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From an array of product announcements to a much-anticipated keynote address about the challenges and opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and even a tech-break with actor, Adrian Grenier, Day 2 of Connections ‘18 did not disappoint. Here are our top 5 highlights from the most exciting things that happened today:

 

1. The Fourth Industrial Revolution in one great keynote

 

The challenges businesses face in the age of the connected customer also represent new possibilities, Salesforce’s chief product officer told thousands at today’s Connections conference keynote address. “These technologies are changing so rapidly it can be intimidating,” Brett Taylor said. “But it is the greatest opportunity we've had in a generation to connect with our customers.”

 

Brett told the audience that Trailblazers — the affectionate name Salesforce gives its customers — are the solution to the challenges of today’s evolving market. Then he and fellow executives unveiled new tools to help those Trailblazers.

 

Stephanie Buscemi, Salesforce’s Executive Vice President of Product and Solutions Marketing, demonstrated the new integration between Marketing Cloud and Google Analytics 360. “For marketers, it’s always about the right message, in the right place, at the right time,” she said while showing how the integration can analyze the performance of a company’s media in real-time.

 

Mary Kay Huse, Salesforce’s Executive Vice President of Product Management, revealed how companies like Adidas can benefit from new integrations between Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, and Marketing Cloud “seamlessly, with clicks, not code.”

 

According to Rohit Mahna, Salesforce’s Senior Vice President of Financial Services, in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, “All of us, all of our employees, need to constantly be learning.” He gave U.S. Bank as an example of using Salesforce’s Trailhead learning platform to teach employees new skills that — along with Einstein artificial intelligence tools — will act to “future-proof” the bank’s processes, keeping them current.

 

Brett closed the keynote with some fun for attendees, introducing the young Chicago musicians group, Little Kids Rock, who blasted out several songs in the back of the huge auditorium.

 

 

2. Adrian Grenier asked us to “Stop Sucking”

 

You may be wondering how actor Adrian Grenier — who made a name for himself galavanting around L.A. in a Hummer in the TV series, “Entourage” — got into ocean conservation work. The answer is actually quite simple: “My mother raised me with one basic rule — to clean my room,” he told a full room of Connections attendees. He now applies that same rule to the larger world by raising awareness and global participation on the issue of ocean pollution. “What the planet needs is not just a really passionate extremist to do something once, we need everyone around the world to commit to a lifetime of daily, subtle effort,” said Adrian.

 

This is why his incubator, Lonely Whale, has focused on inspiring change through small movements, the first of which is to reduce the use of plastic straws. In Seattle, Lonely Whale has already helped eliminate 2,000,000 straws in just one month. (Apparently, 60% of us don’t really want them in our drinks anyways.)

 

The session ended with Adrian asking the audience to stand up, raise their right hand, and pledge to “Stop Sucking” (the campaign's clever slogan). The whole feel-good experience reminded us of the power of taking a moment at these conferences to think bigger about our role as corporate and social citizens.

 

3. A day of great product releases

As discussed in the keynote address, today was also a parade of new product innovations announced across Marketing, Commerce, and Service Clouds. Want the full blog rundown? It’s here. For a quick course, here’s a summary:  

  • Salesforce and Google continue to deliver on their strategic partnership with new integrations between Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Google Analytics 360.

  • New Salesforce Einstein AI tools have been added to Marketing Cloud uncovering patterns in consumer behavior. Learn more.

  • Consumer-like shopping experiences for business buyers gave a new user experience to Commerce Cloud. Read more on Salesforce B2B Commerce.

  • Marketers can visualize, analyze, and deliver contextually relevant experiences to consumers with Interaction Studio.

  • Customers can message a brand to ask a question, initiate a return or schedule a delivery time — around the world with LiveMessage.

  • Salesforce.org, the philanthropic arm of Salesforce, today announced Nonprofit Cloud, a complete solution set that enables nonprofits to track and measure programs in real time.

 

4. Merging the B2B and B2C worlds with Salesforce’s latest product

 

 

The time to integrate our B2B and B2C experiences is now. At least that was the resounding message from Tom Griffin, Salesforce’s Chief Operating Officer for Commerce Cloud, in today’s Commerce Cloud keynote. “Experiences in one world influence and set expectations in another,” he said.

 

This consumerization of B2B is coming to life through the launch of Salesforce B2B with the acquisition of CloudCraze. “Consumer expectations are changing, and they’re manifesting in B2B business,” explained Ray Grady, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for B2B Commerce.

 

We heard actionable success stories from retailers including Samsonite, Perry Ellis, Rebecca Taylor, Milk Makeup, ASICS, and Lacoste. Kathryn Murphy, Salesforce Senior Vice President of Product Management, demoed a compelling Alexa skill from Perry Ellis that gave Dr. Rama Ramakrishnan (Salesforce Senior Vice President of Data Science) real-time fashion advice. Gordon Evans, Vice President of Product Marketing for Commerce Cloud, highlighted the ways Lacoste has created a unified customer experience in-store, online, and across every touchpoint with Salesforce. The main takeaway: consumers shop everywhere. And it’s only with the innovations of AI, voice, visual search, and modernized service that Trailblazer can continue to make their customers happy.

 

5. Taking the time to give back

 

 

Conference attendees had the opportunity to participate in a hands-on giving back activity benefiting City Kids Camp Dixon, a summer camp that gives Chicago-based students a place to experience nature and other outdoor adventures. Our Trailblazers jumped in, building Summer Camp Kits (backpack, flashlight, etc.), Wilderness Adventure Kits (compass, binoculars, etc.), and Arts and Crafts Kits (paint, canvas, brushes, etc.). We love seeing our Ohana come together like this!

 

One more day!

 

Tomorrow marks the last day of Connections ‘18 — we know, we can’t believe it either! So, get ready to end with a bang! The Marketing Cloud and Service Cloud keynotes are both tomorrow, along with sure-to-please closing keynote with “Scandal” star, Kerry Washington.


Come back to the blog tomorrow morning for a list of the sessions and events for Thursday, June 14. And if you’re following along from home, don’t miss any of the action by tuning into Salesforce Live and by following the hashtag #CNX18.