With 2014 right around the corner, we’d like to take another look back over some of the highlights in marketing tech in 2013. Today we’ll take a look at Marc Benioff’s keynote presentation at this year’s Dreamforce put on by Salesforce.com. Marc Benioff is the chairman and CEO of Salesforce.com. In his presentation “Welcome to the Internet of Customers,” Marc announced Salesforce1 Platform, a cloud-computing platform that will help you and your company market to your customers. The platform is designed for the modern mobile world and the customers that live in that world. Marc stressed a reassessment in the industry. He said that marketers need to think about the internet of customers instead of the internet of things.
Third Wave of Computing
Marc talked about how we’re currently in a third wave of computing. He discussed the move from the first wave of computing—which was all about mainframes, SNA networks, and IBM—to a second wave of computing, which was all about client server computing, personal computing, LAN/WAN, and Microsoft. Marc went on to say that we are now in a third wave of computing that is about fifty billion connected things. Everything we use, and will use in the future, is going to be connected on the web. Marc stressed that marketers need to realize this and market accordingly.
Connected Products Connecting Customers and Companies
Many new products are connecting the company with the customer. Marc discussed his Phillips toothbrush as an example. The toothbrush tracks your brushing habits and your location. It does this by connecting through the cloud to your Phillips’ customer account. With such technology, your dentist no longer needs to ask you about your brushing habits; he or she will be able to look up your brushing history on your Phillips account. Marc said, “It’s going to require a new level of trust with my dentist, a new level of transparency with my dentist. It’s a whole new world with my dentist, but it’s just not about my dentist. It’s about all of my products.” Marc believes this will be the new normal in a few years. He discussed how every product that we use or will use in the future, is going to focus on connecting customers with the companies that sold them the product. These products are likely going to be connected through the customer’s phone.
One of the biggest points that Marc stressed was being a “customer company.” This means being a company that’s connected to your customers, and as a result of this connection, you make the products that your customers want. Your company has to work for your customers. Social media makes it possible for companies to connect with and work for their customer. Marc says that connecting with your customers on a personal level is more important now than ever, because customers are coming to expect that level of connection and commitment. “In the world of the internet of customers, consumers get transformed into customers, and every company is a customer company.”