dreamforce 2013
view from above Dreamforce by Fergus Griffin

One of the greatest parts of Dreamforce is you get a bit of time to think about strategy away from the pandemonium of your office. It works on three fronts - you hear big ideas in keynotes, learn about the technologies in sessions, and see companies put their strategies in action on the Expo floor.

Although we get bogged down worrying about how to handle leads, sales, marketing and all the other transactions of business, the key to success is having a winning strategy so that all of these transactions result in profit at the end of the year.

Here are four strategic concepts that hit me like a truck this week:

1. Strategic Means Proactive, Not Reactive

Watching the average exhibitor wait for leads to come to their booth is a reactive strategy. A few minutes talking with Todd Grierson of InsideSales.com would change your view of event strategy. Think about how your odds for success would increase if you exerted the effort up front to have literally hundreds of demos scheduled before the event starts. Yes, it's an astounding amount of pre-show effort, but imagine showing up knowing your booth already has positive ROI. Classic "Art of War" strategy, knowing victory is assured before you even set foot on the battlefield.

2. The Managed Customer Journey

This phrase came up in many Marketing Cloud discussions and perfectly describes what you are trying to do with your strategy. Examining every step your customer takes when dealing with your organization is the type of proactive thought you need to keep them happy. This concept, translated to marketing automation, gives you "Journey Maps" which can be understood by everyone, as opposed to other phrases like "Drip Campaigns", "Lead Flow Diagrams" or "Logic Trees". "Managed Customer Journey" is a great example of discrete knowledge. It's a message that's easy to spread and understand.

3. Internet of Customers

While the internet of things (discussed yesterday here) has been gaining momentum, salesforce.com is the first company on the CRM, Marketing Automation and Customer Service fronts to step up with the strategic vision of incorporating the Internet of Things into business. In the Sales Cloud keynote, ADT talked about being able to enter entirely new fields of business because of the technologies that Salesforce has on the product map. Do you have anything you're talking about that will open up entire new markets for your customers?

4. The Dashboard of Our Lives

On top of this impending mountain of data generated by the internet of things that will create amazing new opportunities, we're also going through a platform shift. Smartphone users always have the device on them and check constantly. It meets the reqirement of a perfect dashboard because it's telling you what to do next. Marissa Meyer's discussion of recreating Yahoo as a "Mobile First" company and taking advantage of a platform shift is the kind of strategic thinking that has to make her board of directors smile. Expressed in pesimistic terms, you have to surrender to the fact that if your application does not transition to mobile, you'll probably be crushed by somebody who does.

If you've heard any strategic thoughts that have bent your world view, I'd love to hear about them, I'll share anything great in a future post so ping me at @johnjwall.

Not attending Dreamforce? No problem - watch it live at salesforce.com/live. After Dreamforce, check out this helpful marketing ebook for marketers like John Wall, at the button below.