Salesforce1: A new mobile experience for Salesforce dashboards and custom data

Dreamforce is over, and boy am I tired. But I wanted to cover the biggest announcement at this week’s Dreamforce conference, while it is fresh in my mind: Salesforce1. Somewhat surprisingly, Salesforce1 really is a revolutionary change for the Salesforce mobile experience.

I say that a bit tongue-in-cheek because even though I am a Salesforce partner and big fan, they are so good at marketing and PR that the hype at Dreamforce often exceeds the reality. Product announcements are sometimes rebrands or announced before the releases are available. The Salesforce1 mobile experience delivers however, and is a huge step forward for Salesforce.

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The part that I am most excited about is the ability to see dashboards and custom object data on the mobile device. You can view and refresh your dashboards in the Salesforce1 mobile app, which really comes in handy if you are dashboard driven like me. Here is the CloudAmp Analytics Dashboards app on the iPhone 4 (my only complaint is that it is “Optimized for the iPhone 5”, so the bottom of the chart is cut off a bit on the shorter screen of my iPhone 4).

A Dashboard on the Salesforce1 app on the iPhone 4.

A Dashboard on the Salesforce1 app on the iPhone 4.

I thought the experience was even better on the Nexus 7, where you have a bit more real estate. Now if you centralize data in Salesforce, like integrating back office systems (or in our case, Google Analytics metrics into Salesforce), that is also available on any smartphone or tablet.

A Dashboard on the Salesforce1 app on the Nexus 7.

A Dashboard on the Salesforce1 app on the Nexus 7.

Finally, from the perspective of someone who makes apps for Salesforce, the ability to see any custom objects in the Salesforce1 mobile app interface is a huge deal as well. For Salesforce apps that store data 100% natively in custom objects (as opposed to data that is iframed or otherwise shown from external sources but not stored in Salesforce), you can now see all the data in Salesforce1.

Here is an example of a record from the “CloudAmpGA Metrics” custom object in Salesforce, which is how we store each daily record import from Salesforce. Talk about access to data.

Google Analytics data in the Salesforce1 app on the Nexus 7.

Google Analytics data in the Salesforce1 app on the Nexus 7.

So there you have it. For those of us who love the analytics capabilities of Salesforce, now those dashboards and custom data are available on your mobile device with Salesforce1, no special configurations or mobile integration necessary. More (most) of Salesforce is now Mobile with Salesforce1.

CloudAmp Founder David Hecht’s Marketing Presentation at Dreamforce

CloudAmp Founder David Hecht will be giving a talk on online marketing tactics at Salesforce’s annual Dreamforce conference, Wednesday, November 20, 2013 at 3:45 PM in the Hilton SF Union Square, Community Success Zone Theater.

The presentation, entitled “Which Half is Wasted? AppExchange Marketing Best Practices” draws on David’s 18 years of marketing experience to provide an overview of marketing strategy and tactics for driving online signups and app sales.

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As part of the Partner User Groups sessions, David will focus his advice toward the ISV community working to promote Salesforce apps, but the tips and tactics will be broadly applicable to marketers of any product or service with an Internet presence. The 30 minute presentation will be divided into two sections, with topics to include:

AppExchange Marketing Tactics

  • Challenges of AppExchange Marketing
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Tracking your traffic (UTM codes and Google Analytics)
  • Blogging (It takes too much time but you have to do it)
  • Social Media (Be part of the conversation when it makes sense)
  • Automated Lead Followup (Use the tools Salesforce gives you)
  • Outbound Phone Calls (Does Sales follow up make sense for you?)

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Online Advertising

  • Pros and Cons of Advertising
  • Google Adwords (Not just for conversions but for research)
  • Social Media Advertising (Linkedin, Facebook enable amazing targeting)
  • Retargeting (Remind people who got distracted without signing up)
  • Other Strategies (Email marketing, Vertical Sites, Directories and more)

There will be time for questions during as well as after the brief presentation. If you are coming to Dreamforce this year, please come by and say hello.

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The Opportunity of ‘(Not Provided)’ Google Keywords

In late 2011, Google began encrypting searches from anyone logged into a Google service (Gmail, Google +, etc.), so site owners could not see many of the keywords from organic searches that were driving visitors to their sites. In October 2013 Google took additional steps to make search “secure”, so the majority of all keyword searches are now coming through as “(Not Provided)”. The trend is expected to continue until effectively all organic keyword data is blocked from your Google Analytics reports.

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This blog post isn’t about Google’s motivation for making this change, or about how to try to recover some of this lost data through other means. You can get some data from Google Webmaster Tools, or hope that a portion of your organic traffic comes from Yahoo and Bing, etc. There are plenty of good articles that cover tips for  that in detail, such as the following:

Instead, I’d like to focus on the opportunites this change provides for website owners and online marketers to go back to the basics and do a better job with some of the fundamentals of tracking. Search engine optimization (SEO) may be forever changed by this major change on Google’s part, but there are many best practices that haven’t changed — and in fact, this (Not Provided) trend makes them more important than ever before.

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Opportunity 1: Google Adwords

This may seem to be playing into Google’s hands, since their stated motivation for encrypting the search results was to protect user privacy, but few have believed that.. Since paid advertising on Google still gives you the keyword data, most pundits have assumed the move to “(Not Provided)” for organic search was intended to keep the valuable search data for Google’s own use, and drive people toward paid advertising on Google Adwords and Google +.

However, I have long believed that every business should be doing some amount of Google Adwords experimentation. Even if you don’t have an advertising budget, spending $100+ a month on Google Adwords can provide some of the most cost effective research into your target market available anywhere. Get search volume and keyword data, see what types of ad text and headlines draws the most clicks, and more. Build out your keyword lists for your content marketing, see the keyword data you are no longer going to get from organic search, and hopefully get some conversions as a bonus.

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Opportunity 2: Step up your Tracking

Since tracking of organic keywords is mostly if not completely going away in the age of ‘(Not Provided)”, time to step up your game in other areas. Be sure you are tracking everything else you can track, and plug up those gaps that have been on your marketing to-do list for months. Add tracking to your ecommerce, signup and contact us forms to get data on as many of your conversions as possible. (I am not objective in recommending my Campaign Tracker app for this, but please check it out  if you are using Salesforce CRM).  In the end, maximizing conversion tracking is more important than focusing on keywords that brought you clicks and traffic.

In addition, use Google Analytics campaign tags (utm_campaign, utm_source, etc.)  on any links to your site that you give out. Not just in your advertising URLs, but in your social media posts, links you give to your partners to publish on their sties, blog posts, directory listings and profiles, etc. Tagging your URLs will eliminate some of the untracked traffic from other sources (social media sharing or referral sites) and give you more consistent, better data for the incoming link data that you can control.

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Opportunity 3: Back to SEO Basics

Finally, for SEO go back to focusing on the basics — good site structure and good content. Without detailed organic keyword data, you won’t be able to do many of the search engine optimization tricks often promoted by some fly-by-night “we will increase your Google rankings” SEO firms — but you shouldn’t have been doing those things in the first place anyway. Tricks never work for long if they do work, and they can backfire badly.

Instead, accept that your site keyword data is going to be lacking, but use aggregate data from elsewhere — Google Webmaster Tools, Google Adwords — and start producing content that your audience would value. Blogging is very difficult to do regularly, but critical to this back-to-basics approach. Though for most busy professionals with multiple work responsibilities it is nearly impossible to find time to write regular blog posts, not only will they generate positive SEO returns, but they have the added benefit to establishing a voice and thought leadership for your particular field (or at least I hope so!)

What do you think of the Google ‘(Not Provided)’ change? Any tips you think I missed? Let us know in the contents below.

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