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Anthony: Hi Danielle, welcome this series.
Danielle: Hello, thank you so much for having me today.
Anthony: it’s our pleasure. And as we were just discussing, it’s great to see you showed up in the appropriate attire.
Danielle: Yes, absolutely. I’ve got my Cody on it’s Trailblazer community, cause I’m a group leader and have been for a long time. And I’m drinking out of mine community Yeti and I got all sort of Salesforce swag.
Anthony: That’s awesome, could you actually give us a quick intro for our audience?
Danielle: Yeah, absolutely. So my name is Danielle Laffey and I work as the industry principal focused on insurance at Silverline, who is a Salesforce implementation partner consulting partner. So I’m at the director level where I work with clients in the insurance space specifically and kind of help them through advisory engagements all the way to the implementation and then even some additional support after that. They use kind of the whole suite of Salesforce. My background is a Solution Architect originally I’ve been in the ecosystem since 2003 and Marketing Cloud, ExactTarget from back in the day has been a big part in my life that has been my first job out of school technically. So I have extensive work on Marketing Cloud, obviously ExactTarget has been purchased by Salesforce and got turned into Marketing Cloud back in the day and I also work pretty heavily with Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Financial Services Cloud, especially as it related to the insurance space and tying all that together and recently I picked up Vlocity too.
Anthony: So you’re at the intersection of mostly Marketing Cloud, but I hear you also specialize in other Clouds, but mostly Marketing Cloud, right? And insurance so how did that come to be?
Danielle: I worked for a consulting partner prior to this. And quite a few clients that I was assigned to were really large insurance companies which right after the acquisition of Salesforce started purchasing Marketing Cloud and using it for Customer Engagement and Corporate Engagement, both. So knowing ExactTarget Marketing Cloud so well from back in the day. I also had the luck of being able to be on the team that wrote the original connector between Salesforce Cloud and Marketing Cloud from back in the day as well. So I knew how that worked, kind of inside and outs so. I got attached to these particular clients who are in the insurance world and helped them to come up with email campaigns, journeys and then eventually some of the other iGoDigital and these things got developed into Marketing Cloud as well. I knew the people who created those causes most of them were in Indianapolis originally at that time which is where I’m from originally.
Anthony: Oh that’s convenient.
Danielle: Yeah, it was convenient. That’s kinda how growing up in Indiana and having Indianapolis it’s where I started out with ExactTarget, right after school because it’s easy and really big at that time. And pretty much everyone knew everyone back in the day, now it’s obviously not the same. And I’m not in Indi anymore. So yes, I just helped them figure out the information they needed to have in their CRM and how we would bring that over to Marketing Cloud. What we would be able to use to segment out and you know create personalized customer engagement experiences. So I kinda have been with the companies especially if they’ve grown over the years from “hey I’m going to market and advertise it to you and that’s what I’m going to use email for” to full on engagement transactional information and obviously that segmentation and personalization it’s just here at the last few years it started to go into some of those other channels that Marketing Cloud has brought them into.
Anthony: Right. It’s not just outbound email campaigns anymore it’s a full customer experience multi channel strategy that you can execute in Marketing Cloud.
Danielle: Yeah, absolutely.
Anthony: By the way, congratulations with being nominated as Salesforce Marketing Cloud Champion in 2020. What does that title mean to you?
Danielle: Thank you. I have been an advocate around marketing and again when we say marketing really it is that customer engagement component and the customer experience and the communication they have in and around that and the messaging around that and I kind of.. I assume a lot of other Marketing Cloud folks feel the same as I do. I had a lot of conversations with others about it. We kind of feel as an ugly stepchild of the Salesforce world. No one wants to learn Marketing Cloud in the Salesforce ecosystem because it’s different and it has so many other components and pieces. So when Salesforce came out with this, with the programme for the champions for Marketing specifically, it was a long time coming I felt wonderful to be able to elevate some of the people who really make the experience that all of the consumers are having so great, right? There’s the way that you can actually keep up with those goggles and things of the world and if you didn’t have them on your staff and you didn’t have the Marketing Cloud Suite available to you then, you know, you’re going to have some issues. So it was wonderful to actually be nominated and put into that class. It was the first class. It was awesome to finally get some recognition for the hard work that all the Marketing Cloud people are doing and Pardot as well. I don’t want to say that it’s completely Marketing Cloud.
Anthony: Pardot is maybe the step child for the ExactTargetters.
Danielle: Oooh, be careful with that one, sir. Because I don’t know who’s listening to that one, but you could get some angry people who are listening to that one. But yes.
Anthony: I saw an interview with Adam Blitzer not too long ago and apparently the Pardodians they have a nickname they have a very strong culture apparently.
Danielle: They do, they do. And it’s also a really great tool, right? I think there is room for both of them actually in implementations and I have used both of them in implementations in the past.
Anthony: And don’t get me wrong it was actually Pardot that got me into Marketing Cloud later so I started from that part.
Danielle: Oh, there you go!
Anthony: So you’re a community leader in Indi, right? So what is it like to be a community leader for Marketing Cloud where Marketing Cloud was headquartered?
Danielle: Pretty awesome actually, so I originally got put into the leadership role. I actually was handed Salesforce and they said “hey make it work” and I said “how on Earth am I going to do that? Are they going to give me training?” And they said of course not. And my boss actually told me to find a user group or start a user group and I don’t even know what a user group is. I called Salesforce and low and behold there were four user groups globally at that time. So I connected with the Indianapolis one and kind of put up the things in place and applied for Salesforce and became the fifth User Group globally. It took a little to get going at first. I had a core group of people who came really frequently in the organization. You know, it was a handful of people at the time and it took a couple of years for me to actually build it up. But we ended up having over, goodness, it was over a thousand users who were part of the group overall. And consistently we’re getting somewhere between 15-75 people who would come every single month or every other month depending on whenever we have meetings. So that was really awesome and the community and even job jumping if you will. It was a really wonderful experience to actually watch it grow overtime. And as I go to the Dreamforce now and they have information boards for User Group leaders they always have people who’ve been a while for a long time, you know. The last one standing kind of thing is a … The community really blown out in the last one year or two. It’s a lot of connections, it’s been fantastic so I led this group in the Indianopolis up until, I now live in Tampa and moved here about a year and a half ago. And so I continue my last year term there. So I led that about 13 years in total and I just recently took over the Insurance group just recently. So we’re still talking about Marketing Cloud actually, I mean, I have people who come and talk about marketing and customer engagement obviously in the insurance world how you are talking not just with your end consumers but the big deal right now is agents, brokers and how you can engage them, especially the independent ones and uhm all the other use cases that I’ve been able to use.. It’s been awesome, I’ve definitely had some amazing people whom I’ve had along the way to get to the place where I am, I would not be able to do that without my co-leader Mike Martin at that time, he did it for several years and he was one of the core group that originally came. It wouldn’t have been successful without the key people and that’s what it’s all about.
Anthony: I’d love to jump more into those insurance use cases actually but before we get there you mentioned that you now lead the insurance User Group and it’s a global group?
Danielle: It is, yes, so every now and then we have some people who hop in from the EU where you are located or I have a couple from Australia who come in every now and then.
Anthony: Yes, there’s a surprising amount of SFMC users in Australia, we can tell from our leadership and so on.
Danielle: Yeah, it’s good to have them. I usually do them around noon Eastern time and it’s awesome to have people who are joining at two o’clock in the morning to just listen to a very cool topic. You know you nailed the topic down when you have people coming at 2 o’clock in the morning.
Anthony: Oh yeah, that’s very fanatic. Actually, since the global group does it mean there a lot of commonalities in insurance across the globe or are there differences?
Danielle: I do think there are some differences. I will say that depending on the lines that you are looking at, you know PNC insurance has I would say globally a bit more similarities than like Health as an example.
Danielle: And in the US it’s obviously very different from the other countries where the government system is a little bit different than in the United States. So working through that and figuring out their admin policy systems, who’s buying insurance and who’s responsible for it. All the different policy holder information and how do you communicate, and do you communicate to people directly in a household or do you communicate to people in the household together. That is definitely a challenge which I think is seen more in the United States than other places just from the way we do health insurance. But we also have third parties forthe life insurance and some of the annuities, and things as well that are a little bit more, I guess traditional in that sense.
Anthony: Yeah, the way that governments are organized is definitely different, I think the world has been watching very closely for the last season when there were the elections in the US?
Danielle: I’m glad that the election season is finally over, we’ll see if it’s completely actually done at this point or not. There are definitely still some fights going on about who gets to be elected and who’s not elected.
Anthony: So is here. What was it about the household thing that you mentioned, is that the way you want to address the people of the household and what kind of communication you can send? Could you please clarify more on that?
Danielle: A little bit of all of that actually. So the concept of householding has come up in the Salesforce CRM specifically in the Health Cloud and financial services Cloud and you can easily take that information and pull it over to Marketing Cloud to make sure you were communicating to the appropriate people in the household. It’s really the thought of Danielle and Dan are married and they have children under them or they have a sister under them. How are they tied together in that household and if they have you know a lot of split families these days. So there might be a household where a child is sitting there or a beneficiary in the insurance world who are dependent on the health side of things. You know, how are you tying that to a person? Is it a secondary? Do they actually get to be on certain policies, what kind of information can you talk to them from a segmentation perspective to onboard them or try to sell the information to them? Being able to understand if they have multiple people in their family, the demographics behind it as you try to target out and segment your personalization for selling or upselling the opportunities is definitely something that is new to the Marketing world I’d say. Because now we’re finally getting to the point in the last couple of years where we can actually do householding and be able to get the true picture of what it actually looks like so that you can actually message them appropriately through all the different channels.
Anthony: Interesting, because household is not self-evident anymore in these days in Dutch we even have a specific phrase for this it goes something along like newly composed families for a husband and a spouse who has former marriages who got together and brought the kids together, so that would be like a newly composed family.
Danielle: Yes, it’s just kind of a reality of the new world now. There is no longer a mom and dad and two and a half kids and half of the dog, or whatever it was that we used to have from the average family perspective. It’s just changed, it’s different and being able to make sure that you’re communicating to these people appropriately and understanding who your consumers are so you can take the backend and some of that segmentation as well and understand how you need to improve your customer service, how you need to improve your products that you’re selling to these consumers.
Anthony: Absolutely, and you’ve mentioned the word segmentation a few times but it’s obviously the topic close to my heart. It strikes me when talking with different industries that Insurance segmentation is of particular interest. It’s probably because cross-sell is just so key to how the whole business model operates I think so it makes sense to make segments to see if we can discuss them already and have health insurance, but not whatever you name it, car insurance. Is that also how you see it? And what kind of segmentation do you see happening?
Danielle: Depending on the insurance vertical that you’re in, whether you’d be in health insurance providing actual health information to people or if you’re attempting to try and do the bundles around PNC the car insurance and home insurance.
Anthony: Sorry, can you please clarify what PNC is, it might be not everyone is familiar with the term.
Danielle: Oh yeah, it’s basic commercial insurance specifically. Like personal liability insurance around your home, liabilities for tangible items if you will.
Anthony: Got it.
Danielle: So there’s a couple of different audiences now that the insurance companies are going after so as an example I had a really large insurance client that was selling auto insurance, home insurance, renter’s insurance and being able to segment out and understand hey this person has car insurance with us, we know what their address is, based on the research that you can do from the address perspective and you can understand that they are on the complex or a home or not and then actually segment out messaging to say “hey, we have runners insurance can we have a discount on this?” Or we have home insurance and you can get a discount on this as well. I mean that’s really rudimentary basic but that’s some kind of segmentation. On the agents and brokers side there’s more kind of fun.
Anthony: I was going to ask you this.
Danielle: I’ve actually created, it was for a large insurance carrier. They were looking for a way to take all of their independent brokers and make them more successful. So as you were onboarded off the company as a new agent day one you start to get into a Marketing Cloud journey and the journey ended up being a year long and there were about a 175 touch points that were built into the journey.
Anthony: Is that a single journey cause I think the thing will just crash or?
Danielle: When we originally did it, yes, it was. Since then they broke it into parts. But in the original it was one huge journey, we would look at several different areas, which is where some of your segmentation is, not just from the contact information that’s in Journey Builder, but also being able to pull the information from your policy admin system. So that you can now understand how this information has been sent to certain people, they were able to roll up the information and to help an agent to understand, what they are selling, what could they be selling, what additional people they could be offering to other customers. You know your consumers are purchasing this, we’ve seen things you should offer them this, based on who their people are who these policies are associated with these particular agents that are out there, which really is the ability to find the leads for them, right? And you’re just putting money in their pockets at that point, but obviously it’s helping the carrier at the end of the day. There was a ton of different personalization around some of the emails or texts that were being sent out, just to kind of help them through the journey of “hey, did you know this particular tool that is available, I’ve noticed that you haven’t used it.” All the way through, you know, some of the other things that I’ve mentioned around “hey, you have these people and you should be selling them this, this, and this” or “have you thought about doing this instead?”. Where it’s really coaching the people through and it was a year long cycle. It obviously took a little bit of time to get it through the entire cycle and again then it started to break apart, but they had amazing insights about their independent brokers and it actually created more independent brokers, because the people wanted that. They heard from, you know, additional people in the industry ended up being able to bring up some more agents, because they wanted…from the recruiting standpoint. As well as obviously adding up products and selling all of their insurance policy holders too. So it was kind of a win win for everyone and also a cool way to use segmentation and personalization with Marketing Cloud in the industry space.
Anthony: So it was a journey that was so good that it actually impacted the job market.
Danielle: It actually fully impacted not just a little, I mean, it had some major impacts. So, it was really cool.
Anthony: I think it’s the first time I hear of a journey that big over the whole year. But I’m sure it helped to break it up. I remember journeys with a few dozen steps where it started getting pretty slow.
Danielle: Oh yes. I think at this point Journey Builder has been rebuilt four times now in the back end. It definitely had some glitches along the way but it was a really cool one that I got to work on.
Anthony: And it’s very powerful though, it’s definitely one of the strongest points of Marketing Cloud, I think. Most people really like the capability. Other use cases that I’ve heard, and again in insurance in particular, and in particular in the B2B side. Actually this one was from the National Insurance Company in the US, they had a few larger agencies and then they had several products and then they ended up in this complex matrix where depending on the legally sometimes necessary communication that needed to happen they had to prioritize who could get which communication exactly in a certain order. And it’s kind of a waterfall segmentation scheme. These people “Yes”, and then of the leftover people send them the other communication of these leftover people send them the other communication and so on.
Danielle: Yeah, that’s actually been a new orchestration. I don’t remember the name of what that one was called actually. I remember the partner that actually does it now it’s Thunderhead and now they’ve renamed it to Cloud specifically for the orchestration of that.
Anthony: Oh, in Interaction Studio, it’s no longer Thunderhead it’s, it was the acquisition of Evergage that actually the name of the Salesforce product had remained which is Interaction Studio, but the underlying tag has…
Danielle: Oh okay.
Anthony: That can do, I mean for sure definitely Evergage is positioned in Insurance, especially on the personalization but that’s on the website side. That’s how we know, of course, it’s on the back end side. That you need some segmentation on your first party data so there where we sometimes come in and that’s where we see segmentation use cases.
Danielle: Oh very cool. Yeah, I know that there’s a lot of our consumers now cause again if you sign up for something, it seems like over communication from companies that you get sometimes is a little much. There’s a specific retail company that I can think of that I’m pretty sure I get at least four messages from them everyday. About coming to buy a sweater or a pair of jeans and it’s a lot. Right? So you kind of desensitized at that point. So I think determining which messages are most relevant. I absolutely love it and it’s something I’m continuing to see people. Okay I want to hit them on these couple of things but I don’t want it to just be a frequency thing. Originally in Marketing Cloud it was “oh, I’ll hit you 5 times and then I’ll stop emailing you”. But what if that 6th email is the most important email, well timed. And having a customer, as I’m working with a customer having them tell me what these rules are, and what messages are the most important versus not has been an interesting challenge. Cause they don’t really know, they are like I want them all, I want all of them being able to see them. So kind of coaching them to how to segment a little bit better is something that I’ve worked with them a lot.
Anthony: It’s tricky because for a while people were pushing preference centers very hard and they still play a useful role I think. I also recall a study where they looked into these preference centers after if people actually update their preferences it turns out it’s not that often people…companies invest a lot of money in building preference centers.
Danielle: Oh yeah, we do custom preference centers a lot.
Anthony: It makes sense as they service, but I think you need to evaluate like you said some customers really want all the communications and will companies really manage their preferences. I’ve not decided yet, I personally don’t have a certain opinion on this point.
Danielle: I think it depends on the industry and I think it depends on the options you have in your preferences. I’ve seen some people who have you know, frequency versus specific topics. And I would say that the frequency ones are not really used this much. I want to know what is relevant to me and what my preferences or topics are relevant to me. And if the topic isn’t relevant to me, I don’t want it, I don’t care if you send it to me once a month, once a week, or every other hour. I still don’t want it, because it’s not relevant.
Anthony: And besides, this actually ties in to something you mentioned earlier like on many projects I did for a long time there was this strand of introducing marketing pressure or avoiding marketing fatigue or saturation or whatever term was used, so the idea of not sending too many comms. But it’s like you said what if the 6th email is the most important, how are we going to know? I haven’t seen any good implementations that actually work.
Danielle: I’ve been in Insurance for some time, but I also did just Financial Services in general and there was a credit card company that I was working with and they were very adamant about the fact that they were only sending five emails a week. And once they hit five emails they were done and I said but what if that 6th email is my credit card being breached. I personally as the end consumer want to know that. I guess that there’s a thought between transactional vs marketing emails that definitely comes into play a little bit but I think that there are some messages that are more relevant to understanding what really that is when you’re putting together a communication strategy and the types of messages that you’re pushing out there is pretty important. Also there’s a lot of things that I don’t want to get the email. I want to get it on my phone, right? So you need to be sending me text messages on it or maybe that’s something that is more relevant for a push message that comes in the app that we are using to collect data, cause I’m actually in the app at that point of time, or I’m trying to make you come in to the app and interact with it, those kind of things.
Anthony: This distinction between you called marketing emails and transactional emails. I think some people also call commercial communication vs. transactional communication. Whatever is it maybe a distinction that you’ve used a lot on projects with clients.
Danielle: Oh yeah, absolutely. Again going back to the customer engagement and me being kind of proponent for it. And knowing what’s the best customer experience is, I would say that the majority of customers when they are buying Marketing Cloud, it’s because they think oh I’m going to send them emails and sell them more stuff and they don’t really think on the back end all of the different use cases that you can use Marketing Cloud or Pardot for, in order to, from a Customer Service Perspective from sending out surveys from if you go and buy something when you update something especially in insurance world, policy data, when you update policy or update beneficiary information any of that kind of stuff can be considered transactional and can be sent and tracked and be able to put to, especially with the connector, be able to put a contact record where you can actually see all the communications and how wonderful is it for someone who’s sitting in a call center when Danielle calls in to ask about her policy information that she knows the exact emails that I’m referring to, that she can see them. Or text messages or whatever messages that I have received, the ability to actually see that information on the spot knowing that it has just been sent so to know what offer have they been given, or transaction that has just happened etc.
Anthony: It’s what a CRM should do right?
Danielle: Right, and I would say that there’s definitely some additional education of the use cases around what you can use a powerful tool like Marketing Cloud for. It’s way above and beyond “hey, let me sell you my product”.
Anthony: Well, we’ve been discussing the nitty gritty of Marketing Cloud a lot as much as I love geeking out about it. Given your role at Silverline I was actually kind of curious how are you at Silverline tackle Marketing Cloud projects?
Danielle: How do I tackle them?
Anthony: Yes, is there something particular about the Silverline way?
Danielle: I would say we rarely ever do a marketing Cloud project as a standalone project. Most of the time that it’s an implementation that has a connection with either the Salesforce CRM portion of things, whether that be the Health Cloud or FinServ. At Silverline I don’t want to say that we don’t do any other projects, right? But we are specialized in the industries of healthcare and financial services. So on the financial services side we are doing thinking on financial management etc. Coming in and really understanding the use cases around how you want your user experience to be from an end consumer perspective and the information you’re trying to get from there really actually helps to build the backbone for what data you’re going to be putting into your stand and how you’re building it out. And I would say that I worked with clients before and with other consulting firms and not to say that it’s not key but in the specific industry that we sit in kind of have best practices or “hey, this is what we recommend that information that you do put in here or these particular features or these data sets that you do use, so we don’t have to start from scratch all the time which I will say is a big plus when it comes to approach for Marketing Cloud and just customer engagement in general..
Anthony: And you know, I do agree that like the internal knowledge and methodology you build up in a consulting firm can make all the difference like some consulting firms really would have to start from scratch when they would get a certain project.
Danielle: Yes, I think the more frequent question that I have if we are going into discovery with my clients is what do your other clients do? And to have a repository of all that information for our people to go on the proof run is really key and being able to implement with great success because let’s be honest most of us learn the best when we fall. I actually had a boss once who said “I need you to push so hard that you fall on your face and I will be here to pick you up.” But that means that we’re moving out the pace that, you know, really amazing. I do think that you learn not as much but maybe more from your mistakes and being able to understand “hey, we’ve got 15 years of knowledge across 7 different consultants” and all of oops and gotchas and ooh I broke that, won’t do that again that you can get when approaching projects.
Anthony: And actually, in your space we got a client like that, just recently maybe this morning or yesterday morning we published a success story and a video testimonial of Alm. Brand, which is an insurance firm in Denmark and they have they’ve been one of the longest marketing Cloud customers and in Denmark as far as I know, I think since the acquisition in Europe that is, but they also went through many motions of trying Audience Builder, SQL queries, they had their architects full time supporting marketers which is not fully an architect’s job it’s typically not Marketing OPS, tried the Query Studio, well and I think you can guess where they ended up with. So, I think there’s definitely a learning curve and then especially if you’re a consulting firm that specializes in this one niche, this one problem that accumulates for sure.
Danielle: There’s another thing that I don’t want to say different but maybe I find it a little bit different in the way Silverline approaches it vs the other maybe larger partners that are out there, is the way we’re trying to set our customers up for them to administer things when we leave and DESelect I think is one of the tools, most clients don’t have somebody on staff that could write a SQL query and I will definitely say that it’s not in a Marketing world, right? When you walk into the Marketing Cloud operations they’ve got creative web designers and people who make beautiful emails and people who are writing text messaging and those kind of things but when it comes to “hey I need you to go to the SQL database and write some SQL out so I can send this specific thing”, they are deer in highlights they are like how on Earth are we going to support this going forward. We do have the ability to support them should they choose to and they don’t want to go and hire for it, but being able to get the tools to them in the process and put in place so they can actually administer when we leave that’s something that I would say is unique for us at this point to.
Anthony: By the way before I forget for the people listening we’ll make sure to add some links to Silverline and some other things that we’ve talked about like some groups in the comments or in the description of the YouTube video or LinkedIn wherever you may be watching from. Danielle let’s take a step back again talking about Marketing Cloud in general are there any things that strike out in the platform that you really like. What are your favorite things about it?
Danielle: I mean, I would say Journey Builders is pretty amazing. I’m, maybe because it’s close to my heart and I was one of the first people to use it back in the day.
Anthony: Oh, please elaborate.
Danielle: On one of the company, the consulting firm that I was working for actually built journey builder as part of ExactTarget prior before it got acquired and I got to play with it a lot and just the ease of use of that and it has got a million times better over the last years and even in the last year and a half. Sometimes I’m like when did this come about? But I think the ease of use and being able to drag-and-drop and really see what your engagement looks like on the page I think is really powerful. So I would say Journey Builder is my most favorite tool to play with.
Anthony: Do you also have the least favorite one? Or maybe less favorite one that may be more politically correct?
Danielle: I don’t know if it’s still protected or not, but I did try and learn Audience Builder, bot specifically learning it and I ran into a lot of challenges with it. I’m not a coder I definitely appreciate the ability to put click configuration and those kinds of things versus going to code and try to figure out your query is working right or what’s wrong with that particular audience and when you’re getting loads and loads of data in there I would say it would be the least favorite one at this point. I would also actually, I have one that I don’t like even more. Their surveys are not that great either.
Anthony: Surveys, yeah.
Danielle: They do have them, but most of the time I tell my clients, you should consider a third party survey tool and bring it in the back end with some of the DEs that you can throw into a data extension.
Anthony: Surveying is a very specialized thing anyway. Although now I think it could be interesting to use was it the Movable Ink acquisition they did so you now have an interactive email, where people can basically do form inputs inside an email. So in theory you could do a simple kind of service in an email. And it could be sent back straight to Marketing Cloud.
Danielle: I haven’t used this particular feature at this point.
Anthony: I haven’t used it. I only looked at it but the screenshots look nice.
Danielle: I’m going to check that out! That might be something workable.
Anthony: Indeed, but like some many other things if you need really specialized surveys or whatever it may be, you’re going to need a specialized tool as good as the promise of a single platform for all purposes sound, in reality we do have to need some specific tools, I think.
Danielle: Yeah, for sure.
Anthony: On the Audience Builder side by the way, I don’t think it’s being sold anymore until very recently I saw it being pushed a little bit in the EU market, but when I told this to an Australian partner of ours they were like “ha, is that thing still alive?” so..
Danielle: Oh, really? What’s your favorite one?
Anthony: In Marketing Cloud? I’m going to be really not original here. I’m going to go for a journey Builder as well. I think yeah because it has so much flexibility. And then in the later years, they had some nice features you could update back to the Salesforce CRM or whatever core product you were using.
Danielle: Oh yeah, that is key.
Anthony: Yeah, possibilities are endless. It’s really dependent on the creativity of the Marketer. I do think though, even for Journey Builder, you still want to have someone involved. It may not necessarily be a data manager but at least a marketer who gets data a little bit. It’ll help but yeah, it’s interesting. From your experience what can be improved in Marketing Cloud that would benefit your clients or you?
Danielle: Oh goodness, I’m going to go back to data again, right? I think there’s a lot of people who don’t necessarily understand how to easily fix, move data, segment data and be able to create lists. The wonderful thing about Marketing Cloud is that it’s so flexible that you can throw all these data extensions in and do all this data and it’s also the worst thing, right? Because it gives so much flexibility that it’s got a little over the head and you break it a little bit so I would say if there would be any improvement it would be around not having it. Not having to go and write code if you will in order to get some of it out makes it a little bit more configurable to a lament person.
Anthony: Good thing there’s an AppExchange for that.
Danielle: What’s that one called again?
Anthony: No, I mean. That’s the beauty of I think of Salesforce, even though there may be some gaps in their offering as would be for any product for Adobe, Marketo or Eloqua. The Salesforce ecosystem is simply the more open one. It’s easy for ISVs like us, Independent Software Vendors, to build products to fill that gap so sometimes I actually have customers or hires ask me how is it possible that you guys exist, well cause you know Salesforce is counting on the guys like us to come in and fix some things.
Danielle: Oh totally, yeah, I have a lot of clients who don’t really necessarily understand that, and I will say that Salesforce does the wonderful job of selling anyone can do it. All you gotta do is this, this and done then you know it’s magic. Magic Links is something that people talk about a lot.
Anthony: Magic Links?
Danielle: Magic Links. So I clicked this link and then all of a sudden the whole personalized thing opens up in a totally different place for me. That’s exactly where I want to be and how did you think that link was built?
Anthony: Oh like with Slack, when you want to login with Slack or register for the first time they also call it a magic link. Okay I got it, I’m following, okay. As we round up I thought it would make sense to ask a community leader like yourself. What would you recommend to people who are just starting your career with Marketing Cloud?
Danielle: Trailhead, Trailhead, Trailhead. That is definitely the first place that I would tell you to go. They you know, they’ve done a really wonderful job with some of the content that’s out there in Trailmixes. And they’ve even got a little more creative these days. I know that you don’t get a Sandbox, unfortunately, in some of the items of Trailhead you actually get like a playground, where it’s like a Devbox and you get to play with things. Unfortunately, Marketing Cloud doesn’t have that feature or functionality, yet at this point. Based on a couple of calls that I recently had with a Champions group I don’t know that that’s ever going to necessarily be a thing and going to happen, but they’ve still done a wonderful job with the content, the videos that they show, the training videos, that they are along with Trailhead and Trailmixes, so that’s definitely a place that I would start off first. I would definitely get involved in your community group, they’ve just renamed them again. So Marketing one used to be like Marketing B2C, Marketing B2B. And now I think it’s back to plain Marketing again. B2C used to be Marketing Cloud and B2B for Pardot. And really you can do both right, I can absolutely definitely market two businesses using Marketing Cloud and kind of vice versa with Pardot I can absolutely go to end consumers now if it wasn’t the original intent divider of the tools but… Anyway, I would definitely recommend going to a group. I know that in Covid times these days there isn’t that many people who are meeting in person, but I’ll tell you sharing stories, we’ve been going through Zoom and these kind of things in order to do this and just the knowledge share is a huge component to be able to understand what to do especially if you’re just getting started. Maybe you’re going to try to become an admin or something. I’m trying to think, there is… specific list of blogs. I can get you a list of a couple of ones that are good that are written by a couple of my fellow Marketing Champions.
Anthony: Well we had Gortonington on the show who was promoting HowToSFMC that was a good one actually.
Danielle: Yes, that’s a good one. So I would definitely go and you could actually, there’s a Marketing Champions page where you can find a hundred-ish of us out there, where we were, what are our specific areas of interest. There are pictures of us and you click on it and it will take the subsequent information, so for instance I would go to the Silverline blog, cause I don’t have my own personal blog, but there are a lot of people who have their actual blogs.
Anthony: I’m pretty sure that’s how Alina our marketer, you know her, how she found her through that page. I will make sure that we’re going to link this page in the description, it’s going to be a long list of resources but that’s great. On the Trailblazer side, one bonus question, I’m kind of curious, if you ever worked for me, I’m looking for the name of the platform exactly, but there’s a version of the Trailblazer that can be used for clients to build their own learning modules.
Anthony: Is this one where you can post your own training? Cause I think there’s a paying version.
Danielle: Or Trailhead.me, yeah you can create your own trails. So at your company and you can go in and create your own content and then actually put that in your Salesforce org and push that into community and have that people come in have those trails and to understand what they’ve worked on, information if that passed or not depending on how you set up the trail you can set up the questions if they get points, they can get badges those kind of things, have a full on dashboard that goes along with this. Silverline actually did a couple of those and we have one internally, that’s how we onboard over people now. We have Trails and so you have to go through a Silverline trail, meet our CEOs, meet our leadership team, learn about all these particular items so yeah they absolutely do that.
Anthony: Because we have some training materials online, we have support videos, but we’ll be interested to consider a DESelect trail that would make sense for both clients and partners alike and for our own internal resources at some point.
Danielle: Yeah, of course.
Anthony: Thanks for the tip. Any closing thoughts that you would like to share with our audience?
Danielle: Give Marketing Cloud a chance.
Anthony: Open your heart.
Danielle: Open your heart to customer engagement, make sure you’re always keeping your end consumer whoever it is. Would it be somebody out of business or somebody ideal consumer from a retail perspective. Keep that personas in mind, I think that personas are incredibly important and that user experience, and what you’re communicating to them and… just make sure you keep all that information in mind and make sure you’re segmenting and personalizing things out appropriately so you’re not bombarding them.
Anthony: Sounds like nice advice. Thank you Danielle, it was a pleasure having you on this episode. Thank you so much for your time.
Danielle: Thank you so much for having me. Really great to meet you.
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