This year at Connections, we have already had a lot of amazing sessions with speakers who have shared their vision for the future of digital advertising, with more yet to come still today. We wanted to share some of the best insights we've heard so far this week from the first day and a half of our Advertising Studio sessions!

Luxottica uses Advertising Studio to Stay Connected to Customers

Ryan McGuire, the Director of Contact Management, CRM & Analytics at Luxottica, shared how as the world's leading eyewear company, he is focused on how to use CRM to help transform his company into a customer-centric organization. He stated that there is "a ton of data out there that Luxottica can link to customers that go beyond their purchase" and that they are "just scratching the surface of where they can go." He knows that relevancy and targeting are both extremely important because Luxottica competes against both the small business optical shops as well as the big players such as Wal-Mart and Costco. Today, he's using Advertising Studio Audiences to "look beyond email to stay connected to customers."

Capital One Gets Us Excited About Facebook Lead Ads

Matt Lattman, Senior Business Director of Small Business Banking at Capital One, showed how his company is testing Facebook Lead Ads which are integrated directly with Salesforce Marketing Cloud, and part of our Connections announcements. He previously found that, unsurprisingly, "people don't sign up for banking accounts on their mobile phone," so it's critical for there to be a closed-loop process between an initial lead and a follow-up conversation. He suggested that you carve out a budgets to test Facebook Lead Ads today.

Facebook Paves the Way for Personalized Digital Experiences

Martin Gilliard, head of Head of MarTech at Facebook began by reminding everyone that "Customers don't demand great experiences - they expect them." He then went on to say that mobile has changed the game, because it's the most important channel where customers are consuming content. Cookies have long been used on the Web in an attempt to personalize digital experiences to customers but they haven't always proven effective. Cookies also don't exist in-app on mobile, but Facebook is able to create extremely targeted experiences for customers based on the information they share on Facebook. Gilliard also discussed the power of Facebook Lead Ads and that they don't just have to be used for collecting leads, but also to get "high quality information on potential customers" while they stay within the Facebook app. Lead Ads have eight standard available fields that can be inputted into a lead form and advertisers can customize up to three to gain additional information from their customers. As announced this week at Connections, the data from those Lead Ads can then flow directly into the Salesforce Marketing Cloud for marketers to take immediate action.

Instagram Is the Leading Force for Visual Content

Jeff Taylor of Instagram shared that using visual ads on Instagram combined with data from Salesforce Marketing Cloud can drive real results. He shared some impactful statistics, including that the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than words and that 80 million photos and videos are uploaded and shared every day on Instagram. Images are a universal language and it's a seamless and effective way to reach your existing customers within the Marketing Cloud or to find those that most look like your loyal customers. To reach those individuals on Instagram, Taylor suggested crafting "thumb stopping creative" - content that gets customers to stop and think about your ads.

The Launch of Salesforce Advertising Studio

Last but certainly not least, during the Day One Keynote, Liam Doyle, the VP of Advertising Studio at Salesforce, walked through our big new announcements at the event and how companies like Capital One can use them. He explained how "Salesforce is reinventing advertising, because advertising driven from your CRM system is different." For the first time, we can use CRM data to power advertising across Google, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. When advertising becomes personal, as Liam said, "that's how you start a great relationship."

For a deep dive into our big announcements at Connections, including Google Customer Match, Facebook Lead Capture, and Journey Builder Ads, check out our announcement blog post.