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How Salesforce Kept Me from Marketing into a Void

By 07.08.19
Reading time: 3 minutes

Throughout my writing career, I’ve worked in marketing and creative for companies in healthcare, banking, and insurance industries. Each had their unique quirks and charms when it came to marketing (both in B2B and B2C) but certain pain points persisted across all industries — Who were we talking to? Why were we talking to them? Why should they care? 

Scattered data, missed marks

At a high level, it was easy to say we were reaching out to “a client,” or “ a customer,” or “a prospect.” But to really get down to it, to provide meaningful information and actionable asks, we (marketing teams, content writers) needed to know more about our audience demographics. 

The data existed, of course, but we couldn’t always get our hands on it. Disparate systems of tracking and logging customer intel abounded — each department tending to their own data crops and protecting them in their own data silos. 

Without a central place to pull more robust customer information or track our open and clickthrough rates, it felt like we were sending content out into the ether. Were we marketing to people no longer in our health network? Could we be offending customers by assuming the total amount they should have in their savings? Did we message specific insurance policies to the wrong geography? Would our email work harder with images of an older crowd?

We needed our messaged benefits to match the client needs and align with our company goals, or we were never going to convert prospects into customers; turn accounts into real relationships.

Maybe we would know the goal for our sales team had to do with a certain product, but we didn’t know the right segment for the product, or the right region to target. When given enough lead time, we would occasionally find the information before publishing or a campaign going live. But more often than not, the search would add days to our timelines.

Sharing is caring

One by one, as each company I worked for grew (or annual budgets increased), Salesforce was added. Adoption was slow, with a focus more on sales, pipelines, forecasting, and account management. Marketing access was often an afterthought — which made it hard to market in real time, often resulting in stale content served up well after relevant events occurred. But there was at least a glimmer of hope that the data was being collected and connected in one place. We just needed access. If not to the system, at least to the people.

To find what we needed, there would be meetings and email threads and too many chat windows to count — but we were getting more of what we needed in less time. Once we had background on our target audience, it became easier to map them to a user or customer persona, which made it easier to target the right message to the right people. Entire segmented lists could be made with subgroups and categories that ensured we knew who we were talking to, and they knew why they needed to hear from us. 

Over time, our persistence proved our use case, and marketing was brought into the Salesforce ecosystem.

Bringing marketing into the fold

With the addition of such solutions as Marketing Cloud or Pardot into established Salesforce ecosystems, not only did campaigns become higher quality, but results became easier to quantify. We had results to prove ROI and we could more readily see the impact of our work in real time. In each industry I worked where marketing fully adopted marketing automation through Salesforce, campaigns featured more robust email automation with targeted audiences, multi-channel engagement reached a wider prospect pool, and lead management easily synced up with sales cycle initiatives.

The roads may have been bumpy to start, but in with every implementation I’ve experienced, Salesforce marketing tools helped pave the way for more successful campaigns. If you’re thinking about implementing Salesforce marketing automation solutions into your org, contact us today.

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