Dreamforce 2023: Unveiling Salesforce's AI-driven Vision for Marketing's Future

Dreamforce: The “Core” Message

Salesforce’s flagship event, Dreamforce, made headlines again this year, not just for its daily attendance of over 40,000 or the celebrity sightings of Matthew McConaughey, perennial rockers The Foo Fighters, and AI Pioneer Sam Altman of OpenAI fame. At its core, the conversation spotlighted one clear message: The future revolves around AI, but its success hinges on building trust in its capabilities and its use of your data. Salesforce billed Dreamforce 2023 as “the world’s largest AI event,” and it didn’t disappoint.

Dreamforce: The “Core” Message

The Rise of Trusted AI

Salesforce, under CEO Marc Benioff, has distilled the company’s vision into a simple formula: Data + AI + CRM + Trust. In Benioff’s words, the introduction of the Einstein 1 Platform marks the beginning of a “new era of AI.” It’s not just about advanced algorithms; it’s about establishing trust. With a substantial half-billion-dollar Ventures AI innovation fund and a strong commitment to ethical AI, Salesforce appears to be shifting the conversation towards AI that is not only intelligent but also ethical and personalised.

The Rise of Trusted AI

A Glimpse into What’s Next for Marketers

Here are several developments we were able to catch during the conference, with release dates coming as soon as next month:

A Glimpse into What's Next for Marketers

The conference didn’t get into specific details on what versions would have these features enabled (at least as far as I was able to catch), though in a blog post earlier this month, Steve Hammond (EVP/GM Marketing Cloud) specifically calls out Marketing Cloud Engagement. A number of new product features appear to be released first via a Pilot program before then being rolled out as GA in a ‘24 release. We’ll be keeping an eye out for related developments and will update you as they come up.

Looking forward to 2024

A few highlights:

There are many additional product features and products being released in ‘24 across the ever-expanding Salesforce ecosystem. For brevity, I’ve only listed a few of the more Marketing-centric announcements, neglecting at least an equal number of Sales, Service and other product announcements

Charting the (AI) Path for Marketers

Salesforce’s commitment to AI this year was unmistakable. While marketers can still use non-integrated LLMs for content, Salesforce emphasises the importance of bringing together AI and customer data for genuine personalization and, crucially, building customer trust. Just prior to Dreamforce, Salesforce introduced a revamped Data Cloud Consultant credential and a brand-new Certified AI Associate credential, both accessible on Trailhead, and giving customers and consultants alike the opportunity to keep pace with the company’s direction. Their confidence in this AI-centric vision is further emphasised by their plan to hire an additional 3,000 employees, announced just after the conclusion of the conference, bucking the wider trend amongst Tech’s big players.

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