Cloud Computing, Social, and Mobile Take Center Stage at Connections 2013

Kevin Mullett
Kevin Mullett Director of Product Development and Social Media Strategy, Cirrus ABS

Posted on September 17th 2013

Cloud Computing, Social, and Mobile Take Center Stage at Connections 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.

The ExactTarget Connections Social Lounge

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.

Entertainment and comfort is all well and good, but the adult in us is expecting a bit more. Enter the Pre-Conference Town Hal;l which featured Marc Benioff, the founder and CEO of Salesforce, and Scott Dorsey, a co-founder and CEO of ExactTarget, where attendees were presented with a shared vision for the Marketing Cloud.

Scott Dorsey and Marc BenioffWhat 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.

The ExactTarget Connections Listening Wall.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.

Kevin Mullett

Kevin Mullett

Director of Product Development and Social Media Strategy, Cirrus ABS

Kevin Mullett (@kmullett), is the Director of Visibility and Social Media at Cirrus ABS, an award winning CMS, and MarketSnare, a product to help brands capture local opportunity via SEO for dealer networks.He is an experienced web developer, marketer, speaker, and ADDY award winning designer with over 14 years experience in online marketing. Kevin leverages his 15 years experience in sales and marketing along with a passion for social media, SEO, design and usability to help create web marketing solutions that make clients successful. He discovers, tests, and disseminates trends in digital marketing tools for developers, clients and audiences. Translation...he surfs the web all day and blogs about doing so.

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Posted on September 18th 2013 at 2:47AM

Nice wrap of the day one I missed!