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Dreamforce 2018 and Data Transparency in the Age of Intelligent Marketing

The largest annual technology conference in the world is fast approaching. In less than two weeks, Dreamforce will take over San Francisco, bringing together thousands of Trailblazers to attend its user conference full of informative sessions on all things related to Salesforce and beyond.

Dreamforce Data Transparency Presentation

I’m excited about this upcoming event for lots of reasons. For one, it’s my first year attending (and speaking!) at Dreamforce. As a newbie enamored by the bright lights and appeal of this massive event, I wanted to make sure I spent some extra time prepping so that I could up my ROA (return on attending).

With four full days of agenda items spanning lots of different topics, Dreamforce has something for everyone. At SmartAcre®, we focus on people, process, and technology as they relate to the Sales and Marketing aspects of your business. That said, my role is tailored to helping our clients better leverage the Salesforce ecosystem to maximize growth inside their organizations.

With that in mind, I’ve put together some recommendations around the ways I’ll be spending my time at this year’s Dreamforce event. So, if like me, you’re leveraging Pardot and Salesforce CRM in your day-to-day, read on to learn more about how you can get the most from your time in the Bay Area.

Top Dreamforce Sessions for MarTech Pros

I spent several hours combing through each day of the agenda (2700+ sessions!) to identify those I felt were most relevant to my role as a sales and marketing technologist. Here’s my shortlist of highlights focused on all things sales and marketing, including Pardot:

Tuesday, September 25:
Wednesday, September 26:
Thursday, September 27:

(Please note: the above links will only work if you’re logged into Salesforce and registered for Dreamforce.)

Trends in Salesforce, Pardot, and Marketing

In addition to compiling a list of the most relevant marketing focused sessions, I also noticed many trends when combing through all of the event’s content. Of course there were lots of sessions focused on Salesforce’s ecosystem, but I also noticed some other topics that were coming up an awful lot: artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, Salesforce Lightning, and consolidation as it relates to the convergence of tech stacks inside an organization.

One of the 2018’s biggest buzzwords has been AI. There were dozens of sessions on the Dreamforce agenda covering this topic and how its growth will change the future of marketing and analytics as we know it. I’m excited to hear more about these topics from the frontrunners testing and utilizing these advanced technologies in their day-to-day.

And, for those familiar with Salesforce, we also know that this is the year of Lightning. In fact, we have clients who have already had their environments migrated to the Lightning experience. There’s also lots of sessions with regard to migrating to Lighting, onboarding and adopting to Lightning, and even ways to better leverage Lightning to create reports and dashboards for your organization. I’m looking forward to learning more about how I can better leverage this information to help clients adapt to this new platform.

And lastly, we’re continuing to see trends around technology harmony and consolidation. For those following HubSpot’s products — now being referred to as a “Growth Suite,” the Inbound-first company spent a majority of their time talking at INBOUND (their user conference that wrapped last week) about the flywheel concept: one in which Sales, Marketing, and Service all converge to create a best-in-class customer experience. This concept seems to be mirrored by the Salesforce brand as well, and I’ll be curious to see how this message is communicated at Dreamforce.

SmartAcre’s Session: Data Transparency

And last but not least, as I mentioned in the intro of this blog post, not only am I attending Dreamforce for the first time, but I’m also speaking!

As GDPR made its way into our lives this May, SmartAcre was fortunate enough to work with many clients who leverage the Salesforce ecosystem as their technology foundation for capturing client data, generating leads, and sending emails. I was lucky enough to help build Pardot and Salesforce strategies to help these clients with GDPR compliance. If data transparency, changing regulation, and evolving marketing best practices (as they relate to these topics) is of any interest to you, I’d encourage you to check out my Dreamforce session: Data Transparency in the Age of Intelligent Marketing on Thursday, September 27 from 9:00 am- 9:40 am.

Download Our Essential Guide to the GDPR

Will you be there?

And last but not least, I’ll be repping our agency as a team of one, so if you’re attending the event, I would love to meet you. Whether it’s grabbing a cup of coffee, sharing a meal, checking out a session, or finding out what Metallica sounds like, I’m in. Email me directly and we can coordinate. And, stay tuned to the SmartAcre blog after Dreamforce wraps, as I’ll be sharing a recap of my favorite parts of the event.