Inside the Industry

Insights from the vendors behind MarketingSherpa Summit 2017

Learn more about the technology solution providers exhibiting at #SHERPA17. View all sponsors >>

At MarketingSherpa Summit 2017, attendees will hear from brand-side marketers, high-profile featured speakers and industry professionals to learn how to improve the effectiveness of their marketing programs.

Customer satisfaction is a key factor in the effectiveness of these campaigns, which is why we’re excited to gather some of the top players in the digital marketing industry in Las Vegas to share their marketing solutions with the MarketingSherpa audience.

In our "Inside the Industry" series, we'll speak with industry professionals representing some of these vendors and get a behind-the-scenes look at some of the customer-focused efforts and trends you can expect to learn more about at #SHERPA17.

The following is sponsored content from Salesforce. The opinions expressed do not represent those of MarketingSherpa.




MarketingSherpa: What are some arguments marketers can use to push for customer-centricity in their organizations? 

Blake Miller, Salesforce: Great brands have increased consumer expectations; we see it in our everyday interactions. For example, at quick-serve restaurants we can order and pay for our drinks and meals with an app. Retailers allow us to place orders online and pick up in-store. It’s clear that customers want to interact with brands on their own terms and in a 1-to-1 kind of way, expecting immediacy and convenience throughout their buying journey. Right now, this trend is being driven by larger brands like Dunkin’ Donuts, OpenTable and Weight Watchers — companies we at Salesforce work with. These companies have the time and resources to experiment and innovate, and they are raising the bar for all brands globally. Soon, all customer interactions will be incredibly personalized across all devices, including those delivered by B2B brands.

MarketingSherpa: How far must brands and marketers go to satisfy customers?

Blake Miller, Salesforce: We are in the Age of the Customer, which means brands are charged with delivering a 1-to-1 experience to their buyers along their buying journey. Customers are willing to give up personal information, but expect a personalized customer experience in return at every touchpoint, including web, mobile, apps and in-person. Brands are increasingly competing on customer experience, and in order to stay ahead, they must meet consumers with the right message at the right time. 

MarketingSherpa: In building a customer relationship, what are some possible missteps? 

Blake Miller, Salesforce: It all starts with data and the customer journey. Customers expect to be known across the organization they’re interacting with and at every touchpoint. They expect consistency no matter how they’re interacting with a brand. This includes sales and customer service too — not just with marketing. Brands often make the mistake of starting with tactics or planning the customer journey as opposed to understanding the data first, and then from there, mapping scenarios that make the most sense for an individual customer. Getting the data right is the most important step to understanding your customers; from there, you can engage with them in a personalized and relevant way.

MarketingSherpa: Why wouldn’t companies practice customer-first marketing?

Blake Miller, Salesforce: Marketers want to put the customer first, but it can be a challenge because of organizational structure, silos [in] data and existing process that hinder marketing efficiencies. Putting the customer first is a big shift for companies. But, to be successful, brands need to commit to implementing the technology and make the necessary organizational changes. They also need executive buy-in and must constantly ask, “Is this what the customer expects in a positive way?”

MarketingSherpa: How can marketers fight against inward, or company-centric thinking? 

Blake Miller, Salesforce: As a brand, talk to your customers to understand what they expect. Talk to the customer service teams and learn from them. Because we are in the Age of the Customer, brands need to know exactly what matters to each and every customer along their path to purchase. It should be a company-wide requirement to be focused on customer success. Company, team and individual incentives need to be aligned, operating with one set of data, goals and metrics. Gain an understanding of all the customer data — who has it, where it resides, can it be acted on, etc. Then, map the entire customer experience and every interaction to guide decisions that are truly 1-to-1.

Salesforce is a Platinum Sponsor of MarketingSherpa Summit 2017. To learn more about their solution, visit their website.




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