Salesforce Marketing Cloud is a powerful digital marketing tool with many capabilities. But with so many features and possibilities, it can be hard to know where to start when it comes to implementation. Use this quick checklist to ensure that your organization is set up for success:
✓ Know it will take time and you may need assistance.
For a Marketing Cloud implementation to be successful, it should be well-planned and well-executed. This means that it will take time (likely longer than you might think) to complete. As you progress, don’t rush ahead too quickly, as this can lead to errors and ultimately more time spent in the long run. Set realistic timeline goals, and do your best to stick to them.
✓ Acknowledge that you may need help.
You likely have a team in place that will be using and supporting Marketing Cloud. If you take a look at the team, you may see that there are gaps in skills, experience or available capacity. In this case, setting yourself up for success may mean acknowledging that you need to seek help from a qualified partner.
✓ Focus on data, data, data.
Data is vital to being able to target and personalize your digital marketing. Be sure to start your data model early and understand what data you need, what data you already have, and what data you would like to find out. Don’t just plan for immediate needs. Think about how you can be flexible to allow for the future, too.
✓ Set realistic functionality goals.
Marketing Cloud is a solution made up of many products (think Journey Builder, Email Studio, Social Studio, Advertising Studio, Mobile Studio). It can be difficult to implement all of them at once. It can also be a bigger investment in terms of Salesforce licensing. Identify which features to focus on first. You can incorporate solutions as your familiarity with Marketing Cloud grows and only pay for the features you need until the time comes to take on more. An example that works well for many is to start with Journey Builder for marketing automation.
✓ Know where you are going by knowing where you have been.
Gather information about previous email campaigns and see what your subscribers responded to before. Understanding your history can help you see where there is room for improvement and not lose sight of what your subscribers want. Use this information to set achievable marketing goals and gain buy-in for those goals across your organization.
✓ Document everything you can.
As you are working on the implementation, it might feel like everything you are working on is unforgettable. But as time passes, it can be vital to have documentation of what decisions were made and what work was completed. Things like API connections, data model, Marketing Cloud Org setup, Folder Hierarchies and Naming Standards top the list of the most important things to get down on paper.
✓ Build trust.
No one likes surprises, so make sure you are communicating with those who will be affected by the implementation. Gaining their investment in the solution early on will be important to the success of the project. Be clear about the expectations (both current and future), and make sure there is alignment between your marketing team and the rest of the business.
✓ Establish standards.
The way that you organize your folders and content within Marketing Cloud is important to establish early on. At first, it seems simple. But as the content starts to pile up in your Org, you will be kicking yourself later if you do not establish a way to organize it all. Naming conventions can be extremely helpful here, and many choose to include the year in naming in order to easily see the age of the content. What matters most is consistency.
✓ Allow time for training.
Marketing Cloud can be a big tool to wrap your arms around. Allow users time to learn the tool, and don’t limit yourself by stopping at just the beginning features. Getting into the advanced features of the platform is important as well. It is also vital to keep up with releases, so you’re aware of the advancements being made to the platform.
✓ If using a partner, work closely with them.
Partners can be instrumental in the success of a Marketing Cloud implementation, but for the best results, don’t hand off the project and then stand back and wait for results. You want to understand as much as you can about the work your partner completed. This may involve asking them to walk through the solution with you and provide reference documentation.
Now that you have this checklist at your fingertips, use it as a handy resource for getting started. Any questions about setting up Marketing Cloud – or setting it up the right way? Feel free to reach out to our experts anytime.