Salesforce's Benioff maps out 'the Customer Revolution'

Summary:Salesforce's leader unveils the latest addition to the Marketing Cloud while sharing his thoughts on the future of digital advertising.


SAN FRANCISCO -- (and its customer base) are on the cusp of a major shift in their collective mission, according to CEO Marc Benioff.

For anyone following the business technology industry closely already, the "Internet of Everything" topic is quite familiar.

See also: beefs up Marketing Cloud with

It was this same concept that had Benioff buzzing at the CRM and cloud giant’s customer and media event at the Palace Hotel on Tuesday morning.

"My car is on the network. My refrigerator is on the network. My camera is on the network," Benioff quipped.

"My car is on the network. My refrigerator is on the network. My camera is on the network," Benioff quipped, pushing that the :Internet of Everything" is changing both our personal lives and the way we work.

In the same vein as the "social enterprise" and "social revolution," Benioff suggested a new catchy moniker for this latest technological shift: "The Customer Revolution."

For Salesforce, this new era has come about thanks to seven changes: Social, mobile, big data, community, apps, cloud, and trust.

"This incredible new world is on the mind of all of our customers," Benioff said, "This is the conversation that everyone wants to have."

For instance, Benioff cited an IDC report that projects big data to enable 450 billion business transactions per day by 2020.

"What if my jet engine could talk to me, and what would it say?" Comstock asked.

General Electric chief marketing officer Beth Comstock followed up, remarking in a video clip that social is not only helping connect employees and customers, but also customers and employees to machines.

"What if my jet engine could talk to me, and what would it say?" Comstock asked, hinting that social and big data working together could answer questions never thought possible.

But at the end of the day, Benioff suggested that the technology changes don't matter as much in the face of the last one on that list: customer trust.

The general idea of Salesforce’s event on Tuesday was to preach to its clientele that this “Customer Revolution” means that they need to rethink business models from the customer perspective.

In order to become a customer-centric (or even “customer-obsessed”) company, Benioff said that decision makers need to answer the following five questions:

  • How do you market to customers when they are everywhere?
  • How do you service customers when they are everywhere?
  • How do you sell as a team with your customers?
  • How do you build a customer platform?
  • How do you transform the way you work?

Naturally, Benioff answered these questions with a number of products from the portfolio, including

The social ad campaigns publisher is the latest addition to the Marketing Cloud, which debuted at Dreamforce 2012 in September as the fruition of Salesforce's acquisitions of Buddy Media and Radian6.

Topics: Social Enterprise, CXO, E-Commerce,


Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider,, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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