Here’s all there is to know about Salesforce’s streaming platform for business content, Salesforce+
Leandro Perez, Vice President, Asia Pacific Marketing at SalesforceSalesforce
Salesforce will launch the platform at its annual event, Dreamforce
ad-tech

Here’s all there is to know about Salesforce’s streaming platform for business content, Salesforce+

Salesforce will launch the platform at its annual event, Dreamforce
  • Salesforce will soon launch its content streaming platform Salesforce+, a platform that it calls the 'Netflix of business content'.
  • We catch up with Leandro Perez, Vice President, Asia Pacific Marketing at Salesforce to understand the thought behind it. Perez gives us a sneak peek into all the platform will offer.

It was in August that Salesforce announced its plans of launching Salesforce+, a streaming service focusing on business content. The aim was to bring all its curated video content at one place and making it easier to access for the relevant audience.

Now, just days away from the official launch at Salesforce’s annual event Dreamforce, we catch up with Leandro Perez, Vice President, Asia Pacific Marketing at Salesforce who tells us all there is to know about the new platform and why they don’t shy away from calling it ‘the Netflix of biz content’.

Excerpts:

Q) A streaming platform for business content is a novel idea. What was the genesis of the idea?

Over the past few years, the way people consume content has changed. Video is exploding, mostly because of social media channels like YouTube and Instagram, it is changing people's behaviors. In places like India, it could mean up to 5 billion views every month. The pandemic, if anything, has only accelerated this, with people being at home. We also launched a lot of new content, original series, to help people during the pandemic. We launched ‘Leading through change’, which was a series which looked at what could be done to help our community, our customers just get through this time. It was quite disconnected from our marketing goals. And sometimes we would bring on customers, celebrities or luminaries to talk. We've also launched a few other series but that one just showed the appetite for that kind of content. We’ve got about 700 million views on ‘Leading through change’ with the 70 episodes that we have. We saw the consumer appetite but would launch it on our channel on YouTube or on our website in the video section. At Salesforce, we always look at the consumer world for inspiration. And when we looked at platforms like Netflix or Disney+ Hotstar, we thought, why couldn’t we do something like that for our content? And the last bit of it was the fact that we couldn’t do a lot of our events that we have done historically. We believe we do some of the best B2B events in the business world and we were just looking for ways of bringing that experience, these videos and original broadcast series to this always on, on-demand kind of world, but personalized for the business user. That was the genesis of it all.

Q) What is the need gap you are trying to fill here with Salesforce+, considering there is already a lot of content available on the internet?

There's no shortage of content in the world but in the business world, we target specific buyers - sales buyers, people in the customer service industry, marketing and they don't really have a trusted source from a business where they can go. They don’t really have this Netflix-like experience where they can tune in and watch a series dedicated to them. We're not necessarily selling on that platform, we're actually usually highlighting our customers, where our vision is very soon to not just have our own content, but to have content from those people on the platform as well. So we call them our Trailblazers, because they would be our customers that are really out there doing these things. And then obviously, we have the Trailhead platform, which is where you would go and learn to do stuff. So eventually sort of bridging those two worlds where you might get inspired, learn something and then go and actually be able to bring it to your work. So that's where we're going. I think from a purely marketing point of view, this is a new world for us to engage. There’s a cookie-less future on the horizon. And we're not going to be relying on these other parties to be able to understand who we're connecting with, we'll be able to connect with directly. Our personalization will be able to tell us, is this the kind of content they like, or don't like, what's useful and what's not? So for the marketer, it actually it's very new lever that they haven't had before.

Q) Will the platform have interactive elements?

Yes, for Dreamforce, there's obviously going to be chat, you'll be able to share your emojis of whether you're liking the content, sort of like Twitter. But this is version one of the experience and I really can't say what it will be like in the future. But we are going through a whole coming together of our website where it isn't just a static website, it will have this content coming into it, as well as the Trailhead content so you can learn. So the future really is how do you blend all of that. And it's really exciting, because nothing exists like that today.

Q) Salesforce has been calling the platform the ‘Netflix of business content’. What are the direct parallels?

We're moving from this moment in time event to these ongoing series. That's a big shift for us. And the next part is you need to have engaging content that people will want to come back to. Let's be honest, most B2B content is a little boring at times, this is the new world for everyone, because you're going from a webinar-style mode, where you're presenting to people to how do you have insights and have a bit of storytelling, and that's something we usually do at our events, but maybe we haven't always focused on for video content. That would be number one. Number two is just ease of use. It has to be easy for someone to get in. Maybe they've seen episode one, and next time they want to see the next episode, so how do you remember that? And last is probably personalization. Our goal is that we're feeding them what they don't know they need but that is interesting to them. That's a very different approach. That's what Netflix does with AI and we're using our own AI and technology to do the same thing. The only difference is, we’re free.

Q) Do you have plans of monetizing the platform anytime soon?

At the moment, no! It's a completely free platform. Just like Trailhead is democratizing our access to learning, we're in the same boat where this is really a way for us to be a thought leader, but not in charging our customers in attending this.

Q) Have you set a target in terms of the number of people you want to see using the platform?

We've definitely got targets for Dreamforce. Historically, in-person Dreamforce would have about 1,70,000 people on site. We're trying to get to that level on the digital platform. We know that's a very low number, I am pretty sure we're going to blow past that number. But at a minimum, that's where we would want to start.

Q) Right now, most of your content is global. Are you also looking at regional content to make it more relevant for specific geographies?

The main Dreamforce program is quite global, and that content resonated well. What was missing is, if we would take people to San Francisco, we would be having conversations with the region together because you're traveling there, you may be staying in a hotel. So what we're doing for that is on September 22, which is when Dreamforce starts in our region, we will have an APAC takeover. In that, we'll feature stories from around the region. That is where we're tapping into some of that regional flavor. After Dreamforce, the international strategy is something we're working on. We have the Trailblazer Talks which is an India program where Arundhati Bhattacharya, our Chairperson & CEO for India will talk to various leaders. That is the kind of content we would love to have on the platform. SO we are still working on how to make sure our content targets the right people.