What to Expect at Dreamforce 2019

Why solving for silos needs to be top of mind

AstoundCommerce Dreamforce 19

Hundreds of thousands of industry professionals are preparing to flock to San Francisco this November for the 16th annual Dreamforce conference. Starting Tuesday, November 19, and running through Friday, November 22, #DF2019 will draw the best and brightest in the field to explore the latest developments in ecommerce.

As forward-thinking digital commerce strategies develop and new technologies emerge, Astound Commerce identifies two critical areas of opportunity for its clients and partners to master: unification and personalization. When these components are interconnected, they allow brands to deliver seamless end-to-end ecommerce experiences to their customers. And that message will be found everywhere you look during this year’s conference.

We’re in an age of personalized engagement at scale. Today’s consumer expects consistent interactions across departments and touchpoints. According to the most recent edition of Salesforce’s “State of the Connected Customer” report, which was based on a survey of more than 8,000 consumers and business buyers across 16 countries, 78 percent of customers expect consistent interactions across a brand’s departments, and 80 percent say their experience with a brand is as important as the brands’ product or service offerings.

Solving the Personalization Challenge

The numbers speak for themselves: siloed infrastructures and siloed data are no longer sufficient to sustain relationships with today’s digitally savvy consumer. Customers want personalization—and companies want to provide it. The problem is, most organizations aren’t designed around the customer; they’re instead designed around department functions. A similar conundrum occurs in regard to data. Often just as siloed as organizations, disconnected data prevents the level of personalization consumers and companies crave.

Astound and Salesforce are acutely aware of the difficulty that siloed infrastructures and data cause, and at Dreamforce both companies will be presenting solutions aimed at solving these industry pain points.

Companies need clean customer data and analogous front-end systems to streamline all channels and touchpoints. Enter Salesforce Customer 360. Introduced during last year’s Dreamforce conference, Customer 360 is Salesforce’s initial attempt to link the customer profile across its platforms through the use of a unifying customer ID and to make this data visible across all clouds. Going forward, Astound anticipates improved cross-cloud integration and partner enablement resources along with technology initiatives focused on improving customer identity across clouds and increased unification of the unique customer ID across platforms.

Enabling a True Digital Experience Platform

As for this year’s conference, consider Dreamforce the place to see what’s coming in 2020 from Salesforce’s digital experience platform (DXP), which was named a leader in the Forrester Wave for Digital Experience Platforms, Q3 2019. According to Forrester, Salesforce DXP is especially strong in B2C and B2B commerce, campaigns, and messaging, as well as customer profile, developer tools, and API management. However, a true out-of-the-box DXP solution remains more of an aspiration than a reality.

“With Salesforce’s family of enterprise platforms providing the building blocks for success, one still needs quite a bit of help to activate the DXP vision. That’s where Astound comes in,” says Dave Murack, Astound’s vice president of technical services. “We turn the robust Salesforce ecosystem into a true digital experience platform. Maximizing the business value that each platform provides, we optimize a customer-centric approach across all touchpoints that is then implemented and supported through a centralized strategic vision.”

To maximize potential, siloed DXP offerings require some finessing by customer experience experts, software integration experts, and digital marketing experts, ideally under a unified, strategic umbrella. That strategic umbrella includes the data architect, the solution architect, and visual design and digital marketing experts who can activate campaigns and customer engagement strategies and then continue to help power those campaigns and drive more customers to your site, further identifying audiences.

Data orchestration can be a considerable challenge. Experts from Astound Commerce will be on the ground at Dreamforce and available to provide valuable insights into your commerce pain points, and to offer advice on multi-cloud implementation. You can find Astound at Booth #1736 in San Francisco’s Moscone Center. Or, to schedule a meeting in advance, visit astoundcommerce-events.com/dreamforce2019

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Alicia Lynch

Alicia Lynch is a senior writer on the Astound Insights team.

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