Episode 13 | Transcript

Jackie Mennie: Salesforce Marketing Champion, Financial Services Data

Anthony Lamot: Hey, Jackie, welcome to Heroes of Marketing Cloud.

Jackie Mennie: Hey, Anthony, thank you for having me.

Anthony Lamot: Yeah. It’s an absolute pleasure. I can’t state how excited I am. You’ve been doing so many interesting things across your career, and I thought that might be a good point to start for our audience today. So if you wouldn’t mind, could you give us a high-level overview of your career up to where you ended up today, at Media.Monks? 

Jackie Mennie: Sure. So I might be dating myself here, but in 2010 I completed my master’s degree at the University of Florida (Go Gators!) in International Business. The job market was pretty bad at the time, and my first salary job was actually working for a financial advisor at Northwestern Mutual. So I kind of started in the financial services industry by accident, I would say.

I got to do a wide range of stuff there like insurance, underwriting and client servicing, marketing, and eventually, I became certified to handle investments as well. I was also part of a pilot team for a new CRM at Northwestern Mutual, which somehow launched me into my first Salesforce job in 2014, then I switched over to healthcare, and I spent a year working for a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group building out “Salesforce core”, as some may call it. After about a year I was recruited back to the financial services industry to work on another Salesforce core implementation at U.S. Bank, headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

I was there for about 5 years, and at some point I took over the Marketing Cloud email program for the wealth management group, which was my first Marketing Cloud role.

In 2019, I switched over to the agency side, or the Salesforce Partner side of the ecosystem, and was working as a senior marketing automation consultant on Marketing Cloud and Pardot implementations.

In March of this year, I took the next step in my career as a Salesforce Marketing Cloud Architect at Media.Monks. It’s been fantastic. I love my team and Media.Monks has just been a really cool company to be a part of. I’m still pinching myself that somehow I convinced them to hire me!

Anthony Lamot: Congratulations! What does your day-to-day at Media.Monks look like?

Jackie Mennie: Most mornings I join stand-up calls for scrum check-ins for whatever clients I’m assigned to at the time. My day pretty much varies after that. Lately, it’s been a lot of working with data architecture and how we’re going to line up implementations for clients. 

I just got my Data Cloud accreditation, so I spend a lot of time researching new Salesforce Products and getting up to speed on them, and then enabling the rest of our team members to use them. And then for a little bit of my day, I get to do Salesforce Marketing Champions work like this interview.

Anthony Lamot: Yeah, that’s great! That’s how we met each other, thanks to the Salesforce Marketing Champions program, which is fantastic. Moving on, you’ve done some very interesting transitions in your career, from financial advisor all the way to an architect, which is quite a technical role. I’m curious if you have any tips, or maybe even words of caution about what people can expect if they want to transition from a job in the industry to a system integrator job, whether it’s a consulting job or an agency job. Do you have any insights there for us?

Jackie Mennie: It’s not for everyone. I think that working for a company like a bank or a healthcare company and doing Salesforce has a lot of pros, but also has some drawbacks. 

On the consulting side, the same thing is true. It’s something different every single day. The pace is extreme on some days, but on others it can just come to a screeching halt, and you might have a week where you get to just focus on studying and working on research.

That’s been a really cool thing for me, I don’t mind the ebbs and flows of the schedule. It’s always worked out in my favor, but I think that some folks may not enjoy that. My word of advice is: if you’re someone who is considering a move to the partner side, I would talk to some people who have maybe experienced both sides and ask them questions like “What do you like about each one? Why did you switch? And do you ever want to switch back?”

Anthony Lamot: Right. Do you like the variety of your daily activities?

Jackie Mennie: I do, I really like being a consultant. I like getting to work on different accounts, and I think it’s given me a lot of opportunities in my career that I didn’t necessarily see as options in my previous roles.

Anthony Lamot: That’s so cool. So out of all those Marketing Cloud projects you’ve done so far, which one stood out? 

Jackie Mennie: Well, that’s not fair. I think they’re all interesting!  This story in particular might not sound very interesting to folks, because it wasn’t necessarily super technical, but I worked with a tile company that had set up some partnerships with a couple of big Instagram and TikTok influencers, and I mean BIG- like, Grammy-winning big. We came in as part of their “swipe up” campaign. We set up Cloud Page, and we also set up Facebook lead capture integration with Marketing Cloud. And then we were able to use Journey Builder to kick off an email series. We also used that to actually push the leads into Sales Cloud, which is not normally something you would do, but we had a limitation with the Salesforce team who was at capacity and didn’t have the bandwidth to create a different process.

For me, it was just really exciting to see all of those fundamental capabilities of Marketing Cloud being used, I think, in their truest form, and getting to see just that whole circular process from end to end: watching the leads get created, then get worked and go into different stages of the journey. Plus, TikTok is fun.

Anthony Lamot: Was there some kind of TikTok integration there, or was that more on the brand side?

Jackie Mennie: It wasn’t really on my team’s side, that was handled prior to us getting involved. We were just there to create the landing pages and create any of the data capturing that needed to be done.

Anthony Lamot: Got it. I recall that during Salesforce Connections there was a TikTok booth, which was kind of interesting.

By the way, I think with our audience today, we can definitely go into some technicalities at any point, if you like. For instance, you alluded to saving leads in Sales Cloud. I would be curious to hear what was the idea behind that. 

In that same vein, you’ve had exposure to Marketing Cloud, but also to Core. I find that this usually gives people a wider view, and they’re more informed when it comes to making architectural decisions. So if you have some insight there, whether it’s the specific setup at this customer where the leads went into core in Sales Cloud, or in general, some things you’ve learned working cross-cloud, I’d love to hear it.

Jackie Mennie: So, a couple of things. When we were capturing the emails directly in Salesforce Marketing Cloud, sending a triggered email, and then using Journey Builder to actually force the lead to get created in Sales Cloud… I would say that’s not always the best way to do it for two reasons.

Don't miss an update

Number one, when you send that triggered email out, you don’t have the Salesforce core subscriber key, which I like to keep the system pretty clean. So effectively, we’re creating intentional duplicates which you have to create a back-end process to get that all cleaned up at the end of the day. So that was something that we recognized in advance, and we were willing to take that on because we also were aware of the volume of leads. 

The second thing is, If you’re going to use Journey Builder to push a bunch of data into Sales Cloud, that can really blow up some of your API limits. So it’s not always a great solution because that can hurt you on the Sales Cloud side. But again, because we were very comfortable with the volume, we knew what it was going to be. We knew what our limits were. We felt that it was either this and then clean up the dupes on the back end, or not use the technology at all because there was just no option at that moment on the Sales Cloud side. There just wasn’t any bandwidth. So we wanted to make sure that the marketing team could still hit their goals.

Anthony Lamot: Yeah, that’s very interesting what you say because I think there are some default best practices, but ultimately architectural decisions are driven by certain business needs. It sounds like in this case, it was more important to get leads into Marketing Cloud right away because then you can do triggered sends, and that allows you to do immediate responses, and then maybe for the audience. For those in the audience who don’t know, normally you would send the leads to Sales Cloud and send them over to Marketing Cloud Connect, but that takes about 7 to 8 min. Was that the primary driver? Am I guessing right? 

Jackie Mennie: In our situation, it was going to be even longer of a lag.  Since the use case involved people requesting a coupon, we deemed it necessary for them to receive it instantly, within 2 minutes or less. That’s the expectation when requesting something online—immediate responses.

Anthony Lamot: I want to go back to something you mentioned earlier. I didn’t realize that Journey builder and contact “creations” counted toward your API limits. We created a component for DESelect Engage which sends an API call from Marketing Cloud, but it doesn’t account for the limits. So, does it count towards the Marketing Cloud API limits when doing contact updates or contact creations in Journey Builder?

Jackie Mennie: Don’t quote me on that because this was years ago. So, I know at the time, it was something we needed to consider. We felt that the volume that was coming in was not going to affect anything. Again, this was a long time ago, so I would have to do some research to give you an updated answer.

Anthony Lamot: Now that you mention it, I believe there was a change. For the readers: Marketing Cloud wasn’t Salesforce from the get-go. It used to be something else called ExactTarget. And so it took a while for Salesforce to become more and more integrated, which is, I would say, an ongoing process even still today.

But you’re right, API calls even going to Salesforce counted towards your limits initially, so that might have driven the decision. Fascinating how that kind of stuff has changed. 

Changing topics here, you’ve been an interesting Salesforce Marketing Champion content creator on the web, and a little birdie at Connections told me that one of your most successful blogs is about Marketing Cloud permissions. Can you educate us a bit on what people should know about Marketing Cloud permissions and where they can find the blog?

Jackie Mennie: The blog is on a prior company I worked for named Horizontal Digital. It’s on their website and called “Marketing Cloud Permissions, Part 1.” I still get emails from people asking when Part 2 is coming out, and if you must know, it’s because my workload got over capacity, and in late 2021, I had a baby, went on maternity leave, and life happened. Part 2 is still on my mind because I have more thoughts on custom permissions, and how to layer smaller permission features instead of trying to recreate an entire massive one, which, by permissions, I mean roles in Marketing Cloud. People can find it on Horizontal’s website.

Anthony Lamot: Yeah, so there are some tips and tricks that someone who is newer to Marketing Cloud should keep in mind. What’s the essence of the article?

Jackie Mennie: Well, the hardest thing for me was coming from a Salesforce background. I was used to Salesforce Sales Cloud permission sets, and you could combine every permission set in Sales Cloud, and all they will ever do is possibly add on to the amount of permissions that the user has.

With Marketing Cloud, it took me a minute to figure out that this was not how the roles worked, and the blog helps people differentiate between which of these roles they need to keep an eye out for, because many roles have small areas where they deny permissions. When a deny permission combines with an allow permission, Marketing Cloud tends to be the opposite of Sales Cloud, favoring the most restrictive permission.

In my experience training people on Marketing Cloud, they often request admin and Marketing Cloud admin roles. However, freely handing out roles labeled as administrator and Marketing Cloud administrator can lead to issues.

While it’s one of the fastest options, it’s essential to be cautious. I’ve had colleagues lock themselves out by adding roles without understanding the impact. My advice is to keep it simple when assigning roles to avoid unintended consequences.

Another tip is to be careful when editing roles in Marketing Cloud. Approximately half of them can be edited, referring to the default roles that come with signing up. Avoid messing around with default roles too much because Marketing Cloud makes automatic updates with each release to ensure features are enabled. Trying to clone existing roles might not be the best plan as it’s not protected for future releases.

Anthony Lamot: Having the article when starting with Marketing Cloud would have been helpful, as similar issues were encountered. We will make sure to add a link to your blog.

Moving on, your experience is centered around financial services. Are there unique considerations when collecting subscriber data in that industry?

Jackie Mennie: The financial industry is highly regulated, comparable to healthcare, and sometimes even stricter. I emphasize that less is more when capturing subscriber data. Marketers often desire all data, but we have to consider how much data we can effectively manage. The more data we collect, the more data we need to keep track of. You should go into projects knowing your goal and how to measure it. Simplicity is key.

Anthony Lamot: People often treat Marketing Cloud as a data warehouse, but it’s better to have a well-conceived subset of data. Have you encountered instances where certain data collected was never useful?

Jackie Mennie: Yes, often people create placeholders for data they think they need, but without a clear plan for how it gets populated and maintained. Fields and data extensions are created, but the data isn’t refreshed regularly, leading to outdated and incomplete information.

Anthony Lamot: Regarding maintenance, what processes or automations do you recommend for keeping data up-to-date?

Jackie Mennie: An example is a campaign where we collected 8 different data points but only used one data point for that specific campaign. We set it up as an attribute in the contact model, but it was never used again, leading to unnecessary complexity.

The key is to think beyond the immediate campaign and assess whether the data point will be used in the future on a larger scale. This consideration should influence how the data point is set up in the campaign.

Anthony Lamot: So, the data point was set up, but you personally didn’t see the need for it. Is that correct?

Jackie Mennie: Correct. I didn’t see the need for it, and it ended up being used only in that one campaign.

Anthony Lamot: It’s interesting how sometimes data points are collected for specific campaigns, and their usage doesn’t extend beyond that context. That’s the beauty of Marketing Cloud, the ability to create temporary data extensions and have that flexibility.

Now, let’s shift our focus to another member of the Salesforce family and discuss the Salesforce Data Cloud, formerly known as Salesforce CDP. What are your thoughts on Data Cloud, especially concerning the industries you have experience in?

Jackie Mennie: Data Cloud seems well-suited for industries like financial services. In my experience working with a banking and investment institution, there are distinct legal and regulatory differences between these services. Data Cloud appears designed to address the complexities of such industries.

The financial services industry, especially dealing with both banking and investments, involves navigating different legal bodies, each with its own set of regulations. Data Cloud is positioned to accommodate these complexities.

Anthony Lamot: Given your experience, how do you see Data Cloud being beneficial for these industries?

Jackie Mennie: Data Cloud can help financial institutions manage and leverage data more effectively, ensuring compliance with industry-specific regulations. The ability to navigate distinct legal requirements for banking and investments is crucial.

Anthony Lamot: In summary, Data Cloud’s adaptability and functionality make it a valuable tool for managing complex data scenarios in industries like financial services.

Jackie Mennie: Absolutely. It’s about providing the necessary tools to handle industry-specific challenges and regulatory requirements. In the financial services industry, there are numerous systems where various actions are performed for different services like loans, mortgages, credit cards, retirement savings accounts, etc. Teams work in multiple systems throughout the day, leading to inconsistencies in data entry.

An example is when an insurance application and a retirement account system may have different entries for the same person, creating issues when consolidating data in the CRM. This challenge is prevalent in financial services due to the diverse range of transactions and product lines.

The problem is exacerbated by variations in how data is entered, such as having numbers or other details added to names. When merging data from different systems, it often results in multiple versions of the same person in the CRM.

Data Cloud, in my view, addresses this problem. In financial services, where teams work in various tools and different laws apply to different product lines, Data Cloud offers a solution to harmonize and create a unified profile.

Financial institutions deal with different systems for banking and investments, each with its own set of regulations. Data Cloud provides the ability to harmonize data from these disparate sources into a unified profile, helping manage the complexities of the industry.

Anthony Lamot: So, Data Cloud acts as a unifying force for data coming from various systems, especially in industries like financial services where distinct legal requirements for different services exist.

Jackie Mennie: Absolutely. Data Cloud’s role is to harmonize data from different sources into a unified profile, helping organizations navigate the challenges posed by varied systems and legal requirements.

Anthony Lamot: Let’s take a step back for a moment. For those who might not be familiar with Data Cloud, how would you describe it in simple terms? Additionally, how does it fit into the challenges you’ve described, especially in financial services with multiple applications?

Jackie Mennie: In simple terms, Data Cloud allows you to ingest data from various sources into a Salesforce core account, whether within your primary Salesforce account or a separate one dedicated to Data Cloud. It provides an interface to map and connect data from different sources to create a unified profile.

However, it’s crucial to note that Data Cloud doesn’t automatically deduplicate bad data in source systems. It offers an interface to tie data together and create a unified profile within Salesforce, but it doesn’t modify or remove data in the source systems. This clarity is important for expectations around data deduplication.

Anthony Lamot: So, Data Cloud facilitates the creation of a unified profile within Salesforce by connecting data from various sources, but it doesn’t alter the source systems. It’s more about providing a consolidated view and not deduplicating data at the source.

Jackie Mennie: Exactly. It’s about creating a unified profile within Salesforce to better manage and leverage data, especially in industries with diverse data sources and regulatory requirements.

Jackie Mennie: Once you’ve created a unified profile within Data Cloud by collecting attributes from various sources, there are several things you can do with that data. One option is to use the segmentation feature within the tool, leverage insights, and create sophisticated formulas to generate insights for marketing campaigns.

A valuable use case, especially in financial services, involves integrating Data Cloud with the Consent Management object in Salesforce. This allows organizations to link the unified profile with consent records, ensuring compliance with subscriber preferences and privacy regulations.

Anthony Lamot: Absolutely, and I think the Salesforce folks will appreciate the explanation. Thank you for clarifying that. It’s essential for people to understand how Data Cloud can be used to create segments and integrate with consent management for privacy compliance.

While discussing Data Cloud, I’d like to touch on another aspect. In some industries, such as healthcare or life sciences, organizations may have sender policies or limitations on the number of emails they can send within a specific period. Have you encountered similar policies, especially in financial services?

Jackie Mennie: It’s been a few years since I dealt with sender policies specifically. However, in financial services, the limitations on email communications are often determined by the individual firm or company rather than an overarching law.

Each firm may have its own policies based on what customers agreed to when providing their information and the options provided for changing communication preferences. I’m not aware of a specific time limitation for sending emails imposed by a universal law.

Anthony Lamot: It sounds like the policies are more company-specific, and compliance depends on what customers have agreed to and the individual policies of each firm.

Jackie Mennie: Exactly. Compliance often varies between firms, and it’s crucial to align with what customers expect and what the firm has communicated in terms of email communication.

Anthony Lamot: In a scenario where different lines of business or marketing teams within the same organization are sending emails, it can be challenging to track and manage the frequency of communication. Have you encountered this challenge, and how did you address it?

Jackie Mennie: While I haven’t directly addressed this challenge, I’ve been exposed to situations where different lines of business share a Marketing Cloud org. Each line of business may have its marketing team, creating the need for coordination in weekly meetings to discuss audiences and prioritize campaigns based on policies.

In situations where decisions needed to be made about campaign prioritization, I would advocate for my business line, presenting our needs, and let higher-ups make the final decision.

Anthony Lamot: How does the prioritization process work when different marketing teams or lines of business within the same organization are vying for attention? Is it based on revenue potential, or are there other factors?

Jackie Mennie: Generally, it often comes down to the revenue potential and the margin associated with each campaign. The team that can demonstrate the potential to generate the most revenue tends to win the prioritization argument.

Anthony Lamot: It sounds like there’s a competitive aspect to it, where each team needs to make a compelling case for their campaign’s revenue impact.

Jackie Mennie: Absolutely. It becomes a matter of which campaign has the potential to contribute the most to the organization’s bottom line.

Anthony Lamot: Shifting gears a bit, you mentioned “distributed marketing” as a significant challenge, especially in financial services. Could you elaborate on what “distributed marketing” is, and why it poses challenges?

Jackie Mennie: Distributed marketing is a feature that resides in Sales Cloud and is an add-on product to Marketing Cloud. It enables marketing teams to create emails in Marketing Cloud, set up journeys, and then allows Salesforce users to operate within Sales Cloud to add leads and contacts, build campaigns, and send emails, all in one tool.

Financial services, especially in wealth management, find distributed marketing valuable. Advisors can reach out to clients and leads using pre-approved content to comply with regulatory requirements.

Anthony Lamot: So, it’s a way for individual representatives to send marketing emails while ensuring compliance with regulations and using pre-approved content.

Jackie Mennie: Exactly. It allows organizations to maintain control over the content being sent out, ensuring that it aligns with compliance standards and is pre-approved by the marketing team.

Anthony Lamot: This is particularly crucial in industries like financial services, where compliance and regulatory requirements play a significant role in communication.

Jackie Mennie: Absolutely. Distributed marketing streamlines the process, ensuring that the right content is sent out in a compliant manner, and it leverages Salesforce tools to maintain preferences and compliance standards.

Anthony Lamot: When using distributed marketing, does it allow for customization of content by individual users, such as sales reps or local marketing teams? Can they edit banners, for instance, or make changes?

Jackie Mennie: Yes, one of the key features of distributed marketing is its flexibility. The marketing team creates templates and content variations in Marketing Cloud. The end users in Sales Cloud can then use these templates, mix and match content, and even customize certain elements.

Anthony Lamot: So, there’s a balance between providing flexibility for local teams or sales reps and maintaining control over the brand and compliance.

Jackie Mennie: Absolutely. While the flexibility is highlighted, certain industries like financial services, especially due to compliance, may not extensively use the open text boxes and full customization options.

Anthony Lamot: Compliance plays a significant role in shaping how organizations leverage the flexibility of tools like distributed marketing.

Jackie Mennie: That’s correct. Compliance requirements often limit the extent to which users can customize content, ensuring that pre-approved materials are used to comply with regulations.

Anthony Lamot: Shifting our focus a bit, let’s talk about the collaboration between the more creative marketers and the technical marketing or automation team. What are some best practices for fostering collaboration between these two groups?

Jackie Mennie: Collaboration between creative marketers and technical teams starts with mutual respect and understanding of each other’s roles. Transparency about goals, priorities, and potential obstacles helps build trust. Being empathetic and flexible, especially in a consulting environment, is crucial.

Flexibility involves breaking down goals into smaller parts and finding alternative approaches to make progress. While everyone aims for the ideal solution, sometimes a phased approach or temporary solutions may be necessary.

Anthony Lamot: It sounds like effective collaboration involves open communication, understanding each team’s goals, and finding pragmatic solutions to move forward.

Jackie Mennie: Exactly. It’s about being understanding of each other’s challenges, working together to find solutions, and being creative in problem-solving, especially when faced with obstacles.

Anthony Lamot: Collaboration in marketing often requires a blend of creativity and technical expertise. It’s about finding common ground to achieve shared objectives.

Jackie Mennie: Absolutely. Trust and effective communication are key elements in successful collaboration between creative and technical teams.

Anthony Lamot: Jackie, it’s been an absolute pleasure having you here. Your insights and advice are invaluable. Thank you for being a part of this conversation.

Jackie Mennie: Thank you, Anthony. I’m grateful for the opportunity, and I’ve enjoyed our discussion. It’s always great to connect with the Salesforce and marketing community.

Before we wrap up, I want to highlight the importance of community engagement, especially for those starting their Salesforce journey. I met someone a couple of years ago who reached out to every Salesforce Marketing Champion, including me, for career advice. This person’s proactive approach and engagement eventually led to a job opportunity. So, my advice is to leverage the Salesforce community, connect with experts, and don’t hesitate to ask for guidance. We’re here to help.

Anthony Lamot: That’s an inspiring story and great advice. The Salesforce community is indeed a valuable resource. It’s all about building connections and seeking support. Thanks for sharing that, Jackie.

Jackie Mennie: Absolutely. The community has played a significant role in my career, and I’m passionate about paying it forward. I encourage everyone to actively participate and make the most of this supportive network.

Anthony Lamot: It’s wonderful to hear how the community has made a positive impact on your journey. Engagement and collaboration are key ingredients for success. We appreciate your time, Jackie, and your dedication to the Salesforce ecosystem. Looking forward to more exciting conversations in the future.

Jackie Mennie: Thank you, Anthony. I’m always here to contribute and learn from this amazing community. Wishing everyone success on their Salesforce and marketing endeavors.

Discover how our platform instantly optimizes your Marketing Cloud

Discover how our platform instantly optimizes your Marketing Cloud