The possibilities of time travel – of the past affecting the future – has fascinated science fiction writers for centuries. But in fact, we each do something similar every day: every business decision we make, every new relationship we build, every path we choose to follow or not follow, is influencing the future us – for better or worse.
Business leaders that are keenly aware of the long-lasting impact of their actions, and are keeping one eye on managing the current moment and the other on creating positive future outcomes, are the ones who are positioning themselves to triumph and lead through change in the new landscape.
But without the benefit of faster-than-light speed, how can businesses know which paths to follow: how to optimise budget spends, build resilience, communicate effectively, and pivot to the spots they need to be at weeks, years or decades from now? How can they remain both sturdy and agile, while developing new channels and winning new customers? How can they see what future challenges might look like, so that they can rise to meet them?
The answer is Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
One company that has managed to integrate the past and the future seamlessly is luxury bed brand, Hästens. The traditional Swedish manufacturer has been producing handcrafted products since 1852, and while the premium natural materials that they use – wool, flax, horsehair and cotton – are timeless, their marketing plan has just become thoroughly modern.
Like many businesses, Hästens had to adapt to the challenges of the current moment. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in retail stores temporarily closing around the world, which created challenges, as buying a premium bed is an especially tactile experience, and best experienced in person. Luckily, Hästens had begun piloting Salesforce Marketing Cloud, allowing them to create and deploy 1-to-1 marketing journeys with an all-in-one customer platform for end users.
Not only did Salesforce Marketing Cloud help Hästens engage with customers while navigating the current issues, it helped them refine the next steps, which, according to Hästens CMO Deborah Fell, are key in their continuing journey of success.
Here are a few tips from Hästens:
Communicate: This is an important time to build personal relationships with customers, and to connect in a caring and empathetic way. We’re all on this journey together, so make it a memorable one.
Focus: It’s easy to be distracted now, but it’s important to keep an eye on the goals and avoid “random acts of marketing.”
Be prepared to pivot: Things are shifting daily, and clients may be doing things in new ways. Businesses need to be able to pivot to meet the customer’s needs.
Salesforce Marketing Cloud has helped Hästens understand their customers better, and build more targeted and relevant communications. This, plus results measurement, makes for a winning strategy.
In a time when 73% of customers say that one incredible experience with a brand raises expectations for all future interactions with brands, providing a run-of-the-mill customer journey is no longer enough. As Tord Nilsson of Salesforce puts it, these heightened customer expectations are the ‘New Normal’.
But increased expectations in the New Normal shouldn’t be intimidating – with Salesforce at their fingertips, brands cannot only reach a raised ceiling, they can shatter it. And, with all of us working together to draw a map towards a better tomorrow, we don’t need to travel in time to see the future – we’re creating it day by day.
To learn how to engage with customers during times of crisis, watch the Leading Through Change for marketers episode with Trailblazer Hästens.