As a leading sales and marketing software solution provider, Salesforce did a good job presenting insights and perspectives during their Salesforce World Tour Chicago event. Our CMO Aaron Goldman and I attended the event and learned several valuable things that I would like to share.

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  1. Digital is king. Though it has been talked about a lot by marketers, digital keeps getting stronger. At the event, we got a preview of new Salesforce research, The State of Marketing 2016, that showed leading marketers are going to spend 70% of their marketing budget on digital channels this year, versus 62% back in 2011. It is projected to go up to 75% by 2021. So if you are still wondering whether digital is the “right” channel to start on, it seems the choice has already been made.
  2. Social drives ROI. Social media as a marketing channel has grown from it’s early stage when marketers knew they need to get there but don’t really know what they getting back to today with 75% of marketers reporting some or significant ROI generated from social media marketing. What was the number from only a year ago? 28%. One of the biggest advantages of social media is that it is interactive. Brands have the ability to engage their customers in real time.Picture1
  3. Social ads are getting even bigger. Specifically, on the paid side of social media, social advertising has also been greatly recognized by marketers. 71% of marketers rated social advertising as a very effective channel, higher than display banners ads and native advertising. Among high-performing marketers, 80% are going to increase their spend in social advertising. This is actually not surprising since social advertising is now an integrated channel including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram, where marketers are very likely to have their organic social campaigns as well. As one of the very few companies in the world that enable advertisers to launch their social ads on all five publishers at one place, 4C has seen strong growth in the industry as well.Picture1
  4. Behavioral analytics are crucial. In addition to what Salesforce said, it was also interesting to me to see what Salesforce did to market themselves and engage with attendees. My badge was scanned at every breakout session I attended and every booth I stopped by. My guess is that all attendees’ activity data during the day were saved for future marketing analysis. I’m sure their mascot will be retargeting me.Picture1
  5. Integration is everything. For software solution providers, integration is the way to go. With a core product of Salesforce Sales Cloud, the keynote emphasized heavily how each of their products could collaborate and boost each other’s performance. It is not a coincidence that 4C’s campaign theme starting from last year is “Better Together” – not because we can sell more products but the integration between digital and TV and providing more insights and value for marketers.