Dreamforce 2022 was a whirlwind of information, insights and revolutionary announcements. It’s been a couple of weeks now and I’m still buzzing from everything I learned.
The key when it comes to getting value from a conference or digital event is distilling the many amazing talks into insights and actions that your business can take.
That’s why I’ve curated a list of my 3 key takeaways from Dreamforce 2022. Because I know that, like us, you want to be at the forefront of your industry and leading the charge for change.
1. The future is digital
This feels almost clichéd in 2022, but it’s an enduring truth that many businesses are still struggling to fully implement.
Digital transformation is paramount for any business looking to succeed in a post-Covid world. Customers expect digital solutions — be they sales, service or information. If they can’t access them, or they’re clunky and hard to use, they will go somewhere else.
As product offerings increase, diversification is increasingly being achieved with digital transformation. The businesses that do this best will set themselves a great distance apart from their competitors.
- Businesses that enable customers to contact them via messaging apps — and provide a good experience when they do so — are more receptive to receiving marketing materials, have a higher ROI (return on investment) and lower cost per user/sale ~ Meta.
- 72% of buyers prefer a sales or purchase experience that is self-directed (doesn’t include a sales rep) ~ Grammarly.
When looking at digital transformation, there are some key things you need to keep in mind.
- Make transformations that matter for your business and your customers, not simply those that are cheap or easy.
- Take a long view — things may get harder in the short term but, long term, good digital transformation will change your and your customers’ worlds for the better.
- Digital transformation has to be multi-dimensional, not constrained to your technology infrastructure — figure out where your customers are in the digital universe and find a path to meet them there.
- Solve for something, not simply because you can — listen to your customers and fix their pain points first.
- Everyone deserves equal access to your business — it’s more important than ever, especially as we move into web3.0, to actively choose partners and services that will ensure your data and the decisions it informs will be as free from bias as possible.
- Make sure your systems are secure — people will walk away from businesses that don’t take proper care of their information and it will be very hard to draw them back.
Whatever changes you make, never forget your purpose — this is your business’s north star and following it will never steer you wrong.
2. Automation isn’t just about freeing up resources
For a long time, the word automation has been associated with factories and production lines, machine installs, and job losses for the people they replace. But automation in 2022 is about far more!
AI (artificial intelligence) is the future of automation. We’ve seen algorithms, smart chatbots and virtual assistants already, but AI can be used to revolutionise businesses’ internal processes and decision-making.
Smart customer data platforms can pull together disparate data from multiple locations and use it to predict which customers might buy certain products. Connecting this data up with your website can enable personalised experiences for your customers that serve them the products they’re most likely to want to buy and the deals they’re most likely to be attracted to.
Forecasting and KPIs can be revolutionised with AI too. Connecting your data silos using AI can create a system that delivers instant recommendations based on your business’s specific KPIs —all in the same language you’d use to write a business plan or decision document.
3. Centre yourself on your customers
Whether you sell products or deliver services, are publicly or privately owned, whether you’re b2b (business-to-business) or b2c (business-to-consumer), whether you call them customers or users or clients — these are the people who allow your business to exist.
Listen to them. Respond to them. Innovate and design for them. The businesses that do will fly well ahead of their nearest competitors.
- Know — use data and AI to learn who your customers and your prospects are then codify that in your business plans and strategies.
- Innovate — design customer experiences starting from what you want the end product, service or process to feel like for your customers then work backwards to develop the key deliverables; don’t stop innovating.
- Enable — make it clear who in your business owns your customer success strategies, then give them the tools and responsibilities necessary to deliver on that.
- Review — check in on your customers, your products/services and your in-development projects regularly to make sure they’re still in line with your data and your core purpose; if things need to change, change them.
- Scale — grow your business with your customers.
Information like this is great, but how does a business like yours work out the steps to take to get here? A great way to start is by talking to an experienced digital services provider about your business, your goals and your pain points. They can help identify digital solutions and ways to grow your business through connected data and automation.
If you’re ready to chat, reach out to us. We’ve got more than 20 years of digital services and consulting experience under our belts, some of the world’s top digital solutions at our fingertips, and we’d love to help.