Consumers expect a lot from brands.
They want to be marketed to with the right message, at the right time, in the right channel. They want to see their favorite products on the shelves.
They want deals. And they want to support companies that show they care about the environment.
Meeting all those demands seems impossible. But guess what?
Salesforce is a pro at making the impossible possible, and they’re about to unveil some incredible RCG developments at this year’s Dreamforce — with data and AI as stars of the show.
And after years of Dreamforces under my belt, I can tell this year will be one for the books. The key is making the most of it. Keep reading to find out where I think RCG folks should focus their time and energy.
5 Top Tips for a Retail-focused Dreamforce
Salesforce’s retail and consumer goods industry solutions are a fantastic jumping-off point for the outcomes so many RCG leaders are pressed to achieve in a difficult market landscape — from reducing TCO to decreasing time to market to accelerating consumer spend.
And it’s all being highlighted at Dreamforce. You just need to know what to look for. Here are the top five areas RCG folks should focus on to maximize their Dreamforce experience.
1. Data is a Currency — It’s Time to Lean In
With the average number of data sources for marketers increasing from 10 to 18 in the past two years alone, the importance of data is clear. Preparing today and leveraging data to drive better business outcomes is imperative.
Kick off your data journey at Dreamforce by hearing how Consumer Goods Trailblazers are activating real-time data to drive growth and consumer centricity. Real-world applications of Data Cloud can serve as a playbook or spark ideas for your organization.
Then, expand your horizons. Go to data cloud strategy sessions around:
- Brick & mortar
- Digital commerce
- Food Service and Hospitality
Remember, virtually every aspect of your business creates valuable data. The key is harnessing it to create meaningful connections with your customers that keep them coming back.
2. Pay Attention to the Consumer Goods Cloud Roadmap
Salesforce knows sales, marketing and service inside and out. And while the vanilla Salesforce trio works for most companies, Salesforce has realized consumer goods companies have a whole other suite of associated challenges that technology can address.
Besides building the most complete, unified sales, service and marketing platform for consumer goods companies, Salesforce has added on:
- Full visibility into end-to-end operations, from supply chain to manufacturing, to total account, brand, and consumer investments, to shopper marketing, to retail digital media, to distribution channels
- High-level and detailed views of consumer spend
- Methods of supporting the omnichannel, omnipresent consumer wherever they shop
- Connected Commerce to promote better relationships with wholesalers, distributors and partners
- AI + Data + CRM strategies to optimize planning and execution
I recommend listening to customer sessions to learn how they’ve implemented Consumer Goods and attending Consumer Goods roadmap sessions to see where the platform is going (hint: features will probably be AI and data-related).
3. Bridge the Gap Between Brick and Mortar and Digital
We’ve all felt it happening, the slow and steady push to fully digital commerce. But brick-and-mortar stores aren’t disappearing quite yet, and Salesforce knows it. How are they helping organizations link the physical to the digital?
You guessed it, AI. Generative AI can drive retail execution by:
- Introducing automation
- Improving rep efficiency
- Reducing out of stocks
- Optimizing order fulfillment and assortment
- Refining routes and maps
All of the AI-related sessions are bound to be fascinating. But I suggest concentrating on real-time personalization — you’ll connect with shoppers in a whole new way.
4. Focus on Sustainability
Sustainability is no longer just a buzzword. According to research conducted by First Insight and the Wharton School, 75% of Gen Z consumers say that sustainability is more important to them than brand name when making purchase decisions. And sustainability is an enormous concern when it comes to retail.
Today’s buyers want to see their favorite brands integrating sustainability into their business operations, and Salesforce makes that possible. As a company, Salesforce has committed to becoming net zero and has developed digital products to help other enterprises do the same via Net Zero Cloud.
Look out for sessions explaining how to configure and deploy next-gen, environmentally friendly digital commerce products and use data and AI to manage your carbon footprint across franchise, investment company and subsidiary supply chains.
5. Orient Yourself to Your Goals
Dreamforce is a massive event. While it has the power to inform GTM strategies in 2024 and beyond, the deluge of AI, data, and CRM information can be overwhelming.
So hone in on what really matters to your organization.
Not sure where to start? Here are some questions to get the juices flowing:
- What are your company’s priorities and challenges for the next 3-5 years?
- Are you on pace, in front of, or behind your peers and today’s industry clock speed?
- Do you have a data strategy? Brand strategy? Channel strategy?
- What are your greatest cost of goods sold? How are you managing them today?
- Are there any benchmark companies that can serve as trusted guides? How are they leveraging Salesforce to meet their goals?
- If you could make 3 things better for your company, what would they be?
See you there?
Like one of my old mentors said, “Sometimes you need to climb a tree to see the entire forest. Don’t just take samples from the ground.” AllCloud’s team of highly experienced and certified resources can help you answer those bigger questions and make the most of your Dreamforce and CRM journey.
Schedule time with me or one of our other AllCloud experts today.