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Ethical tech, responsible marketing and mental health

We’re pretty lucky, these days. Thanks to technology like Salesforce, we can analyse data, make predictions, and recommend actions based on in-depth data insights and machine learning. This means marketers can plan, produce, personalise, promote and overall perform better on a much bigger scale.

AI, hyper-personalisation and micro-targeting are already in full swing, affecting how we as brands interact with our audiences, and their potential to manipulate negative human emotions isn’t really understood yet, but it’s still a real concern.

One thing is for sure; AI is known to have the potential to produce outcomes that infringe on our human rights, damage our businesses, and hurt our society. So with these new powers comes a responsibility to do good things with them — we’ve all been given the chance to decide the path our industry will take as we move into the future of technology.

The truth is that technology can help or harm society, and it’s companies just like us, and just like Salesforce, who have the responsibility to make sure we put empathy, trust, and inclusivity first. In every ad, every email, and every marketing campaign, we need to consider our inherent human nature to be compassionate and vulnerable.

The race to capture human attention isn’t going away, but we can do this without capitalising on vulnerabilities.

Responsible Marketing

“There are two reasons people buy things… Those reasons are guilt and anxiety”

This depressing quote comes from Emotions Matter, a guide to Return on Ethics (ROE) by Phrasee. Here, CEO Parry Malm is quoting one of his first bosses, who believed that if a marketing campaign could summon these negative emotions in its audience, sales would follow. And although this strategy definitely feels like a dodgy way to do business, the sad truth, he says, is that it sometimes worked.

But we don’t have to use people’s negative human emotions to sell; the statistics are there. More and more, people are making their purchasing decisions with their morals and beliefs. Besides, you shouldn’t have to trick people into buying something. Not only is it exploiting instead of empowering, but it’s just lazy marketing.

The statistics

Nelson found that 66% of consumers are willing to pay more for socially conscious brands, and this number moves to around 90% when you look at only millennials and Gen Z.

– ‘Emotions Matter: a guide to Return on Ethics (ROE)’ by Phrasee — quote from Amy Williams, Social Entrepreneur and Good-Loop founder

Consumers see human rights as a business imperative. 90% of consumers believe companies have a responsibility to improve the state of the world. 

– Salesforce Research, October 2018 

87% of consumers believe companies have a responsibility to advocate for human rights.

– Salesforce Research, October 2018 

72% of teens think they’re being manipulated by technology. They believe that tech companies manipulate users to spend more time on their devices.

– ‘How to Stop Technology From Destabilizing the World’ — Tristan Harris, Co-Founder of the Center for Humane Technology

93% of consumers are concerned about emerging technology’s potential to bring misinformation

– Salesforce Research, October 2018 

77% of consumers are concerned about emerging technology’s potential to bring increased/widened inequality.

– Salesforce Research, October 2018 

81% of consumers believe emerging tech can make a better place.

– Salesforce Research, October 2018

67% of consumers say that technology is neither good nor bad – how it’s used is what matters.

– Salesforce Research, October 2018

Smart tech with unplanned consequences

YouTube has an auto-play feature which will automatically schedule a related video for you after you’ve finished watching something. You can turn the auto-play feature off so you don’t end up falling down an endless ‘YouTube hole’ like I so often do, but it’ll still show you recommended videos based on what you’ve already shown an interest in. This is entirely chosen by the algorithm, which is amazing!

What wasn’t expected was the consequences this can result in. For example, one minute you could be a new mum or dad watching videos giving tips and sharing new parent experiences, and the next, the algorithm thinks: ‘here’s a video that will probably interest this person based around what they’ve watched before’. Before you know it, you’re being shown an anti-vaxxer video — which will then prompt the algorithm to show you other conspiracy videos.

Facebook has a similar problem with its algorithm for Suggested Groups; tenuously leading some people to far-right groups and hate speech. But it’s also making us experience something called ‘Learned Helplessness‘, where people are learning about big global human problems that they can’t do anything about on a much bigger scale. Really, it’s no wonder there’s a strong link between social media and mental health issues.

Technology at its worst, as certain experts like to remind us, can adversely affect our mental health. It can lead to feelings of isolation and depression, as well as negatively impacting our social skills, concentration levels, attention spans and sleep patterns; there’s an emotional risk.

– ‘Emotions Matter: Technology’s role in Mental Health’, in conversation with DR Fjola Helgadottir, PHD R.Psych

We as social media users need to change the way we’re raising awareness of world-issues from the negative ‘this is terrible, look at all the plastics polluting our oceans’ to the more positive message of ‘look, here’s the great thing being done about plastics in our oceans.’ This is obviously something we can’t enforce, but we can talk about and encourage. And I know I’m going to be more mindful about how my messaging affects people when sharing these issues in the future.

Snapchat also has photo filters which distort reality to create fun, silly selfies to share with your friends. The thing is, they also include heavily-used ‘beautification filters’ which edit and manipulate your natural facial features by giving you smoother skin, bigger lips, a smaller nose, higher cheekbones, a smaller jaw etc.  

Gigi Hadid using a Snapchat filer sourced from Inverse’s article ‘Plastic Surgeons Are Really Worried About “Snapchat Dysmorphia”‘

Worryingly, both young adults and teenagers, who are pretty much at the peak of discovering their self-identity, are using these filters, meaning Snapchat is — whether knowingly or not — profiting on one of our key vulnerabilities; body confidence and self-image.  

As Commissioner Sharon Bowen of Seneca Women states in ‘Ethical Responsibility in the Fourth Industrial Revolution’, “just because you can go 120 miles per hour, doesn’t mean you should do so in a school zone.” 

Smart tech with a positive impact

However, there are loads of examples of how tech can be used to impact our mental health in a positive way. Dr Helgadottir, AI-Therapy Founder, has established Overcome Social Anxiety (OSA), which is a fully-automated treatment programme for social anxiety. And this, she says, has already treated people from over 30 countries.

FaceTime is another example of this. There’s nothing wrong with FaceTime; it’s positively impacted everyone. Especially those who work long hours away from home who want to feel close to their loved ones.

What can we do?

We need to start by looking at an honest appraisal of human nature. The next phase of our evolution is doing the uncomfortable thing and looking back at ourselves. And seeing that yes, we’re vulnerable to social validation. Yes, we’re vulnerable to magician’s tricks. And yes, we’re vulnerable to supercomputers. And yes, we’re vulnerable to algorithms that split-test 66,000 variations of toxicity or hate speech.

‘How to Stop Technology From Destabilizing the World’ — Tristan Harris, Co-Founder of the Center for Humane Technology

Honesty and transparency are key here. And we need to be thoughtful about our human vulnerabilities, but leverage our strengths and focus on the positives.  

In her article for Phrasee’s Ethical Marketing guide, ‘Market Differently: How does your marketing measure up for mental health?’, Bernadette Fallon goes through some guidelines for being sensitive and thoughtful in our marketing activities. We think they’re pretty spot on:

  1. Don’t make false claims 
  2. Don’t exaggerate facts or distort the truth
  3. Don’t promote messages that exploit your customer’s negative emotions (guilt, anxiety, anger etc.)
  4. Don’t use fear tactics
  5. Don’t conceal important information
  6. Don’t bad-mouth your rivals
  7. Don’t copy competitors
  8. Don’t be racist, sexist, ageist or fall foul of any other ‘ist
  9. Don’t exploit children
  10. Don’t spam your customers.

What Salesforce is doing

We know that technology is not inherently good or bad; it’s what we do with it that matters. And that’s why we’re making the ethical and humane use of technology a strategic focus at Salesforce.

– Mark Benioff, Chairman and CEO of Salesforce. 

Salesforce count trust, equality, and diversity among their core values, which are values we also share. They want to actively educate people to help them be a part of this conversation and think about ethical implications. Check out their ‘Ethics and Humane Use’ page right here.

Empower, don’t exploit

So the message is to empower, not exploit. Tech is moving at such a fast pace now, and its potential to positively or negatively impact society is only growing. But we mustn’t forget that we still have the power to use these new tools to create a respectful, positive experience for everyone. There’s a clear call for every business to introduce an Ethics Policy, and we’re working on ours right now.

My first month at oe:gen

It’s been one month since I started working at oe:gen, and this is what I have to say…

To date I’ve been very fortunate in my career progression, working within some great companies, engaging with great people and overcoming many challenges across multiple industries.

Leaving a company has always been a very positive experience for me. Each time I’ve decided to move on, it’s been on the basis that I’ve simply outgrown my position or require a more challenging environment to fully use my skillset and push myself forward. In either case, it’s always been on good terms with my employer and the old company’s doors have always been left hanging wide open should I ever want to return.

Starting a new job, however, is a totally different story. I’m no longer surrounded by people I‘ve known for years, no longer talking confidently about subjects I know inside and out. What systems are they using? What are their processes? Who are these people? What am I doing?!

Although it doesn’t normally take long for these fears to dissolve, the first few weeks in a new company can be tough, and on some occasions, I’ve found myself asking if it was too late to turn back!

oe:gen, on the other hand, was different. One month in and already I feel fully integrated, valued and my input respected. There have been no nerves, just a little self-doubt (I’m only human, after all), and only three outfits changes required on day one!

These are my top 5 reasons why…

They invest in developing their people

I’ve been at oe:gen for one month and I’ve already:

  • Attended a Salesforce Women in Tech event
  • Attended a Salesforce Administration User group
  • Attended two agile events
  • Received internal training on ‘guest speaking’
  • And have a program of events already mapped out for the months ahead.

This is more training in one month than a whole annual program in previous companies. Encouraging and providing these soft skills really shows oe:gen is committed to developing their team and investing to support the growth of the company. This also doesn’t cover the personal development plans that are carried out and reviewed every three months to make sure each person is achieving their own personal goals! 

The office

This might seem like an odd one, but I’ve always been envious when I see other companies’ Instagram posts of bean bag meeting rooms with their brightly coloured decor and popcorn makers. Well, not any more with the bright blue and yellow decor, whiteboard and blackboard walls, a foosball table, and on my second day being invited to a retro gaming lunchtime session… SAY WHAT?! I’m now ‘that person who works at that place’!

Not only is the office a bright, fun and inviting place to be, it’s also laid out in a way that encourages a free flow open environment. This means you can catch a quick relaxing meeting in the comfortable seating area or have a break while making a cup of tea looking over the living wall. You can even have two minutes thinking time while reviewing the inspirational wall of images submitted by each member of the team.

In one company, I wasn’t even allowed to have my kid’s first school photo on my desk due to it being a ‘distraction’, and yet now here I am with full access to the Spotify playlist. Get ready because here comes some old-school 1980’s hip hop!

The culture

Office culture… that’s a thing, right? Well, up until now I didn’t quite realise how important this was. From the team members to the biodegradable stationery, the oe:gen culture is the life force running through the veins of the company.

This not only sets the tone of the documents it produces, but also defines how the business is run, the message it sends out, who is working within the team, and who their customers are – going along the lines of “if you’re not a right fit, you’re not allowed in!”

Although the oe:gen team is equipped with an amazing set of skills, they also have to be a representative of the oe:gen culture. I’ve worked in companies where, although the IT department has adopted agile (or tried to) and is committed to improved change with open and honest communication, the rest of the company failed to also adopt the same culture. This means you’re constantly pushing water uphill, and no one wants to do that.

Culture also applies to the customer base; in order to have a healthy, long-lasting, productive relationship, our customers also must be the right fit. You can’t put a square peg in a round hole and expect everything to run smoothly. That’s not to say its oe:gen’s way or the highway – it’s about establishing a good fit and building a relationship and the shared agreement of how the projects are going to work, which turns the ‘ To whom it may concern’ emails to ‘Hey John, how was the camping trip?’

The people

The oe:gen team are more like a close-knit friendship group than work colleagues. They truly care about each other and have a supportive and inclusive ethos. For example, the development team have a concept of ‘swarming’, which isn’t something I’ve experienced in other workplaces.

‘Swarming’, for those of you (like me!) who don’t know, is when a particular development item is blocked or the developer has hit a creative road block. When this occurs, all the other Developers will put down tools (where possible), collectively ‘swarm’ together, review the item and help solve the problem or give some additional insight to support each other and remove the blockage… it’s brilliant!

The senior managers also sit amongst the team and encourage open and honest conversations. They have an open-door policy (possibly because there aren’t any!) and are all just as prepared to roll up their sleeves and dig in to help push projects to the deadline if needed.

Being truly valued

Having multicoloured hair, riding a motorbike and having visible tattoos can sometimes make me a target for pre-judgment, regardless of my technical ability or amazing personality! *wink*

In the past, I would always wash out any colour and cover up my tattoos, and this could sometimes span the whole of a probation period just to ensure that I don’t offend or scare someone within the company.

However, oe:gen accepted me for who I am and truly value the skillset and insights that I bring to the company, I was encouraged to speak up in meetings and my points and perspective were always considered. I was introduced to clients without hesitation and not judged on the clothes I wore or the colour of my hair, but encouraged to be myself, which make me feel truly valued.

I was really taken aback in my second week when Col, the project designer asked me to submit some of my own inspirational images to be included to the new kitchen table … instantly, I was made to feel a part of the building and part of the team and that my views and passions were important. It was a simple gesture that really made my day!

So, in summary…

When people ask me how I’m getting on, I can’t help but have a wide smile on my face and relay the above points.

I’m now working in a fun and exciting environment, a company culture that’s passionate about inspiring its highly skilled, inclusive people, with senior management fully investing in developing the whole team to ensure they’re providing the best possible outcomes for clients.

So, yeah! It’s not going too bad!

Upcoming event: Nottingham, UK Salesforce Women in Tech, June 5th

Next month we’re hosting another Salesforce Women in Tech event right here at the Nottingham Science Park, and we’re insanely excited.

It’s going to be a fun afternoon learning about overcoming imposter syndrome, recalibrating our minds with neuro-linguistic programming, self-belief, and authenticity in leadership.

What is Salesforce Women in Tech?

The Nottingham Salesforce Women in Tech group is powered by those who want to share their industry experiences, receive free career advice, close the diversity gap in Tech, and above all, support each other. 

Salesforce has Trailblazer Community groups located all over the world, and we’re the UK East Midlands one! Along with Salesforce Women in Tech, we also run a Salesforce Administrator’s Group, so if you’re a Salesforce user, check out our previous events here!

This is an all-inclusive event that aims to encourage, empower, and support those who want to thrive in their career. Anyone who wishes to learn some new skills or how they can help close the diversity gap in the technology industry is welcome. And to make it as accessible as possible to our community, this event is totally free to attend!

We’ll have four awesome speakers come to give some practical advice, share their stories, and spark ideas:

2pm — Welcome!

We’ll start with a short intro from myself.

2:10pm — ‘Thriving in the face of the imposter’, Rebecca Godfrey

Do you ever worry that your success is down to being in the right place at the right time, down to luck or down to some kind of mistake rather than being due to your own ability? Do you ever worry that one day your colleagues will realise that you are not as talented as they think you are?

This isn’t modesty, this is something a lot deeper. Imposter Syndrome is experienced by up to 70% of us at some point in our lives. It can prevent us from enjoying successes we have worked so hard to achieve and can really hold us back from realising our full potential. In this talk, Rebecca is going to take us through her own personal journey with imposter syndrome and how we can thrive in the face of the imposter!

Rebecca is the founder of Etheo, a Team & Leadership Transformation consultancy with a focus on the highly regulated technical industries.

Rebecca is a scientist by background having completed a PhD in Immunology at the University of Cambridge. Since leaving academic research, Rebecca’s career has given her the opportunity to build and develop a successful drug safety consultancy business, work with and lead colleagues from more than 90 countries, live and work abroad and lead organisations and groups in roles ranging from Company Director of a small consultancy to Global Head and Global Director roles in two of the world’s top 10 pharma companies.

Having thoroughly enjoyed a fruitful and successful career so far, in 2018 Rebecca took the leap to set up Etheo bringing her wealth of business experience, outstanding leadership skills, strategy and process development expertise and passion for meeting new challenges to support individuals and leaders build cohesive, high performing teams with a focus on operational excellence.

2:40pm — ‘Recalibrate to Great’ with neuro-linguistic programming, Elaine Grace

Imagine a world where your belief system responsible for how you experience life could be very closely likened to our modern world of tech. They are not too dissimilar and, just like we can update our apps and scan and deal with viruses in our tech systems, we can do just that with what our belief system is about ourselves, our environment and even our relationships.

Imagine what life could look like if you could reprogram your mind; if you could enter a new code of belief and set that program to run as your main operating system and… it was exactly as you had designed it?

Elaine is an NLP Master Coach who specialises in working with people to get them to train their mindset and brain to develop positive thoughts and habits that lead them to confidently take action to be the architect of their own reality. Join us to see how this is possible for everyone to benefit from and even make real changes in the very moment.

3:10pm — Break

Tea, coffee, and Doughnotts!

3:30pm — ‘The Neuroscience of self-belief’, Kirsty Hulse

What is happening in the brain when we stutter, stumble over our words or our mind goes blank? Why are we hardwired to perceive and avoid social threat? And how can we train our brain to be happier with risk and less afraid of failure? In this practical and inspiring talk, Kirsty will help us navigate these questions and provide tangible advice to improve our self-belief.

Kirsty Hulse is the Founder of Manyminds, a marketing agency working with clients such as Virgin Atlantic, Claire’s and IBM. For nearly ten years, she has travelled around the world speaking at conferences to audiences of thousands, and is a seasoned stand-up comic who ran a sold out one woman show at the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe.

She has trained with ICF accredited Neuroleadership Institute, to apply the fundamentals of neuroscience to enable better conversations, grow self-belief and regulate nerves. She believes, passionately, that a recognised, empowered workforce improves collaboration, creativity and internal and external communication and recently founded Roar a confidence, communication and allies training company that levels the professional playing field for everyone.

4:00pm — ‘Leading as Yourself’, Emma Watts

In this talk, we’ll explore how to show up and lead as yourself, whatever your role may be. The workplace is changing rapidly, but often those at the top got there through adhering to an outdated set of rules around leadership, what it means, and who should do it. Is the corporate mindset fit for the modern world? Who created it? Who perpetuates it?

Working in tech as a woman has its own particular challenges which intersect with all of these questions. We’ll discuss what it means now to be ‘professional’, to lead, and to be yourself despite the pressure we might feel to be a different version of ourselves at work.

Emma is a certified Transformation Coach who heads up the team of Implementation Consultants at makepositive, a leading Platinum Salesforce partner. She’s also the founder of Many Measures, a private coaching practice for people who want to create success on their own terms.  

4:30pm — Giveaway, buffet food and drink!

We’ll be doing a giveaway! Sign up and tweet about it with the hashtag #SFWiTNotts for a chance to win some goodies! There will also be a free hot buffet and drinks to end the day. Stick around with us for a chat! We won’t close the doors until 6pm.

Sign up for free below! Spaces are filling up fast, so don’t miss out. With this line-up, you’ll be kicking yourself if you do.

Our top picks from the Summer ’19 Release for Users and Admins

Top picks for the Summer '19 released notes from Salesforce for users and admins

Our Head of Salesforce Development has been an absolute legend and highlighted some of the best new features for users and admins from the Summer ’19 release. Thanks, Mark!

Now, we’ve got to say that this release is in preview, so don’t make any purchase decisions based on these yet — make them instead based on the generally available products and features of Salesforce, yada yada yada. Got that? Awesome. Anyway, here they are!

Reinvent learning at your company with myTrailhead!

With the Summer ’19 release comes myTrailhead — a platform that lets you create, manage and publish your own modules and trails for your users. For example, say you need help onboarding new employees — you can create content that welcomes new employees and orients them to their job role and your company and design custom training programmes.

With the tools available through this release, you can format your content, add graphics and videos, create quizzes, create releases for them, and customise it based on your company’s unique brand colours and imagery.

myTrailhead is available to customers with Enterprise, Performance, or Unlimited editions for an extra cost. 

Zoom through related lists with Quick Filters

Now you can use quick filters in your related lists to find the data you’re looking for, dead fast. These are different from your bog-standard list view filters because they aren’t saved, persist only throughout your current session, and can’t be shared.

This applies to Lightning Experience in Essential, Group Professional, Enterprise, Performance, Unlimited, and Developer editions.

Choose from two record view options

Now you have two default record page view options. One is the current view — now called Grouped view — and the new shiny view is called Full view. You can choose which view is best for you, but Full view displays all details and related lists on the same page, whereas Grouped view focuses on specifics by grouping information across tabs and columns.

How do you make use of this new feature, you ask? Well, if you’re already using Lightning Experience, you can change your org’s default record view in Setup.

If you turn on Lightning Experience after Summer ’19, however, you configure these settings in the Lightning Experience Transition Assistant before you switch on Lightning Experience, or in Setup after switching on Lightning Experience.

In Setup, enter Record Page Settings in the Quick Find box, and select Record Page Settings. 

Power up your Related Lists with Enhanced Related lists.

With new Enhanced Related lists, you can show up to 20 columns, resize and sort your columns, perform mass actions, and wrap text. To take your related lists to the next level, select Enhanced List from the ‘Related List Type’ dropdown via the Related Lists component in Lightning App Builder. Here, you can customise how many records to display at once and choose whether to show the list view action bar.

Choosing Enhanced List affects all related lists in the component. To customise which columns appear in a particular Related List, edit the Related List in the page layout editor and add more fields.

This change applies to Lightning Experience in Essential, Group, Professional, Enterprise, Performance, Unlimited, and Developer editions.

More in item menus on the navigation bar

Salesforce have increased the number of recent items shown in item menus from three to five. They also made some styling enhancements, such as bold section names and separators, just so it’s a little easier to tell the difference between sections. This means an object’s item menu now displays up to five times each in the Favourites, Recent Records, and Recent lists sections.

This applies to Lightning Experience in Group, Essentials, Professional, Enterprise, Performance, Unlimited, and Developer editions. 

Find what you need fast with search results that reflect how you navigate

The items in an app’s navigation bar now help determine your top search results in Lightning Experience. And because your users can personalise an app’s navigation bar, they have more say in how they search in Lightning Experience. This applies to Lightning Experience in all editions and affects search results only for the app currently in use.

Access Lightning Experience from Safari on iPad devices (beta)

Now, users can run the full desktop version of Lightning Experience on their iPad device, which is handy for when they’re away from their desktop or laptop. In Setup, simply enter Lightning Experience in the Quick Find box, and then select Lightning Experience on iPad Browsers (Beta). 

This change applies to Lightning Experience in Group, Essentials, Professional, Enterprise, Performance, Unlimited, and Developer editions. 

It’s worth noting that Lightning Experience on iPad browser is a beta feature, meaning it’s a preview and isn’t part of the “services” under your master subscription agreement with Salesforce. Use this feature at your sole discretion and make your purchase decisions only on the basis of generally available products and features. Learn more here.

Keep Record Context When Switching from Salesforce Classic to Lightning Experience 

Spring ’19 has brought with it the ability to keep record context when switching over to Lightning Experience.

When you switch, you’ll land on the same page in Lightning Experience, if it exists. If the same page doesn’t exist in Lightning Experience, you’re redirected instead to your default landing page, whatever that may be set to in your org’s customisations.

This applies to Lightning Experience and Salesforce Classic in Group, Essentials, Professional, Enterprise, Performance, Unlimited, and Developer editions. 

New email template stuff: enhanced letterheads and images 

Want more consistent branding and compliance? With enhanced letterheads, you can now include header and footer info in Lightning email templates. You can also add images and global merge fields to letterheads and email templates to give your messaging that extra li’l something.

Here are the feature details, as described by Salesforce themselves:

Create Knowledge actions and Global Quick actions

You can now create an article from pretty much wherever you fancy. Simply choose Knowledge when you build global quick actions that create a record. Plus, new Knowledge-to-Knowledge lookup fields are now a thing, helping you make actions in the Buttons, Links, and Actions screen in the Object Manager.

This change applies to Lightning Experience only. Salesforce Knowledge is available in Essentials, Developer, and Unlimited editions, and for an additional cost in Professional, Performance, and Enterprise editions.

MORE lookup features for Lightning Knowledge

Create an article from a lookup while creating other records, and add article-to-article lookup fields so you can use a related list of articles and build even more types of article actions.

Have I said “article(s)” too much? Has it lost all meaning now?

This change applies to Lightning Experience only. Salesforce Knowledge is available in Essentials, Developer, and Unlimited editions, and for an additional cost in Professional, Performance, and Enterprise editions. 

  • Create master-detail relationships

This allows you to make use of Knowledge as the parent in a master-detail lookup relationship. Say you wanted to create a master-detail relationship between articles and the records in an article review custom object. Well, now you can. Then, you can create roll-up summaries from fields in the custom object.

  • Use Cascade-Delete with Knowledge

Cascade-delete is this new thing which removes related records in a lookup when articles are deleted. You can use this in lookups from custom objects to Knowledge.

If you wanted to, you could delete records from an article review custom object when the article version is deleted. Just bear in mind that lookups to Knowledge link to a specific article version, and if you publish an article and don’t use the option to Publish as a new version, the previously published version is deleted. Child records in a master-detail relationship using cascade-delete are therefore also deleted. 

  • Build Knowledge-to-Knowledge lookups

Now you can choose Knowledge as the target in a lookup field on the Knowledge object — just add the Knowledge related list to your page layouts. This change also lets you create new Knowledge record actions in the Buttons, Links, and Actions screen of the object manager, and create global quick actions with Knowledge. 

  • Create an article from the lookup while creating a related record 

When you create a record with a lookup to Knowledge, you can now choose to create an article from the lookup dropdown. And once you save the article, it’s linked to your new record. 

Evaluate each record in reports with row-level formulas (beta) 

If you need to answer business questions, you’ll sometimes need to make a calculation on every row in a report. For example, if you were to calculate the number of days between each opportunity’s created date and close date, you’d subtract the created date from the close date.

With row-level formulas, you don’t need to export report data to a spreadsheet or ask an admin to help you out with a one-off custom formula field — instead, you write a row-level formula directly into the Lightning report builder.

You can enable the row-level formulas beta feature from Setup. Just enter Reports in the Quick Find box, then click Reports and Dashboards Settings. Select Enable Row-Level Formulas (Lightning Experience Only) and click Save. 

Please note that this feature is in beta, so don’t go making any purchasing decisions based off this yet.

New Salesforce CMS (beta)

So CMS for Community Cloud has gotten even bigger and better, and is calling itself Salesforce CMS. Salesforce wanted to improve its usability and flexibility, so there are loads of new features.

Now you can share content across communities more easily and collaborate with local and regional teams on your projects. You can also create content outside of your communities in CMS workspaces, which has some lovely perks. You can also take advantage of role-based access to control who can author content and access settings.

Here are some reasons this is all a bit nice:

  • Assign content access with new contributor roles that don’t require administrative access to your communities. 
  • Create one or more CMS workspaces to organize your content and share it across multiple communities at once. 

Within your individual communities, you can also customise the experience for your users. 

  • Reuse content published from one or more CMS workspaces. 
  • Curate content into collections that automatically refresh as content changes. 
  • Reuse your existing CRM data, such as inventory, to help users find what they need. 
  • Connect to an external CMS to reuse content you already host elsewhere with CMS Connect. 

This is available automatically to all Community Cloud customers, so if you’re already one of those, check it out in the App Launcher!

Again, Salesforce CMS is a beta feature. Community admins, Salesforce admins, content managers, and content admins can access this beta feature in the Salesforce App Launcher and in the Content Management workspace of any community. You can provide feedback and suggestions for Salesforce CMS in the Community Cloud group in the Trailblazer Community. 

It’s available in Lightning Experience for Lightning communities in Enterprise, Essentials, Performance, Unlimited, and Developer editions. 

Set up mass quick actions in Communities

You can set up mass quick actions in Communities now, same as in Lightning Experience. This means your customers can select up to 100 records in a list view and perform mass updates, rather than painstakingly updating records one at a time.

This applies to Lightning Communities accessed through Lightning Experience and Salesforce Classic in Enterprise, Essentials, Performance, Unlimited, and Developer editions. 

Increase password complexity requirements for Communities

Salesforce have upped their security by offering a password complecity option that needs internal and external users to include at least three of the following characters in their passwords: one number, one uppercase letter, one lowercase letter, and one special character (! ” # $ % & ‘ ( ) * + , – . / : ; < = > ? @ [ \ ] ^ _ ` { | } ~). 

This applies to Lightning and Salesforce Tabs + Visualforce communities accessed through Lightning Experience and Salesforce Classic in Essentials, Enterprise, Performance, Unlimited, and Developer editions.

Analyse your automated business processes in Automation Home (beta)

Salesforce’s new Automation Home helps you with automated business processes. With it, you can:

  • Explore flow templates on AppExchange, or navigate to an automation tool.
  • Get a quick view of the most commonly used automation types.
  • See your org’s flow activity in charts, such as total errors and total started automations.
  • Learn how much time it’s taking users to complete screen flows, so you can optimize as needed. 

This change applies to Lightning Experience and Salesforce Classic in Professional, Enterprise, Performance, and Unlimited editions. 

Again, this is in beta, so you know what not to do…

Salesforce Surveys: free sending, customised email invites, and an improved UX

Now you can create surveys and send invitations for free, and only pay based on the number of responses you receive after the free allotment.
You no longer need a license to create and send surveys. Anyone who has been assigned one of the provided four profiles can create and send unlimited surveys for free.  Receive up to 300 survey responses for free. After the first 300, you can purchase an add-on response pack based on the number of responses you receive.

To help improve your response rates, you can also personalise your email invitations to participants. Plus, you can up the user experience of surveys and have more words to play with due to the increased character limit for questions, response choices, and participant comments. Mobile devices work well with these surveys too, meaning participants can fill them out on-the-go.

Path: Celebrate sales milestones with… confetti!

This one’s dead fun. Imagine celebratory confetti raining down on your screen whenever you win an opportunity. Yep, you can now help your teams celebrate their successes by throwing some virtual confetti whenever reps reach a designated path stage.

To set this up, in Setup, use the Quick Find box to find Path Settings. Then, enable Path and create or edit a Path.

I mean, it’s much better for the planet than throwing actual confetti, at least!

This applies to Lightning Experience and all versions of the mobile app in Essentials, Group, Professional, Enterprise, Performance, Unlimited, and Developer editions.

So, as you can see there are lots of great new features to get your teeth into this Summer. What’s your favourite? Was there anything you were hoping for that isn’t in the Summer ’19 release? Let us know in the comments below!

How we planned for the Sales Innovation Expo in 3 weeks

Three weeks ago we were offered an exhibitor’s spot at the Sales Innovation Expo to support Salesforce, and while it was short notice, we definitely couldn’t pass up the opportunity. With absolutely zero plan, no branded merchandise or stand design, and very little exhibitor experience, we instantly felt the pressure. Here’s how we managed to pull it off.

Read moreHow we planned for the Sales Innovation Expo in 3 weeks

Workplace diversity helps your business grow. But there’s a bit more to it than that.

It was recently found that businesses with a balance of men and women on their executive teams are 21% more likely to outperform their competitors, and those with team members from a good mix of ethnic backgrounds are 35% more likely.

While gender and ethnic diversity obviously doesn’t automatically translate into profit, the correlation is there, and it suggests that when businesses commit themselves to diverse leadership, they actually become more successful at what they do.

Read moreWorkplace diversity helps your business grow. But there’s a bit more to it than that.