Tigh Loughhead is a 2X Salesforce MVP, a 3X Dreamforce speaker, 4x Salesforce Certified and The Trailblazer Community Group Leader for Pardot B2B Marketing in New York City.
Third Republic (TR): Can you start by telling us a bit about your career? How did you get to where you are today?
Tigh Loughhead (TL): I grew up on an organic farm in Pennsylvania, and somehow built a career in technology. I moved to NYC in 2008, right after college, right at the start of the financial crisis, and took every odd job I could to survive. But now, after a decade in digital marketing, where the thrust of my career has been pushing companies towards digital transformation, I would say that hustle, analysis, and optimization, and then relentlessly automating processes is what has propelled me to where I am today.
TR: And, how did you first get into Salesforce? And how have you seen the ecosystem change during your time in it?
TL: I was consulting for a development firm back in 2012, building a lead sourcing system for them in Salesforce, from UTM tagging across media to DNI phone numbers, etc. and while I was using Google Analytics for maybe four to six hours a day at the time, it was the first time I could really see leads and marketing tied all the way to money in the bank, really the entire lifecycle, and I incredibly excited that marketing could be tied explicitly to ROI. But when I started, Salesforce was not an ecosystem, it was a platform- now it has transformed to something more akin to iOs for business.
TR: What advice would you have for someone trying to get into the Salesforce ecosystem now? How would you recommend they grow their career as you have?
TL: There is so much available for you to get started… From Trailhead to Trailblazer Communities… there’s a real talent gap in the Salesforce world… and you can get started online for free. And join the local community… the community is expanding more rapidly than anything else
TR: You’ve been an MVP since 2018; what do you think the importance is of having a Salesforce community?
TL: Then, the community itself is kind fo amazing, from User Groups (aka Trailblazer Communities) to organizations like PepUpTech and local Salesforce Saturdays to World Tours, the community is welcoming, inclusive and invested in your success. I’ve been incredibly lucky to be part of and help build some of the community in New York, and I’ve learned most of what I know about Salesforce from the relationship
TR: You often speak about marketing automation and artificial intelligence. Where do you think the future of these technologies lies?
TL: There’s so much bluster about Artificial Intelligence that I think people are somewhat skeptical of the real impact it will have on their business.
TR: In regards to Pardot, Sales Cloud and Einstein, where do you think Salesforce will take these technologies over the next few years?
TL: Everything with regards to Pardot, Sales Cloud and Einstein will increasingly be about connectivity. Data has been siloed for years, and it’s funny to think that historical buying criteria, behavioral intent and engagement, and trend analysis aren’t used for marketing. I talk to a lot of marketers that analyze metrics separately in Google Analytics, Facebook, email delivery platforms and their CRM, and the metrics and methods of analysis are totally different. I fully expect, just as the web development community has moved from custom frameworks a couple of years ago to web standards, marketing and sales data will be standardized as well.
TR: What challenges do you think they will face as they do?
TL: I think companies will be reticent to adopt new technologies. My firm Elegran has quadrupled in size over the past four years… largely because of our innovation in new technology; case and point we were the first company in the world to beta test Pardot Einstein for Salesforce. But many industries hoard data and cling to proprietary methodologies. I see this in the real estate industry, I see it in healthcare I see it in salespeople afraid to use a CRM, but I think those industries and people will be left behind
TR: Salesforce is operating in a highly competitive space; how do you think they manage to stay ahead of their competitors?
TL: I think there are two components to maintaining a competitive advantage in this rapidly changing marketplace. The first is investing in the latest technology, and I see all sorts of acquisitions and partnerships in some of the most exciting areas of tech, like artificial intelligence. At the same time, Salesforce bills themselves as “the customer success platform,” and while that sounds like a bit of marketing jargon, it’s also fairly true.
From building a pretty incredible culture to customer advocacy and industry Trailblazer communities to providing all sorts of dynamic educational resources, Salesforce has created an entire ecosystem that differentiates the company in the marketplace.