May 22 2024
Author Nathan Jones

Maximise Your Marketing Potential with Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Salesforce Marketing Cloud (MC) is a powerful, flexible tool which offers a level customisability that is unrivalled in the marketplace. By understanding MC’s key features and implementing best practices, you can help your business transform its marketing efforts and deliver exceptional customer experiences.

Before we dive into how to make the most out of your Marketing Cloud instance, here is a reminder of the platform’s key features (but by no means exhaustive as it is constantly evolving!).  

Key Features of Salesforce Marketing Cloud 

01. Email Marketing: One of the core functionalities of Salesforce Marketing Cloud is its advanced email marketing capabilities. Businesses can create personalized, targeted email campaigns tailored to specific customer audiences. Features include dynamic and personalised content designed to ensure your messages hit all the right spots with your customers.  

02. Content Builder: A sometimes-overlooked feature in the marketer’s toolkit is the use of content blocks within emails, these allow users to drag and drop content without the need to edit HTML code or knowledge of design software (although an understanding of both will definitely help!). Email templates and designs can be easily shared and elements from your best performing emails can be repurposed with just a few clicks.

03. Mobile Messaging: In today’s mobile-centric world, reaching customers on their smartphones is essential. Salesforce Marketing Cloud enables businesses to send targeted SMS messages, push notifications, and in-app messages and WhatsApp messages to engage with customers wherever they are. This omni-channel approach allows for a seamless experience across all devices.

04. Customer Journey Mapping: Understanding the customer journey is key to delivering personalised experiences and Salesforce Marketing Cloud’s Journey Builder is the perfect tool for achieving this. Journeys can be triggered via customer actions and designed to include SMS, Email, Push, WhatsApp communications all within the same journey.

05. Data Management and Analytics: Data is at the heart of effective marketing, and Salesforce Marketing Cloud offers robust data management and analytics capabilities. One of the best ways to ingest data into Marketing Cloud is via the Marketing Cloud Connector which ensures a seamless connection with Salesforce CRM and allows you to configure the exact data that is passed ready to be used for marketing or operational messages and campaigns.  

How to Implement Salesforce Marketing Cloud Effectively

Implementing Salesforce Marketing Cloud effectively requires careful planning and execution across multiple project stages. Even after project completion, you need to ensure the customer is confident with the system an understands what has been built.  

Here are some best practices I have found that help to maximise success: 

Define Clear Objectives: Whether it’s increasing sales, improving brand awareness, or driving customer loyalty, having a clear roadmap will guide the implementation strategy. 

Sometimes however, a customer may have unclear objectives on what they want to achieve. An alternate approach can be to understand the client’s pain points and conduct a Root cause analysis to propose a solution.  

For example, “Our emails are not converting enough customers.” There could be multiple causes for this, from low open rates (due to authentication), lack of clear CTA’s within the email (like buttons). Each could point to a greater issue such as inadequate audience segmentation or disinterested customers in the mailing list.  

 Data Integration: Ensuring your Salesforce Marketing Cloud instance is seamlessly integrated with your existing CRM system will enable you to leverage customer data effectively and deliver personalised experiences across all touchpoints.  

A good way to think about what data is required in the system is to work backwards. Consider the end-goals first, then what customer journeys and triggers points might be required to achieve this. For example, if you want to build a churn journey due to client lapse, you would need data points such as last purchase date, age of account, value of client and so on. By asking these questions you can define and shape the system so it aligns with the client goals.  

 Continuous Optimisation: Marketing is an iterative process, and continuous optimisation is key to success. Regularly analyse campaign performance, gather customer feedback, and make data-driven adjustments to refine your marketing strategies over time.

When building a Marketing Cloud strategy, perfect should not get in the way of good. Customer journeys will always need to evolve over time as new content is produced and old content analysed for its effectiveness. Schedule regular customer journey reviews, whether it be quarterly or bi-annually, with the goal to analyse and refine existing content.   

 Stay Updated: The digital marketing landscape is constantly evolving, and staying updated on the latest trends and best practices is essential. Leverage resources such as Salesforce Trailhead, webinars, and industry events to stay ahead of the curve and maximise the value of Salesforce Marketing Cloud. 

 Training, Education and Documentation: Provide comprehensive training to your marketing team to ensure they understand the full capabilities of Salesforce Marketing Cloud.  

It also will pay dividends to have clear documentation from the start that covers the flow of data and systems structure. A few examples of the architectural diagrams we create during a project can be found below.

A basic schema for a parent and single child BU along with its SAP: 

An example customer journey process flow before it is built within Journey Builder: 

To conclude, Salesforce Marketing Cloud offers a powerful suite of tools and capabilities to help businesses transform their marketing efforts and deliver exceptional customer experiences.  

By leveraging its key features, realising its benefits, and implementing best practices, your business can unlock the full potential of Salesforce Marketing Cloud and stay ahead in today’s competitive market. 

 With Salesforce Marketing Cloud, the possibilities are endless. Are you ready to take your marketing to the next level? 


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