Data Technology

Quick wins and long-term advantage in Customer Experience with Salesforce Marketing Cloud

4 minute read
By Bede Feltham

A significant trend in larger organizations is the increasing level of focus placed on Customer Experience (CX). Technology, a common catalyst for change, is playing a substantial role in enabling organizations to meet their ambitions of delivering intelligent, relevant and highly personalised customer experiences. Experiences that, over time, can lead to truly sustainable business advantage.

Traditional, unsophisticated email and online marketing, where you might upload an audience list, develop some creative variants, and then run a stand-alone campaign targeting a large and loosely segmented group of customers, are fading. And in their place, quickly gaining traction, are automated, always-on, personalized communications journeys.

SFMC – powerful yet complex

One of the more popular tools at the heart of this shift is Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC), a powerful cloud-based suite of tools that enables companies to create and manage customer journeys across multiple touchpoints and channels for optimum results. However, this means that SFMC offers capabilities across every aspect of the customer journey, including multi-channel message delivery, audience profiling, personalisation, interaction management, to name a few. The result is that it has evolved to a level of complexity that is quite astonishing. And it’s this complexity that can often hinder efforts in implementing and delivering such journeys.

A good analogy is Formula One. A racing car is an impressive piece of engineering, packed with technology and designed with a single purpose – to deliver optimal performance. Engine, tyres, components and aerodynamics all need fine tuning, from a talented team at the factory, in the pits and behind the wheel. Then there’s all those critical processes: from transporting the car, parts and team from one place to another, to changing the tyres in a matter of seconds. If any one area underperforms or fails, the car might still work, but it won’t keep up with the leaders.

The same is true of SFMC. The platform comprises multiple components – Journey Builder, Audience Builder, Personalisation Builder, Content Builder, Analytics Builder, across Email Studio, Mobile Studio, Social Studio, Advertising Studio and Web Studio – all requiring precision set up and optimisation to create exceptional customer experiences that drive sales and build loyalty.

To maximise performance and value, a capable and knowledgeable team is needed, who, in this case, possess interoperable mindsets, skills and visibility across technology, marketing, data and processes. It’s an essential requirement to ensure that people and technology work together effectively in your organization.

And this is where things get tricky.

On the marketing side, skills and expertise are needed in CRM, Customer, CX, Data, KPIs, Control Groups, Comms, Journey Design, Measurement Frameworks and Test and Learn plans. And on technology: SQL, APIs, Data, Data Signals, Scheduled Automation, Data Layers, Attribute Groups and Data Extensions. Put these all together and we’re in a world of acronyms, cross-purposes and potential confusion.

This means the challenge is human capital. A pressing need to access the skills and knowledge of the right people – whether in-house or outsourced – who can optimise those tools and create processes to make them work. Even if you possess a dream team, valuable members can leave at any time, so it’s worth having a reserve pool of talent available.

The pursuit of long-term competitive advantage

So, what are the other considerations for lasting success? Strategy will always be a key driver. Now that marketeers have automation tools like SFMC, they can concentrate efforts on the long-term strategies needed to deliver brilliant customer experiences. And for that what’s needed is a truly holistic approach, aligning technological know-how with strategic direction.

Another consideration is the quality of data assets throughout their lifecycle. Garbage in, garbage out, right? SFMC can handle the most contextual data you can throw at it. However, it’s only going to perform well if your data governance is up to scratch – quality, usability, availability, security and consistency.

Finally, we come to creative: getting the messaging right, aligning with the audience; delivering personalisation to customers through dynamic, modular content capabilities; and developing brand storytelling throughout the customer experience.

On track with ekino

At ekino we have the team with the knowledge and expertise in SFMC within dynamic enterprise, helping to unlock return on investment for our clients. We specialise in omnichannel communication, customer experience and technology services and solutions. We combine data, technology, strategy and creative output to deliver meaningful experiences that transform business.

And we do all this with a holistic approach, inspired by insights and all beautifully crafted to really connect with your customers.

For more information on quick wins and long-term advantage, visit our website at www.ekino.co.uk

Bede Feltham
Digital Strategy Director, ekino London.
Data-driven, digital marketing professional who has passionately followed a hybrid career path, focusing on where technology and marketing meet.