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Digital Transformation

Dreamforce 13: Email Marketing with ExactTarget Marketing Cloud

This week I’m at Dreamforce13 put on by  Salesforce has been making a strong push into the Portal and Social space in the last several years. Bryan Wade, ExactTarget Vice President of Email Products highlighted the features in the ExactTarget Marketing Cloud.

When we talk about customer experience, marketing has been playing an increasingly important role in digital experiences.  Marketers want to use digital platforms for campaigns and that typically starts with a variety of communications to targets with the goal of engaging a potential customer leading to a sale.

Mail campaigns have been with us for hundreds of years.  Email campaigns have been around a decade or two, but are now critically important because email can reach a broad audience, it can reach a very targeted audience and an email campaign can be less expensive than other marketing tactics.

ExactTarget, a company, offers the ExactTarget Marketing Cloud, which includes campaign management and other marketing automation tools, email, data and analytics.   All of ExactTarget is built on a cloud platform and easily integrates with other systems.

ExactTarget is based on the following key concepts:

  • Single View of the Customer
    • Marketers want to connect with individuals more so than unknown groups. To get to a single view of a customer, you must integrated a lot of different systems.  Once you have this data integrated, you can now target customers directly.  Collecting email addresses is one way that marketers start to address individuals.
    • provides a lot of the integration features and also can track customer and lead data from ExactTarget.
    • ExactTarget is integrated with to create emails that use data from Salesforce to segment customers.  ExactTarget then provides tracking of those email campaigns as well as engagement data.
  • Customer Journey
    • Journey management is a key task for marketing.  You need to define marketing objectives for each interaction and customer journey.
    • Journey Builder is a tool that allows marketers to create the journey maps for customers.  This tool allows you to build overall journeys as well as sub journeys.  You can use cross-channel targets including SMS, email, and mobile push.
    • Transaction Builder is used when you wanted to send triggered and transactional emails.  For example, when a customer interacts with you, you want to send them emails based on actions they take.  For example, when you rent a movie at Redbox, you receive an email as soon as you get the movie from the machine.  ExactTarget sends millions of these transactional emails for Redbox.
    • Triggered and Transactional emails are the most opened emails.
    • ExactTarget uses a robust API to allow your internal systems to connect to the transaction builder.
  • Optimized Content
    • This includes dynamic content, testing & optimization, and mobile content for email and mobile messages.
    • The content system is built on an open platform that allows you to create “gears” that can be included in the mail.
    • Nike used ExactTarget to go from 2 customized emails (men vs women) to over 1.3 million versions without additional staff.
    • Content can be rendered at send time or at run time. Run time content can be customized for the user every time the email is opened.
  • Manage the Enterprise
    •  Distributed Sending allows “field marketers” to use centralized data to send out emails.  Field marketers would be somebody that knows the local market better, but you don’t want to give them access to change the marketing messages or key data.
    • The platform also includes enterprise reporting features.
  • Open Platform
    •  ExactTarget has its own app exchange where you can find add on components and easily drop them into the platform.

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Mark Polly

Mark Polly is Perficient's Chief Strategist for Customer Experience Platforms. He works to create great customer, partner, and employee experiences. Mark specializes in web content management, portal, search, CRM, marketing automation, customer service, collaboration, social networks, and more.

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