Boiling down its meteoric 20-year history and vast product line to “We Bring Companies and Customers Together,” Salesforce has launched a new advertising and marketing campaign that will further obliterate the archaic models of B2C and B2B.
In a blog post this morning, Salesforce CMO Stephanie Buscemi wrote, “Over the last six months, we’ve done a lot of research to learn more about what the Salesforce brand means to people. While our brand is strong, we learned that the rapid expansion of CRM outside of salesforce automation combined with the fast changing technology landscape means people still don’t understand well enough what exactly we do.”
I would add to Buscemi’s list of drivers the profound transfer of power in the buyer/seller equation from the sellers to the buyers—a move that Salesforce’s products and evangelism have helped intensify.
Along the way, consumers have made it clear that while some firms might choose to do business through partners or channels, those consumers want to have a direct relationship with and direct access to the companies whose products they’re purchasing and using.
In earnings calls and other public comments, co-CEOs Marc Benioff and Keith Block frequently describe the efforts by many businesses to transcend the old-world silos of B2C and B2B to address exactly that type of customer requirement.
Benioff spelled out that dynamic—and Salesforce’s role in it—quite explicitly in an interview with Mad Money’s Jim Cramer in April.
Referring to this profound shift in how businesses engage with customers as a key element of the “connected digital revolution,” Benioff said the desire by businesses to engage directly with their end-customers cuts across all industries.
“Every B2B company and every B2C company is becoming a B2B2C company,” Benioff said.
“What company does not have to directly connect with the consumer? You can be a traditional industrial company. We’ve talked about them before, selling to B2B resellers.
“You have to be ready in this kind of connected digital revolution to be able to connect directly to your consumer as well. That’s a major trend that we’ve benefited from for so many years now and you’re going to continue to see that play out.”
This new advertising and marketing campaign is very much a reflection of that new reality. After all, Salesforce certainly doesn’t sell to consumers, so why would it want to market to them?
Here’s the rationale from CMO Buscemi in this morning’s blog post.
“On the flip side, the very things that make this era so great for customers make it challenging for companies. Every department, job function, and process has its own technology. How do you connect it all? Every company knows it needs to move faster and create deeper relationships with customers. How do you do it?
That is our core value proposition at Salesforce and the message of our new campaign: We bring companies and customers together.”
This effort by Salesforce to redefine the box that enterprise-tech companies are in, and to redefine the roles that they play in the digital economy, and to redefine the value they deliver to the world, is long overdue.
And it’s an approach that the world’s other leading tech firms in the Cloud Wars Top 10 should think about emulating.
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