VP, Marketing, Sigstr
Salesforce Dreamforce is one of the biggest software conferences in the world. In the run-up to this event, we unveil our special TechByte series featuring high-profile Dreamforce attendees and MarTech Champions. We spoke to Justin Keller, VP, Marketing, Sigstr, to see how he views the event.
MTS: What attracts you to Dreamforce 2017? Who are you following at the event?
Justin Keller: Like it or not, Salesforce has become the digital backbone of virtually every customer-facing professional in the world. 170,000 people are heading to San Francisco for this year’s Dreamforce and about 15% of them are marketers. The chance to get in front of 25,000 of the world’s most progressive marketers is a massive opportunity– and challenge. Sigstr is thrilled to be one of the sponsors of the Dreamforce Marketing Lodge where all these marketers will convene!
Obviously, the most important people to follow at Dreamforce aren’t people at all, but the Pawdot Puppies. Once I’ve got my puppy fix in, I plan on checking out Terminus CMO, Sangram Vajre’s session on ABM.
As if Dreamforce wasn’t big enough, the non-conference programming this year is incredible. Two in particular have amazing lineups: The Radius B2B Champions Club will have amazing speakers like Matt Heinz from Heinz Marketing, Elle Woulfe from LookbookHQ, Julia Stead from Invoca, and Saleshacker is going to have a Dreamforce Lounge with lots of AMAs from thought leaders like Tyler Lessard from Vidyard, Matt Heinz (again!), and the unstoppable Jacco van der Kooji.
MTS: What are your expectations from the event and how do you intend to share your experiences with your colleagues and community members?
Justin: My expectations are extremely high, but I’m totally unsure what to expect. I will be live tweeting and streaming moments on Facebook Live throughout. We typically like to recap everything we learned, the trends we saw, and the friends we made in blog posts once we’re back home.
MTS: Which MarTech/AdTech events did you attend this year? What were your key takeaways from these events?
Justin: We went to over 10 MarTech events this year, from third party events like B2B Marketing Exchange and Content Marketing World to owned events like the Marketo Summit and INBOUND17. From a vendor perspective, our data shows that owned events perform much better in terms of lead gen and opportunity creation. From an attendee perspective, however, it’s amazing to see how swiftly the landscape is shifting– the programming and speakers presenting at most of these conferences were new faces doing radically different things. It’s an exciting time to be a marketer!
MTS: How do you manage community engagements at such events?
Justin: It’s all about the pre-event planning. At Sigstr, we begin campaigning around events at least a month in advance. This includes getting our messaging and promotions activated with our sales development team, scheduling partner meetings, and trying to coordinate with as many friends and colleagues as possible to connect at the event. And, of course, we develope Sigstr campaigns promoting our presence at events and have found that these are some of the most clicked campaigns we run. Of course, once you’re on the ground, you have to be adaptable because Dreamforce can make a mess of even the best-laid plans.
MTS: What marketing technologies does Sigstr use specifically for events like these?
Justin: We’re using Cvent for lead capture, and upload leads into HubSpot for scoring and follow-up as soon as possible. We’ll also be geofencing Facebook ads around the Marketing Lodge. Lastly, for new partner and friend connections, I use Evernote’s automatic camera feature to scan business cards. It automatically stores all of their contact info, sends them my contact info, and connects us on LinkedIn.
MTS: What marketing technologies are you looking forward to at Dreamforce 2017?
Justin: I’m very interested in seeing what G2Crowd is up to- they’re evolving in some fascinating ways. I’m also interested in checking out Everstring. I’m hearing really interesting things about how they’re helping drive Top of the Funnel activity using AI.
MTS: What would be your message to Dreamforce 2017 attendees?
Justin: Plan ahead as much as you can, but be adaptable.
There is so much going on in so many parts of the city at once that your plans will almost definitely be altered. And wear comfortable shoes!
MTS: Thanks for chatting with us, Justin.
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