The biggest news on the marketing front from today’s keynote was demonstration of the infrastructure that will connect the Marketing Cloud to the “Internet of Things.” Salesforce calls it “The Internet of Customers,” which fits perfectly considering that massive collection of data will allow both sales and service to have an accurate single screen view of every interaction with the customer.

If you haven’t been reading about the bleeding edge of tech, “the Internet of Things” or “The Commercial Internet” is used to describe the proliferation of computers and sensors that are now so inexpensive that they can be attached to nearly anything. Soon there will be no reason not to attach the ability to collect data to any object.

Science fiction is here today as Marc Benioff explained how his connected toothbrush would gather usage data, reporting back to his dentist. "Back To The Future" came up more than once with Parker Harris dressed as Doc Brown, driving around in a new Tesla and none other than musical guest Huey Lewis and The News.

The critical point on the marketing front is that the huge mountain of data that will be collected can be used as triggers for marketing automation. Prior to this point, most marketing touches are usually tied to lead generation campaigns, or involve transactional details such as, "Hey, your subscription is almost up, do you want to renew?"

Scott Dorsey, CEO of ExactTarget Marketing Cloud showed how big data from customers can be used in mapping out marketing automation like never before. A demonstration showed Sony PS4 customers receiving personalized email when they won an award while playing a popular racing game. With Salesforce1, your only limit will be your imagination when creating marketing campaigns like these. A congratulations email is but a first step, how about extra levels or discounts on the sequel for gamers that log over a certain number of hours? And of course this was all tallied up to the dashboard level so everything is measured.

The biggest challenge in business today is that customers aren't interested in spending time talking to you about how they use your product, they have other more important things to do. Now consider the implications of having your product tell you about how the customer is using it. You can provide a level of service previously impossible, and make life easier for your customer at the same time. The opportunity is right there, just waiting for you to grab it.


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