Social Gets Some Big Time Face Time @Dreamforce 2013

Heads up SFO. A small city of people are flying in for Dreamforce, the annual user conference put on by Salesforce.com in San Francisco this week.

According to reports, some of the Dreamforce badge wearers will be seeking information on how to incorporate social media marketing and social selling into their practice. Others may be looking for a good party to attend. I hear Green Day is performing at a VIP function. How punk rock is that?

According to USA TODAY’s preview piece on the conference, L’Oreal began using new marketing and analysis tools Salesforce rolled out this year.

The software helps automate the process of discovering the interests of existing customers, then deciding which promotions to send to their social media accounts, via text or video ads.

L’Oreal brand managers used it to sign up thousands of hair salon owners in the U.S., who in turn used it to create thousands of Facebook pages that were peppered with social media ads for shampoos and conditioners.

I am a huge fan of discovering the interests of existing customers. That’s the fuel on which marketing runs. But I will admit to getting hung up a bit with the idea that software will effectively automate the process. I’m not saying software does not work in this capacity, or that this particular software as a service is not needed. Rather, I want to question which sales and marketing processes can and should be automated, and which work best when done manually.

I know this much, an email does not equal a phone call and a phone call does not equal a face-to-face meeting. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter, and possibly include said thoughts in an upcoming feature article.

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About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.