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Salesforce talks about remote working and events in its earnings call

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Salesforce talks about remote working and events in its earnings call


On today’s earnings call, Salesforce Chairman and co-CEO Marc Benioff shared news on how one of technology’s biggest enterprises is adapting to the most recent developments in COVID as well as B2B and consumer marketing trends. They also did their part to transform workflows with their own Service Cloud updates.

“Every company that I speak to… they’re all going through major digital transformations,” said Benioff, adding. “And our job remains to help these companies grow and achieve this transformation.”

Why we care. Benioff made clear that his optimism about digital transformation is tempered by world events, including the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the ongoing pandemic. That optimism, however, does reflect rising tides across marketing technology. According to Benioff, revenue for his company was up $7.3 billion in revenue and 26% growth year-over-year for 4Q.

Benioff also offered a glimpse into how a large organization is welcoming back professionals to their New York office space and events.

COVID morale. About a year ago, when vaccines were rolling out in the U.S., it seemed like 2021 was going to be the big comeback year that would usher in another Roaring Twenties. Then the Delta and Omicron variants emerged, forcing organizations to be extra vigilant about opening up offices and hosting live events. But the Salesforce leader sees promising signs.

“We’ve got significant numbers of our employees back here in the office,” Benioff. “I was just with them. And I also just spent a tremendous amount of time surveying [New York City] and how things are coming back to life here kind of in our post-pandemic reality that we’re now entering, and it’s powerful.”

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He added, “We’re really turning a corner in our battle with the virus. And I believe, in many ways, COVID is behind us. And certainly, I know that Omicron and BA.2 are very serious [variants], but we are in a very different position in the world today, fighting these things, than we were a couple of years ago.”

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Remote onboarding. The Salesforce fiscal year kickoff event was held last month at New York’s Javits Center and welcomed 5,000 employees in-person. Overall, 35,000 of Salesforce’s current 75,000 employees started with the company after the pandemic began, so they hadn’t attended an event like this during their career with the company.

“When we asked, in the room, how many of you have not attended a Salesforce kickoff, stand up and be welcomed, I would say 75% of the room stood up,” Benioff said.

Safety Cloud. To serve Salesforce customers who are also navigating the safety challenges in hosting live events, the company has made available their Safety Cloud and put it into practice.

“We’re interconnected with a number of COVID tests that we’re dynamically updating,” said Benioff. “We did our best to have a very safe program, and we’ve been doing this now. We’ve had two Dreamforces with this program with our Safety Cloud. [And] we’ve had the kickoffs.”

It’s a sign of the times, as is Salesforce’s Net Zero Cloud, which allows orgs to measure and manage their carbon footprint. It might not have been as intuitive, initially, as how Salesforce integrated their Sales Cloud or Service Cloud into their CRM, but these emerging business needs have been timely additions to the Customer 360 portfolio.

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Read next: What a Salesforce NFT cloud service could mean for marketers

New B2B divisions. In the B2B space, Benioff also pointed to organizational restructuring among some consumer enterprises that are carving out a distinct B2B arm. Ford is one such company.

“They’re doing a B2B business unit at Ford to complement their B2C unit, not so unlike a lot of our other customers like Home Depot. But I’ll tell you that Ford Pro [is] really looking at targeting professionals, targeting productivity.”

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About The Author

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Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country’s first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on “innovation theater” at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.



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MARKETING

Martech failure? 50% say loyalty programs don’t offer much value

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Martech failure? 50% say loyalty programs don't offer much value

The goal of martech is to add value for business and customer via personalized experiences which increase brand engagement. Loyalty programs seem like the perfect channel for this. So why is there such a huge gap between customers’ expectations for those programs and what they get?

Half of all US customers say loyalty programs don’t offer much value, according to a report from digital insights firm Incisiv and Punchh, a customer loyalty services provider. This is a real problem, given the huge impact these programs have on customer retention, satisfaction and brand advocacy. Customers who sign up for them engage with that brand 70% more than those who do not. 


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The gaps. So what is it customers want and aren’t getting?

  • 70% prefer to manage loyalty programs via app.
    • 26% Top 150 retailers and restaurant chains have a dedicated loyalty app.
  • 67% expect surprise gifts.
    • 28% Retailers and restaurant chains send gifts, offers or discounts on special occasions
  • 75% prefer instant discounts/redemptions.
    • 16% Retailers and restaurant chains offer instant discount on purchases instead of reward points.
  • 72% expect personalized rewards.
    • 48% Retailers and restaurant chains offer some form of personalization.

Enough with the cards already. It’s 2022 and people have been irritated about physical loyalty cards for decades. In case your own experience isn’t proof enough: 43% of shoppers say physical cards are the biggest obstacles to claiming rewards. And, this shouldn’t be surprising, 57% of shoppers like to engage with loyalty programs on their mobile phones. This means a digital rewards card is the bare minimum if you don’t have an app. 

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Read next: Leaning on loyalty, Chipotle orchestrates engagement across channels

If you do have an app, it should clearly provide more functionality and benefits than a card. The more it does that, the more people are likely to use it. Over 70% of shoppers are more likely to participate in a loyalty program that provides access to loyalty cards and rewards via its mobile app. However, only 4% of grocery retailers offer enhanced rewards or benefits on their apps.

Make members feel special. Joining a loyalty program signals that a customer values your brand (37% of shoppers are willing to pay to join or upgrade to a higher tier of their loyalty membership). Make sure they know you feel the same about them. Nearly 60% say loyalty programs don’t make them feel they are a part of an exclusive group. How? Well, 46% want premier or exclusive access to sales and promotions.

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Why we care. I can’t tell you how many websites I registered with and forgot about that send me an email on my birthday. I get them from a few loyalty programs as well. I’ve never gotten one with an offer or a discount. 

The bare minimum martech stack provides data unification, digitization and channel integration. A good one offers real-time analysis of customer behavior (past purchases, browsing history, etc.) combined with things like product attributes and availability to create an attractive personalized offering. For the customer, loyalty programs have to be more than a way to earn points. They have to give something unique and special. If your stack can’t tell you what that thing is, there’s something wrong with it.

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About The Author

Constantine von Hoffman is managing editor of MarTech. A veteran journalist, Con has covered business, finance, marketing and tech for CBSNews.com, Brandweek, CMO, and Inc. He has been city editor of the Boston Herald, news producer at NPR, and has written for Harvard Business Review, Boston Magazine, Sierra, and many other publications. He has also been a professional stand-up comedian, given talks at anime and gaming conventions on everything from My Neighbor Totoro to the history of dice and boardgames, and is author of the magical realist novel John Henry the Revelator. He lives in Boston with his wife, Jennifer, and either too many or too few dogs.

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