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SFMC Consultants Spilling their Secrets as Marketing Champions of 2021

Top Traits of SFMC Marketing Champions 2021

The Top Traits every Marketing Cloud Consultant must have

What is it like being an SFMC Consultant? We’ve chatted with this year’s Marketing Champions from across the globe to learn more about their tools of the trade and what they believe are the top qualities that make a successful SFMC Consultant

Who else other than Marketing Cloud Consultants fully appreciate the nuances of the platform? To challenge their knowledge and gain insightful tips on navigating Marketing Cloud, we asked them one question: what Salesforce Marketing Cloud feature does every Consultant need to know?

Here’s what we gathered from the SFMC Consultants nominated as Marketing Champions.

Swati Bhalla-Salesforce Marketing Cloud Launch Lead at Volvo Cars, and Salesforce Marketing Champion-SFMC Marketing Champion 21-Deselect

Salesforce Marketing Cloud Launch Lead at Volvo Cars, and Salesforce Marketing Champion

Swati Bhalla

There are so many cool features that SFMC provides and regularly enhances with every release. However, I give my vote to Journey Builder, and I believe every Consultant should get to know it :).

Journey Builder is an all-in-one automation tool that helps us reach our customers at the right time with the right communication. It gives us a chance to build complex cross-channel digital journeys, create content, and carry out testing. It helps us analyze, optimize, and evaluate our results in one place per Salesforce’s description of the tool.

“I wish I’d known that earlier” is a phrase I’ve used many times — most recently last week when I accidentally deleted an entire multi-channel journey by deleting a Decision Split. Deleting a split from a configured journey like this results in all subsequent parts being deleted as well. I realized this too late, losing two days’ worth of work. Painful as it was, it was a lesson worth learning!

Swati adds that the top qualities of the successful SFMC Consultant for her is being passionate about your work. From her own experience coming from a non IT background, she was able to learn and work in 3 tech languages, Salesforce programmatic languages and procured a job at Volvo thanks to being passionate about her work. She also mentions that an excellent Consultant should have an ability to innovate integrations, implementations and custom solutions.

Cristóbal Galindo-Salesforce Marketing Cloud Analyst at Zigatta, Marketing Champion-Deselect

Salesforce Marketing Cloud Analyst at Zigatta, Marketing Champion

Cristóbal Galindo

Would you like to build your data from different data extensions and trigger customized journeys depending on a series of events? In which case, I recommend that you thoroughly learn Query Studio! Then get familiar with SQL and Queries and Query Studio testing. It’s like a playground where you can test your data, see your results, then apply those to your automation. 

It might seem like several tools within SFMC allow you to test this in a more WYSIWYG approach; however, going straight to the source is something that all of us Consultants have to do from time to time. 

Master Query Studio, and you’ll master your data.

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For Cristóbal, patience and tenacity are the keys to success as a Marketing Cloud Consultant. This is what he says: Patience and tenacity – bordering on stubbornness.

Inertia is the resistance of bodies to change their uniform status. Chances are you’re going to find whole teams immersed in this inertia. The bigger the body, the bigger the inertia. There will be some team members who will likely be reluctant to fully adopt SFMC and this will drive resistance from within the organization to adopt SFMC. If they’re switching to SFMC from another platform, there’s a chance that they will look for ways to replicate their previous practice within SFMC which seems like a good minimum viable product approach. But in the long run, it will be required to fully embrace SFMC technology and capabilities and this means that changes are going to be made. Here’s where your patience and tenacity enter the game: be patient. Be a good teacher and show them the way. And be tenacious. We know that there’s nothing better than SFMC to do these things, right? Keep pushing.

You have to make a quick NPS analysis to find those who support and are as excited as you are with the acquisition of new tech and show them the way around SFMC to make new, different, and exciting things. So can I make it three? You have to be a mini-psychologist as well. Be good at reading people. 

A few days ago I was commenting on a job offer shared by a fellow SFMC champion. They were looking for an SFMC Consultant and evangelist. The evangelist position is, I believe, a key position to guarantee the success of any SFMC implementation.

Tom Conant-Freelance Salesforce Marketing Cloud Consultant and Salesforce Marketing Cloud Champion-Deselect

Freelance Salesforce Marketing Cloud Consultant and Salesforce Marketing Cloud Champion

Tom Conant

In the world of SFMC, all roads lead to the data and a clear understanding of Contact Builder. Comprehending its use will provide a solid foundation for all other features of an SFMC account. It’s more than just the technical expertise of how to use and set up Contact Builder. You must also understand the more general concepts around data and data management within the context of SFMC. These concepts will play a central role during any project, influencing the many decision options that will ultimately lead to a successful project.

Tom suggests that a good SFMC Consultant, along with technical platform expertise, needs to be an effective communicator. We often find ourselves at the center of any project, he says, serving as a bridge between the various stakeholders involved, and to ask the right questions, convey concepts effectively, and to educate as well as inform is an important quality to possess. Not only will this ensure a successful project, but just as important will allow the client and stakeholders to feel empowered and confident in using their SFMC account long after you have left the project.

Oana Munteanu-Senior Marketing Consultant at Bluewolf (an IBM Company), and Salesforce Marketing Cloud Champion-Deselect

Senior Marketing Consultant at Bluewolf (an IBM Company), and Salesforce Marketing Cloud Champion

Oana Munteanu

The Subscriber Key and how it relates to Contacts and Salesforce data are crucial for users to understand. It’s a basic but essential feature in your subscriber management strategy. Many businesses still get it wrong due to a lack of knowledge and understanding of Consultants’ advice.

For Oana, being a good listener is extremely important if you want to be a successful Consultant. She mentions, not just Marketing Cloud Consultants but any Consultants in general, must be good listeners to understand their clients’ business requirements, to know when to ask the right questions and dig deeper into the conversation, and then translate these findings into great solutions that fit the respective business.

Mats De Meersman-Marketing Cloud Lead Consultant at Capgemini and Salesforce Marketing Cloud Champion-Deselect

Marketing Cloud Lead Consultant at Capgemini and Salesforce Marketing Cloud Champion

Mats De Meersman

For me, the Einstein integration within Marketing Cloud is an essential feature of the tool. Thanks to the robust AI integration, it becomes straightforward to grasp your customer’s behavior at every interaction point. It also adds another layer of personalization, beneficial to Marketing Cloud users.

My favorite feature of the Einstein stack is Einstein Send Time Optimization. This SFMC feature predicts the optimal send time for each customer to ensure better they open your message.

Mats mentions that a healthy dose of curiosity is a key characteristic of a good Marketing Cloud Consultant. Marketing Cloud, and the marketing automation world, is continuously developing. So, for a good SFMC Consultant, it’s important to stay on top of the latest technologies, methodologies, and tips & tricks in order to deliver the best customer experience possible.

Ryan Hernalsteen-Salesforce Consultant at Coastal Cloud and Salesforce Marketing Cloud Champion-Deselect

Salesforce Consultant at Coastal Cloud and Salesforce Marketing Cloud Champion

Ryan Hernalsteen

My advice is to focus on SQL Query or SSJS Script activities in Automation Studio, depending on what leaves you more comfortable. Both are powerful, allowing you to manipulate and transform data in ways you can’t easily do in the UI.

Ryan gives great advice to all consultants, his take is to look beyond what the client is asking for, and understand the problem they are really trying to solve. From there, the Consultant can recommend a solution. SFMC is such a big, complex product. Clients are often familiar with small pieces of it and frame their requests with a solution in mind based on the functionality they’ve seen. We need to help our clients take a step back from the solution and figure out how we can solve the problem.

So that’s it! As you may notice, most answers of the beloved Consultants lead to an understanding of data. It’s an integral part of knowing how to work efficiently with Salesforce Marketing Cloud. If you want to know how to help your client better, you need to know how to work with data and the multiple connections within the platform. 

Fortunately, DESelect is here to help you save time in learning how to code using SQL. With DESelect Segment, you can easily manipulate data and create advanced segments to send personalized campaigns. Book a demo with one of DESelect’s experts if you want to learn more about how DESelect Segment can help you reduce time on segmentation.

7 must-have Qualities for Aspiring SFMC Consultants

To become an SFMC Consultant, you’ll most likely need to start by getting your certification from Salesforce. To stand out as a consultant and perhaps get on the path to becoming a Marketing Champion, the following important qualities were voted the most important to have by our experts.

1. Passionate

Work should give immense pleasure and motivate you to move forward in the field. Regardless of whether you have an IT background, passion will go a long way in helping you score as an SFMC Consultant.

2. Innovative

Nurture your ability to innovate integrations, implementations, and custom solutions.

3. Patient

Be patient, be a good teacher and show them the way. And be tenacious. We know there’s nothing better than SFMC to do these things, right? Keep pushing.

4. Effective communicator

We often find ourselves at the center of projects, serving as a bridge between the stakeholders involved. We must know how to ask the right questions, convey concepts effectively, and educate and inform.

5. Good listener

Consultants must be good listeners and understand their client’s business requirements. Knowing when to ask the right questions and to dig deeper into the conversation is paramount. Translating these findings into great solutions that fit is crucial.

6. Curious

For you to be a great SFMC Consultant, it’s essential to stay on top of the latest technologies, methodologies, and tips & tricks to deliver the best customer experience possible.

7. Looking beyond what the client is asking for

You must understand the client’s core problem since clients do not always know what to ask. From there, you can recommend a solution. SFMC is such a complex product. Clients are often only familiar with minor elements and frame their requests based solely on the functionality they’ve seen. We need to help our clients step back from the solution and figure out how to solve the problem. Take a helicopter view. That’s consulting.

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