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Digital Transformation

Updated: Highlights from Salesforce at CES — Using Technology to Put the Customer at the Center

Over 175,000 attendees are gathering in Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the kickoff event for the year in tech and consumer engagement. CES is where many of the most significant new products and technologies are launched as the new year begins.

Behind every one of those incredible new products is a customer. And that’s why Salesforce leaders are attending and contributing to the event. As brands compete and new technologies come to market, customers’ expectations constantly rise.

We’re on site sharing how companies can leverage new technologies like IoT, blockchain, and voice to drive exceptional customer experiences and put the customer at the center of everything they do.

See below for some of the highlights from Salesforce’s participation so far, and information on where we’ll contribute to the ongoing agenda.

L-R: Anda Gansca, Co-Founder and CEO, Knotch; Raja Rajamannar, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Mastercard; Stephanie Buscemi, EVP and CMO, Salesforce; Angela Zepeda, CMO, Hyundai Motor America

The C-space storyteller: Creativity vs data with Stephanie Buscemi

In the C-Space Storyteller space on Wednesday, Stephanie Buscemi, Salesforce EVP and CMO, joined leaders from Knotch, Mastercard, and Hyundai to discuss how to find the right balance between data and creativity in marketing. Some key takeaways from Buscemi:

  • “Data for me has a personal story. I started on the data side and then came into marketing, rather than starting in brand or creative. I found very early in my career that as a marketer and as a woman, data could be a really powerful tool. Data and analytics take the emotion out of conversations with the CEO or the CFO, and help me command the budgets I need. That was a hugely powerful tool, one that unlocked doors for me in my career.”
  • “‘Lead’ to me is a four letter word right now. I want to push that to the side. I want all of marketing — and beyond marketing, across the organization — to be measured around engagement … We have to be looking across the entire organization, truly every customer touch point … for a full view of the customer. I think we need to blow up these lead models; they are pretty antiquated. For us, it’s all about engagement, and a set of engagement metrics that transcend every customer touch point.”
  • “Sometimes it makes better sense for us to use external agency, sometimes to do things internally. What I think is the most important part of it, whether it’s in-house or not, is to never be willing to extract yourself away from your customers and consumers.”
  • “I’ve seen places where people are doing things out in markets that are attempts to build emotional connections, but they feel like ‘random acts of emotion’. [Instead, you need to answer the question] ‘What is your company really about? Beyond your core products and services?’ [You should be engaging on] shared values with that consumer … 90% of people said that they felt it was the responsibility of a business, to give back to the society in which it operated, and 80% indicated they’re going to make their decision making and the way they buy their products and services based on that moving forward [according to the Salesforce State of the Connected Customer report].”
  • “[People often ask me] what are you going to do with CCPA and compliance? We’re working on that. But honestly, this is a data sharing and information economy with a generation, we can all see, that’s willing to share a lot of their information for meaningful experiences for a meaningful exchange a value exchange and authenticity.”

L-R: Michael Kassan, Marc Benioff, and Alan Jope

Good for business, good for the planet: How companies drive positive impact

Salesforce Chairman and Co-CEO Marc Benioff joined Alan Jope, CEO of Unilever, and Michael Kassan, Chairman and Co-CEO of Medialink, to discuss the new imperatives for CEOs, how Salesforce is doing well by doing good, and out believe that business can be the greatest platform for change.

  • “All stakeholders have to matter to us, not just our shareholders. This is good business. This is one of the reasons that Salesforce has become a high performance company. This is the marking of a modern high performance culture today.”
  • “[I know when we last spoke seven years ago], the concept of deeply integrating sustainability into our supply chain was not in the conversation. But today, for a modern CEO, that has to be a key part of their strategy going forward.”
  • “You can listen to the phone calls are the scripts, of our shareholder meetings every year. There’s always one person who shows up [to our shareholder meetings] and says, ‘I didn’t understand. Why didn’t you have to go against [the anti-LGBTQ law in Indiana]? Do you really think that that’s your right, as a CEO to fight that law?’ And my response is always ‘Yes, I have to fight for the rights of our employees and our customers, that’s what I do as a CEO … that is what ultimately being a chief executive today is going to be about.’”
  • “When I was at Oracle, I felt very much split in my personality. During the day, I was making and selling software. But then I had a philanthropic side and I was working in schools, and all that. But, you know, I had a revelation that we can do both. You don’t have to make a decision that you’re going to be philanthropic or business oriented. That’s a false choice. Businesses can be a platform for change; business can be the greatest platform for change.”

See the full conversation in this CES video.

See video of the “<a href=”″ target=”_blank”>workplace on wheels</a>” from Salesforce’s Vala Afshar, on site at CES

Breaking News: Salesforce partners with HARMAN to empower drivers to be more productive in their vehicles

HARMAN, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., focused on connected technologies for automotive, consumer and enterprise markets launched at CES their new ‘Ignite Marketplace’, that allows for a tailor-made connected vehicle experience through an extensive network of cloud-based applications and services.

The new vehicle user experience will be powered in part by Salesforce. For example, a sales rep can voice query Salesforce to get briefed on nearby accounts, vehicles can create their own service tickets to suggest appointments and voice enabled commerce will allow anyone to order products directly from the app, like re-ordering their favorite dinner on the way home from work.

Vala Afshar, Salesforce’s Chief Digital Evangelist, said “This is an industry first capability, enabling a driver to be productive in a vehicle of the future. The average U.S. worker has 51 minutes of daily commute. With Salesforce on the Harmon Ignite Marketplace, a car becomes a mobile office, whereby a driver can manage sales opportunities, marketing leads and services cases.”

Find out more at the HARMAN press center.

Salesforce CMO Stephanie Buscemi in an interview at CES

The rise (and rise) of immersive technologies

Salesforce EVP and Chief Marketing Officer Stephanie Buscemi took the stage Tuesday at CES — alongside Disney’s EVP of Global Marketing and Sales Jill Estorino — to discuss digital disruption in 2020. Here are a few highlights from Buscemi at CES:

  • “Artificial intelligence has been around for decades. It’s not a new thing. But there is a time when you hit the tipping point — and it’s now. We’re really starting to see every marketer out there is going ‘wait a minute, to really get scale in my business, I need to be using [AI] not only to personalize recommendations on the next-best offer… but all my digital properties. AI can actually be telling me what the next best image is to have on my web pages. AI can actually manage and help identifying what’s the best and most resonating copy.’”
  • “If I harken back 20 years and look at Salesforce automation, there’s nothing natural about asking a salesperson to do data entry into a technology. Nobody likes to do it. The promise right now with our Einstein AI Voice assistant is being able to have a conversation with your technology. It’s a back-and-forth in which your systems, your workflows, your service interactions, everything’s updating. That’s going to be a huge game changer.”
  • “We want [Dreamforce] to be more than a tech conference. Really we want to be an event about change, and how do we make change for people, and how do we make people realize that technology is accessible for everyone. You don’t have to be a data scientist, you don’t have to be a programmer. Really the end goal for us is to make technology consumable for every person, degree or no degree, every walk of life.”
Photo credit Deloitte. L-R: Maggie Kiselick, VP Advertising NY Times + Managing Director of NYT Magazine, Cristina Jones, SVP, Customer Marketing, Brand Partnerships, and C-Suite Engagement, Nishita Henry, Chief Innovation Officer, Deloitte Consulting LLP, Karen Kahn, Chief Comms Officer at HP, Olabisi Boyle, Vice President iOT Visa

Making tech better: Why driving innovation starts with diversity

Cristina Jones, SVP of Customer Marketing, Brand Partnerships, and C-Suite Engagement at Salesforce took part in a discussion on diversity and inclusion practices in CES’s ‘Female Quotient’ series. She was joined on stage by Nishita Henry, Chief Innovation Officer at Deloitte Consulting LLP, Olabisi Boyle, Vice President of iOT at Visa, and Karen Kahn, Chief Communications Officer at HP. Some highlights from the session include:

  • “I have an incredibly diverse team … My team needs to be reflective of the stories that we share and the stories that we share need to be reflective of the communities in which we live and serve.” – Cristina Jones
  • “The more diverse your workforce is the more you’re able to create products and solutions to serve a wider market.” – Nishita Henry
  • “The change is not that we’re hiring the best diverse candidate, we are hiring the best candidate from a diverse pool. It’s infinitely worth it.” – Cristina Jones
  • “What if every single person in this room was demanding diversity from our suppliers? Every single person in this room has an ecosystem —- and whether that’s the company that provides food in your vending machines, paper, printing supplies, provides everything – If you demand a certain level of diversity and inclusion, whether it’s working with underrepresented businesses, equality and business, whatever the criteria you set … We have the power to make a decision to hire a vendor because of certain practices.” – Karen Kahn

Check back for more quotes and photos from Salesforce at CES, and to see what’s making waves at the biggest consumer-focused technology event of the year.


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