You are facing a marketing problem, why not take care of it with a digital solution. Unfortunately, not all the digital challenges can be solved merely with technology, because quite simply the technology needs to be correctly implemented in the first place.
The larger question is whether all the requirements are available to get marketing cloud implementation right. Does it take the right strategy, right partner or right platform?
Let’s take a step back and review the key fundamentals of a successful marketing cloud implementation.
Understand the marketing objectives
Perhaps the most significant challenge of marketing cloud implementation is to understand the needs of the customer. From the very beginning the correct requirements with respect to data, segmentation, dynamic content, unsubscribe or reporting is necessary. For optimal outcomes, it’s suggested to convene a workshop with client stakeholders from their marketing units to discuss the overarching objectives. For example, is the goal for a marketing journey to drive promotion or increase awareness among customers?. Once a clear list of objectives is formed, deeper investigation into how people subscribe and the customer classification process can be explored. Next, a consolidated view of the subscriber data, segmentation of subscribers based on geography, location and language, and the communication strategy for marketing campaigns has to be determined in order to reveal solutions for implementation purposes.
Technology is just a paradigm
Marketing automation to run campaigns or customer journeys is technology agnostic, but at the same time it is an independent platform. It’s very possible to achieve similar results by integrating a customer’s journey into a journey builder or automation studio. However, to accomplish this outcome, careful assessment using a number of different approaches is required. First, it is important to understand the audience who will be interacting with the system that’s going to be set up. For a marketer, it may be more efficient to use drag and drop filters rather than writing complex SQL queries for segmentation in Automation studio. From a business perspective, a monthly credit card statement from a bank requires an automation studio, whereas a journey with the goal to convert prospect into clients is a perfect use case for journey builder. It is important for businesses and partners to understand the goal for the marketing journey before attempting to determine a solution. Looking to the future, technology advantages and limitations should be analysed and compared against the marketing needs to ensure the most ideal results.
Think like a marketer
Most marketing cloud projects ultimately fail to deliver because implementers have difficulties in thinking like marketers. What might appear to be a simple and quick solution from a technology standpoint, could prove to be difficult for a marketer to implement in the long run.
Partners carrying out the marketing cloud implementation must ascertain that they deliver the best suited results and not just a quick and incomplete solution. It becomes difficult for clients to cross train their resources to learn the essential details of a marketing platform in situations involving a complex set up. Long term support of such an intricate marketing journey may require continuous support and careful oversight, which ultimately increase overall costs. What might appear to be a simple and pragmatic marketing campaign can turn out be a frightening if not configured correctly. In the end, marketers are responsible for implementing the campaign, not the technology experts who developed it. An AMPscript solution may look straightforward, but may prove to be difficult to amend changes.
Determine the Solution
Designing a marketing journey or campaign represents the core of the overall implementation tasks. A marketing journey can be delivered in many different ways, therefore, it’s vital to map the needs against the technology abilities to determine the best outcomes. Solutioning experts focus on key tasks including the data source and how the data can be imported into Marketing cloud instance for the purpose of segmentation. The data transfer process seeks to determine if a batch transfer or synchronized data exchange is required given a client needs. Other areas for responsibility of a solution person is to understand the dynamics involving the reporting requirements for sends, or setting up an unsubscribe management process. It is advised to careful map-out an end-to-end process flow of a marketing journey to highlight touchpoints and customer interactions. It is equally essential to relate the positive and negative outcome of customer interactions against journey touchpoints to avoid any loops. As a marketing fundamental, customers with no or negative engagement must be addressed more than the ones who are more engaged.
Implement and Execute
Once a solution has been designed, it’s just a matter of putting the solution into practice. A detailed and well documented blueprint guarantees a successful marketing cloud implementation. Resourcing the project, rolling out the project plan, and listing the assets required, collectively include the basics of a marketing cloud implementation assignments. Clear understanding and communication around the project tasks and shared responsibilities is required. Segmentation or dynamic content rules must be articulated clearly, and the content required for EMAIL or SMS must be created well in advance to honour the project schedule. Before the customer journey is set live, and the journey communication is released to millions of subscribers, it is crucial to undertake end-to-end testing of the entire journey flow. Quite simply, keep testing it and correcting it until it is unbreakable. Knowledge transfer to the stakeholders is another important aspect of marketing cloud implementation. A walk-through of the setup, and exploration of how it functions should be accomplished with the end users. It is also advised to implement a couple of guided sends with the parties involved before the implementation team complete their project tasks.