Salesforce Tests NFT Cloud (For Better or Worse)

Salesforce this week announced a pilot program for minting, managing, and selling NFTs in its cloud-based Customer 360 platform. Will the marketing infrastructure giant’s move solve the sustainability and instability concerns plaguing the NFT market? Will it make NFTs useful for more than trading digital art?

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(Aired: June 17, 2022)

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Hello everybody, Robert Rose here with the news. It’s what’s new and what’s important in the world of Content Marketing. It’s the news you need to lead in the practice of Content marketing and content strategy.

For the best in best practices – you can always go to contentmarketinginstitute.com.

One very interesting item in the news this week is about NFTs.

Last week at its SalesForce Connections event, Salesforce announced a number of innovations around its Customer 360 platform.

The innovations include:

  • New triggered content messaging for personalization based on behavioral triggers (using first-party data to understand preferences)
  • A digital command center for Slack, which makes me wince just thinking about the fact that I might have to learn how to use Slack
  • A new Intelligence Connector for Commerce Cloud helping marketers understand measurement across channels.

But the buzzworthy news was Salesforce’s new pilot of what they’re calling NFT Cloud. This new capability will let Salesforce clients mint, manage, and sell non-fungible tokens (NFTs) directly on the Salesforce Customer 360 platform and use that customer data to gain a 360-degree view of that customer.

The pilot project – as the company was quoted – is for its customers to drive a new breed of communities with an element of ownership.

Related: Are NFTs Something Content Marketers Should Care About?

Our take: I’d be remiss if I didn’t note that when the news first broke in February, many media outlets reported that hundreds of Salesforce employees weren’t that happy about this move. They cited the environmental aspects of the energy required to create NFTs and the cryptocurrency landscape’s volatile, risky, and speculative nature.

Many of those concerns seem more pointed than before, with cryptocurrencies well off their high-value points. Meanwhile, the world of NFTs is rife with what appears to be more grift and scams and insecurity than at any previous point.

There’s an irony here I think is worth noting. Much of what has been touted about Web3 and NFTs and crypto is their decentralized – generally meaning that no one organization has control over the platform, removing most of the gatekeepers (financially or otherwise) of the value chain.

However, what Salesforce is doing here is offering the functionality of NFTs – which may include smart contracts and innovative news ways to access loyalty programs, marketing programs, and content marketing initiatives in a truly centralized way. In other words, Salesforce is offering what MIGHT – the key word being MIGHT – prove to be a trusted, centralized, platform for functional NFTs, where the differentiated value is utility.

@Salesforce is offering what might prove to be a trusted, centralized platform for NFTs, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

It’s a fascinating evolution if we go back to Salesforce’s marketing roots. In 1999, Salesforce employees used to protest outside of Oracle’s events with NO SOFTWARE signs – arguing for a cloud computing platform. With this, Salesforce is saying that the value of NFTs might just be in centralizing their utility within a trusted platform.

In the introduction to Web3 that Salesforce makes available via their Trailhead learning platform, they mention decentralization as one of the core benefits. I’d suggest the opportunity for Salesforce is to change that message – go back to their anti-establishment voice and speak to the real value that’s here.

It will be very interesting to follow this new capability.

And that’s three minutes of news you need to lead in content marketing. I’m Robert Rose. Remember, it’s your story. Tell it well. I’ll see you next week.

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