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The Many Faces of Top Dreamforce Influencers

Sep 22, 2016

For most places in the US, the change of seasons brings autumn leaves and pumpkin-spiced everything. But for Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area, the onset of fall brings unruly Uber rates, "cloud talk" (not the weather kind), and discussions of Marc Benioff’s shoes. That’s right, Dreamforce 2016 is upon us.

While this conference attracts over 150,000 people for product announcements and a notorious party scene, above all else, it gets pretty noisy. Whether you plan to attend virtually or IRL, we’re here to help separate the signal from the noise.

Who Leads the Conversations for Salesforce's Consumers?

Salesforce is famous for its CRM but has a vast line of products stretching from marketing and sales to analytics and IoT. Navigating these topics can be exhausting. How do you focus on what really matters? Let’s explore who leads the conversations and who ultimately impacts Salesforce's robust and diverse consumers.

In order to help break down the Dreamforce ecosystem, we have created customized infographics for three of Salesforce’s most predominant product lines: Marketing Cloud, Sales Cloud and Service Cloud. We looked to The Many Faces of Influence, an infographic used to help explain influencer archetypes, as inspiration for uncovering the “who’s who” of Dreamforce 2016.

Method to the Madness: How Influencer Identification Works

Influencer marketing is a tricky business. And the number one reason brands fail is due to selecting the wrong influencers. Luckily, we’ve removed that hurdle. Using the Traackr platform, influencers are vetted across three metrics: reach, resonance, and relevance:

  • Reach measures the total size of an influencer's audience online across all social platforms.
  • Resonance measures how engaged an influencer’s audience is with their content. Engagement is measured by shares, likes, comments, and retweets. Measuring resonance is essential to ensure brands find influencers with engaged audiences who respond to their content.
  • Relevance measures how “on topic” the influencer is. Relevance is the most important of the three metrics. Just because an influencer has a million followers does not mean they are relevant to the topics your audience cares about.

To create the following infographics, we built different keyword sets based on the particular product line. These influencers represent the top voices in their respective industries and more importantly, who Salesforce’s audience follows and listens to for trusted advice.

The Top 10 Marketing Cloud Influencers

  • The Celebrity - Kim Garst, Live Video Pro, Best Selling Author, Keynote Speaker
  • The Authority - Mark Schaefer, Keynote speaker, Schaefer Marketing Solutions
  • The Connector - Pam Moore, CEO & Founder, Marketing Nutz Social
  • The Personal Brand - Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer, MarketingProfs
  • The Analyst - Brian Solis, Principal Analyst, Altimeter Group
  • The Activist - Megan Conley, CEO & Founder, Social Tribe
  • The Expert - Scott Brinker, Program Chair, MarTech Conference
  • The Insider - Alp Mimaroglu, Sr Manager, Marketing, Salesforce
  • The Disruptor - Jay Acunzo, VP of Platform, NextView Ventures & Unthinkable Podcast
  • The Journalist - Stewart Rogers, Director, Marketing Technology - VB Insight, VentureBeat

The Top 10 Sales Cloud Influencers

  • The Celebrity - Marc Benioff, CEO, Salesforce
  • The Authority - Koka Sexton, Founder, Social Selling Labs LLC
  • The Connector - Barbara Giamanco, President, Social Centered Selling LLC
  • The Personal Brand - Jill Rowley, Startup Advisor. Speaker. Angel Investor. Social Selling Evangelist
  • The Analyst - R Ray Wang, Principal Analyst, Founder, Constellation Research, Inc.
  • The Activist - Joanne Black, America's Authority on Referral Selling, Author, Speaker
  • The Expert - Nancy Nardin, Founder and Co-Founder, Smart Selling Tools and Hushly
  • The Insider - Vala Afshar, Chief Digital Evangelist, Salesforce
  • The Disruptor - Rich Bohn, President and Executive Editor, Chief CRM Analyst
  • The Journalist - Sean Ellis, Founder and CEO,

The Top 10 Service Cloud Influencers

  • The Celebrity - Jay Baer, Author, Hug Your Haters
  • The Authority - Kate Nasser, Speaker, Trainer, Coach, Consultant
  • The Connector - Shep Hyken, CAO (Chief Amazement Officer) & Customer Service Speaker
  • The Personal Brand - Marsha Collier, Author 48 books, Founder #CustServ chat
  • The Analyst - Natalie Petouhoff, Vice President and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research, Inc
  • The Activist - Myra Golden, Owner, Myra Golden Media
  • The Expert - Flavio Martins, VP of Operations, DigiCert, Inc.
  • The Insider - Tiffani Bova, Global, Customer Growth and Innovation Evangelist, Salesforce
  • The Disruptor - Dan Gingiss, Head of Digital Marketing, Humana 
  • The Journalist - Adam Toporek, Owner, Crack the Customer Code Podcast

What’s Trending Among These Influencers?

Now that we have identified who is leading the conversation, the next step is to understand what makes these conversations important. The keyword report below analyzes the conversation trends happening among the influencers featured across all three infographics.

Looking back at the week of Dreamforce, it is clear that the conference directly impacted Salesforce mentions. Throughout the week of the conference, “salesforce” generated 966 mentions. Mentions peaked during the second day of the conference, Wednesday October 5th with 302 mentions. Vala Afshar, Chief Digital Evangelist at Salesforce, and R Ray Wang, Principal Analyst, Founder at Constellation Research, Inc., were the main driving forces behind the spike in “salesforce” conversation. “Sales” conversation topics came in second with 522 mentions during the week of Dreamforce and “customer service” came in third with 374 mentions.

These influencers were selected for their expertise within Salesforce’s LOBs. While some have affiliations with Salesforce, others don’t mention the tech giant at all. Although Salesforce has an MVP program, most of these influential voices do not identify as being part of the program. Although a few of these influencers rallied around Dreamforce there was no guarantee these people would attend (or even tweet about) Dreamforce.

My prediction before the event was that we would see a spike in “artificial intelligence” conversations due to the Einstein announcement. Although these keywords were mentioned 123 times, there was not as big of an impact as I would have guessed. Does any of these data surprise you? What other insights into Dreamforce influencers and conversations does this information leave you wanting?