Dreamforce 2013: Relationships the New Currency

What do Metallica, General Colin Powell, Stevie Wonder, Deepak Chopra, Jeff Immelt, Tony Robbins and President Clinton all have in common? In the last four years, each has spoken or performed at Dreamforce, the conference started by SalesForce.com in 2003 that has quickly transformed from a user conference to “THE cloud computing event” of the year.

Dreamforce ’13 wrapped up just two weeks ago in San Francisco and the insights generated during more than 1,250 sessions and keynotes are continuing to makes waves as people apply and share what they learned.

80 years ago, author Dashiell Hammett said. “The problem with putting two and two together is that sometimes you get four, and sometimes you get twenty-two.” That’s apparently one of the results from this year’s conference according to Martin Kihn, a research director with Gartner Research.

When asked by Salesforce.com to comment on the direction of digital marketing, Kihn shared these three perspectives. The world is moving from transactions to relationships. In fact, according to Scott Dorsey, co-founder of Exact Target, relationships themselves are becoming a “currency.”

Secondly, we’re moving from third party data, that is collected and aggregated by other organizations to first party data, which is user-level data collected directly from interactions with individual brands. This transition doesn’t mean that managing this data and effectively leveraging the available insights is going to be quick or easy, transformation rarely is.

In fact, for many station created databases, if you look beyond email addresses, there is limited accurate or available data. Yet insights abound when comparing a robust station database to otherwise anonymous Facebook fans or station text club members, which in turn creates the opportunity to further engage those who matter most to the ratings.

Thirdly, there’s an evolution from Obvious to Non-Obvious Sources of Data that can be used to draw unique insights to push the brand forward. Two such areas that have direct relevance to radio, which other brands are starting to look at more closely, involve weather and celebrity related events. Do you know what members of your audience seek out your station for one vs. the other? More importantly, how would you customize messages to them based on that knowledge?

Brands Helping Customers

Michael Lazerow, CMO for Salesforce Marketing Cloud builds on these themes with  the notion of service, specifically as it relates to helping the consumer. Of course, service elements (news, weather, traffic) are the cornerstones of drive time radio. In fact, Lazerow smartly mentions, “Companies have been doing that for hundreds of years. In the future companies will need to provide help when and how the customer wants it.”

A second point related to helping is that “customers will make tradeoffs, if they get something in return.” This goes back to the initial point regarding the power of relationships. When someone is connected to their favorite personality and your station is part of the fabric of their lives, they are  more likely to sit through a traffic update, 90% of which, has nothing to do with their commute.

As mobile usage continues to explode and the infinite dial extends to more and more platforms, what will  your station offer that makes your brand more relevant than platforms that are customizable and carry lower commercial loads?

If you saw 60 Minutes last night, you learned that Amazon.com is piloting a program that will use drones to deliver orders within an hour. Ford is providing dashboard service alerts and the ability to schedule an appointment with the click of a button. What makes all of this possible? Data.

According to Lazerow, “To deliver on this level of customer expectations, we need to get serious about data. Data drives relevancy. And relevancy drives business results … You need a unified view of your customers, with a data-built understanding of customer journeys and connections.”

Find out how DMR/Interactive generates data insights as part of every 360-degree Audience Engagement Program. Simply contact Andrew Curran, President  and COO at DMR/Interactive for more information.

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