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Connections 2021 Paints a Vision for the Future of Personalized Digital Experiences

Marketers and retailers shook up their digital strategies this year in response to COVID-19 — for the first time ever, more than half of all ad spend was digital. Consumers responded in-kind, spending $86 billion online with U.S. companies in the past 12 months, up an incredible 44% year over year.

As Sarah Franklin, Chief Marketing Officer at Salesforce put it on stage at Salesforce’s Connections event, “there has never been a more important time to be a CMO, a CTO, or any role that is driving businesses through digital.”

There has never been a more important time to be a CMO, a CTO, or any role that is driving businesses through digital.

Sarah Franklin, Chief Marketing Officer, Salesforce

But the scale and speed of the change breeds complexity. With third-party data in the form of cookies soon disappearing, and expectations for exceptional, personalized digital experiences rising daily, the importance of first-party data is thrown into sharp relief. 

Sarah Franklin hosts Connections 2021 event

“Now, data is your digital advantage, and that’s why we introduced Salesforce Digital 360 — to put customers at the center of your digital strategy, connecting marketing, commerce, and every experience,” said Franklin.

On stage at Connections, Franklin was joined by colleagues and customers like Rocket Mortgage and Herman Miller to announce new Salesforce innovations that will power those exceptional digital experiences, including:

  • Marketing Cloud 360, a new data-first platform with unified analytics to easily connect customer insights and drive personalized digital engagement.
  • Commerce Cloud 360, customer-centric commerce with new data integrations, enhanced order management and headless commerce capabilities
  • Marketer Career Path on Trailhead, a new digital space where the next generation of marketers can get job-ready skills and not be excluded by cost or other barriers to access.

Also at the event, Salesforce announced an additional $1.6M in grants to five U.S. organizations supporting underserved and underrepresented communities with technology training and work experiences: “We’re dedicated to empowering the next generation of leaders with education, skills, and professional networks to help them succeed today and tomorrow,” said Franklin.  

The next generation of Marketing Cloud: A complete, data-first platform to build lasting relationships that delight customers

Shannon Duffy demos Marketing Cloud at Connections 2021 event
  • Marketers never had their own single source of truth before. And we are changing that right now. Right here today. Marketing Cloud is making it easy to put data at the core of your strategy for each customer moment, and get that Single Source of Truth. That’s thanks to the new enterprise-ready Customer Data Platform.” – Shannon Duffy, EVP Product Marketing, Salesforce
  • Bringing in, and unifying, all our data — across marketing, service, sales, and our different brands — really gives us that complete picture of each client. Then we can segment and activate our data to reach the right person, at the right time and place, with the perfect message for them.” – Casey Hurbis, Chief Marketing Officer, Rocket Mortgage

To discover more about the next generation of Marketing Cloud, including Salesforce CDP, AI-powered personalization, and unified analytics, check out the press release.

Digital-first commerce with the next generation of Commerce Cloud: The world’s most trusted platform to drive growth

Lidiane Jones demos Commerce Cloud 360 at Connections 2021 event
  • “Commerce isn’t just about the shopping cart — it refers to every interaction with a customer. This is why we’re so excited to announce the next generation of commerce — Commerce Cloud 360. We help customers grow relationships and revenue with a customer-centric commerce experience. We start with a single source of truth for every customer, so they can know them, unlock insight and personalize every touch point. We empower your teams to adapt at the speed of your customers, and we give them the freedom to innovate fast.”Lidiane Jones, EVP, GM, Commerce Cloud Salesforce
  • “The more we dive into our digital transformation, the more we realize that there’s just no finish line. Customers want to shop across different channels, they want immersive experiences, and as you know, the bar just keeps on rising. So to keep up, we’ve significantly expanded our in-house development team to really try and push the odds of what’s possible, and have taken advantage of [Salesforce’s] Commerce Cloud development center with toolkits API’s and documentation.”- Ben Groom, Chief Digital Officer, Herman Miller

To discover more about the next generation of Commerce Cloud, including CDP for Commerce, Order Management and Headless Commerce, check out the press release.

With Trailhead, Salesforce doubles down on empowering the next generation of digital marketers 

Leah McGowan-Hare announces Marketer Career Path on Trailhead at Connections 2021 event
  • “More than 3 million learners have been using Trailhead since it started in 2014. By reducing the barriers to learning, Trailhead is paving an equal pathway to top jobs in the Salesforce ecosystem. – Leah McGowan-Hare, VP, Trailblazer Community & Engagement
  • “I’m excited to say that we’re launching the Marketer Career Path, powered by Trailhead. This new digital space is where the next generation of marketers can get job-ready skills, like what you’re talking about, and not be excluded by cost or other barriers to access.Leah McGowan-Hare, VP, Trailblazer Community & Engagement

To discover more about how Salesforce is empowering the next generation of marketers, check out the press release.

Catch up on Connections 2021 and watch the whole event here.


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