Live From Dreamforce 2016: The Convergence of Data Science and Creativity

By October 6, 2016
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age of the consumer

It’s halfway through Dreamforce 2016! The biggest and baddest Dreamforce yet, and we are coming to you live—from the Expo Hall, the keynotes, lounges, and parties. There are cartoon characters everywhere, matching ranger outfits, hammocks galore, and a lot of people pumped up about the future of technology. Although I am pretty sure it is almost impossible to be as pumped up as Tony Robbins was in his keynote, but we can dream (and energize!).

We’re only about halfway through this year’s conference, but one of the key themes so far is the emergence of sales reps and marketers as the renaissance women and men of the 21st century. More specifically, how revenue teams can leverage advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence to be more creative and focused with their sales and marketing outreach.

Why is this a huge trend? We’re being asked to stay ahead of the game while maintaining a zen-like calm (seriously there were monks in the house, and nuns, and some lovely Hawaiian folks). We need to think about the future, yet stay rooted in the reality of today. We need to be emotional and human in our marketing and in our product, while simultaneously using the power of data science and machine learning to sell and market more effectively than ever before.

I think that we can be these renaissance women and men. And I think Dreamforce ’16 is helping us understand just how to do that.

Think About the Future, but Stay Rooted In the Reality of Today

It is clear that philanthropy is a cornerstone of the Dreamforce ‘ohana’ this year. In his keynote, Benioff asks us to think about the future of technology, while also looking at the state of the world today. Whether that’s the refugee crisis, or improving our public school systems, or the HIV/AIDS epidemic—Dreamforce asks us to not just think about the future of tech, but also the future of the world, and the challenges we face today. Because technology is so rooted in our everyday lives, it can be incredibly impactful for crises we face across the globe., of the Black Eyed Peas, spoke about his project to improve graduation rates and exposing kids to STEAM courses (Science Technology Engineering Art Math). Debra Dugan, CEO of (RED), a widely known organization aimed at eradicating AIDS, spoke about the power of human motivation. Ebony Frelix, SVP of Philanthropy and Engagement for, followed by explaining how (RED) uses Salesforce to drive the ultimate ROI—saving lives.

What are you passionate about? Find out how you can get involved. Call a school, sponsor a family. Be resourceful and believe in your ability to make change not only in your business but also in your community.

We Need to Be More Human Than Ever While Using More Data and More Data Science

This touches on that classic combination of creativity and science that I think everyone is trying to achieve right now. When presenting on the importance of data science within the sales and marketing process,  Marc Benioff said, “imagination is more important than knowledge”. I thought this was an incredibly interesting Albert Einstein quote to use in this context. If we are talking about the use of AI and data science, aren’t we talking about knowledge? So yes, we are, but mostly we are talking about technology giving you the ability to be more imaginative.

I think we are getting to this point where technology is enabling us to be more creative. Now, that may seem more obvious when looking at platforms like Vidyard, a video platform, or Ceros, an interactive content platform. But when looking at technology like Salesforce or predictive technologies like EverString, that ‘enabling creativity’ piece can be a little less obvious. However, if you think about it, this kind of applied data science and machine learning enables sales and marketing teams to be more creative with their engagement tactics. So they can focus less on who they need to talk to within an account, and focus more on what to to an account that really matters.

Technologies like EverString, and other AI vendors compliment this well. These kinds of technologies leverage the data to look to the universe of companies inside and outside of your database that you should proactively market and sell to. These technologies enrich your database by providing precision in each of your marketing and sales plays, and enrich you database by providing information about an account that you’ve never interacted with before.

I think Salesforce and Dreamforce support the position that there will come a time when sales reps and marketers can’t imagine a time when AI, machine learning, and natural language processing didn’t fuel their day-to-day prospecting and demand gen.  Think about it–if you aren’t spending so much time figuring out who exactly to sell and market to, imagine how much time you’d have to be creative?!

This is the future, and it’s coming in hot.

Want to learn more about how EverString helps sales and marketing teams be more creative? Be sure to stop by booth #125 in the expo hall!

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