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Dreamforce 2016: AI Is Everything

Penelope LaRocque

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Earlier this month, Salesforce — the San Francisco-based cloud-computing giant — hosted its thirteenth annual Dreamforce conference. Over the course of four days, 170,000 attendees were wowed by the potential of Salesforce’s latest products — from the possibilities opened up by ever-smarter artificial intelligence (AI) tools to an ultra-fast app-building suite. A group of more than a dozen Intouchers attended, and each one came back inspired and excited about what they saw.

Einstein, the Smart Choice
Many who attended Dreamforce agree that the most innovative product unveiled during the conference was Einstein. “Einstein is artificial intelligence built into the core of the Salesforce platform,” said Ron Kane, Intouch’s senior vice president of client services. Einstein’s advanced capabilities mean it just got even easier to build AI-powered sales, service and marketing apps that get smarter with every interaction.

One demo of Einstein showed how predictive analysis — which uses data mining, statistics, modeling, machine learning and artificial intelligence to anticipate future events — could be used to determine what kinds of content to put into emails. By scouring Twitter and Instagram feeds, for example, we can see what people are talking about and tailor email communications to those particular audiences.

Another demonstration of how artificial intelligence can be used to meet consumer needs came from the Dutch airline company HLK. The airline uses chatbots on Facebook Messenger to help their two million fans book flights and automatically receive updates. Use of chatbots has dramatically lowered HLK’s response times, which in turn has improved customer satisfaction.

“The emergence of Einstein, along with other AI tools, is only the beginning of what we can expect to see in the coming months and years as people, and the tools themselves, get smarter,” Ron said. “Technologies like Einstein will never replace what our data scientists can do, but they will help accelerate the value of data to drive brand value, customer relevance and many other types of insight our clients expect us to find or design for them.”

App Building at the Speed of Lightning
Salesforce also previewed its latest version of Lightning Experience, an app-building suite that enables quick and easy creation of enterprise apps through the use of what Salesforce calls “a completely reimagined user interface with a seamless experience across all your devices.”

Personalization, First and Always
The tech on its own is awe-inspiring, and it will certainly make our jobs as marketers much easier. But its value is in its ability to develop and distribute content that’s relevant and tailored to individuals’ wants and needs. Personalization is what people expect now, and if the message isn’t relevant, they’ll click away from it. Fast.

As a Salesforce partner with a team of nearly two-dozen certified Intouchers, and more than 17 years of pharma- and healthcare-focused marketing under our belts, we’re confident we can handle this challenge.

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