At Dreamforce 2013 this year, one of the most exciting and compelling displays was in the developer halls at Moscone West, in which a variety of vendors were showcasing the Internet of Things.
Watching people wire applications in the cloud to devices right in front of me was fascinating, from a mobile app on the Salesforce1 platform that would control turbines for electricity generation to monitoring and administering hydroponics bays, to even something as silly as monitoring the temperature of the frying pan on the stove and the indoor air quality in another room to see if dinner is burning.
Think about that for a second – a simple app on your phone can control and operate so much of real life now. These devices, these communications methods, are a form of media. They are a way for you to talk to the world around you and for the world to talk to you. Think about what that means for marketers and public relations professionals. In the most integrated communications environments at forward-thinking companies, we have to be working with developers to ensure that the devices are communicating in a way that is brand-aligned and appropriate.
Probably the most impressive single moment was when a Salesforce1 representative had me build an entire mobile app on an iPhone with no development tools whatsoever in less than 10 minutes, then push the app live. (I built a rather ridiculous tongue-in-cheek app called the College Student Beer Rating App) Application development, once the sole purview of developers, is trending towards democratization like many other technologies.
For marketers and PR professionals, imagine being able to build and deploy apps that we know our audiences will love, that will serve useful functions, and not need to take away development resources from other, more important projects at our companies. Got a conference or event coming up? Put together the needed pieces of a simple mobile app and deploy it, or do the heavy lifting and then have your scarce, valuable development resources put the final polish on it.
Christopher S. Penn
Vice President, Marketing Technology
Disclosure: Salesforce1 and Dreamforce are SHIFT clients. While SHIFT did not receive compensation for this specific blog post, the agency is compensated in general to promote Dreamforce and Salesforce1.