Ask A Marketing Cloud Expert

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This is a podcast episode titled, Ask A Marketing Cloud Expert. The summary for this episode is: <p>You’ve got burning Salesforce Marketing Cloud Questions, and our hosts have answers. This episode is a recording of a live Ultraviolet session where our hosts Bobby Tichy and Cole Fisher, are joined by Salesforce Consultant Stephen Mansfield to answer attendees' technical questions about anything and everything Marketing cloud -- from data models to A/B testing. </p>
📅 Considerations for implementing appointment confirmations through Email Studio and Mobile Connect
03:55 MIN
💜 Stephen and Cole's favorite part of Marketing Cloud
01:00 MIN
👍 Pros and cons of an additional business unit in Marketing Cloud
04:48 MIN
🤝 Integrating Marketing Cloud with Service Cloud
05:56 MIN
📩 The best way to pull employee lists through Email Studio
02:47 MIN
💥 How to trigger an email to subscribers who've visiting a website
03:09 MIN
✨ Favorite solutions in Marketing Cloud
02:54 MIN

Speaker 1: Welcome to the In The Clouds podcast. In The Clouds is a Marketing Cloud podcast powered by Lev, the most influential marketing focused Salesforce consultancy in the world. Lev is customer experience obsessed, and podcast hosts Bobby Tichy and Cole Fisher, have partnered with some of the world's most well known brands to help them master meaningful one- on- one connections with their customers. In this podcast, they'll combine strategy and deep technical expertise to share best practices, how- to's, and real- life use cases and solutions for the world's top brands using Salesforce products today.

Bobby Tichy: Hey everyone! Welcome to day two of Ultraviolet, we hope you all had a great first day yesterday. After the next 30 minutes or so, we're going to have a live Q& A with three of the dumbest people at Lev, and hopefully we'll be able to create more questions from your questions, as we jump through. My name's Bobby Tichy, I'm a consultant here at Lev. I've been in the MarTech space for about a dozen years, and have the honor of working with Cole and Steven as well. Cole, would you mind doing a brief intro?

Cole Fisher: Sure. Cole Fisher, I'm based out of Indianapolis, Indiana. I've been at Lev for over four years, prior to that, I came from the services side at Salesforce Marketing Cloud, and been in the digital space here for about 15 years myself. So, Steven...

Steven Mansfield: Yeah. Thank you, Cole. Good morning, or good afternoon to everyone here in the UK who may be tuning in, with their sandwiches. I'm Steven Mansfield, I work as a solution architect here in the Lev UK team. I've got around about 10 years of Salesforce Marketing Cloud experience. And I've been here at Lev for around about just a year now.

Bobby Tichy: We've got the first one in already. So," We are a pediatric healthcare organization that wants to implement appointment confirmations, if they're attending, et cetera. Both through e-mail studio, and mobile connect, any suggestions? Steven, I'll kick that one over to you.

Steven Mansfield: Yeah, love it. First thing that comes to mind is, obviously, making sure that we have timely data for this one, so making sure that we can kick out those messages in a timely manner. As soon as we have either the information that drives that appointment, date and time, or can be scheduled at an appropriate time in advance of that meeting. And so I'm looking at applications like Automation Studio and Journey Builder, to make sure that we are leveraging the right data at the right time, to kick out that message. But in terms of the mechanics of the response for whether someone would be attending. Yeah, I like the idea of operating through e- mail and SMS, because then you have the opportunity to decide, which is the appropriate channel for that particular subscriber. Maybe based on an explicit preference they've provided, or maybe via their previous behavior, you could even try it through one channel. And then depending on the response you get, you could fall back to a second option to chase them up. Via e- mail, you're going to be looking at getting them to click through to either a webpage that you own yourself, or you could set up a situation in cloud pages where they get directed to a landing page that can then capture the response. And send it to either a data extension in Marketing Cloud, or right back to your CRM or any other data source that needs to know about that response either via AMS script, API call, et cetera. Via mobile connect is a little bit funkier, because you're going to be able to track a conversation through SMS. So when they respond, you can then capture the information directly via their text response, and then send an appropriate SMS back to them. So, I would look at it that way, I would look at it as, which channel makes more sense for that interaction. Because it's a quick question with a quick response, SMS jumps out at me as being quite likely to get a high response rate there, from a marketing perspective. I don't know if you guys would echo that or...

Cole Fisher: Yeah, a couple of things run through my mind. To that point, I would play around first with the timing. And so what you may find is for customers who haven't had explicit preferences, that you've captured, it may be something like," We may send an e- mail two days before an appointment," or something like that. Or" We may send the SMS the day before," we may play with some of that timing. And so I would suggest just AB, and testing some of those timings until we have this stapled down into a more cohesive journey, or we have patterns of behavior that we've collected a little bit, that we can rely on. Another point too is, I like the idea of leveraging interactive e- mail for this, where we're not actually the customer themselves to the experience is not actually leaving the e- mail itself. And so through cloud pages, as you mentioned, there's a way that they're just seeing the e- mail alone. Of course, this not for mobile that I'm talking about, but for e- mail alone, they're not actually leaving the e- mail itself. They can just toggle yes or no, and we're capturing that response through cloud pages through data extension, and we have our information there.

Steven Mansfield: Yeah. Great crosstalk, anything that prompts that quick and easy response, so that there's minimal effort for the recipient.

Bobby Tichy: Yeah. I'm a big fan of interactive e- mail, and then having the fallback of cloud pages, of having a form, since not every ISP is supporting interactive e- mail at this point. And then I like the SMS side too. Great. Awesome. What other questions? Just throw them right in the chat. While we're waiting for the next question, Steven, what's your favorite part of Marketing Cloud?

Steven Mansfield: This is actually a question that I like to throw out at interviews as well, because it shows a lot of the experience that you have with Salesforce Marketing Cloud. I think the thing in 10 years of consulting on Marketing Cloud, the thing that changed the game the most, was probably synchronized data sources from salesforce. com into Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Because it just made all the data transfer, and data requirements, super robust, and reliable, and saved hours, and hours, and hours trying to figure out flat files, and SFTP and things like that.

Bobby Tichy: Awesome. Cole, how about you?

Cole Fisher: Favorite feature of Marketing Cloud?

Bobby Tichy: Yeah.

Cole Fisher: Or favorite general differentiator?

Bobby Tichy: I feel I already want to give you the beep, like you've taken too long to answer the question.

Steven Mansfield: We do have our next question as well.

Bobby Tichy: We do, so we'll go to the crew. So" We run a car dealership in the UK, which is part of a network. We have a Salesforce Marketing Cloud account with one business unit, and this is served as well, but now another one of our dealership teams want to use our Marketing Cloud account, and they have a different database of customers. Should we purchase a second business unit or add their data and content to ours? What are the pros and cons of this?" Cole, I'll let you start.

Cole Fisher: So there's a number of things to consider here. A lot of the times I'll generally tell people, if there are different teams and with a different dealership, it sounds like there may be different people, a different marketing team that accesses this. When you have entirely different teams and entirely different databases of customers, a lot of the times it makes sense just upfront to have an entirely different business unit. One of the questions that usually will pose is, is there a lot of overlap? Is there going to be cross marketing between those databases? Or will there be shared content? In which case you can still have that to where there's some crossover between the business units, and there could be shared assets. But we've also seen this done where this is just a hard stop, and there is no additional business unit, or maybe they don't have the budget for another business unit. In which case there are still ways that we can put in suppression lists, and things like that we can actually have limited access to people, when they have different databases of customers within a single business unit. So there's always rules, and permissions that we can apply, that can actually help us out there. Generally, for me, I like the flexibility of having multiple business units. Because that way it's easier to consolidate business units later on, if there would be acquisitions, or something that would change, rather than parsing out some business units, and things like that. Where then we have historical information, things like that, that we need to worry about that other business units may or may not have access to. So, I like the idea of going to multiple business units generally, with the information we have here, but that's not necessarily always the case.

Bobby Tichy: Yeah. I think the designation of less is more, is not applicable to business units in Marketing Cloud. Typically, to your point, Cole, if you're going to go that route, you would rather have things separated. And especially, one consideration to keep in mind too, is making sure that the unique identifier between those business units is the same, if at all possible. So whether it's e- mail address, or some other unique ID, or customer ID, that'll really help too, if at some point in the future, you want to share data, or combine those business units. crosstalk Steven, you were to say something? Oh, sorry, go ahead, Cole.

Cole Fisher: So just real quick, and I'll pass it over to Steven. A lot of the times, whichever direction you go on this, I think the biggest fault that we see, is we solve for the immediate problem, rather than thinking the 2, 3, 5 years down the road type of problem. Where there may be an acquisition, or we may have other dealerships, or something like that, join our organization, or other dealerships with sales or service cloud, things like that. So how are we planning for that in the long term? So a lot of the times we're solutioning for the immediate need, can we get them into a single business unit? Well, technically, you probably can, but does it make the most sense for what's going to happen in 18, 24 months, even beyond that?

Steven Mansfield: Yeah. Yeah, I would echo everything you guys have said, I'll just come at it with my solution architect hat on, as well, and I'll say a couple of things. Firstly, that in this particular scenario, reading between the lines, if it's a different data set you want to consult internally about the information security policy, that applies in your business to this data. Because quite often there will be a regulatory, or internal policy need to separate those two data sets, and make sure they don't cross pollinate, so that could drive a different business unit. And then a really spurious extra reason to use different business units, would actually be the center authentication, as well. Because if you have completely different branding for two different parts of your business that maybe have two different data sets, you can only have one central authentication per business unit. And so if you wanted to be sending out your e- mails, and having your pages, and your images hosted, using a different domain that is completely separate to your previous business unit. You would probably need to consider that second business unit to have that separate center of authentication as well.

Bobby Tichy: Yeah. That's a great point about branding, especially if it's a different team, or how they might be communicating, or marketing, based off of that. Excellent. Just keep throwing the questions in the chat as you guys have them. Our next question is from a special dummy called Nick Burggraf, who happens to work here at Lev." After Elon Musk, who is your next special guest?" I assume you're talking about the podcast, Nick. And we've had you on a few times, and we'll never do that again. So I'm not sure who our next special guest should be. Who should we have on? Cole, Steven, who would be good people to have on?

Cole Fisher: It's just Nick's way of inviting himself, he just wants to be the next.

Bobby Tichy: I think so.

Steven Mansfield: Serious answer, it's got to be Benny Off, right?

Bobby Tichy: Oh, that'd be a good one.

Steven Mansfield: You got his number, or not?

Bobby Tichy: I don't know. Oh yeah, we're pals. Well, actually, we don't exchange cell phone numbers, we're actually pen pal.

Cole Fisher: inaudible write letters.

Bobby Tichy: Yeah. This is inside the world of Salesforce, but Benny Off is huge into calligraphy. He and I really share that passion.

Cole Fisher: That's his next feature in Marketing Cloud. They're going to have the calligraphy studio.

Bobby Tichy: Oh boy, crosstalk. I remember-

Steven Mansfield: Calligraphy Cloud.

Bobby Tichy: It'll be an acquisition. They'll buy someone, and I'll rename it Calligraphy Cloud. Awesome. It looks like we got our next one in here, so" We've been using Marketing Cloud for five years, we're a retailer in Belgium. Our company has been acquired recently, and our new parent firm has Salesforce Service Cloud. They want us to integrate our Marketing Cloud with their Service Cloud. Does this mean we'll have to switch our unique ID from e- mail address? Will we lose five years of tracking history?" Steven, I let you start.

Steven Mansfield: Great question. Firstly, I would say it makes a huge amount of sense to embrace the adoption, and use of Service Cloud, and follow standard practice around how Service Cloud can play with Marketing Cloud, through Marketing Cloud Connect, and everything it can do for your data, and data transfer between the clouds. I would say embrace it, because there's so much out of the box that works between Marketing Cloud, and Salesforce CRM that save you from developing a huge amount yourselves. What else would I say? The unique ID, e- mail address doesn't make a great unique ID, obviously, I don't know the nuances of why it's been adopted in this particular case, and it may make sense. But for the most part, if you have e- mail addresses unique ID, and then you allow someone to change their e- mail address, or multiple people share the same inbox, for example, particularly in the corporate alias world. Then you're going to run into trouble in terms of identifying your individual subscribers, and unsubscribed, and tracking, and that kind of things. So, changing a unique ID to work with Salesforce Service Cloud, I think is a good thing. I'm not going to pretend there isn't a data migration exercise associated with that, but it would be worth doing. And then finally, in terms of the tracking history, at an aggregate level, it'll still be there in the Marketing Cloud. You'll be able to go back a year and say," On this newsletter that we sent out, we had an open rate of 30%," that'll be there. But obviously you won't be able to re- target the people who opened it, or clicked it, because that information will have changed. So what you might want to do is firstly export all of the tracking information out of Marketing Cloud into a different system, whether that your internal data warehouse, or whether that be a data arm at Tableau, something like that. So that you can interrogate it at a later date, and then consider boiling it up to give you for each customer that you're migrating their key. Like, what was their last open date, their last click date, how many opens, or clicks, do they have in the last year. Boil that information up into three, or four data points that you actually need to trigger off your campaigns, and then store that in Marketing Cloud. And use that data point that doesn't rely on the underlying tracking data, because you've already aggregated it. And then use that until such point as you've built up enough of the history using the new ID. That's what I'd say.

Bobby Tichy: Yeah, I completely agree. I think one thing you mentioned that we've seen a lot more customers soon we've started to recommend is to, not leverage the native tracking capabilities within Marketing Cloud, leverage a Datorama, or a data lake, or a data warehouse, that you have on your end. Because unique identifiers do change, and they change more often than you might think, whether it's from an acquisition, or just from a change in data strategy internally. So I think that's something to point out, too. Your unique ID will have to change if you do integrate to Service Cloud, because it'll end up being that Salesforce lead, or contact ID. So it will have to change, but to Steven's point, you don't have to lose all of that information. Cole, anything else?

Cole Fisher: Yeah, people get a little phased out by the term sub key migration. Because generally we view it as not a super pleasant process, but the fact of the matter, there's a couple of steps that you will have to go through a sub key migration as Bobby pointed out, those IDs will be persistent from Service Cloud. Now, when we actually do that, there's a couple of different ways that we can do that. We can do a full- blown subscriber key migration, where Salesforce goes in, and looks to do an actual migration, and stitch in the personal history of those different contacts. But that requires downtime, which is the painful issue in that part of the process. Or there's the air quote sub key migration, which is where we're basically pulling out those contacts, letting Service Cloud put in the new contacts, and making sure that we're not doing. Because essentially those are the same contacts, they're just now coming in from Service Cloud. And so we want to pull those out, and that's where you lose history, but you don't have the downtime. But I honestly, I think generally speaking, it's a sooner than later type of an issue, I would say. I would suggest getting in, as early as possible solving forward, and doing a subscriber key migration. It's one of those things that I see a lot of people push off and off, and six months in a year, it still needs to be done, it just becomes more and more painful at that point, because you're losing more and more data or whatever it might be.

Bobby Tichy: For sure. And I think the benefits you'll see from integrating to Service Cloud, too, like Steven had mentioned earlier the data integration between the two. But also being able to do things, like suspend messages going to people who currently have a support case open, or maybe it's a follow- up based off of a case that's been closed, or creating a task based on something that someone does within Journey Builder. There's all kinds of really cool integrations, and features as part of that. So I think you'll really enjoy it after the pain of migrating.

Cole Fisher: Yeah. It's an immediate growing pain, but then after that, it affects inaudible much more features and benefits.

Bobby Tichy: Yeah. Next question." What do you find is the best way to pull our employee list, to send internal all staff e- mails, through Email Studio? Currently, we have a data extension that pulls e- mails from our employee management system that gets refreshed." Cole, we'll start with you.

Cole Fisher: So, I'm making sure I'm understanding the question properly. They're pulling e- mails for only internal sends?

Bobby Tichy: Mm- hmm( affirmative). And if they currently have a data extension that pulls e- mails from our employee management system, that gets refreshed, I guess we don't know how it's being pulled if it's through an integration, or if it's done manually.

Cole Fisher: Yeah. I think-

Bobby Tichy: Initially, I would say that sounds like you're doing it the right way. If there's a way you could automate that integration if it is manual today, that'd probably be the better way of going about it.

Cole Fisher: Yeah. I wonder, too, if this is something that, like new employee e- mails, or new people are being added to certain lists extensively? In which case, maybe just a simple file drop can update that daily, and maybe that's what we have actually in place already. Or if this something that sounds like it might be being added manually, in which case, just setting up a file drop would probably solve most of the issue of getting our e- mails in properly.

Bobby Tichy: Yeah. I think another area, too, that folks sometimes forget about, is that you can leverage what's called a script activity with an automation studio. To where we can actually call out to a particular service or platform to pull data as well. So if you've got someone on your team, or a consultant, or contractor that you work with that knows JavaScript, they can create one of these script activities to call out to the employee management system, if you guys don't have the bandwidth, or the resources to build a file integration from that employee management system in a Marketing Cloud.

Steven Mansfield: Yeah. All I can add to that guys is just as far as data integration in general, there's the API to insert information into Marketing Cloud, there's obviously file drops as well. In terms of which I would use, I'm looking at this, and I'm thinking that the e- mail addresses are not going to be a super dynamic data set. It's not going to change all the time, there's not going to be the need for real time updates as such, and therefore I'm sure file drop would be sufficient over API. If the information lived in salesforce. com, and there was an integration via Marketing Cloud Connect, that could be interesting. Because then you could pull that information dynamically and say," Well, let me search all my users that are currently active, and that have a company name of this, and what have you." And then obviously you can dynamically pull that every morning to give you that up- to- date view. That would be another option.

Bobby Tichy: Yeah, absolutely. Any other questions, feel free to throw them into the chat. We just got another one," I manage a customer lifecycle marketing for a News Publisher. I want to be able to automatically, and immediately trigger, send an e- mail to subscribers who have read an article on our website. This follow- up e- mail, should have a deeper level of content relating to the author, or subject that they have just read on the website. How can we do this in Marketing Cloud? What are our options?" Cole, I'll start with you.

Cole Fisher: Yeah. I would assume this is not just a particular article. But probably a number of articles where we want to just scale this out to when they read an article X or Y or Z, whatever, where we are following that up with this behavior based trigger. But, the first thing that comes to mind... there's probably multiple things to do this, and three or four years ago, we were probably using a partner, or we're using almost an abandonment feature in PI or something, but now we have Interaction Studio. And so the very first solution that comes to mind is Interaction Studio. Where we're triggering any of these results based on what they've read, maybe an affinity for what types of products, or service as they're looking at in general, additional product, or service, or content recommendations. But then as well, I think there's additional features in Interaction Studio, that really lend themselves well to this. Where it may just be that they've glanced over an article, and maybe that's not necessarily the trigger as opposed to going a certain depth into it, or something like that. Where that's actually a real read as opposed to glancing over it, because it was something on the homepage, or you just happen to have clicked through briefly. And so there's a little more rules based, and things like that, that allow us some freedom with Interaction Studio. So, this for me is the very immediate solution, is Interaction Studio. And that's not just necessarily an upsell, it's just because Interaction Studio will do this, as well as once we start implementing it, we're going to find out that other trigger based, or other behavior based triggers, or other features, and concepts will actually lend themselves really well to additional journeys that may come from this.

Steven Mansfield: It's the timeliness for me as well. Because I'm just reading this question here, and it says" Automatically and immediately trigger, send the e- mail." So I like what you said a minute ago, which was 5, 10 years ago, we were looking at a different solution here, which could have been a Google Analytics, or even Omniture that was tracking this information, and you would get a file into Marketing Cloud, like the next day. So you're limited to," Hey, here's what you were looking at yesterday." But with something like Interaction Studio with these more immediate response, which I think makes all the difference.

Bobby Tichy: Yeah, absolutely. I love Interaction Studio. I'm glad Salesforce acquired it.

Cole Fisher: Bobby, crosstalk you could say that for the record.

Bobby Tichy: Yeah, yeah. I love all Salesforce acquisitions, especially Calligraphy Cloud. Before we go, we just have a couple of minutes left, going to put you guys on the spot a little bit, and I'll kick it off. But, what's your favorite solution that you've seen implemented within Marketing Cloud? And my favorite one is, we've been working with a golf company for a long time who helps distribute, and sell tee times at local golf courses, and they integrate it to the weather channel API. So that way they could get weather forecasts for every GEO that they work with. And that way they're only setting tee times to people where it's, the weather is good enough to play golf that day, or the next day. And they're suppressing folks where it's raining, or anything like that. So, pretty cool. And then Cole, what about you?

Cole Fisher: You actually stole mine because we crosstalk.

Bobby Tichy: May have worked on that one together.

Cole Fisher: But it's a really cool customer, that's been working on that. And they're the same customer that has been pushing the limits of what these products, and solutions can do for the longest time. So, I think for me, it's more of a concept of like, it's really exciting being with somebody that says," Can we push this a little bit, could we?" It's not necessarily think about it in terms of the limitations of the product. I touched on this a little bit yesterday, but it's the approach of what's the coolest thing we could do from the end user perspective? And then how could we back the products into using this? A lot of the times they're not using custom code, or anything like that. It's just stuff that we can configure mostly out of the box, or with some pretty cool integrations, and then run from there. So it's really exciting seeing that type of work.

Steven Mansfield: Yeah. And it is funny you mentioned weather, because one of my favorites was working with a hotel chain, who would send pre- stay e- mails, featuring an enormous array of information about not only the location that you were going to, but also what's happening in the area on that particular day, and the weather, and huge manner of rich metadata, which was so cool. But for me personally, because I'm a bit of a nerd as well, I love doing anything that pushes the technical limitations of Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Even if it doesn't seem super impressive to the person that receives an e- mail, if I know that I've had to do something crazy to get it to work, that gives me a buzz as well. So recreating campaigns in Sales Cloud as data extensions in the Marketing Cloud, and creating that as a 24- hour daily sync so that every campaign has a corresponding data extension in the Marketing Cloud, that you can then use for a whole number of cool things that don't support campaigns natively. Anyone who's tried to work with that setup will know how complex that might be, but I love doing that. So if anyone would like to find out more about that, you can e- mail me.

Bobby Tichy: Awesome. Well, Cole, Steven, thank you very much for going through this. Everyone, thanks for the questions and the engagement. We really appreciate it. Thanks again. Hope you guys have a great rest of the conference.

Steven Mansfield: Thanks a lot.

Cole Fisher: Thanks guys.


You’ve got burning Salesforce Marketing Cloud Questions, and our hosts have answers. This episode is a recording of a live Ultraviolet session where our hosts Bobby Tichy and Cole Fisher, are joined by Salesforce Consultant Stephen Mansfield to answer attendees' technical questions about anything and everything Marketing cloud -- from data models to A/B testing.