Tag Archives: Conferences

DreamForce 2

As I said the other day, Dreamforce was amazing.

The other thing I heard about was ‘personalized at scale’. This is a concept with which I have toyed at various job and during various projects, but the description, ‘personalized at scale’, is one I could not quite grab hold of until I heard it. Yes, I thought, that describes exactly what libraries need to do on a daily basis.

‘Personalized at scale’ is the concept of sending a customer an email with recommendations or personalization in some way based on their past purchases or interactions. Within the realm of personalization, you acknowledge each ‘touch’ with the client, because each touch point is documented. Obviously, using a system to help with this makes life much easier and Salesforce.com, according to the conference, is that system.**

Salesforce has a small business unit, but this area is really designed for large organizations that want to seem like they care about each customer. This feature has to be done with big data and computers. There is no company who can hire enough people who have the skills to get to know all the customers and suggest other products. It just won’t happen.

Still, I think that librarians do this to some extent by remembering what attorneys or patrons asked for last time and follow-up. I think it is very ad hoc. Readers Advisory is similar, but not a push notification; it is reactive. If public libraries could send out emails, personalized to all of their patrons I think things would change.















** I know there are other systems that do this same thing and if I get the opportunity, I will write about them, but this post is about Salesforce’s Dreamforce and their products.


I was offered a free ticket to Dreamforce, the Salesforce.com conference and took the opportunity to see what a tech conference was like. The difference between Dreamforce and the SLA or AALL conferences was AMAZING. People were excited to be at Dreamforce; speakers were well rehearsed and the entire ‘compound’ was packed. There was a place to donate books. They had a playground with beanbag games, hula hoops, a large screen, a beading activity and places to lounge. Attending this conference made me want to work for Salesforce.com and use their product.

My ticket allowed me to attend a limited number of events, most of which were keynote type sessions. I wasn’t allowed to attend the Foo Fighters concert nor did I get free meals. The organizers emailed me several times about upgrading my ticket, so it wasn’t that they didn’t want me. I wanted to see what was what and I was thrilled with what I was able to get for free.

The very first session was a marketing session and the takeaways will be very useful for my clients:

  • Consider that your customers have a journey (the customer journey), which is comprised of the following lifecycle:
    • Acquire
    • Sell
    • Onboard
    • Engage
    • Advocate

I was quite intrigued by the example they gave for ‘onboard’, which was from Mattel. If a customer purchases a toy online, they are sent, as part of their purchase receipt, an invitation to download an app which connects the physical toy, to an online environment and allows Mattel to create a relationship with the customer.

As I listened to the presentation, my mind was whirring about how this could be used in libraries, especially in public libraries. Could a patron who checks out a book and receives an emailed receipt also be sent a link to download the library’s search tool app?