it clear to your audience why the demo is important to them and their business.

3. Prepare & practice – This includes preparing your space, both physical and digital to ensure there are no unexpected interruptions… error messages or chat messages, and the like.

Jennifer also advises tailoring your demo script to what you need. If you need a full line-by-line script, do that, if you do better with bulleted talking points, then go for it. She also highlighted the importance of the run-through, do the demo exactly as you would for the demo audience in the environment where you will be doing the final demo. This is a critical step to mitigate unexpected errors or bugs so you can fix them before show time.

Following the tips in this session, I feel like I will be able to improve the utility of my demos for my clients.

Florida Dreamin’ for the Win!

Florida Dreamin’ was a wonderful conference experience and a great place to give my first ever speaking session. The manageable size of the conference, beautiful location, and focus on soft skills and the Ohana spirit make this an ideal conference for everyone from the seasoned pro to the brand new trailblazer. 

Gorgeous ocean sunsets and delicious tiki drinks aside, this conference has a strong sense of community and inclusion with loads of meetups (including a nonprofit lunch meetup that I attended) and excursions. Folks were there to learn a lot, network, and have a fun time doing it, and I don’t think you can ask for much more out of a Dreamin’ event. 

Be sure to check out these other posts from my fellow dragons who attended Florida Dreamin’ with me and shared details about their favorite sessions there.

Original article: Florida Dreamin’: A Conference Where Soft Skills Shine

©2023 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

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By |2023-11-18T16:04:42+00:00November 18th, 2023|Categories: Career Development, Community, Events, Real Talk, revive|

MarDreamin’ Recap: MarDreamies 2023 Award Winners

The 2023 MarDreamies Awards inspired the marketing community and wowed the judges as they announced this year’s winners at the fourth MarDreamin’ conference that took place from October 31 to November 3. 

The MarDreamies presented five award winners in addition to some honorable mentions across the award categories as each team was featured for their innovative solution implemented with Salesforce marketing tools.

MarDreamies Award Categories: A quick recap

If you remember from previous years, the MarDreamies categories include Personalization Perfection, Social Impact, Grassroots Innovation, Extending Salesforce, and Best in Show. 

  • Personalization Perfection: Right-time, right-message marketing
  • Social Impact: Creating positive change through Salesforce
  • Grassroots Innovation: Scaling small business with Salesforce
  • Extending Salesforce: API and AI-driven solutions
  • Best in Show: Best all-around solution

Marketing teams submitted their entries selecting which category they wanted to be recognized for and shared the goal they worked to achieve, the details of the solution, and the results post implementation. There were many great submissions this year which made the selection process for the judges very challenging, but after much consideration, they were able to narrow it down to one winner per category.

And the MarDreamies 2023 Award Winners Are…

On November 2, 2023, the MarDreamies presenters who included Marcos Duran, Chris Zullo, Bill Fetter, Julie Rasco, and Jen Kazin announced the award winners.

  • Personalization Perfection: Grupo Xcaret
  • Social Impact: Veterans Guardian
  • Grassroots Innovation: TSI Incorporated
  • Extending Salesforce: Cypress Learning Solutions
  • Best in Show: Close Brothers Asset Finance and Leasing

Watch the session on demand to relive the MarDreamies experience and get all the details!

2023 MarDreamies Award Personalization Perfection Category Winner: Grupo Xcaret

Grupo Xcaret submitted the solution, Personalized Shopping Cart Coupon at the Last Step of the Purchase, to win the MarDreamies 2023 award for the Personalization Perfection category, which celebrates teams for delivering right-time, right message marketing. 

The Grupo Xcaret team shared more about their solution in the below video that was featured during the MarDreamies session.

What does Grupo Xcaret do?

In the travel and hospitality industry, Grupo Xcaret is on a mission to make the planet happier by sharing their love of Mexico. Putting on amazing shows and breathtaking attractions across their parks, tours, and hotels, they aim to create “unique, magical, and memorable experiences” for their guests and visitors. 

How does Grupo Xcaret use Salesforce tools to create personalized experiences?

The team noticed that customers would start the purchase process for their parks and tours, but would get to the last step of the purchase, see the final price, and then abandon their cart.

To encourage more customers to complete their purchase, Grupo Xcaret used Salesforce Marketing Cloud Personalization to create trackable and customized coupons for each of their products in English and Spanish. They configured this solution with the website so it would display the correct coupon for the purchase after time has passed and the purchase has not been completed.

The solution required the cooperation of their web team, marketing automation team, and a third-party team to create the configurations necessary for successful execution. Their hard work paid off as the solution contributed to increasing their revenue by 77% and improved the conversion rate on the last step of the purchase process by 55%.

Grupo Xcaret’s solution is a great example to the marketing community of what can be achieved when we use Salesforce marketing tools to deliver personalized experiences. If you have been inspired by their solution, be sure to give Grupo Xcaret a shout-out on social media!

2023 MarDreamies Award Grassroots Innovation Category Winner: TSI Incorporated

TSI Incorporated submitted the solution, Optimizing The Lead Management Process to Better Serve Prospects & Customers, to win the MarDreamies 2023 award for the Grassroots Innovation category, which recognizes teams for using Salesforce marketing tools to scale their businesses. 

What does TSI Incorporated do?

Serving a global market, TSI Incorporated engineers and manufactures measurement instruments to help make the job easier for aerosol science, and evaluating air flow, indoor air quality, fluid dynamics, and biohazard detection.

Founded in 1961 with headquarters based in the U.S. and field offices across Europe and Asia, TSI has grown as a large organization and established a worldwide presence in the markets they serve.

How does TSI Incorporated use Salesforce tools to scale their business?

The TSI team wanted to make sure that their lead handover process was streamlined so qualified leads could be routed to the right salesperson quickly for a timely response to prospects and to prevent deals from falling through the cracks.

They set out to build a completely new sales user experience. Their custom ‘Sales Inquiries’ object, which is what sales was using to take action on product inquiries, was reconfigured to provide a single interface to track the next step when interest is expressed in one of their products. The team used Salesforce Flows to execute the automations needed to handle inquiries and processing, which are all triggered from a Marketing Cloud Account Engagement form submission. 

TSI’s SAP system contained their territory assignment and routing rules. They designed and refactored all the automations that were happening between their SAP system and Salesforce that handled the sales inquiry creation and processing.

As a result of refactoring and redesigning the automation between the SAP system and Salesforce and creating a streamlined sales user interface with the Sales Inquiry object, sales’ ability to act on the right leads at the right time increased by 35%

TSI’s solution is a great example to the community of what’s possible when we leverage the foundational functionality of the Salesforce platform. If you have been inspired by their solution, be sure to give TSI Incorporated a shout-out on social media!

2023 MarDreamies Award Extending Salesforce Category Winner: Cypress Learning Solutions

Cypress Learning Solutions submitted the solution, Reply Intelligence, to win the MarDreamies 2023 award for the Extending Salesforce category which highlights teams for creating API and AI-driven solutions. Brandon Walton, the president, owner & principal consultant of Cypress Learning Solutions, shared more about Reply Intelligence in the below video that was featured during the MarDreamies session.

What does Cypress Learning Solutions do?

Cypress Learning Solutions is a Salesforce implementation and training solutions provider, designing customized workshops and implementation services for organizations transitioning to Salesforce and Marketing Cloud Account Engagement.

Tell me more about Reply Intelligence…

Reply Intelligence is an AI & algorithmic solution that gives marketers greater insight into the replies to marketing and inbound emails and allows them to trigger automations from them. 

It has become increasingly more difficult for marketers to rely on clicks and open rates to track engagement, and at the same time, their “reply-to” inboxes become filled with the marketing email Out of Office replies and other autoresponders.

Reply Intelligence is an email integration solution that helps marketers to better manage the reply-to inboxes and trigger Marketing Cloud Account Engagement Completion Actions from inbound emails and email replies. The solution was developed from integrating several technical components including ESPs, Salesforce, the development of Cypress Learning Solutions’ internal Large Language Model (LLM), and connections into AI platforms.

Brandon Walton added, “We have processed > 1mm email replies and are continuously evolving our LLM to detect intent from emails, including purchasing intent and requests to be removed/unsubscribed from databases.”

Cypress Learning Solutions’ Reply Intelligence is a great example of innovation from an API and AI-driven solution. If you have been inspired by their story, be sure to give Cypress Learning Solutions a shout-out on social media!

2023 MarDreamies Award Social Impact Category Winner: Veterans Guardian

Veterans Guardian submitted the solution, Successfully Segmenting an Audience, to win the MarDreamies 2023 award for the Social Impact category, which honors teams for creating positive change with Salesforce tools. Avery McKenzie, marketing coordinator at Veterans Guardian, shared more about the solution in the below video that was featured during the MarDreamies session.

What does Veterans Guardian do?

Veterans Guardian, is a private consulting company partnering with veterans to help them attain the VA benefits they have earned from their honorable service to the nation. The veterans disability claim process can be complicated and overwhelming, which is where Veterans Guardian comes in. They support veterans through the claims process helping them build their claim strategy and providing education and information needed to help them get the benefits they are entitled to.

How does Veterans Guardian use Salesforce for social impact?

As Veterans Guardian supports veterans through the disability claims process, it is critical that their communication is delivered to the right person at the right time. Their team wanted to advance how they engage veterans with personalized communication to provide them with the best experience possible.

The Veterans Guardian team evaluated their audience segmentation in conjunction with their customer experience process and came up with 74 Marketing Cloud journeys. Using features such as Einstein Send Time Optimization, decision splits, and Salesforce Flows to trigger the journeys, Veterans Guardian was able to create customized communication for each veteran based on where they were in their process. As a result, Veterans Guardian experienced improved engagement results and client satisfaction.

Through Veterans Guardian’s dedication to delivering the best client experience for veterans with personalized communication through Salesforce marketing tools, they have been able to create positive change. If you have been inspired by their solution, be sure to give Veterans Guardian a shout-out on social media!

2023 MarDreamies Award Best in Show Category Winner: Close Brothers Asset Finance and Leasing

Close Brothers Asset Finance and Leasing submitted the solution, Salesforce Digital Customer Cycle, to win the MarDreamies 2023 award for the Best in Show category, which recognizes teams for building the best all-around solution. Jonathan Dytor, Head of Digital Marketing at Close Brothers Asset Finance and Leasing, shared more about the solution in the below video that was featured during the MarDreamies session.

What does Close Brothers Asset Finance and Leasing do?

A member of the Close Brothers Group, Close Brothers Asset Finance and Leasing is a UK-based company founded in 1987 that provides finance for businesses offering practical solutions that empower them for success.

Tell me more about the Salesforce Digital Customer Cycle solution…

The Close Brothers Asset Finance and Leasing team constructed a complete digital customer journey within their Salesforce Org. To execute this, they rebuilt their seven websites and portal using Experience Cloud, Marketing Cloud Account Engagement, Sales Cloud, and Analytics Studio. 

The breakdown of the solution from their submission is included below:

  • Experience Builder – Used to rebuild the websites and the Portal
  • Account Engagement – Captures UTM parameters for all Leads
  • Sales Cloud – Auto-manages Lead assignment rules and tracks Opportunities
  • Analytics Studio – Tracks real-time ROI

Their team was using a third party for website development and was not getting the functionality and insights they desired from their websites. They wanted to have full autonomy over their digital platforms and researched what they could do if they were to rebuild them with Experience Builder. They also evaluated how they could use Marketing Cloud Account Engagement to trigger automated communications to customers at critical points throughout their journey.

They decided to move forward, and in just one month they launched three of the seven sites and built the other four and their customer portal, all completed in house. Their team now has full control over their websites and their customer portal. Close Brothers Asset Finance and Leasing can get the insights they need from their digital platforms without any reliance on third parties and they can build new sites all in house with extreme speed!

Close Brothers Asset Finance and Leasing creating the Salesforce Digital Customer Cycle is a great example of the creative solutions that can be built on the Salesforce platform to achieve business goals. If you have been inspired by their story, be sure to give Close Brothers Asset Finance and Leasing a shout-out on social media!

2023 MarDreamies Award Honorable Mentions

There were so many outstanding solutions submitted for the 2023 MarDreamies Awards that it made the selection process very challenging. As the award presenters expressed during the session, they did not want to conclude it without giving a few honorable mentions to the following teams that shared some incredible solutions!

Get more ideas to bring back to your team

The MarDreamies 2023 awards are a great way to be in the know about the latest innovations that are being developed in the marketing community. If any of these award winner stories have sparked an idea, we encourage you to share it with your team to see what new advancement you can create next to achieve your goals.

In addition to the MarDreamies, there were so many amazing creative solutions presented at the MarDreamin conference this year. To learn and get more ideas to bring back to your team, watch the sessions on demand!

Original article: MarDreamin’ Recap: MarDreamies 2023 Award Winners

©2023 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

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By |2023-11-10T16:13:42+00:00November 10th, 2023|Categories: Community, Community Spotlight, Events, revive|

The Art of Delivering Empathetic and Joyful User Experiences

Living in a fast-paced world of technology, it’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of innovation and lose sight of the human element. We can occasionally prioritize the tools and systems we use over the people who rely on them. 

Insights from Daniel Gorton’s Florida Dreamin’ Presentation

Daniel Gorton, a Salesforce architect with a unique background in social work and psychology, recently delivered a thought-provoking presentation at Florida Dreamin’ that reminded us of the importance of centering people within our technology discussions.

Here are the insights he shared.

Asking The Right Questions

Gorton, who defines himself as an “empathetic and multi-centered Salesforce architect,” captivated the audience with his perspective at the intersection of technology and social work. He posed essential questions that challenge our approach to change and user experiences, asking, “What are some ways we can be inclusive and intentional with change?” and “How do we make sure everyone has their needs met?”

Consider Learning Styles and Needs

One of the key takeaways from his presentation was the emphasis on inclusivity, considering diverse learning styles and needs. Gorton reminded us that individuals have varying comfort and experience levels with technology. This message couldn’t be more relevant as we continue to integrate artificial intelligence into our daily lives. In a separate presentation during Florida Dreamin where the A.I. Lay’s campaign “Messi Messages” came up and an audience member asked, “Just because we can, does it mean we should?” which reflects the unease many feel when confronted with different and evolving types of technology. 

Change management was also a focus of Gorton’s presentation. He stressed the importance of not just looking at systems but also focusing on the people behind it — those who build, test, approve, and use it. Gorton encouraged us to add value and create experiences that anticipate users’ needs, ultimately leading to joy and delight. He reminded us that even small gestures, like adding emojis, can brighten someone’s mood. Additionally, he underlined the fact that users teach us valuable lessons in the process.

Where Empathy and Strategy Meet 

Combining our empathetic sides with strategic approaches, such as focus groups, road mapping, and well-defined processes, can help bridge the gap between technology, those who work in it, and the end users.

Gorton urged the audience to “consider organizational context, system performance, & Salesforce well-architected best practices.” He provided several examples of how Sales Cloud does this today, citing Path as one of the easiest-to-offer UI features. 

Gorton also provided insights into best practices for training, emphasizing the importance of feedback and requests, encouraging feedback loops, and breaking down silos. He encouraged us not to be afraid to iterate and build slowly, ensuring that we can fine-tune our solutions over time.

Finally, Daniel Gorton’s presentation was a reminder that technology should enhance human experiences, not overshadow them. By being more inclusive, empathetic, and thoughtful in our approach, we can create solutions that bring not only use but also delight users. Let’s reflect on Gorton’s insights and let them serve as a valuable guide for how each of us can navigate through the intersection of technology and the people behind those systems. 

Original article: The Art of Delivering Empathetic and Joyful User Experiences

©2023 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

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By |2023-11-02T14:23:48+00:00November 2nd, 2023|Categories: Community, Community Spotlight, Events, Real Talk, revive|

How to Write like a Marketer: Intro to AMPscript for Salesforce Marketing Cloud

If you’re new to Marketing Cloud Engagement, you may be feeling overwhelmed. Salesforce’s powerful marketing platform can do a lot. And that comes with a steep learning curve.

I’ve been on my Marketing Cloud Engagement journey for a while now and still feel the sense of having so much to learn. My learning journey has consisted of hands-on experience, boot camp-style training courses, and of course, all the Trailheads. 

Florida Dreamin’ Session – How to Write like a Marketer: Intro to AMPscript for Salesforce Marketing Cloud

I knew when I was given the opportunity to attend this year’s Florida Dreamin’, finding Marketing Cloud Engagement sessions was at the top of my event bucket list. That’s why I was super excited to attend Tatiana Romanko’s presentation, How to Write like a Marketer: Intro to AMPscript for Salesforce Marketing Cloud.  

Romanko took a complex topic and simplified it, making her content easy to understand by providing real-world use cases every marketer could relate to. This session was a great introduction to AMPSprcipt for Marketing Cloud Engagement users who are still on that learning curve, and even seasoned veterans took away a thing or two. 

What I especially loved about her session is that, like me, Romanko doesn’t have a coding background. Her message really resonated with me: with hard work and hands-on experience, you too can learn the technical intricacies of Salesforce Marketing Cloud. 

What is AMPScript? 

Before jumping right into a complex topic, Romanko set the stage with a quick introduction to AMPscript. “AMPscript is Marketing Cloud’s proprietary scripting language for advanced dynamic content in emails, landing pages, SMS, and push messages.”

“AMPscript expands Marketing Cloud functionality to help you create the one-to-one, personalized communications that are so coveted by digital marketers. https://trailhead.salesforce.com/content/learn/modules/ampscript-for-nondevelopers/get-to-know-ampscript

AMPscript is used to:

  • Personalize emails using subscriber or contact data.
  • Create complex, highly dynamic emails using conditional logic.
  • Clean and format data.
  • Add real-time information to emails such as date or time.
  • Track impressions.”

(source: https://trailhead.salesforce.com/content/learn/modules/ampscript-for-nondevelopers/get-to-know-ampscript

What is AMPScript used for in Marketing Cloud Engagement?

AMPScript does a lot. At Sercante, we use it to help our clients with personalizing their emails, creating dynamic content, and much more. What I liked about Romanko’s session is that she really honed in on three common use cases that every marketer can relate to. 


If you’re a marketer, you already know the power of personalization. One study found that emails featuring personalized subjects are 50% more likely to be opened. AMPScript in Marketing Cloud Engagement allows you to use your subscriber data to personalize your marketing. 

Creating a personalized greeting in Marketing Cloud Engagement through a personalization string isn’t complicated. What I liked about Romanko’s use case is she focused on something I often times see clients overlook: what happens when you don’t have a subscriber’s first name? In this case, we could use AMPscript to set a generic value (Customer) as our greeting if we don’t have this data. 

Formatting Your Data

As a marketer, I’ve seen customers input their data in every way imaginable. Romanko gave the example of asking someone to provide their favorite color. In this instance, we could get a few different variations: 

  • Pink
  • pink
  • PINK

So what happens when we go to pull this data into an email? It could end up looking like we either don’t know our basic grammar, or come across like we are YELLING at our reader. 

Romanko highlighted AMPScript’s ProperCase function here, “which capitalizes the first letter in the specified string and any other letters in the string that follow any character other than a letter. It converts all other letters into lowercase.”

AMPScript Resources

As you can see, Romanko gave some great use cases for using AMPScript. She also provided her audience with some really great resources on where to go to learn more:

Original article: How to Write like a Marketer: Intro to AMPscript for Salesforce Marketing Cloud

©2023 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

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By |2023-11-01T15:13:58+00:00November 1st, 2023|Categories: Emails & Forms, Events, Marketing Automations, Marketing Cloud, Pro Tips, revive|

Can’t-Miss Sessions for Marketers at MarDreamin’ 2023

If you’re like me, you get immediate brain paralysis with your first look at an event agenda. It happened again with MarDreamin’ 2023 (which — by the way — is RIGHT around the corner: Nov. 1-3). In hopes of sparing you from your own brain freeze, I’ve collected groups of “can’t-miss” sessions below. 

(Note that these sessions are not an exhaustive list of ALL sessions you’ll find at MarDreamin’. There are many more to be found in the full agenda!)

Good to know: The online MarDreamin’ agenda includes filters to help you find your desired sessions quickly. Each session also has a “Related” section at the bottom. 

Did you register? If you haven’t done this yet, register now (it’s free – what do you have to lose?!). Can’t attend live Nov. 1-3? Register anyway and catch up with on-demand sessions. You can also amp up your learning and get in on the Oct. 31 Workshop day (you can attend 3 on the day, then catch up with all the others afterward).

Let’s dig in… 

Marketing Leadership

Insightful sessions to help you create strategy, empower your team, and report to executives.

5 Next-Level AMPscript Tips For Hyper-Personalized Content

Get ready to unleash the power of Marketing Cloud to deliver custom 1:1 personalization. You’ll learn five ways to use AMPscript to deliver the ideal customer experience.

Boost Your Business Performance and Revenue With B2B Marketing Analytics

Explore the benefits of B2B Marketing Analytics and why businesses must incorporate it into their marketing strategy.

Building a Marketing Tech Stack for Highly Effective Marketing

This session covers best practices for marketing technology, pitfalls to avoid, and approaches for more effective problem-solving.

Can GPT Replace A Salesforce Marketer?

This session covers 9 aspects/responsibilities of marketers on the Salesforce platform (from content creation to inbound lead funneling, user adoption, and more) and details how GPT can have an impact and why there needs to be a human in the loop.

Designing An Effective Demand Gen Funnel & Reporting For Your SMB

Be prepared for the next time your CEO asks, “What’s marketing’s impact on generating sales pipeline?” Learn how to select and build the right funnel for your business, make the stages of your funnel meaningful, get buy-in across the organization to measure your team’s efforts, and more. 

Explore How MOPs Gets Things Done

Hear from the panelists on how they keep up-to-date on the latest trends in Marketing Operations, how they lead cross-functional teams, and how they stay organized and work efficiently to be able to go home on time to their families. 

Going Beyond SLAs: How To Build A Stronger Strategic Team

This session includes ways that marketing operations, revenue operations, and marketing teams can work together to build lasting partnerships and get more done.

Say Goodbye to Leads & Hello to Account-Based Strategy

Shifting from a lead-based sales and marketing approach to an account-based strategy is crucial for success in today’s business climate. This session aims to guide strategic leaders through the process of making this transition effective.

The Art Of Listening: Crafting Impactful Customer Journeys In Marketing Cloud

We all know about the magic of Journey Builder in Salesforce Marketing Cloud. There are plenty of resources out there that prepare you for the technical configuration of your flow. But what needs to happen BEFORE you open your instance? How do you shape the design of the solution?

Winning The Quest For Marketing Attribution

How can you accurately attribute revenue generated by a marketing campaign to see the most effective channels your customers take to arrive at a purchase? This session will help you figure that out so you can finally reach the pinnacle of marketing attribution. 

Why Generative AI Is The Calculator For Content Marketers

Learn how content marketers can tap AI tools to do everything faster and better than ever before. You’ll leave with ways to implement these tools today. Then you can empower content teams and multi-hat-wearing marketers to do more with less. You’ll also get strategies to avoid potential risks the tools can bring as you ride into the future.

Marketing Ops

Tools, tips, tricks, and know-how for those of you in the trenches!

5 Essential Data Configurations For Marketing Cloud Engagement

Explore 5 data configurations you can implement in your Marketing Cloud Engagement account today to enrich your marketing strategy and streamline your marketing operations.

Building Dynamic Personalization At Scale By Leveraging First-Party Data

This session highlights the significance of leveraging a strong first-party data foundation to build personalization at scale. Hear useful tips on what you can be doing today to ensure you are making good use of your first-party data.

Creating A Roadmap For Your Salesforce Journey In MOPs

Gain guidance, knowledge, and strategies to navigate, and excel in the dynamic field of marketing operations. 

Data Privacy Future: Upgrading Your Account Engagement Reporting Strategy

If your email strategy’s success is based on clicks, opens, and assumed opt-ins, then you may be in for a rude awakening with the data privacy landscape of the future. Learn how to start preparing now!

5 Strategies For A Cleaner Account Engagement Database In Preparation For AI

This session includes 5 strategies for creating and maintaining a clean database in Account Engagement to help marketers prepare for the future use of AI. 

Engaging Customers Throughout Their Lifecycle with Engagement Studio

Learn how an enterprise software company builds and optimizes customer lifecycle journeys using Engagement Studio in Marketing Cloud Account Engagement. 

Going Global: One Account Engagement Form, Multiple Languages

Explore a new, more efficient method to create multiple-language Account Engagement forms with improved reporting and a streamlined translation process.

How To Create Amazing Emails Without All The Back-And-Forth

For 80 percent of companies, it takes two or more weeks to get just one marketing email out the door. Hear how to cut creation time by up to 90 percent while boosting email performance.

Streamline Your Campaign Architecture & Attribution With These Best Practices

Learn how to leverage campaigns for ROI and attribution, gain best practices for setting up campaign hierarchies, and hear about AI-driven analysis with Einstein Attribution.

Unifying Your Marketing Funnel With Campaign Members

With a unified marketing funnel, you can track individuals and accounts from start to finish and better understand how your marketing efforts are performing. Learn about the advantages of a unified marketing funnel and see how to build it.

Salesforce Admin

We’ve got sessions for you, the wizard behind the curtain that keeps the Salesforce org running smoothly.

Data Cloud: 5 Tips For Getting Started

Accelerate time to value with 5 realistic tips and takeaways for a successful Data Cloud implementation. 

Demystifying AI + Data + CRM: Where To Start

Take a look at core concepts and foundational functionality and hear tips to start assessing where you are in the AI + Data + CRM journey.

Developing A Complete Digital Customer Experience Within Salesforce

Listen to this journey in building a truly digital customer experience by using Experience Cloud involving migrating and creating several websites, automation, emails, and analytics by leveraging this tool.

Exploring Data Cloud For Marketing: Architecture And Orchestration

Explore the Salesforce Customer 360 landscape through the lens of Data Cloud for marketing and learn how to approach a multi-cloud implementation in a thoughtful and well-constructed manner to scale the overall technology stack. 

Exploring What’s Possible With Analytics

What happens when this data becomes a barrier versus a catalyst for change? Hear how this panel has improved operations, processes, and reports to ultimately leverage Salesforce as their North Star.

One Marketing Cloud Key To Rule Them All

Explore the various types of keys in Marketing Cloud and learn how to use one key to rule them all. Walk through the right processes (and not-so-good practices) that keep our data clean and our marketing consistent. 

Personalize Multi-Touch Attribution Dashboards With Ease

This session is great for everyone who is not familiar with CRM Analytics and uses only the default dashboards offered by Salesforce. Learn how to personalize the dashboard to get the metrics you need by diving into the data flow, modifying the initial data, and adding filters, tables, and charts. 


Looking for more well-rounded topics? These are for you:

7 Easy Tips For Effective Email Campaigns

Take a high-level look at what goes into building emails and walk away with practical tips to incorporate into your marketing strategy today.

Better Together: AI-Powered Marketing Solutions

A deep dive into the world of AI-powered marketing campaigns to discover the secrets to driving some pretty cool results.

Explore How Slack Is Changing The Way Marketers Work

Take a look at how innovative tools such as Marketing Cloud Intelligence Insights, Digital Command Center, Account Engagement, and Slack GPT can supercharge Slack and your marketing efforts to deliver more personalized experiences.

How Salesforce Marketing Cloud Works With Consent Management Framework

Learn how to incorporate the consent management objects from Salesforce CRM into Salesforce Marketing Cloud and see how consent status is synchronized and stored in different clouds.

Marketing in the Age of Generative AI

This presentation and fireside chat with Salesforce product leaders explores how innovations in AI help marketers better understand and activate data to create personalized customer experiences. Hear tactics to prepare organizations to use AI – from getting your data house in order, to thinking about AI and trust. 

Marketing Cloud Product Roadmap

Learn about key upcoming features in Marketing Cloud and how they can help you optimize your marketing.

Unleashing the Power of 1:1 Personalization: A $4.5M Case Study

Explore the transformative power of omnichannel personalized marketing strategies. This session showcases a real-life case study of how one team dramatically increased its revenue by $4.5 million over a 10-week pilot. 

Register for Mardreamin Today

The bottom line is: No matter where you are in the martech world, you need to attend MarDreamin’ 2023! Register today.

Original article: Can’t-Miss Sessions for Marketers at MarDreamin’ 2023

©2023 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post Can’t-Miss Sessions for Marketers at MarDreamin’ 2023 appeared first on The Spot.

By |2023-10-20T12:34:50+00:00October 20th, 2023|Categories: Career Development, Community, Events|

Andrea Tarrell Talks Marketing and AI Trends at the Qualified Pipeline Summit

Sercante and Qualified both went big at Dreamforce 2023. And then they made it even more interesting by teaming up. Qualified joined Sercante at the Home for Marketers at Dreamforce, and Sercante joined Qualified for the Pipeline Summit at Dreamforce.

The result was a whole lot of sales + marketer happy vibes along with a live recording of Sercante Founder & CEO Andrea Tarell on the Qualified Pipeline Visionaries podcast.

Here’s a quick preview of the podcast recording along with all the info you need to listen for yourself. Or you can click here to watch the full podcast or listen using your favorite streaming service.

Tasty morsels Andrea Tarrell shared with Qualified at Dreamforce 2023

Andrea Tarrell met with Ian Faison at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art at the Qualified B2B Marketer’s Lounge on September 13, 2023. Here are the big things the pair talked about during the podcast session.

Key trend in automation: Conquering personalization and finding the right use cases for AI

When asked the question “What do you feel is next for marketing automation? What are the trends you see coming?” Andrea said:

I still think personalization is a frontier that we haven’t quite conquered yet. You see some of the use cases on stage at Dreamforce about some of the ways big brands are using personalization, and I look at much of the market who’s still struggling to even do first name, company name, much less more sophisticated use cases than that. 

But I think things like serving up the next best piece of content, the next big action for somebody to take, related products, I think there’s a lot of potential there that continues to be untapped. And I think this is also kinda going back to the AI piece that we were talking about. This is gonna be a big separation of humans in the robots. 

I’ve been on the receiving end of a few emails lately that were very clearly written by AI. Yep. And it’s like they just scraped random facts off the internet to stuff a new email. It’s like, okay, that’s not personalization. Like, I know what press release you grabbed that from, and like that third fact is completely unrelated to my business.

 So, that’s where I think the human element will still be preserved. Maybe we can get AI to make the first draft for us, but we still need people to make the magic happen.”

Maybe we can get AI to make the first draft for us, but we still need people to make the magic happen.

What are the main reasons people reach out to Sercante for guidance?

Ian asked the question “What is the burning desire customers come to Sercante with?

Andrea listed these three things that are usually top of mind for customers when they contact us. Here they are:

  1. Marketing ROI
    “Being able to report on what they’re doing that’s actually contributing to revenue.”
  2. Helping sales teams prioritize
    “Marketing’s working really hard to generate leads, but how does sales know who’s qualified, and who should they call first?”
  1. What’s next? AI, automation, industry trends, using generative AI for things like lead routing, segmentation, and content.
    “What is the non-value part that we can start having the machine do for us so that humans have the role of finessing, spending time on the highest potential items, and really doing what they’d be best at?”

How a marketing-focused Salesforce consulting firm approaches its own marketing strategy

When Ian asked the question “How do you think about your marketing strategy and how you acquire customers?” Andrea listed three marketing strategy areas. They are:

  1. Email marketing
  2. Event marketing
  3. Content marketing

She said, “We’ve created a huge culture around information sharing. One of our core values is generosity. It’s the idea that, if you’re getting something or achieving something, how do you share that with other people and bring other people along for the journey?”

How do you think about speed as a currency?

Andrea said, “Speed is huge. We know that as individual customers are bopping around online, looking for something, attention spans are so short. Like, what if you don’t find what you’re looking for? You don’t get the answer you need? You’re on to the next thing.

So, trying to help people find what they’re looking for is challenge number one. And then challenge number two is if they don’t get the answer, making sure that they get pushed to a human as quickly as possible.”

What is the Qualified Pipeline Summit Podcast?

Every quarter, Qualified brings together the best and brightest in B2B sales, marketing, and operations to share the tactics and strategies helping them drive growth in their business.

Learn more and watch all the episodes here.

Cheekiest social ads ever and we’re here for it

We’re in love with these social graphics the Qualified team posted to promote the Pipeline Summit at Dreamforce. Sharing here cuz they’re friggin amazing.

Watch the Pipeline Visionaries Podcast – The AI Conversation: What Marketers Should Be Thinking About

Lucky for you, these were just a few highlights from the podcast episode. You can watch the full video here and get all the juicy details Andrea and Ian shared during their conversation.

And remember to reach out to Sercante when you’re ready to take your sales and marketing efforts further.

Original article: Andrea Tarrell Talks Marketing and AI Trends at the Qualified Pipeline Summit

©2023 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post Andrea Tarrell Talks Marketing and AI Trends at the Qualified Pipeline Summit appeared first on The Spot.

By |2023-10-11T12:59:36+00:00October 11th, 2023|Categories: Community, Community Spotlight, Events, Real Talk|

Recap: The Big Things Marketers Did at Dreamforce ‘23

I’ve been to Dreamforce twice. Once as an attendee. Another time as a Campfire speaker. And both times as a marketer. 

Going to Dreamforce as a marketer is probably a different experience than, say, attending as an IT professional. I got so excited at Dreamforce whenever I saw a session geared toward marketers. Or when I randomly met other marketing people.

That’s actually how I found out about Sercante. I was watching my colleague present a session and saw that the next person presenting had a marketing-focused session. So, I stuck around to watch the presentation. The next presenter happened to be Sercante Founder & CEO Andrea Tarrell, and the rest is history.

Sercante team at Dreamforce 2023
Sercante team at Dreamforce 2023

The Sercante Home for Marketers at Dreamforce

Being a marketer herself, Andrea knows what it’s like to be a marketer at Salesforce conferences. So, she created the Sercante Home for Marketers with that idea in mind. The goal was to build a space where marketers could go and find their people at Dreamforce while supplementing all the things they’re learning at Dreamforce with even more marketing insights and strategies. And it has been super successful.

Now in its second year, The Home for Marketers welcomed more than 2,700 people across 16 events in 2023. Visitors represented a range of marketing hats, which included marketing managers, CMOs, marketing operations professionals, content marketers, and marketing consultants, among others. 

Here’s a few things that went on there:

Dreamforce 2023 Session Highlights 

It’s awesome that all the marketers at Dreamforce had a place to hang out in between sessions and find their people. After all of the marketers filled up on grub and made new friends, they went down to Moscone to catch a few sessions. 

Here are a few that our friends were there to see:

The Future of Trusted AI with Marc Benioff and Sam Altman

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff had a candid conversation with OpenAI CEO Sam Altman about the future of business and how AI is affecting it. 

The biggest takeaway from the conversation was the idea that in the coming years, every new product will incorporate AI in some way. It may even become unthinkable to use technology that doesn’t use AI to complete tasks. The pair also talked about the process OpenAI went through to develop ChatGPT and the direction the company is taking to make sure it continues to be a revolutionary product moving forward.

Watch the replay here.

Marketing Keynote: Marketing in Generation AI

The Marketing Keynote at Dreamforce ’23, titled “Marketing in Generation AI,” unveiled innovations from the Marketing Cloud engineering teams. Salesforce Marketing Cloud GM Steve Hammond emphasized efficiency and the role of AI in scaling personalization. The session introduced prompt engineering and grounding, emphasizing that AI’s effectiveness depends on data quality.

Watch the replay here.

Winter ‘24 Marketing Cloud Release Highlights

This was a big one for all the marketers who attended Dreamforce 2023. That’s because it highlighted all the major enhancements coming to Marketing Cloud this winter.

Sercante Salesforce Product Director Heather Rinke had the honor of co-presenting the Marketing Cloud Release Highlights session with two members of the Salesforce product team: Ruth Bolster, product marketing manager, and Whitni Freeman, lead solution engineer. 

Read the recap here.

Empowering Nonprofits in Times of Change with Data + AI + CRM + Trust

This session introduced Einstein, Salesforce’s proprietary AI, for Nonprofit Cloud, promising nonprofits the ability to leverage predictive and generative AI to enhance donor engagement and data management. It focused on how these tools can simplify the creation of annual reports, segment and standardize donor data, and craft compelling donation appeals.

Overall, the combination of Einstein for Nonprofit Cloud and Data Cloud is seen as a potential game-changer, offering nonprofits automation and insights to better communicate with donors and fulfill their core missions.

Read the recap here.

Biggest Dreamforce 2023 Takeaway: AI is the Future of Business

As we saw in the sessions highlighted in this blog post, AI truly is infiltrating all aspects of business. And Salesforce is investing deeply in the tools. 

Have any other big takeaways from the conference? Tell us about them in the comments. And make sure to sign up for MarDreamin’ 2023, a marketing-focused Salesforce community conference held virtually in November, to keep the AI conversation going.

Original article: Recap: The Big Things Marketers Did at Dreamforce ‘23

©2023 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post Recap: The Big Things Marketers Did at Dreamforce ‘23 appeared first on The Spot.

By |2023-09-28T17:16:21+00:00September 28th, 2023|Categories: Community, Events, Industry News|

Top Takeaways from the Panel: Modern-Day Trends in Higher Education

Today’s trailblazers in the higher education industry are facing trends and challenges that they have not had to before. Navigating a recent global pandemic, the rise of artificial intelligence, marketing to Gen Z, and shifting enrollment levels. 

Dreamforce 2023 – Out of the Home for Marketers Vault

To help trailblazers gain insights into how to deal with these modern-day higher education trends and challenges in the digital age, we held an event at the Home for Marketers during Dreamforce with industry thought leaders. The top takeaways from their panel discussion are below.

Panel: Modern Day Trends in Higher Education

education panel at Dreamforce Home for Marketers

Moderator: Adam Berry, Senior Account Director, Sercante

Panelists (from left to right in photo):

  • Clark Burk, Chief Client Officer, Red Van Workshop
  • Jordyn Jaffer, Senior Salesforce Solution Engineer, Serante
  • Michelle Bates, Assistant Vice President for IT, CRM and Data Analytics, Purdue for Life Foundation
  • Brent Wege, VP Sales, Engagement Solutions, Salesforce

Data Silos Are Still a Major Challenge for Higher Education Institutions

Across universities there are different owners of separate subsets of data making it difficult for teams to collaborate, share insights about their constituents, and have an overall view of the organization’s performance. 

Each panelist emphasized that if universities are going to provide that personalized 1:1 experience that so many of their diversified audience, in particular Gen Z, is desiring then they are going to have to make breaking down their data siloes a priority.

Centers of Excellence Are Being Leveraged to Increase Adoption

As more higher education teams are acquiring systems to their tech stack for a digital transformation many roles and responsibilities are changing. Team members are having to learn new platforms and think through their data in a different manner and getting them to adjust to the change can be difficult.

The panel shared how they have seen teams use Centers of Excellence where education and training on the technology systems are provided to empower users to be more efficient on the platforms

Assigning champions such as administrators or power users in each department can be helpful as they support and help team members in their day-to-day to navigate and leverage the technology to achieve their goals.

It was noted that some teams may not be able to form an organized Center of Excellence in their institution, but making sure training is provided and identifying the champions in each department can be a huge first step towards increasing adoption.

Personalization is a Must in Higher Education

As people are experiencing personalized engagements across their retail, entertainment and content consumption journeys, they expect the same out of their alma mater or the university they are attending or applying for. 

Now more than ever it is critical for higher education teams to have access to all the data touchpoints that happen throughout the prospect, student, and alumni journey. Without accurate data, personalizations will not seem as relevant or authentic. 

As digital natives, Gen Z can easily spot inauthentic marketing, and, according to 2021 Forrester Technographics data, “nearly a third of Gen Z say that they unfollow, hide, or block brands on social media — at least weekly.” This means that universities need to make sure the customized communication and engagements they are crafting accurately align to each stage of the individual’s journey to provide an authentic experience.

For example, if you are starting a fundraising campaign and want to target alumni, using the clubs and organizations they were a part of during their time as a student to share where they are now and where they hope to be is a great way to make your communication to that individual relevant. Having access to this data and managing it in a way that makes it easy to execute personalizations like this is key.

University Teams Are Navigating Their Journey With Artificial Intelligence

Some higher education organizations are already using AI in their day-to-day with chatbots and smart searching in their IT knowledgebase. The biggest concern here is trust and security. Like many, trailblazers in higher education want to ensure that constituent data is secure when leveraging AI-powered tools to ensure a high level of trust.

There are so many exciting new developments happening such as conversations around how AI could track student performance and predict when they are trending towards an at-risk status to alert advisors, so they can better guide students and be more proactive to battle against dropout rates. 

However, these developments will only truly be able to be taken advantage of if all departments are accurately capturing data and have it architected in a way to be centralized and easily accessible across the organization.

A Word of Advice for Your Digital Strategy

A lasting piece of advice from our panelists was don’t just throw technology at your challenges. Consider how you are going to use it to truly deepen relationships with your audience, how it will better help you to manage your data, and who will be the champion for that system. 

There may already be solutions that you have access to that can provide a solution, so have a strategy in place for how it will be used and managed before purchasing new technology.

Reach out to the team at Sercante for help making the right decisions when you’re ready to shake things up with your digital marketing strategy.

Original article: Top Takeaways from the Panel: Modern-Day Trends in Higher Education

©2023 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post Top Takeaways from the Panel: Modern-Day Trends in Higher Education appeared first on The Spot.

By |2023-09-26T20:09:48+00:00September 26th, 2023|Categories: Community, Events, Industry News, revive, Strategy|

5 Event Marketing Best Practices To Implement For Your Next Campaign

Event marketers face unique challenges. They need to create memorable, unique, and meaningful experiences that align with their brand and connect with their audience all the while staying within budget, building relationships, and generating leads. It is not an easy task. At Dreamforce 2023, The Home for Marketers hosted a panel of marketing leaders to share their recommended event marketing best practices to ensure success!

Dreamforce 2023 Event Marketers Panel – Out of The Home for Marketers Vault

On this panel was Belinda Joseph, Head of Events & Community at Goldcast, Porter Sproul, Campaign Strategist at PFL, and Sarah Kloth, VP of Marketing at Sercante.

Here are the event marketing best practices they shared.

Best Practice #1 – Align Your Event to The Appropriate Stages of the Funnel

When you create an event, Belinda Joseph advised to think about where your event best aligns with the funnel. If you are creating an event that reaches prospects and customers at different stages of their journey, then think through what you will do at your event to meet them where they’re at and make the experience relevant to them. 

For example, an executive dinner could be considered to align with a late stage in the funnel after prospects already know who you are and the solutions you provide. They may have already spoken to someone from sales and the event could be a way to engage prospects at accounts that are in early opportunity stages.

Best Practice #2 – Define What Success Looks Like Across Departments

As you create your next event campaign don’t just think of the goals that the marketing team is working to accomplish, shared Porter Sproul, but consider how you can align with sales, service, and leadership. How can your event serve their business goals? What does each department need for your event campaign to be considered as a win for the business as a whole?

Best Practice #3 – Think About How Your Brand Will Be Represented At Your Event

Sarah Kloth emphasized that your brand is one of the most important focuses of event marketing. “Know who are you, what you do, and the environment that you create.” People will attend your event and will walk away with a certain feeling. That feeling will either bring them closer to your brand or repulse them. How do you want your brand to be remembered? 

“Reputation is everything.” added Porter Sproul. You need to have your event and the environment you create align with your brand, but you also need to be different. The panel shared that nowadays people are more selective with how they are spending their time and they will most likely always engage in what’s most convenient. How will you create an experience that will want to make your audience go out of their way to attend?

Creating an Executive Experience

Porter shared how he once experienced that creating an event that was very exclusive gained great traction. His team was planning an executive dinner adjacent to a conference that was going on, but they wanted to be different. Several other companies attending the conference were also hosting executive dinners. How could they create an experience that would make their audience want to choose theirs over the others?

They elected to do an evening dinner cruise on a boat that would only fit a small number of people. His team targeted their top prospects and soon after promotion started, all the spots for the dinner were filled. After the event, they received feedback from other prospects that missed it saying how the event sounded amazing and how they would love to be a part of it next year. Many times people want what they can’t have. The more you make an experience feel special, one-of-kind, and exclusive, the more people will be curious about it and want to seek it out.

Remembering your Personas

When planning your event and how it aligns to your brand, remember to take into account your personas. Belinda Joseph describes that for every event that Goldcast puts on, she and her team map out, “what do we want each persona to think, feel, and do from this event?” How can your event evoke action and progress your audience further down the funnel?

Best Practice #4 – Tap Into The Network Around You For Promotion

It takes a village to promote an event. Your company and your marketing team will be doing their own promotional plan, but when you have the speaker of the event, your customers, or your followers also promoting the event then you will expand your reach and the invitation will hold more weight.

Which is why our fourth event marketing best practice revolves around tapping into the network around you for promotion.

People are more likely to make a purchase when it was recommended to them by a friend. How much more likely do you think they’ll want to attend your event if your audience sees a peer of theirs sharing about it? 

Getting Help from the Community

To help build awareness about The Home for Marketers, we put together a video series interviewing different Marketing Champions and asking them to share about their previous Dreamforce experiences, including how they would describe The Home for Marketers and advice for first-time Dreamforce attendees.

The Road to the Home for Marketers series not only highlighted different champions in the space that give so much to the community, but it also provided valuable and helpful content for marketers that would be going to the conference for the first-time. In turn, they also got to hear about the Home for Marketers and listen to a peer of theirs describe it to them and hear about their positive experience there.

If you are putting on an event that happens every year, consider how you can highlight people that attended in previous years and have them share their positive experience with your intended audience. 

Ask Speakers to Promote

If your event includes a speaking session, collaborate with your speakers on promotion. Belinda Joseph shared how her team will provide a promotional kit to their speakers, making it easy to post about the event on social media and get the word out about the campaign to their networks. What can you do to help make it as seamless as possible for your speakers to promote the event?

  • Is it pre-written social posts that they can copy and paste?
  • Is there imagery that you can provide to enhance their posts?
  • Is it a video that you record with them?
  • Is it examples of previous promotions that other speakers have done in the past?

Remember, your speakers and even your sponsors for your event all want to drive registration and attendance, so for this campaign, you are all on the same team. How can you enable your team to promote this event successfully?

Best Practice #5 – Create an event that is special, creative, and gives!

This may seem challenging for brands that are in a more serious industry, but as Sarah Kloth reminded us on the panel, “We all want to be taken seriously in business, but at the end of the day we all go home and watch the same shows.” Meaning that your business executives are still people too just like you. How can you tap into the more personal side of your brand to build connections with your audience that are special?

Using Tangible Marketing

During Dreamforce Porter Sproul and the rest of the PFL team had a pink mailbox with a light-up sign that said “Send a Smile.” They had postcards and stamps that event attendees could use to send to their friends and family from the conference. Event attendees filled out the postcard and then placed them in the pink mailbox for the PFL team to send out.

One, when was the last time you sent a note with a pen and paper to someone and snail mailed it to them that was not a wedding invitation? Two, when was the last time you received a hand-written note in your mailbox that was sent “just because”?


PFL created an experience that EVERYONE could relate to. They prompted attendees to think of their loved ones and connect with them in a less common form of communication that is tangible and memorable. 

Building Meaningful Experiences

As another example, Belinda Joseph shared about an internal event that the Goldcast team put on. It was their Sales Kick-off and it was during the time when team members were still isolated because of COVID. Prior to the event, they reached out to employees and asked them to record a video of themselves answering a few questions about what challenges they had been dealing with this past year and what they are thinking about and looking forward to in the year to come.

Their team took these responses and produced it into a 10-minute video that the team all watched together during their sales kick-off. “It was emotional.” Belinda recalled.

“We realized we were not alone in the struggles we were facing because our team members were facing similar challenges.” It created empathy among the team as they all got to hear where each person was coming from, strengthening their culture and bringing them closer together as a team just as they were about to kick-off their new fiscal year. Talk about a memorable experience that evoked an action.

When creating an event, consider how you can build a meaningful experience that will connect with your audience on a deeper level. 

Event Marketing Best Practices to Remember

Think about where your event aligns to your funnel, is it an early-, mid-, or late-stage engagement? If you will have multiple stages represented how will you interact with attendees meeting your brand for the first time versus people who have already engaged several times with you?

Align your event goals to what the other departments will consider a win. Sarah Kloth often challenges the Sercante marketing team to “define what success looks like first.”

Last, but certainly not least, remember that how your brand is represented and the feeling and environment you create for your attendees is everything. Brainstorm with your team about how you can create an experience that is special, giving, and unique.

For more event marketing best practices, connect with Belinda, Porter, and Sarah on LinkedIn!

Original article: 5 Event Marketing Best Practices To Implement For Your Next Campaign

©2023 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post 5 Event Marketing Best Practices To Implement For Your Next Campaign appeared first on The Spot.

By |2023-09-20T20:26:25+00:00September 20th, 2023|Categories: Events, Pro Tips, revive, Strategy|

Navigating the Tumultuous Waters of AI, Ethics, and Accessibility

Hot take: I’m not ready to hop on the AI hype train just yet.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand how the possibilities of AI are there, even if much of it hasn’t been quite realized yet. AI has the potential to make our lives easier. AI will definitely increase productivity. Even if the mention of ChatGPT makes you want to roll your eyes so hard they fall out of your head and you won’t have to be subjected to another useless AI-generated “news article” littering Google’s page one search results, the technology is accelerating at an exponential rate and there’s no turning back now.

It’s just that for me, the very real harms—such as exacerbating racial discrimination in policing and surveillance and scraping struggling artists’ works without consent, to name only a few — still far outweigh AI’s currently novel but ultimately still tepid applications.

Reflecting on Three Sessions from Three 2023 Salesforce Dreamin’ Conferences

A rising tide will carry all boats, but what if you don’t have a boat to begin with? What if you are already struggling to keep your head above water, and the deluge comes?

And yet, after recently wrapping up a hat trick of conferences (Midwest Dreamin’, WITness Success, and Mile High Dreamin’) where the topic of  this year’s sessions and keynotes were inevitably dominated by some permutation of AI (an in particular, GenAI), three sessions that I attended have managed to, if not entirely change, then at least somewhat soften my bearish stance on the whole thing.

At the very least, they’ve given me a lot of food for thought around AI and accessibility: who gets to have it, who doesn’t, and what that ultimately means.

“Generative AI and Ethics: Safeguarding Privacy and Nurturing Trust in the Salesforce Ecosystem”

Robert Wieland, Mile High Dreamin’ 2023

At this year’s Mile High Dreamin’, Robert Wieland, an AI Ethicist and Senior Salesforce Engineer at Verisk Analytics, led his audience through a brief but fascinating history of AI development,  which actually started as early as 1966 with the creation of ELIZA, the world’s earliest AI chatbot. His tour through AI history’s highlights and lowlights centered less on the latest groundbreaking developments and more so on the philosophies, ethical concerns, and questions that have arisen as a result, which made for a refreshing change from the usual shock and awe sales pitches I usually hear when it comes to the wonders of AI.

AI’s ethics framework can trace its roots to the 1979 Belmont Report, which laid the ethical foundation for human subjects research in medicine and the social sciences:

  • Human Autonomy, or the respect for people’s decisions and not injecting bias or manipulation into the decision-making process
  • Beneficence, or how to minimize harm while maximizing human well-being and benefits
  • Justice, or how to ensure equitable access and the equal and greatest distribution of benefits

 “In the realm of AI, ethics involves the thoughtful consideration of the potential impacts of AI technologies on individuals, society, and the environment,” Wieland said. “It prompts us to assess how these technologies align with our shared values and to ensure their responsible development and deployment.”

When it comes to predictive AI and language models, the ethical and social risks are not insubstantial, Wieland went on to explain, something we’ve unfortunately already begun to see play out in an alarming number of ways: from producing discrimination, exclusion, and toxicity to being used for misinformation by malicious actors to the incidental environmental harm as a byproduct of the sheer amount of processing power needed to run these increasingly complex processes to the unintentional harm caused by humans overly trusting a language model or treating it as human-like.

While he’s not looking at the AI world through rose-colored glasses, ultimately Wieland ended his presentation on a more optimistic note. There are, after all, a number of very smart people trying to steer this ship for whom these ethical considerations are always top of mind, including Paula Goldman, Salesforce’s Chief Ethical and Human Use Officer, and Kathy Baxter, Principal Architect of Ethical AI Practice. Together, they put out five guidelines for responsible generative AI development to act as Salesforce’s North Star.

While it’s reassuring to know that Salesforce wants to responsibly balance innovation with ethics, I’m more skeptical than Wieland on this front: I can only place so much trust in a corporate or governmental entity’s ability to be self-accountable to their self-proclaimed principles, something for which even Salesforce is not without controversy. Wieland himself noted,  “Even if you’re following the law, you can do things where people get queasy,” in reference to the 2012 controversy where Target used customer data to predict when someone was pregnant based on their shopping behavior and market to them accordingly. As we’ve seen many U.S. states begin to roll back LGBTQ+ protections and legal access to abortion, just because something is law does not necessarily mean it is ethical or just. How will the power of AI be wielded in those instances?

“Tech for Good: AI’s Role in Uplifting Marginalized and Underserved Communities”

Jaye Cherenfant, WITness Success 2023

Jaye Cherenfant is a Salesforce Administrator, tech enthusiast, and AI strategist who spent over a decade empowering Black students in the U.S. and South Africa before founding her own sustainable gardening business and then later launching Vista Tech Solutions, LLC, a tech consulting company.

As a Black, neurodivergent woman in tech, Cherenfant understands the vital importance of leveraging technology for beneficence, especially when it comes to serving the marginalized and underserved. In her session, she was especially concerned with how AI can inherit societal biases, further discrimination, and lead to data privacy violations that disproportionately impact BIPOC communities.

One of the best ways to begin to address these concerns, Cherenfant argued, is to ensure that tech teams, especially AI teams, diversify: Black people need a seat at the table.

But that’s far easier said than done. As of 2021, Black representation made up less than 10% of the STEM workforce, while Black women only represented 2% of the tech industry. These figures also reflect the STEM pipeline, where Black students make up only 9% of STEM degrees at all levels. According to a report from Jobs for the Future, the primary reasons for STEM underrepresentation are “systemic and structural barriers that Black learners confront from an early age into adulthood.” This includes a lack of access to a quality education and resources, which, in the U.S., are allocated based on wealth.

According to 2023 Pew Research, over half of Black households make less than $50,000 in the U.S, with 30% of Black households making less than $25,000.

One cascading effect of these inequities, Cherenfant pointed out, is a growing Digital Divide between children from low-income households and their more affluent peers, a disparity that worsened during the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the Pew Research Center, almost 60% of lower income families experienced at least one of the following digital access obstacles during the COVID-19 school shutdowns:

  • Having to use a mobile phone to complete schoolwork
  • Needing to use public Wi-Fi to complete schoolwork due to unreliable or no internet connectivity at home
  • Being unable to complete schoolwork due to not owning a computer

As the pace of technological innovation keeps accelerating, those who cannot access the knowledge and tools needed to contribute to these advances in hopes of shaping the discourse, nevermind merely being able to keep up with them, will fall further behind and eventually be shut out of these critical spheres altogether.

So where does that leave us? Where can we even begin to address these challenges? Cherenfant advocates that one’s activism can begin locally, from collaborating with her children on generative AI art projects to volunteering at local groups and community-driven events to introduce the community, and especially the youth, to the world of AI and practical AI applications. Giving underrepresented groups access to, knowledge of, and skills to use AI is the first step to giving them that much-needed seat.

My feelings on this are, as ever, somewhat mixed. On one hand, giving marginalized people equitable access to privileged white spaces to empower themselves and others  is crucially important to AI’s future and mitigating the growing harm that systemic biases like flawed racial profiling software and “predictive policing” algorithms are perpetuating.

On the other hand, as Audre Lorde said, “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” Can we ignore how, despite assurances, companies are actively replacing or attempting to replace human creative labor, including already underrepresented Black creative labor, with generative AI to the point where even Hollywood has sat up and taken notice? Or how these technologies still betray their systemic bias even when they are being used by Black creators because of the inherently biased data sets they’re trained on?

I don’t know what the right answers are, or if there even are any to be had right now. If the goal laid out in our AI Ethics framework is to make sure AI is doing the greatest amount of good with the least amount of harm, what is an acceptable level of harm and who gets to decide what that is?

“How to Create Accessible Digital Marketing Assets”

Cara Weese, WITness Success 2023

While Cara Weese, CRM & Marketing Automation Strategist at Sercante (and, in full disclosure, one of my most favorite coworkers ever), did not directly address AI during her presentation, her topic was one that runs in the same circles of AI discussions nevertheless: accessibility, and in this case, specifically for those with disabilities.

Weese set the stage for her presentation by sharing her own powerful story as a person with a disability, which further drove home the point that people with disabilities aren’t an imaginary segment of the population to be treated as an afterthought or, worse still, acceptable collateral damage if the cost proves too high or the effort too bothersome to be ADA-compliant. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, 1.3 billion people, or 16% of the world’s population, have a significant disability. 

If us marketers don’t center accessibility-first strategies in our work, Weese said, we not only exclude a not insignificant portion of the population, we also risk a number of repercussions from missing opportunities to expand our customer base, create positive associations with our brand, encourage inclusivity in others, and improve our quality ranking score and SEO. 

And if that wasn’t convincing enough, businesses who fail to comply with ADA regulations are liable for some hefty penalties should their non-compliant practices be reported.

As Donald A. Norman, author of the influential book Design of Everyday Things, points out, “Designing for people with disabilities almost always leads to products that work better for everyone.” Using large, legible fonts and high contrast in our emails not only helps those with visual disabilities, but consider how much the elderly with failing eyesight would also appreciate these design choices. Or how about the fact that we’re all having to turn on the subtitles to watch TV shows and films these days.

Even in this, class is inextricably entwined with accessibility, furthering the Digital Divide. Assistive technologies such as screen readers are a helpful device for the visually impaired to navigate the digital world, but their high price point can pose a significant barrier for lower income households. And even if one were able to secure a lower cost device, as Weese explained, newer, more expensive screen readers are often more capable of parsing web pages and emails than cheaper ones, even when the content doesn’t entirely meet web accessibility requirements.


I’m not anti-AI.

I’m already eager to see how AI will get better at making inaccessible digital content accessible. I’ve already played around with gen AI for coding and generating seed data for Salesforce imports. I’m looking forward to trying out Jaye Cherenfant’s method of using gen AI to study for her Salesforce exam.

But what is more important to me than what I want AI to do is how I want it to be used — and how I don’t want it to be used. I’d love to see the rich experience of the marginalized to be welcomed and included in AI’s development to not only empower those communities but to improve the accuracy and power of AI itself. I want to see AI close the gap between the privileged and the underserved.

I don’t want to see the worst consequences of AI fall upon the most vulnerable among us: those with lower incomes, those who have been excluded from consideration, those who will suffer the most from climate change, and those who are primed to be heavily exploited by richer, and vastly more powerful entities.

The tide is rising, and the sea is rough. If we can’t stem or even slow it down, then at the very least, I hope we have the courage and strength to pull others out of the water and into the boat with us on our way up.

Original article: Navigating the Tumultuous Waters of AI, Ethics, and Accessibility

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By |2023-09-13T17:31:02+00:00September 13th, 2023|Categories: Community, Events, Real Talk|