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The early days of the pandemic forced brands online in a hurry. Now, almost a year later, marketing, commerce, and digital leaders are transforming and adapting in new ways. Still, myths abound around what it means to take an organization fully digital, and what was once visionary is now mandatory. We’re here to crack some of those misconceptions wide open with the facts about Digital 360 – a collection of tools for connecting people everywhere no matter how they engage — whether on your website, on social media, in your ecommerce storefront, your portals, and more.

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In the latest episode of our LinkedIn Live series, Let’s Talk, I had the opportunity to chat with Jim Clarke, practice director for Salesforce Marketing Cloud at Slalom, a consulting partner focused on strategy and technology. If you’re still thinking about how your company can deepen your customer relationships through seamless marketing, commerce, and online experiences, he busts a few myths (and eases some minds) about digital-first business.

Myth #1: Salesforce is just for salespeople

True, Salesforce got its start in salesforce automation. But over the past 21 years, the growing ecosystem of partners and customers has prompted tools for marketing, philanthropic organizations, healthcare, ecommerce, and more.

With Salesforce Digital 360, we’ve brought together technologies that are designed for marketers, commerce leaders, and chief digital officers. In the age of the all-digital customer, brands must now deliver personalized, connected digital relationships. But how?

You need the main stakeholders involved in digital customer engagement – sales, marketing, service, IT and more – you need to bring them to the table. “Silos” and teams not working together are often the biggest point of failure for digital.

Jim Clarke, practice director for Salesforce Marketing Cloud at Slalom

“Companies are not going to be at the same starting place in terms of digital, and you can’t boil the ocean. First, you need to sit with your team and document your priorities across the digital customer journey – that’s all of your main challenges or opportunities across awareness, to purchase, to retention, to advocacy,” said Clarke.

“Second, make sure that you bring in teams outside of your department. You need the main stakeholders involved in digital customer engagement – sales, marketing, service, IT and more – you need to bring them to the table. “Silos” and teams not working together are often the biggest point of failure for digital,” Clarke continued.

This year has been a critical time for many brands who have had to accelerate their digital transformation due to the pandemic. With help from Slalom, Groupe Dynamite, a Canadian fashion retailer, was already in the throes of implementing an ecommerce solution when stores were forced to close. Projects that were planned for later implementation were quickly pushed forward, including return-to-store digital and printing shipping labels. “I’m personally really excited to see what happens in the next couple of months,” said Jim Clarke. “I think that the teams at Groupe Dynamite were just rock stars in getting that out the door in the middle of the pandemic, and I’m really proud of that.”

Myth #2: Aren’t Customer 360 and Digital 360 the same?

Not quite. Customer 360 is a collection of software products that integrate fully to put your customer at the center of everything your business does –sales, service, application development, and more. Digital 360 tailors Customer 360 for digital leaders. It brings together Salesforce products like Marketing Cloud, Commerce Cloud, and Experience Cloud, expert services from Salesforce partners, and free on-demand learning through Trailhead so you can get more from digital.

What’s the difference between Customer 360 and Digital 360?

Customer 360: Builds a complete view of your customers to put them at the center of everything you do.

Digital 360: Helps you build a complete digital relationship with the customer – from awareness, to purchase, to loyalty, and beyond.

While they may not be the same thing, Customer 360 and Digital 360 still go hand-in-hand. You can’t deliver really personalized digital experiences without having a unified profile of the customer paired with a way to take that data and act on it.

Myth #3: Customer 360 audiences and CDP are two different things

Customer 360 Audiences is just the name of Salesforce’s customer data platform (CDP), and they are one and the same. Both Customer 360 Audiences and CDP unify a company’s customer data. Digital leaders and teams use this data to craft personalized experiences for their customers. Think of CDP as an evolution of customer relationship management (CRM) technology, but for digital leaders.

CDP is more than just a buzzword; this single view of customer data should be the foundation of your business and the center of your strategy. And it doesn’t have to be sophisticated, either. Having data to reaffirm your decisions can be as simple as conducting focus groups or polling customers.

Myth #4: Digital-first business is only about technology

Customer-centric brands prove that being digital first is about more than implementing technology. In fact, digital-first business is more of a trifecta:

Technology + People + Processes = Digital Experience

“If you don’t have all three, you don’t have a digital experience,” said Clarke.

Going digital requires change. And change requires not only the right technology, but more importantly, a vision and a culture to enable that change. It’s equally as important to develop a re-skilling strategy for your team and to implement a process and a communications plan to deliver the results you seek.

What’s next?

Strengthen the process of taking your business digital with experienced partners who have first-hand expertise and strategy. Consulting partners like Slalom have been debunking myths and speaking truth with customers trying to fundamentally reinvent their organizations in record time. Contact them to find out more.

Watch this episode of Let’s Talk: Digital 360

Discover how marketers can work with a consulting partner to evaluate customer journeys and create meaningful digital experiences at every touchpoint.

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