The Latest from an Industrial Marketing Dream(force)


A firsthand view of the ultimate conference for B2C and B2B marketers.

Every now and then it’s nice to get out of Cleveland, and this week I had the opportunity to head to San Francisco to take part in Dreamforce 2013 – the annual marketing conference hosted by Salesforce.

I thought I’d take a moment and give you a glimpse into my trip, and pass along some tips and trends that I’ve found interesting.

After battling the storm system that spawned tornadoes across the Midwest Sunday, my colleague and I found ourselves grounded in Indianapolis for about 8 hours. Once we got back on the road – errr, air – we were treated to a great view of the city and soon found ourselves in San Francisco.

One of my first thoughts after exploring the 10 – 12 block radius that is Dreamforce was that it really is quite easy to lose oneself in all that is going on.

People sitting on comfy green beanbags in front of golf ball-like structures? Check. An opening concert with Grace Potter and The Nocturnals? Check. Oh, and there was some discussion of current trends in marketing, too.

My first session was a discussion of how to create amazing social experiences, with the US Marine Corp’s “Towards the Sounds of Chaos” campaign being used as an example. After the discussion, the Marines’ new TV spot was launched, followed on Facebook for immediate feedback.

The main takeaway for me was that social media is now introducing campaigns rather than serving as an afterthought or add-on.

I followed this session with a presentation by Chris Penn & Jenny Burnham (@cspenn@jennydburnham) about growing and converting your audience. This session underscored the importance of establishing metrics that allow you and your company to measure success when it comes to lead conversion. This is the only way to see what’s working and what isn’t.

This was a common theme across the presentations so far, as the age of big data remains a hot topic for marketers. I expect to hear this throughout the remainder of the conference.

Dreamforce 2013 has been a fun and educational experience so far. There is something for everyone – B2C and B2B folks. Much of what I’ve been immersed in is applicable to the industrial marketing arena, as business buyers continue to behave more and more like consumers.

The hospitality has been great, San Francisco has been a great host and hopefully the rest of the week will go smoother than the trip out!

Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@KenWissner) and follow the hashtag #DF13 for the latest from the conference.

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