Salesforce.com’s Benioff: Mobile, B2C Shift Forcing Change

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sf1Speaking in New York today, far from the frenzied CES crowd in Las Vegas, Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff heralded what he perceives as a shift from an “anonymous, B2C world to one of one-to-one marketing where the consumer has opted in.”

Benioff told a gathering of partners, customers, media and analysts on Wednesday that Salesforce.com’s platform code has been wholly rewritten to account for the sweep of consumer mobile adoption.

The enterprise platform company, which reached $1.08 billion in revenue during Q3 and which has projected $5.1 billion in fiscal year 2015, claims customer adoption of the company’s mobile-first platform Salesforce1 is up since its formal unveiling in November.

Salesforce1, which the company has credited as the basis of its “mobile-first” platform stack, has signed 250 partners to deploy new custom apps on the Salesforce1 AppExchange; the company claims it has seen a 46% increase in active users for its mobile apps.

“We’ve never been more excited about a platform than this one,” Benioff said. “We’ve been building software at Salesforce.com for 15 years, iterating our technology and incrementally releasing that to [third parties] like the [iTunes] App Store and Google Play,” indicative of the broader migration to mobile apps over the standard Salesforce.com desktop dashboard.

“We’ve extended systems, brought that code forward to run on new devices, which is a powerful statement from our company," he added. "Huge transformation is coming in one-to one marketing. It doesn’t matter if you’re a B2B or a B2C company. At CES this week, it’s all about the 'Internet of Things.' We’re moving in to an incredible new time.”

One Salesforce.com customer, Sony, which uses the Salesforce.com ExactTarget Marketing Cloud, is tapping into some of the segmentation and reporting capabilities available in-platform, such as Pulse, “which allows us to analyze customer actions in real time,” according to Sony’s VP of relationship marketing, Darren Carter.

Sony customer data comes from myriad sources ranging from online gaming activity to in-store purchases and social media; the company uses the Marketing Cloud to record customer interactions, such as monitoring what levels a gamer reached and the best time to activate and surface an email offer for a free gift or digital download to specific user profiles.

Sony uses some of the new features available in the ExactTarget Marketing Cloud, including customer life-cycle maps and triggers, personalized content creation and  some of the geofencing capabilities, which allow the company to, for instance, surface a push notification or an email with a QR code to push to a racing gamer near a mall kiosk. Although the gaming giant does use bigger, “brand campaigns, [gamers find them more relevant] on a one-to-one level.”

Salesforce.com has “made a substantial investment in marketing,” said Amanda Leet, VP of marketing at ExactTarget. “Because of connected devices and apps, marketing has gone from fragmented and one-to-many to [driving demand] for seamless, one-to-one-experiences.”

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