If you are using Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC), you are probably familiar with its extensive capabilities. Marketing Cloud now ranks #1 in marketing applications, and we believe one of the reasons for that is the flexibility the platform offers. For instance, Marketing Cloud allows you to define your own data model and integrate or upload various data sources in what’s known as ‘data extensions’ within the platform.
However, with great flexibility comes great responsibility. And in that case of data, a lot of what you do in Marketing Cloud depends on SQL queries. Things like segmentation, personalization, and reporting will require you to write SQL queries inside of Marketing Cloud so that you can filter, enrich, or combine the aforementioned data extensions.
Now, writing SQL is something your team may not be very familiar with. And even if you are, the process of writing, testing and debugging SQL queries remains time-consuming and not particularly user-friendly. You’ll be doing a lot of manual work and it will be easy to make mistakes. When you take the SQL road, your marketers will ultimately remain dependent on technical expertise.
What if you could avoid all of that while still using Marketing Cloud to the fullest?
At DESelect, we learned how organizations can save an average of 50% of the time they spend on data in Marketing Cloud. We learned how to enable their marketers so they segment, target and personalize independently and more creatively. All of this drives campaign ROI.
So how does that work?
Well, you can achieve the same by leveraging an intuitive drag-and-drop segmentation solution that is fully integrated with your Marketing Cloud.
Cambridge University Press, “the Press”, is one of the largest university presses in the world. Due to the various data sources which they integrate with Marketing Cloud, their Data Manager used to spend 50% of her time writing SQL to join and enrich data sources, cleanse data in Excel, and deduplicate records. That is a lot of manual work and it would happen again every week! Meanwhile, marketers were completely dependent on technical experts to do campaign segmentation for them.
Then, the Press switched to DESelect for drag-and-drop segmentation. The Data Manager would now only spend 10% of her time on data in Marketing Cloud and can focus on more value-adding tasks. And a SQL query that used to take the Data Manager an hour to write, could now be replicated by Junior Marketers in less than 5 minutes – they actually put a clock on that!
“It was a dream to use! I put a stopwatch on and it took 4m20s to do a query that normally takes my colleague an hour!” – Aisling Miller, Senior Digital Marketing Executive at the Press
This whole shift in the way the Press worked with their Marketing Cloud data occurred in less than a month. You can find their 5-star reviews on G2 here.
“Segmentation for our marketing campaigns used to be a time-consuming task. DESelect allows us to easily build a list of targeted segments, which saves considerable amounts of time!” – Juliette Ouchouche, CRM Analyst
While implementing Marketing Cloud, PLI realized their campaigns would need SQL queries and consequently they planned – with mixed feelings – to train their marketers in SQL. They also assumed that, for more complex queries, their Data & Analytics team would still need to provide support anyway.
It is a pleasure working with the folks at DESelect; their product and service are top-notch and solve the business needs perfectly!” – Dennis Queally, Associate Director of Marketing Operations
Fortunately, PLI learned about DESelect and got hands-on quickly. Seeing the segmentation solution provided the robust yet intuitive capabilities they needed, they simply canceled all scheduled SQL training, saving considerable investment. Following this, they experienced great user adoption of Marketing Cloud. Their marketers are now able to work independently without having to rely on their Data & Analytics colleagues and DESelect has basically become a standard part of their campaign process.
“We are very impressed with DESelect’s capabilities” – Gary Ma, Director of Data & Analytics
I (Anthony), have been around CRM and Marketing Automation since 2012, when I initially began a consulting career at a “Big 4” consulting firm. As a consultant, I used to lead or provide advice at many projects for corporates and enterprises. During my last project before becoming full-time CEO at DESelect, I was the Lead Marketing Automation at Toyota Motor Europe, where we rolled out Marketing Cloud to 30 markets in less than 12 months.
Throughout those projects, it was hard not to notice the challenges related to data that marketers were facing. I saw things like marketers making extracts from Marketing Cloud through an FTP server, trying to create lookups in crashing Excel sheets, and ultimately still call in an expert to write a SQL query for them. What a mess!
I wondered then about the possibility of a segmentation solution: With intuitive drag-and-drop and full integration with Marketing Cloud, I imagined users would be a lot more efficient and simply enjoy their work more! So I got together with my long-time friend and business partner Jonathan, and we began building DESelect.
(Anthony Lamot, CEO & Co-Founder at DESelect)
When we signed up our first customers, feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with users saying that “DESelect was a dream to use”. What used to take them hours, now took them only minutes. It was reportedly so easy that even graduates could now do a job that in the past would have to be done by senior technical resources.
Asides customers, we saw great traction amongst Salesforce partners – from small local agencies to “Big 4” consulting firms. Relevant media also began to cover us. This naturally led us to announce a partnership with Salesforce early 2020, when we published DESelect on the Salesforce AppExchange.
(Jonathan van Driessen, CTO & Co-Founder at DESelect)
Asides reducing the total time spent on data, you can also seriously shorten your campaign lead time. This has to do with the fact that you may be relying on experts to support your marketers with their data needs. While specialization often makes sense, this approach will get you something we call “targeting ping-pong”. This is all the going back-and-forth between the marketer and expert who prepares the campaign audiences – essentially communication overhead. This dramatically increases the time it takes you to launch campaigns.
But also targeting ping-pong vanishes with an intuitive drag-and-drop segmentation solution that enables the marketers, making them less (or not at all) dependent on technical experts.
All of this of course assumes you already have a proper solution set up. But how to avoid costly implementations, a lot of maintenance, and ensure that you can accommodate for your ever-changing data in an agile way?
This brings us to the second insight…
Now, you may be wondering how hard it is to set up a proper segmentation solution given your unique data model and business requirements. Many solutions require you to do some kind of implementation project first to ensure the solution is fully integrated with your Marketing Cloud
Adding to that, your data model (just like your data, i.e. “customers”) changes over time, in which case you will be dependent on experts to modify the integration again. This is a hidden cost many don’t consider when they set off on their Salesforce Marketing Cloud journey.
But again, it does not have to be like that.
You see, you can fully integrate a segmentation solution:
… provided the solution offers full plug-and-play integration.
We purposefully designed DESelect in such a way that it is easy to set up and maintain. In fact, our customers don’t even have to lift a finger to get started: We install DESelect for them, a process that takes us about 30 minutes. Once DESelect is installed, customers can immediately leverage all their data within the solution and use all the features!
What’s more, DESelect constantly checks for new available data in your Marketing Cloud. So even as your data model evolves, you will be able to immediately leverage your new data, without having to do some kind of maintenance or changes.
So to summarize, you can segment in Marketing Cloud without SQL queries, while:
Before we dig deeper into the benefits, features and support that we offer, let’s take a moment to compare DESelect with some common alternatives.
Let’s compare the above insights with “the usual suspects” when it comes to segmentation in Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
You could use filters in Marketing Cloud. However, this approach:
Instead, DESelect offers powerful segmentation capabilities allowing you to combine a multitude of data extensions and more.
You could use the “reports” feature in Salesforce CRM (assuming you have it and it is connected to Salesforce Marketing Cloud…). However, this approach:
Instead with DESelect, marketers can easily segment directly in Marketing Cloud.
You could hire people to write SQL queries. However, this approach:
Instead, with DESelect, segmentation becomes so easy that even junior marketers can do it in a matter of minutes.
You could use an audience management solution and integrate it with your Marketing Cloud. However, this approach:
Instead, DESelect offers full plug-and-play integration without implementation or hidden maintenance costs.
Based on the success we have been able to achieve with our current customers, here are some of the results you may expect from using DESelect:
Put differently, you will be able to make the most of Marketing Cloud and increase campaign ROI.
Now that you understand what the benefits are, let’s have a closer look at the features that will help you achieve these.
DESelect offers intuitive yet powerful segmentation capabilities through what we call selections. Selections allow you to combine data sources and apply filters to generate segments.
DESelect is accessible directly within your Marketing Cloud. Once you have navigated to the Overview, you can:
Go to the relevant support articles.
Once you start creating a selection, you can:
Once you have chosen and joined data extensions together, you can:
The results from your selection will be saved into a standard Marketing Cloud data extension, ready to be used in your next campaign or journey. You can:
DESelect offers extensive deduplication features, even allowing for complex “waterfall segmentation”. In the deduplication screen, you can:
As a last step, you can get a preview:
Although most customers find DESelect incredibly intuitive, training and support are included in your subscription to ensure maximum success.
To install DESelect, we will add an “installed package” within your Marketing Cloud and run an end-to-end test, which takes us just about 30 minutes to complete.
You will get to learn about all DESelect features during a live and personalized onboarding training. We can even take the time to co-create your first selections together!
You will also receive complete training materials and even training data – already uploaded in your Salesforce Marketing Cloud – so you can practice your new segmentation powers.
You can learn about the latest features and check documentation on our support portal. Here you can also open support cases, or you can just email us directly!
Following your onboarding, you can enjoy a period of hypercare during which our Support team will be happy to provide additional guidance (through email or even live) as you create your first selections.
Lastly, you get a dedicated Customer Success Manager who will guide you through the onboarding process, answer questions related to your subscription, and check in with you proactively to identify challenges and offer solutions.