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Are you feeling lucky? Well, here is episode 13 of VB Engage. Let’s just hope you don’t have triskaidekaphobia!

In this episode, we chat with Vala Afshar, chief digital evangelist for Salesforce, and it’s the perfect followup to last week’s episode, where we had Brian Solis discussing digital transformation and what makes a good customer experience.

Of course, we take time to discuss the news first, and in July that means working through some of the big tech names and their latest finances. Yep: We got to hear from the Facebooks, Googles, Twitters, and Apples on how they’re doing as we round the half-year mark.


One thing that caught Stewart and Travis’ attention this week is that your perception of how well APPL is doing depends on which media outlet you looked at this week.

One article would talk about how “Apple crushed expectations across the board and the stock is way up.” You’d think Apple is killing it. Another would suggest that, in reality, Apple revenue is down 14.5 percent from this time last year.

Interestingly, Apple exceeded analyst expectations by doing “not as bad as expected.” Apparently, being “not as bad as we thought” is cause for celebration, as the stock price took a rapid upswing, causing Apple to be worth more than ever. Fun times!

Also in the news, TheRealSJR and TeeDubya discuss Snapchat and its recent acquisitions of mobile technologies.

Snapchat acquired Looksery last year, and now it has acquired Seene, a 3D app with amazing potential. Seene allows you to capture 3D models via its mobile technology, and that means Snapchat will be able to do some innovative new visualizations in AR, or so it seems.

But we wonder just how much tech Snapchat can squeeze into its app before it becomes unwieldy.

Of course, this is the week we interview Vala Afshar, and it is a great chat.

To start, Stewart gives Vala a bit of a hard time about his prolific tweeting skills. Vala shares that Twitter has been an amazing resource for building relationships, and talks about why it’s important to be helpful as a social media influencer:

However, we all know not to refer to ourselves as “influencers” — Andrew Grill taught us that.

Either way, Vala believes in good Twitter karma:  “The more you give the more you get. That’s one of the reasons that I love Twitter.”

Vala is one of the most influential people online when it comes to the CIO audience, and that is certainly one of the reasons Salesforce hired him as their chief digital evangelist.

Vala has been having amazing conversations with CIOs for years and has ranked which CIOs are the most socially savvy. He curates this list each year, adjusting the ranking accordingly. This year, he found that the average CIO has 7,000 followers.

So while much of the C-suite has yet to become socially savvy, many organizations are expecting their CIOs, CMOs, and CTOs to get with the social program.

Of course, it wouldn’t be VB Engage unless we talked about mobile engagement. And while former CRM and marketing automation product manager Stewart gives CRM a bit of a hard time, Vala goes into some of the latest ideas in sales technology. Salespeople, for example, would love to find out when the optimal time to call a prospect is through predictive analytics.

TL;DR — There are tons of nuggets in this episode and, at the very least, three big LOLs.

And if you like what you hear, next week our guest Shira Abel will be talking about mobile marketing.

As always, thanks for tuning in. If you like it, please subscribe and rate the damn podcast. Thanks!



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