Thursday, 13 September 2012

If You’re Going to (Dreamforce) San Francisco…


I doubt very much we’ll be wearing flowers in our hair, but the team here at iContact always gets pretty excited about Salesforce.com’s annual Dreamforce extravaganza to be held between September 18-21, in San Francisco.

There are many reasons for this, including:
  • The Great Lineup of Speakers – which this year includes former Secretary of State General Colin Powell, British Entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson and the Author and Peak Performance Strategist Anthony Robbins.
  • It’s “Expo-losive” Expo Hall – with the exhibitors list reading like a who’s who of cloud computing, featuring more than 350 technology companies offering 1000+ solutions for the Salesforce.com platform.
  • The Delegates: With 50,000+ registrations, Dreamforce has become the world’s biggest technology conference which virtually takes over the center of San Francisco every year. Let’s face it, anyone who is anyone in cloud competing will be there so you are sure to bump into some interesting characters.
  • The Party Band: Who said technology people didn’t know how to party? This year’s party band, The Red Hot Chili Peppers are sure raise the temperature as they follow in the footsteps of Metallica and Will.i.am (last year’s party acts) and rock the Moscone Center.
  • It’s a Great City: Be sure to take a few extra days and explore China Town, The Fisherman’s Wharf (look out for the Bushman), The Golden Gate Bridge and the infamous Alcatraz Prison.
But the main reason why we are so excited about Dreamforce is the fact that we get to talk to so many people face-to-face about our iContact for Saleforce (iC4SF) email marketing solution.

Events like Dreamforce, allow us to focus on a side of business which isn’t always so obvious in the technology sector – people. In fact, many Internet and Software as a Service (SaaS) companies try and factor people out of the equation altogether. Think about how many companies you work with on a daily basis (and who happily take money from your credit card every month) that don’t want you picking up the phone and calling them or hide contact forms (if they exist) deep within their websites to discourage interaction.

We believe that customers drive innovation and if you talk to them for long enough and listen to their problems, you are sure to develop more creative and profitable solutions which benefit both the client and vendor. The development of iC4SF is just one area of our business where listening to our customers has paid off.

Our clients told us they wanted to combine iContact’s email marketing deliverability with the power of their detailed customer data held in Salesforce, helping them to create more relevant, engaging and timely email marketing campaigns. We listened, we learned, we built, we listened again and we improved.

Now when we show people iC4SF they just get it and they love it. But don’t just take our word for it.

iC4SF has received the Consumers Choice Award for best email marketing app for the past two years running, scored an average of 4.6 out of 5 in 123 consumer reviews on the Salesforce App Exchange and is trusted by more than 1,200 Salesforce users worldwide (to date).

And still we strive to improve the service, recently announcing the launch of iContact for Salesforce Premier Services.

If you are going to Dreamforce in San Francisco, be sure to swing by booth #1527 and ask to see how iContact and Salesforce can help you become a more efficient, effective marketer. If you cannot make it to San Francisco, why not leave your comments in the box below. We'd love to hear from you.

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John W. Hayes is a Marketing Strategist and Contributing Author at Vocus, where he specializes in Email Marketing and Social Media Marketing for Small and Medium-sized businesses using iContact. He is also the author of Becoming THE Expert: Enhancing Your Business Reputation through Thought Leadership Marketing which is now available from Amazon the Apple iBookStore. John can be found on FacebookTwitter and Google+.

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