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10 Secrets to a Successful Marketing Cloud Implementation

Successful Marketing Cloud Implementation

Marketing Cloud has emerged as a powerful solution for delivering personalized, cross-channel customer engagement at scale. As a Salesforce Gold Partner for more than a decade, we have the privilege of guiding clients through every step, from strategy to implementation. 

Top 10 Tips & Takeaways
New to Marketing Cloud? Or have questions about putting it to work for your organization? Here are some of the biggest secrets to a successful implementation that we’ve learned along the way. 

1: Determine your starting point, and dip your toes in accordingly.
Marketing Cloud is a solution made up of several different products: 

  • Journey Builder
  • Email Studio
  • Salesforce DMP
  • Social Studio
  • Advertising Studio
  • Mobile Studio

Spoiler alert: you won’t be able to successfully implement ALL of these tools and begin leveraging their capabilities overnight. Examine your business priorities, processes and customer needs. Determine a starting point that will allow you to gain quick, meaningful wins and momentum. Then identify which tool can help you the fastest. For many clients, marketing automation using Journey Builder is a great place to start.

2: Assemble the right team.
Getting the right people on the bus is critical to a successful Marketing Cloud implementation.

Seek team members who can represent your business strategy and be the voice of the customer, as well as colleagues who have a strong technical background – including the ability to uncover business requirements and design a technical strategy around them. As part of this step, identify key stakeholders and sponsors, including what their roles will be in the implementation process. Ensure your team is made up of change agents who are not afraid of embracing the unknown and developing new skills.

3: Acknowledge where you need help.
After determining your starting point and assembling your team, take an honest look at the work ahead. Acknowledge where you may have blind spots or gaps in skills or experience, and seek help from a qualified partner.

4: Establish a clear goal for the team.
With your starting point, Marketing Cloud platform and the right team in place, work together to define a clear goal for your first project using Marketing Cloud. We recommend choosing a measurable goal that relates to business objectives, so you can demonstrate return on investment and strategic alignment to the business.

For example, let’s say your business development team is targeting 15% year-over-year growth in new business for a specific product line, which will require the acquisition of approximately 400 net new customers. You could use Journey Builder to create a personalized acquisition campaign to prospects with the goal of scheduling 1,200 product demos, which is a key step to converting new business. When your goal has been established, reinforce it consistently and keep the team’s eye on the prize.

5: Define your audience. 
After your goal has been established, clarify your audience (both from business and technical perspectives), and then reconcile any inconsistencies in your CRM. Identify and collect data needs required to execute a campaign to your target audience.

6: Map the customer journey. 
Examine the current state of your customer’s journey, factoring in all of the channels and touchpoints they experience with your brand. Identify key challenges and moments that matter, and rewrite their journey to leverage the capabilities of the Marketing Cloud product you’re using.

7: Establish a clear nomenclature and document process.
As your team begins their work, determine expectations for things like file naming and folder structures. Document processes for building your data model and any API extensions. This upfront work will save your team from a lot of headaches down the road.

8: Communicate, communicate, communicate. 
Communicating your adoption of Marketing Cloud is a significant part of managing change, creating transparency and accountability. Identify a communication plan and cadence for stakeholders and sponsors. Elevate status, performance, roadblocks and learnings consistently to keep making progress.

9: Move with urgency.
Just GO! No, seriously. Recognize there will be unanswered questions and surprises along the way. Don’t let these things become a barrier to your adoption of Marketing Cloud. Weave flexibility into your team’s culture, and don’t let fears hold you back. Move with urgency toward your launch date.

10: Take time to review (and celebrate) learnings.
Post-launch, take the necessary time needed to do a postmortem on what worked, what didn’t and what you’ll do differently next time. Do this both from an internal team perspective and from a customer perspective. Celebrating successes and collecting feedback is highly critical to developing your Marketing Cloud practice over time.

These are just a few secrets we’ve learned while implementing Salesforce Marketing Cloud. For more information about this platform and how to make the most of it, reach out and ask our experts.

To learn more, check out our latest and greatest checklist to make the most of marketing cloud by clicking here.

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Kristen Quick

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