Preparing for a Successful Marketing Cloud Journey

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Cloud Insights and Innovation

In today’s connected world, we know more about our customers than ever before, so the challenge of having the data, has been replaced by having the data in the right place, and using that data to focus on discrete, high-value goals. While it’s exciting to look at complex use cases such as drawing geofences around locations and triggering real-time pushes anytime someone is nearby, it’s likely that something as complicated as this has as much value as an email triggered with an offer anytime someone hasn’t made a purchase in a week. When dreaming up these kinds of real-time customer interactions, it’s easy to get distracted by what’s shiny, and get caught up in building something more complex but with less value. In our experience it’s best to take a crawl-walk-run approach. 

Top Salesforce Marketing Cloud Considerations for Building Your Customer Journeys

When it comes to Salesforce Marketing Cloud, and building your customer journeys, creating real time engagement with customers is exciting and has huge benefits. But, beginning with the foundation and laying the groundwork for success should be your first step. Here’s some of the top considerations when doing so:

  • Be prepared upfront: Outline your journey and plan your data and content needs before you create it. 
  • Evaluate your environment: Consider not just the end goal but the environment in which your campaigns will operate. The real world is highly dynamic; where will your customers be when they receive your messages? How will you measure success? 
  • Prepare your data: Make sure that the data you need is accessible and the timeframes you are considering are technically possible. For example, if you want a thank you message to go out immediately after the purchase of a seasonal item how long will it take for the data to flow from your loyalty program or POS to Marketing Cloud? 
  • Know your audience and think it through: 76% of customers now report that it’s easier than ever to take their business elsewhere — switching from brand to brand to find an experience that matches their expectations.*

How do you get started? Take a crawl-walk-run approach:

Start small: What are your goals? How can Marketing Cloud support them? If your goal is to increase revenue, hold a brainstorming session as there are a million and one ways to do that. Bring cross-functional team members together and get a more extensive share of brain power. You might be surprised by what finance, IT, or HR bring to the table. At the end of the day we are marketing to people, which we all are, so capture all of your ideas for a backlog. 

Choose low effort/high impact campaigns: Start with the basics. Maybe you don’t have an onboarding program or maybe you update your templates to include a suggested products section. These campaigns are going to be different for every company dependent on where you are in your marketing maturity as well as the resources available to you. Some ideas might be low effort/high impact but require resources you don’t have right now or a channel you don’t have access to at this moment. 

Plan for data and content needs: Don’t forget that no matter how advanced your program is, how many AMP script experts you have, or how large your audience is, you will be hampered by the availability and quality of your data. Sit down with your team to plan out what you will need now, as well as in the future. Build data capture into your day-to-day campaigns. A simple birthday email with an offer attached could be impossible if you’ve never captured that information, and capturing that could be a valuable and engaging campaign by itself. Once you’ve decided on the campaigns you are pursuing, put some thought into how the assets you need can be leveraged across other channels. Assets are currency, so make sure you spend it wisely.

Consider the environment, not just the goal: Our world is rapidly evolving, so make sure to consider macro events outside of your control. Really put yourself in the shoes of your contacts. Where will they be when they receive your messages? What time will it be? What device will they be using? What communication channel makes sense? All of these things directly affect the success or failure of a campaign and have nothing to do with the content you build.

Test, measure, iterate, and expand: Remember high school science class? Have a hypothesis and design your campaign to confirm or refute it. Make sure your sample size is large enough and remember, if your hypothesis turns out to be wrong, that’s not a failure, it’s an opportunity to iterate and try something new! If your first test is a raging success, give your team a pat on the back and work out a way to expand on your learnings.

Ready to take the next steps to building your roadmap? AllCloud has a proven approach by engaging in roadmapping sessions to identify your goals, evaluate your data, and build with omnichannel in mind. 

*Source: Salesforce 2019State of the Connected Customer” report



Tyler Holmes

Salesforce Solution Engineer

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