Why Marketing and IT Need to Work Together for a Successful Marketing Cloud Transformation
Updated: Mar 15, 2021
Salesforce Marketing Cloud provides a lot of advanced capabilities to enable marketers to communicate with the right audiences at the right time on the right channel. However, these advance capabilities imply some involved configurations and some complex implementations that require a tight handshake and coordination between the marketing and the IT teams.
Furnishing a journey with the right data implies building a scalable data model in Contact Builder and then ensuring that the right integrations and queries are executing to feed the Journey with up-to-date data.
Building and maintaining complex cloud pages and content blocks requires coding skillset that may not necessarily be with the marketing teams.
Extracting data for data warehouse reporting, archiving or consent sync requires implementing SFMC API.
This is where leveraging the internal IT or an external agency comes into play and requires collaboration between teams.
We have been through many SFMC engagements - from the largest mortgage lender to retail giants, hospitality chains and the largest social media company and we can confirm that a tight collaboration between IT and marketing is required to ensure a successful SFMC implementation.
Below are some pointers to enable your teams to better collaborate and get most out of your SFMC instance.
Your business requirements and marketing communications needs keep evolving and you should revisit and evaluate your SFMC architecture and integrations decisions every so often to make sure it continues to meet the needs of your marketing campaigns as they mature.
SFMC very often uses CRM data and workflows to trigger communications. Marketing needs insights and understanding of how business processes are implemented and what data is available within the CRM to design more personalized and dynamic communications.
In order to make informed marketing strategy decisions and create compelling campaigns, even the most traditional marketers can no longer have a hands-off approach to marketing technology. A marketer should be aware of how the data flows across various systems and what the true source is to reduce the dependency on IT. Understanding where your email list or even direct mail list is coming from empowers the marketer to know who they should be targeting and the format of the overall customer journey.
Understanding what is going on in your digital marketing ecosystem - KPIs and Engagement Metrics - is imperative to gauging success. The marriage of IT and marketing to extract, troubleshoot and read analytics on your platforms has a direct correlation to your revenue and strategy.
Governance (platform and data) should be defined by both the IT and marketing sides of the business with thorough documentation and policies around how to manage, share, encrypt and secure customer data.
As marketers look to continue to surprise and delight customers, they will look to evolve their mar-tech stack and with that, IT needs to be involved to advise and guide on how new technology fits in the ecosystem. Example: would downloading a simple AppExchange app result in violation of policies? Or do we need an in-house custom dev solution?
Marketers need to be open to advancing their technical skills. SFMC is an advanced mar-tech platform with true omni-channel capabilities. It's impossible to find a marketer that has experience with every tool but willingness to understand new concepts and to learn and master new technologies will go far for both efficiency and quality of the day-to-day product.
Connecting the Marketing and IT roadmap will allow the teams to see around the bend more quickly and make smarter investments in new technologies. Example: what should be prioritized? When will the new data warehouse be operational and ready to provide consolidated consent data? Until then should we rely on an automation in SFMC to aggregate consent from multiple sources?
We recommend having a seasoned technical IT/development resource with skill sets in REST APIs, SQL, AMPScript and SSJS to quickly turnaround complex content blocks, automation queries and cloud pages when needed for a quick turnaround campaign.
SFMC is constantly evolving and with every new release there are new features (Example - Einstein send time optimization, C360A etc). These releases can enable marketers to instrument more advanced Journeys. Having the strong marketing and IT partnership will keep you ahead of the curve with each new feature release you implement and find the value in.
Below are a few service offerings to help evaluate your SFMC maturity and enhance your team’s skillset