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Cloud Computing, Social, and Mobile Take Center Stage at Connections 2013
Posted on September 17th 2013
Let’s face it, if you are going to commit time, and expenses, to travel to a user conference, or send employees, expectations are going to be high. Judging solely by ExactTarget’s growth from 600 attendees back in 2007 to an expected 6000 over the next four days one would assume that they are doing something very right, and you would be correct.
I won’t bore you with all my nuanced observations but the ratio of staff per guest is staggering, and so too is the orchestration of details. There is ample room to chill out and, yes, — get some work done while powering up any and all of your devices. And why not? How can you tweet, post, or take notes digitally, with dead devices. You could even play video games, a game of pool, or spray digital graffiti on a giant wall.
What followed was not a Marketing Cloud pitch, though one could see how it fits in, but an eloquent explanation on how three things were creating unprecedented opportunity and changing how we think, or should be thinking, about business today. What three things? Cloud computing, social media, and mobile devices. “Because of these three things, I’m connected to companies in new ways.” Benioff said, following with “Behind every app is a customer.”
The real meat of Benioff’s message was in his reference to mobile. He was spoke of direct-use cases ranging from how he is able to control his wifi-enabled Canon DSLR, communicate with his Tesla hybrid, to an emphatic “This device is my business” statement while holding up his phone. Scott Dorsey further stressed the importance of mobile devices by explaining how companies will be able to utilize mobile and local data collected by Marketing Cloud to experience a more personalized relationship with clients. If anyone left that session without the impression that Marketing Cloud was going to be “mobile exceptional,” they weren’t listening.
Along the way, we had the opportunity to experience the dynamic delivery of Scott Dorsey and Marc Benioff, as well as hear about the corporate culture of ExactTarget and Salesforce. After answering a few audience questions, both men gave out their email addresses and urged users to send them feedback. This call for feedback was also clearly displayed on the giant “Listening Walls” placed conspicuously at the Networking Reception that followed the town hall meeting. This call for user feedback seems appropriate considering this is at a users conference. In his final words Benioff simply restated his prior assertion, “Behind every app is a customer.”
Want to follow along? Just look for the #ET13 hashtag on Twitter.