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Connections ‘19: Day 2 Highlights and Main Keynote Coverage

Photo of attendees at Connections '19 in Chicago

Day two is in the history books — here's what you may have missed.

Day two is in the history books. Today Trailblazers heard about our plans to expand Customer 360 and a new set of services to enhance data management across all of Salesforce. They also saw a preview of Marketing Cloud and Commerce Cloud and how Trailblazers shake up their industries by leveraging the platform. But it wasn’t all products and innovation today — there was also discussion about inclusivity and industry trends, too. Read on for our recap.

Sneak peek: How we put on a keynote, Salesforce-style

Once you’ve experienced a Salesforce keynote, you’ll immediately understand that it’s not like any other keynote you’ve ever seen. You never know who or what might pop up on stage, from musicians to Trailblazing customers, to special surprises. Today, Trailblazers got a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what goes into making our keynotes. Catch the action hosted by none other than Salesforce’s keynote guru, Leandro Perez, Senior Director, Product Marketing.

Build a 360° view of your customer

Lights, fern, and bark patterned backdrops covered every surface of the keynote room, giving attendees the impression that they entered a cool, mossy grove. The melodic tones of musician LT Smooth filled the air as Trailblazers entered the keynote room. As he strummed Hawaiian tunes, Astro, Codey, Einstein, and SaaSy wandered around the stage, bouncing excitedly and taking selfies with attendees. As everyone settled in, Chicago’s own Second City took the stage and treated viewers to an amazing performance — all completely improvised. After taking prompts from the audience, attendees were delighted to hear an impromptu song about themselves: “In ways that are unexpected, Trailblazers are getting connected,” sang the five performers.

Photo of Salesforce CMO Stephanie Buscemi

Once the crowd was warmed up, Salesforce CMO Stephanie Buscemi took the stage to welcome Trailblazers to Connections. “Today we’re going to get serious about connecting because we’re here to help you focus on getting a single view of your customer. Our job is to inspire you, motivate you, empower you. We’re all on this path together.”

Today’s connected customer expects more from businesses

Buscemi outlined how an incredible wave of innovation and technology is radically transforming our economies, our societies, and our daily lives — this is what is known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution. “We’re all connected. It’s already happened. We’re not entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution — we’re in the midst of it,” Buscemi shared. This means that because we’re all now connected, our expectations have changed and we now all want smarter, faster, always-on experiences.

78% of customers expect continuous experiences across departments.” Salesforce Research | State of the Connected Customer, June 2019

Meeting these expectations has been a challenge for companies. Once upon a time, it was tough for companies to collect information and data from customers; now we’ve got an overwhelming amount of it, all across disparate systems and lines of business.

Trailblazers ride the new wave of customer engagement

But there are smart, innovative people who bridge that divide, solve problems, and drive customer success in the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Trailblazers. Whether delivering awesome user experiences, accelerating productivity, or improving their business acumen, Trailblazers propel the future of technology.

Fawad Ahmad is one such Trailblazer. The lights dimmed as the audience watched his story unfold on screen. As Senior Vice President of Digital and Customer Experience at State Farms Insurance, Ahmad is committed to building a single view of the policyholder. Tasked with digitally transforming the nearly 100-year-old company, Ahmad believes that it’s important to treat customer experience as a discipline and to regulate that within the business. “We need to know our customers and who we’re working with. We need to keep finding out what matters. Even if your mobile app is ranked #1, it’s not enough if you’re messing it up in the contact center, or service environment.”

The next generation of Customer 360

Over the past 20 years, Salesforce has envisioned helping businesses gain a single view of their customers. With this view, organizations can know their customer, and truly offer them a continuous, personalized experience across all company touchpoints. Salesforce Customer 360 is the realization of that vision and will help companies predict customer behavior, personalize their experience, and deliver the right service at the right time. It is the key to driving success across your organization, and for connecting to customers in a whole new way.

Image of the next generation Customer 360 interface

Today we announced plans for bringing a customer data platform (CDP) to the world’s #1 CRM. Salesforce SVP of Product Marketing Eric Stahl took the stage to show Trailblazers how Customer 360 goes beyond traditional CDP capabilities and extends the power of CRM with consumer-scale data management and activation. Additionally, as we continue to add new capabilities, like blockchain announced at TrailheaDX last month, our apps, and more importantly, our customers will get automatic access to the latest innovation.

Customer engagement all-star squad

In this keynote, three standout Trailblazers highlighted how they connect with customers in new ways.

First up, President and COO of Pacers Sports and Entertainment Rick Fuson, who in spite of not having the home court advantage, talked about the importance of building a single view of the fan resulting in a revamp of their engagement strategy. “It’s not just putting on a uniform and opening a door anymore. It’s about knowing who our customers are to optimize personalization. We want to know how happy they are and we want them to be a customer for a long time,“ Fuson said.

Cosmetic superstar e.l.f. (eyes.lips.face.), showed fellow Trailblazers how they drive consumer engagement with a set of mobile-first experiences that consumers have come to expect. Head of Digital Ekta Chopra and Salesforce Senior Director, Product Marketing Dana Cherry demonstrated how e.l.f. leverages the Customer 360 platform to engage customers with intelligence and create AI-powered shopping experiences.

DeLu Jackson, Vice President of Precision Marketing at foodservice powerhouse Conagra shared their experience transforming business engagement. With over 100 global brands to look after, Conagra faced data from disparate sources and consumer demands for personalization. Salesforce SVP Product Marketing Sarah Patterson took center stage to demonstrate how Conagra uses Customer 360 to personalize across channels, extend digital services with bots, and empower employees with intelligence.

Elevating diverse voices that reflect your customers

At Salesforce, we define inclusive marketing as creating content that truly reflects the diverse communities that our companies serve. In today’s important session on the topic, Salesforce Equality Narrative and Content Senior Manager Alexandra Siegel moderated a panel on how brands deepen connections with their customers through thoughtful marketing. The panel included Stephanie Buscemi, CMO of Salesforce; Heather Geisler, VP Global Brands at Hyatt; Kaleeta McDade, Creative Director at Deloitte Digital; and Brent Allen, Associate Publisher, Integrated Marketing at Elle and Marie Claire.

43% of Millennials in the U.S. identify as African American, Hispanic, or Asian. If a brand doesn’t have a multicultural strategy, it doesn’t have a growth strategy.” Nielsen Insights

Buscemi kicked off the panel by saying, “I look at so much of the marketing today, and it’s just not diverse or representative of the population. We have a chance to change that.” Geisler agreed. The panel outlined several tactics marketers could take immediately. “We have to be comfortable admitting when we get it wrong,” Allen remarked. McDade concurred, “Becoming a changemaker means being comfortable with being uncomfortable. When you step into rarefied air, it’s going to be uncomfortable, but keep asking questions and keep going. No one has a roadmap for this.”

A goat for the g.o.a.t.

Today the Connection’s Executive Program hosted the most successful female skier in the world, Lindsey Vonn. Vonn recently retired as an Olympic gold and bronze medalist and served as an International Games Ambassador in the 2018 Winter Olympics. As an elite athlete, Vonn discussed the clear vision she had from a young age that she fervently went after. “I had a 10-year plan when I was nine that I wanted to compete in the Olympics and be the best in the world,” she recalls smiling. Vonn is also the founder of the Lindsey Vonn Foundation, established to empower young girls. She encourages everyone — not just executives — to invest in themselves. “I bet on myself early on, hiring people to help me when I had no money. It paid off, and made me tougher for it,” she recalls.

Keynotes full of insight and innovation

Two other keynotes took place today — marketing and commerce — both offered up forward-looking ideas for engaging with customers.

In Marketing Cloud’s keynote, speakers challenged attendees to reimagine what customer engagement could look like. We know that today’s connected customers expect personalization, timeliness, and connectivity, but it can be difficult for companies to deliver these three at scale. With the help of The Brain Tumour Charity CEO Sarah Lindsell, Indiana Fever President and COO Dr. Allison Barber, and PageGroup’s Director of Group Data Director Alex Bates, attendees discussed how marketing is evolving and the impact it can have. “Providing the right information people need at the right time, really can change lives,” said Lindsell.

Find out more about the just-announced Marketing Cloud features:


Meanwhile, commerce professionals discovered what unicorn balloons, basketballs, and digital transformation have in common. Today Commerce Cloud CEO Mike Micucci kicked off the keynote by affirming that amazing shopping experiences start with the customer and that it’s critical to deliver customer-centric experiences. Commerce Cloud leadership were soon joined onstage by Trailblazers Patrick Duncan, Chief Digital Officer at Party City; Matt Day, Digital Marketing Manager at Spaulding; and Bryan Shelstad, IT Director at Land o’ Lakes. Each Trailblazer described how they create premium experiences for their customers.

Hear the latest Commerce Cloud announcements:


We’re not done yet

Although tomorrow is the last day of Connections, we’re not ready to pack up our tents and douse the campfires. You’ll want to check out the Service Cloud keynote, and hear about recent trends from our latest research report. See you tomorrow!

Kim Mercado Associate Manager, Editorial Content

Kim Mercado was a writer for the Salesforce blog. She's written many of your favorite blog posts here, as well as multiple e-books including the Content Marketing Institute award-winner, We Are All Trailblazers. When she isn't writing, she's probably binge-watching tv shows, learning Japanese, and looking at videos of cute animals.

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