Episode 04 | Transcript

Lucy Mazalon: Behind the Scenes at Salesforce Ben and The Drip, Educational SFMC Tools

Anthony Lamot: Hey, there, I’m Anthony from DESelect and in today’s interview, I will be talking with Lucy Mazalon, known as one of the main editors of Salesforce Ben and The Drip. We talk about things like the difference between SFMC, and Pardot, some common pitfalls you should know when implementing SMS and we even have a very special guest star on the show today. So if you have any questions for us, just leave in the comments. Meanwhile, just relax, sit back and enjoy. Hi, Lucy. Welcome to the series.

Lucy Mazalon: Hi, thanks for having me. Thanks for inviting me on.

AL: Well, it’s absolutely my pleasure. I’m a big fan in fact, I would say The Drip, well, before we get to The Drip actually, could you introduce yourself to our viewers?

LM: Sure. So as you said, I’m Lucy and I’m based in London. I, well, I’ve been in the Salesforce ecosystem for about six years and I’ve been on the SI side. So on the consultancy side, I’ve also worked for ISVs, but I finally settled on marketing automation as my specialization especially Pardot, but I’ve always been interested in the wider marketing automation sphere. Then at the start of this year, I actually went fulltime working as the editor of sales for Ben and I oversee all the operations, for the blog as well. I also ran the Pardot user group in London. And I, as I got named a Salesforce Marketing Champion at the start of this year. So that was a real highlight for the year.

AL: So I’m guessing you keep busy.

LM: Yeah, exactly. But actually before we get started with the other questions, I wanted to tell the story about how we first connected, right? I got to know DESelect and this is what I love about Salesforce and the ecosystem because it was when I was living in Lisbon at the time and there would just be this meet up every week, a happy hour for other people not from Lisbon, would meet up and chat and I got to talking to Jonathan, your cofounder, and he, he just said… I said do you know Salesforce? He’s like, yeah, I know a thing or two about Salesforce and it just so happened that you guys, yeah, you have the Marketing Cloud product, the app and I’m someone that loves Marketing Cloud as well. So it was just so funny. So coincidental how, that happens. And look where we are now, we’re collaborating loads on different things.

AL: Yeah, I’m well, I’m very glad, you made that connection with Jonathan. I’m very glad that he travels the world now and again.

LM: Yeah, exactly.

AL: And actually, well, I wanted to allude to this already earlier because The Drip is definitely one of the best resources to learn about Marketing Cloud or Pardot. Yeah. And I would even say even for people who have worked with it for years, it’s still a very good resource. But can you actually tell us how that got started?

LM: Sure. Well, how the drip got started was, I mean, I was selling projects across different Clouds and, you know, doing things like scoping requirements and then putting together a proposal. And that really got me into the habit of explaining things in layman’s to people that were completely new to Salesforce and the platform itself. So, yeah, just explaining things simply. Then I took a role as, a part of consultants. And to be honest with you, I felt out of my debt most of the time. So, what I started doing is every evening, I got into the habit of documenting what I learned that day and that’s basically how the blog started. I just published my notes, my body of notes that I made at the end of every day and whipped them up into a post. And yeah, I mean, I love writing so it wasn’t a cure for me. And now, what I love, what I say the drip is really valuable for is kind of documenting the undocumented, and consultants sharing their own experiences with a.

[cat walks in frame]

AL: Hi, sorry if I’m interject which is something that come comes up again and again in these interviews that, you know, people are looking for additional documentation or trying to provide it. So, I think, look, we have another visitor.

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LM: This is, this is Sashimi and, he needs to get on Trailhead soon.

AL: Fantastic. I love having him or her.

LM: Him.

AL: Having him as a guest on the show. Thanks. So I think we left off at the documentation part. And actually, I was kind of curious. You mentioned you got into the habit of essentially documenting your own learnings every evening. I used to do something very similar. Where did you get the idea?

LM: Just because I need to write things down otherwise, I don’t remember them. I’m a very, yeah, I need to write things down or whiteboard things. So that’s why I, yes, I just made this bank of information. I also have a ridiculously long glossary of acronyms because there’s just so many acronyms in the Salesforce ecosystem as well. So, yeah, that’s my little library.

AL: Absolutely funny because we also start to keep our own glossary internally. It, it definitely helps to onboard new resources.

LM: Yeah, for sure.

AL: Looking ahead of us, how do you think that The Drip and Salesforce Ben will evolve in the next few years?

LM: Yeah. I mean, this is the thing there’s always something to write about the Salesforce in the ecosystem. Not only are their new features being added with every release that people are interested in, they’re searching for it. They’re searching for this information. There’s all these acquisitions that are happening as well. And all these products are getting integrated into the platform. And what I love about our value proposition I guess you could call it a value proposition is that we are an inclusive platform for anyone from the ecosystem to share their ideas on. So we support with that editing and kind of like positioning their content to the Salesforce audience. So, I’m just really looking forward to having more thought leaders come on board and write about what they know and, you know, there’s always a gap to document the undocumented, with the industry that’s innovating so fast.

AL: Yeah, great stuff. And I think a few of those potential to leaders might be listening to this interview. So a little shout out that the reach out to The Drip you mentioned at the start of the interview that you’ve been nominated Salesforce Marketing Champion for which congrats by the way, what does it mean for you to be nominated?

LM: Sure. Yeah. I mean, I think it’s also very interesting because, as the ecosystem grows, you know, there’s so many people involved, in the whole network of that is Salesforce now. So the MVP program has now, I guess branched out into these different specialised areas. And I’m really honored to be recognized for marketing because that’s my passion. And I guess what, you know, what does it mean for me and you, I hope to do with that. Well, obviously, I’m going to continue writing that’s not sure. There’s no question about that, but what I’ve seen from it so far is connecting with other marketing thought leaders globally in this one centralized group. And, you know, stay tuned because there’s gonna be a lot of initiatives that we’ve been able to coordinate with, this connection and also just getting to know the product managers a bit better as well and seeing how we can work collaboratively as well.

AL: They seem wonderful people. We had Guilda on one of the previous episodes.

LM: Yes. Yeah. So she’s doing a great job running the program and whenever I talk to her, I can just feel her passion for it as well. So, yeah. So things to come.

AL: Super energetic, absolutely. Yeah. But actually, we know that you’re a Pardot specialist. Now, you know, we have the like for all of our Marketing Cloud. So in what ways do you think that the product is different from SFMC, you know, Pardot versus SFMC?

LM: Yeah. So I dabble a little bit in SFMC. I, yeah, edit people’s posts. I actually studied for one of the certifications a few years ago. So my knowledge is a little, you know, a little bit rusty. But when people say, okay, what’s the difference between Marketing Cloud and Pardot? The one line response is always B2B, B2C, but that’s becoming a little bit outdated. Now, I think… a, to choose Pardot. It depends how close you work with your sales users. If you need to work closely with the sales team, then part is gonna be the better solution. And if you need to work… with closely with certain objects like the opportunity object because you’re sending communications based on the opportunity life cycle, then parts better. But of course, it’s there’s many considerations that you should take with Marketing Cloud. One being the inhouse resources that you have available. So, yeah, I think this B2B / B2C splits.

AL: Below data.

LM: Yeah. There’s so much more to it. Now there’s so much more. And also there’s some organisations using both. So.

AL: Yeah. I’ve heard of the use cases. Actually, in your previous work as an SI, did you ever encounter this first question, you know, from a customer like, hey, what’s the difference? Or did you have any customer that use both?

LM: So, personally, I haven’t had any clients that have used both, but I’ve definitely had clients that were interested like curious about Marketing Cloud. And on most questioning. Okay. So why did our organisation choose Pardot instead of Marketing Cloud? And it’s just walking through those differences with them. And, you know, there’s that common misconception that Pardot the starter product and then it goes to Marketing Cloud.

AL: Really? 

LM: Of course, that is not true because it’s more of what you see is what you get. But the way that Pardot is moving now, it’s really going to be a force to be reckoned with. It’s. There’s some great things happening in Pardot that’s going to make it, you know, enterprise level and a completely legitimate.

AL: Well, I’m sure it was, and I used to be a Pardot specialist. So don’t get me wrong. I didn’t think that, it was always a legitimate product.

LM: Yeah, yeah.

AL: Yeah, but the capabilities are just very different. I would say, well, I don’t know how that has changed. I’m rusty on the Pardot side, but Marketing Cloud definitely used to be better for transactional communication. I don’t know what it’s like right now for Pardot.

LM: Yeah. I mean, maybe legitimate product was the wrong phrase that there was some misconceptions that I’ve come across floating around where people would just think because it’s what you see is what you get. It’s not as powerful as Marketing Cloud, but that simply isn’t true. And yes, like I said, I’m just looking forward to seeing what’s going to be coming along especially in the analytics side of things, right?

AL: Now, as you run The Drip you mentioned already that you added post? So I’m sure that you probably know some of the pitfalls of SFMC as well. Are there any valuable insights that you could think our listeners would like to hear?

LM: Sure. So… actually, I mean, like I said, my knowledge is a little bit rusty on Marketing Cloud. But one of the other marketing champions Christina, she wrote the great post recently about getting started with Marketing Cloud. Her, what she wished he knew because she’s a part of specialist, right? And she did a few Marketing Cloud implementations. So that’s a great resource to checkout. But mine are more generic. I would say my, what you should know is… this is something that crops up time and time again and it’s been a big theme on the blog in the previous, in this previous month which is user adoption. I think that it doesn’t matter how long you spend configuring the system. If the users aren’t gonna use it, then, your project kind of falls on its face. And I think it’s a shame that some organisations don’t invest in user enablement beyond the first project because obviously implementing Marketing Cloud is a big cost, but some organisations just don’t bear, the ongoing cost in mind to really see the value, in the product. Another pit for, I would say make no assumptions about the data model and I think it’s a… I think it’s really up to marketers now to take responsibility and to understand the data models that go behind what they’re doing, you know?

AL: I think that’s my favorite one.

LM: Yeah, I make segmentation so easy, right? But I think marketers still need to understand the data model to, in order to work effectively with Marketing Cloud.

AL: Yeah, our whole philosophy was always like we wanna make sure that marketers can use the solution independently. We want to make better marketers. And, I do think that, you know, a marketer doesn’t have to be a data specialist and let alone a data scientist. But having, some understanding of your data model will absolutely help you be a better marketer. I feel.

LM: Yeah, definitely.

AL: And also thanks for mentioning the post that Christina wrote. So we’ll make sure that we mentioned it, in the description of this video, so viewers can find it now. Since you already also mentioned collaborating, with others, can you tell a bit more about your collaboration with Salesforce partners, whether they be, you know, software vendors like us or our system integrators.

LM: Sure. Yeah. So the partner ecosystem blows my mind. The AppExchange, there’s so many different categories and so much on there. So we’re really lucky actually to, well, it’s now 12 sponsors that we’ve got who support the blog. And these sponsors range from… fall into different categories, a massive range of categories. And they really help supplement… the conversation on the blog… because although people obviously are aware of the AppExchange, there’s a whole education piece about why you need to look to the AppExchange and some things that aren’t as well known, for example, the risk to Salesforce data if you don’t have a backup solution, there was a, there was not that much awareness about that. So, yeah, these sponsors really help us enhance that conversation that we’re having.

AL: Okay. That’s very good to know. Thank you for sharing that we all know that marketing projects themselves, they go along with tight deadlines stress, sometimes quite a bit of misunderstanding. And now during the pandemic, we also have to adapt to a new normal as they call it. What was the most challenging part for you in this whole period because, you know, we noticed you’re working from home?

LM; Yes. Aside from the kitten. Well, to be honest, the blog has been busier than ever, which I think, is a nice sign.

Yeah. So I think it just means that people have been taking making the best out of a bad situation, you know, if they have quiet time, they’re coming on learning more researching for certifications, exploring different parts of the platform. So also writing for us. So, yes, we’ve been busier than ever. But this year I’ve taken on the task of doing pretty much the something that I thought may not be possible but automating or operationalizing our content schedule and content pipeline. And I’m sure this is a challenge that other marketers have and other editorial managers that something as subjective as content. How can we operationalize this? So that’s been my biggest challenge this year. But in marketing automation in general, I sat down actually at the beginning of the pandemic, and just thought, okay, what could marketers be doing in their part orgs, just to ensure that they’re arming themselves for the, for the changes. You know, there was so much fluctuation, in, how prospects were acting and reacting?

AL: Yeah, the market constantly shifted and changed. It was very interesting to see how customer behavior was involving and still is really…

LM: Yeah. So I just compiled all my thoughts into one post but it goes into different things like, okay, how should you be segmenting what behavioral signals should you be looking at… e-mail data? You know, unfortunately there’s a lot of people becoming unemployed. How is your e-mail data? Looking? Cleaning out and valid e-mail addresses? And then things like pulling reports out of Salesforce to check how you know, the new average deal cycle length and different things like this. So just almost like keeping a pulse check, on different things around your Salesforce org that, you know, that’s what’s going to help marketers be proactive.

AL: Great stuff. I think we’ll want to put that blog post as well in the description so our viewers can find it. I know you’re super busy and I really appreciate you were able to cut some time out of your schedule. So, do you have any closing thoughts you would like to share with our audience?

LM: Yes. And I think we’ve touched on this a little bit throughout the chat we’ve just had, but I think the Salesforce ecosystem is growing so at such a crazy rate and especially in the marketing sphere. So, I think it’s so easy to get overwhelmed and it’s so easy to feel like you’re not up to date on everything. But it just occurred to me the, a few weeks ago that this is impossible like no one can keep up to date. So I think it’s just don’t get burned out, trying to keep up to date with everything but just to understand your specialisation and just to, yeah, not get burnt out, worrying about keeping tabs on everything that’s going on.

AL: Right? Understand your specialization, stay focused probably?

LM: Yes. Then a way to put it, I guess.

AL: Yeah. I mean, I take care of yourself essentially, right? Great stuff. Well, Lucy was really having a pleasure having you on this episode as well as your cat and thank you so much for your time.

LM: Thank you! Bye.

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