Over the past eight years, I’ve seen and troubleshot many Salesforce Marketing Cloud implementations.
In my opinion, there are three areas to keep in mind to enable a successful implementation project. And it’s not all about tech! Instead, make sure you are:
- Reviewing your existing processes
- Keeping things simple
- Beginning with the end in mind
Let’s explore how each of these ideas can assist a successful Marketing Cloud implementation.
1. Reviewing your existing processes
Implementing some new technology is a great time to revisit your current functionality and processes. Do you need to do everything that you are doing, and do you need to do it that way?
Use the opportunity to get a fresh perspective from your implementation team, and consider what was top of mind when you started the software purchase process.
- How do you see it moving you towards your goals as a business?
- What made you purchase it in the first place?
- How can you work with your implementation partner to leverage Salesforce Marketing Cloud to put you on the most direct path to success?
Most of the time, the answers to these questions point to new ways of doing things, not replicating old processes and habits.
Let’s say you have been using another email solution provider to date, and you’ve been sending out ten weekly emails through ten different lists. Your first thought shouldn’t be, “how do I replicate these ten lists in Marketing Cloud?”.
Instead, you should attempt to understand why it is that you have ten lists. Is it because you have multiple sign-up forms on your website? You should also consider what you can change to enhance your marketing results and save you and your team time.
An implementation project is a great time to throw out any processes that are no longer working for you and to bring in a new era of automation.
2. Keeping things simple
The most successful Salesforce Marketing Cloud users I’ve seen try to keep things simple. They do one thing at a time, set themselves up for quick wins and then iterate on these.
These businesses complete one project piece that works, then the next one that works, and so on and so forth until they just keep building on this momentum.
When you do this for your business, you will quickly see that your quick wins have added up to something great. Your systems are humming along, and you can concentrate more on marketing, and less the technology itself. Bingo.
3. Beginning with the end in mind
Setting up Salesforce Marketing Cloud successfully means finding the right balance between delivering quick wins now vs setting your marketing up for future success.
As you build on simple step after simple step (as per my point above), you also need to focus on the project milestones that will keep all of your project resources engaged and clearly show value to your business.
You also need to ensure that any quick wins now aren’t going to stop any longer-term goals being realised in the future. Start with the easiest items to fix or improve, and then build on this to ensure both stakeholder and business buy-in.
In tech circles, this is often part of agile methodology. The idea is to build a market stall by stall rather than wait until all the stalls are ready before you open your market. You still need some planning – you’ll want to make sure you leave space for fire exits, for example, but you can start delivering value as soon as your first stall is open.
Being upfront with your business goals and plans with your implementation partner can help you co-create a project plan that has baked in ‘quick wins’, as well as ensuring your factor in your future plans (and fire exits!)
Ultimately, if stakeholders inside your business can’t see where the implementation project is going or believe it’s taking too long, they will turn their attention elsewhere. They can become hostile to ongoing system use, creating a political abyss into which your brand-new marketing system falls, possibly never to be found again.
While these aren’t tech features and may sound rather broad, keeping these three principles in mind should help you deliver a successful Marketing Cloud implementation.
For me, a successful implementation provides immediate value to your business, engages your team and adapts to your customer and prospect needs over time.
Finally, if you or your customers need help implementing Salesforce Marketing Cloud, contact me today at email@example.com.