How Salesforce delivers pitch perfect messaging for Dreamforce

November 2, 2022

Michelle Mere of Salesforce joined NewtonX CEO Sascha Eder to reveal the winning B2B research playbook at the Insight Association’s Corporate Researchers Conference. They shared how custom recruiting transformed the insights used to plan and message the trailblazing Dreamforce conference.

What matters to customers and prospects? Where does your brand stand in their minds? How can you effectively speak to and engage them?  

Salesforce came to NewtonX for answers to these key questions for the Dreamforce conference. With over 40,000 attendees, it’s a can’t-miss event that plays a central role in Salesforce marketing. 

For Dreamforce keynotes and experiences to resonate with attendees, Salesforce conducts detailed market research as part of its extensive planning process. The challenge, however, is in reaching the specialized experts across 8 industries and a diverse customer base. 



Salesforce's 2022 Dreamforce convention


Michelle Mere, Salesforce Senior Director of Customer and Market Insights joined Sascha Eder, CEO & Co-Founder of the AI-powered B2B research company NewtonX at the Insight Association 2022 Corporate Researchers Conference. They shared the story of how they recruited niche audiences who could provide insight into what would make the Dreamforce conference relevant and compelling. Read on for insights on the process and the key takeaways that made this challenging research project so successful.


Download the case study here.


Salesforce needed to reach a wide-ranging audience for insights that make Dreamforce so special

Salesforce hosts the annual Dreamforce conference, the world’s largest software conference that brings together the Salesforce community of customers, partners, and employees. 

Preparing for Dreamforce is a huge undertaking, with market research playing a critical role. Getting the messaging right is central to creating impactful and relevant experiences, communicating with participants, and attracting a keynote audience of millions of viewers. Organizers host keynotes across the Salesforce Customer 360 solution suite targeting products and solutions tailored by audience and industries.


Audiences and industries


“Because each Dreamforce keynote is tailored towards a specific audience,” said Salesforce’s Michelle Mere, ”we had to custom recruit to make sure we capture their unique perspectives and feedback on ways to maximize their experience.”  

Yet planners face a unique recruiting challenge in making sure to capture multiple perspectives across niche audiences. The challenges endemic to B2B research were particularly acute across all three of the primary challenges. 


Targeting, Quality, and Reliability


“Participants either didn’t fit the complex criteria or didn’t qualify as senior enough with the right expertise,” Michelle continued. “If we could not overcome these problems, Dreamforce planners and marketers would not have the data they needed for the high-stakes decisions they had to make.” 



NewtonX found highly specific audiences for each industry vertical

“Recruiting these challenging audiences that Michelle just mentioned are not easy and trying to recruit such audiences often leads to the issues Michelle mentioned,” said NewtonX CEO Sascha Eder. “As we worked on Dreamforce we leveraged our AI-technology and verification processes to address these issues.”

NewtonX put our custom recruiting expertise and technology to work to target key audience verticals, such as:

  • Technology investment buyers and influencers
  • Salesforce customers and prospects segmented according company size, specific roles in the organization, and regional considerations
  • Professionals from specific industries including healthcare and life sciences, public sector, and financial services


In just 5 weeks, we custom recruited 70 senior professionals in 8 key industries. 

“This is where partnering with NewtonX has made a big difference on our ability to recruit the right people with the right profile to participate in research,” said Michelle. 



Transforming how they approached market research, Salesforce got vital information in a fast-paced planning process

We developed a customized research plan that started with defining the objectives through to synthesized insights that event planners and marketer could put to practical use.


4 key phases for research plans


“Tight timelines mean there’s no margin for error,” said Sascha. “Communication is paramount so we use two-way feedback streams. We always work to improve collaboration and never stop asking how we can do it better next time.”

Recruiting the right people with the right profiles—and doing it so fast–was critical to support the planning of such a sprawling and high-profile event as Dreamforce. 

“Five dimensions drove the successful partnership between Salesforce and NewtonX; namely, agility, quality, trust, communication, and a joint commitment to excellence,” said Michelle. “NewtonX worked very closely with us to hit our audience quotas. We appreciate NewtonX for their tight collaboration with us and their ability to keep up with our pace and demands.”

panel at Salesforce's 2022 Dreamforce convention


Market research insights provided the foundation for success for this year and beyond

Salesforce could make critical decisions in planning and messaging about Dreamforce with confidence. 

The research found that audiences:

  • Wanted to know more about the latest innovations at Salesforce
  • Sought details into how various solutions work
  • Needed specifics about business benefits and expected outcomes
  • Highly valued stories that inspired


A huge thank you to NewtonX for delivering on their commitment to excellence and being great partners.  Dreamforce 2022 was our best year yet. We heard positive feedback on the quality of research participants and the tailored content has been viewed by millions of people across our industry.

Michelle Mere
Salesforce Senior Director of Customer and Market Insight


The results continue to be used to engage attendees post-event and form the basis for strategic development for the 2023 event. 



What were the key take-aways from the client and supplier sides?

Michelle identified three key learnings for enterprise research success:

  1. Adopt a flexible approach when recruiting for new, complex industries
  2. Find highly technical B2B audiences with a custom recruited, metrics-driven approach
  3. Cultivate strategic client-vendor research partnerships based on trust and communication

Sascha shared learnings that research suppliers can adopt for more meaningful partnerships:

  1. Merge expertise in market feasibilities with client expertise in product and messaging
  2. Build strong operating models to support complex research needs
  3. Deliver end-to-end services to extend insights impact and  empower clients to make critical decisions in confidence.


Looking for a strategic B2B research partner? Get a quote.

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