Mapping Your Data to Your Objectives in Salesforce Marketing Cloud

By Chester Bullock, Mark Pollard

It’s great that you have all sorts of data available to you, but how do you take advantage of it to make the most of Salesforce Marketing Cloud? What is going to be the most helpful or effective? To figure this out, you first need to determine your marketing goals.

Marketing objectives

You decide the marketing objectives that make sense for you and your business. Just like professional development goals, your marketing objectives should be

  • Specific so that everyone understands what needs to be accomplished
  • Measurable so you know if your campaign met the objective
  • Defined by time so you have a date that you plan to complete it by
  • Pertinent so that the objective helps business performance
  • Actionable so that there are clear steps to take to achieve the goal

Don’t forget to be realistic. Too many objectives, timelines that are too short and goals that are too high can do more harm than good. Start slow and remember that you can always add more objectives later.

Data to fulfill your objectives

After you’ve decided on your objectives, you can start figuring out what data to gather to determine whether you’ve achieved those objectives.

Let’s look at a sample goal. You have a newsletter that reaches 100,000 people. On average, 25 percent of the subscribers open the email and 5 percent click a link (click through rate, or CTR). One goal you might have is to increase the CTR to 10 percent over the next 12 months.

A lot of variables could be at play in determining the CTR of your email newsletter, and you can use data to experiment with each of them. For example:

  • How many emails you send per week. You could experiment with sending more or fewer emails to see the effect on CTR.
  • Whether a subscriber opens the email. A subscriber has to open an email to click a link, and adding personalization to the subject line is a proven way to improve open rates.
  • How many subscribers on your list are inactive — never open or click at all. You could remove inactive subscribers to increase the density of clicks among the subscribers who remain.
  • Number and placement of links in the newsletter. You could experiment with repeating a link at the beginning and end of a newsletter to raise the visibility of the link and improve CTR.
  • Time of day you sent the newsletter. You can evaluate what time of day you get the most opens and clicks and focus on sending at that time.

Data objective exercise

Finally, let’s use data to solve a real problem:

  1. Take out a piece of paper (or open your favorite note-taking app on your device of choice). Write down a problem you’re facing and your objective to improve the situation.

    Is that objective specific, measurable, time-bound, pertinent to business performance, and actionable? If not, take the time now to mold it so it meets all those criteria.

  2. Brainstorm the factors that might be contributing to the problem.

    Don’t limit yourself to the obvious factors. You can even include the factors that influence the factors!

  3. Think about what data you could use to investigate each of the factors.

    Is the data readily available? How can you access it?

Getting used to using this approach to problem-solving makes the data in your Marketing Cloud account immensely useful to you and your company.