10 Secrets to a Successful Salesforce Marketing Cloud Implementation - dummies

10 Secrets to a Successful Salesforce Marketing Cloud Implementation

By Chester Bullock, Mark Pollard

Assuming you know all the things that Salesforce Marketing Cloud can do, it’s time for implementation. Take a look at the following tips to help your implementation go smoothly.

Set realistic function expectations

One of the nice things about software-as-a-service (SaaS) products is that you can easily add additional features when you need them. You don’t have to buy every app you might ever consider using. Just purchase the apps that you’re going to use at first and be ready to grow from there.

Cutting unnecessary features off your invoice will also help you as you manage the expectations of your team and your management. Communicate specific goals internally, explain how the features you’re purchasing help you, and brag about your results early and often.

Set realistic time expectations

The migrations that Trendline Interactive helps clients perform take two to three months on average. You can’t — and shouldn’t — rush the process. Cutting corners early on will just result in big problems later.

Design for the data

As you have probably noticed by this point, data is absolutely essential to target your online marketing campaigns properly, so establishing your data model should be one of your first priorities. Figure out what information you want, what you have, and what you need. Don’t forget to build in flexibility for future data you might need.

Purchase support

If you’re generally good with software, you might think you can get by without a support contract, but this one is worth the money. Higher tiered support contracts are especially useful if you’re planning to use advanced features such as Audience Builder or Journey Builder. Moreover, the higher tiered support contract you buy, the faster response time you get from the Marketing Cloud support team.

Take care with your IP warm

You will need to know about the process of getting IPs accustomed to you as a sender before blasting out a bunch of emails lest the IP flag you as a spammer. If you have small lists (under 50,000 subscribers), this process might not be strictly necessary. However, if your lists are over 50,000 and you’ll be sending more than one email per month, a proper IP warm will make a huge difference in getting your email messages into your subscribers’ inboxes.

Work closely with your implementation partner

If you’re using an implementation partner, don’t just hand the project over and wait for results. You need to understand as much as you can about what your partner did. Get your partner to walk you through the work and provide documentation for your future reference.

Establish standards

At first, establishing file-naming conventions and standards for the hierarchical folder structure to contain your assets will seem like unnecessary overhead. However, believe us: After awhile, you’ll be drowning in files. Your future self will thank you for giving those files a predictable name and storing them in the right place.

Document everything

Time after time, stories surface about clients who wish they could go back and write things down. Something that seems so obvious or so unforgettable can just evaporate from your memory when you need it months or years down the road. Specific areas to document include the following:

  • The blueprint for your data model.
  • The map of your internal data flows, before the data gets to Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
  • A list of your API interactions. This should be a living document that you always keep current.
  • App Center implementations for API calls. Your developers use App Center to integrate Marketing Cloud with your other business systems. The App Center establishes the credentials you need to connect the systems.
  • Folder hierarchy for content and assets.

Inform all key people

No one likes to feel out of control, especially when it comes to the tools you use at work every day. Avoid surprising the people on your team who will feel the effects of the implementation, especially the ones who could derail the success of the project! Don’t forget to communicate with people from the following parts of your company:

  • Data team
  • Creative team
  • Call center personnel
  • Anyone who interacts with customers, especially people who accept customer complaints

Allow time for training

Experienced Salesforce users find new things about the platform all the time. The software is intuitive, but skipping the full training regimen can limit you to only the beginning features. You want to graduate to using the advanced features of the platform.

Beyond just learning how to use Marketing Cloud, keeping up with the latest advancement in email marketing is important. Continuing your marketing education makes you a more valuable contributor to your team.