Our daily lives are jammed with stimuli. We text, we “surf the internet”, we tweet. Sometimes, we even make phone calls while receiving texts, emails, and tweets. We have come to take for granted this constant bombardment of information, or data, if you prefer. Most of us actually build our lives around it, whether we know it or not.
Advertisers who try to force a message through this wall of noise, face an uphill battle. What’s even more challenging is the fact – and it is a fact – that each of us is hit with over 5,000 advertising messages each day, seven days a week for a combined total of 1 million, 820 thousand messages a year. As a result, and possibly out of self-preservation, most of us tune out the clutter and focus only on what matters to us, individually.
If the advertiser is faced with the enormous task of being heard or seen, then the marketer is faced with a similar mountain to climb. For marketers, the preferred launch vehicle for messaging has been and continues to be the email.
From Email To Spam…
Ray Tomlinson, a computer programmer, is widely regarded as the “father” of the email; he sent the first one in 1971. Seven years later, another computer specialist, Gary Thuerk, who worked at DEC computers, orchestrated the first mass email designed to promote a new line of DEC computers at a trade show. It worked. But there were complaints about unsolicited emailing. So, if Ray Tomlinson is the father of email, then Gary Thuerk is the father of spam.
Against this backdrop, we can now add another challenge, perhaps the greatest challenge to ever assault advertisers and marketers: the global pandemic.
…To A Global Pandemic
In a matter of mere weeks, one sick individual in China triggered a tsunami of disease that swept around the globe. Almost overnight, the world economy ground to a halt. Manufacturing plunged. Businesses locked the doors. Stock markets crashed. The oil market, already greatly weakened over a price war waged by two of the largest oil producers in the world, collapsed alongside demand for the product.
In short, the planet was, for all intents and purposes, closed for business as people stayed home to shelter-in-place.
Very slowly, each country is working its way out from under the weight of COVID-19 as many governments try to chart a path to reopening their shuttered economies. It won’t be easy and the job of the marketer to re-stoke the fires of demand will be legendary in its difficulty.
Every tool at the marketer’s disposal must be targeted on the customer.
The Possibilities With Marketing Cloud
One of the most powerful tools to be deployed is Salesforce Marketing Cloud. The Marketing Cloud Suite consists of a number of products designed to create and launch emails and campaigns using sophisticated technologies built into the platform.
Ryan Clayton is Gerent’s Marketing Cloud Solutions Architect with nearly 10 years of experience with the platform. He sees Marketing Cloud’s customization options as the driving factor that makes it so effective for marketers employing email.
“Take a simple send that you do every Monday morning,” he explains, “and expand on that to the point where you can watch and wait for an interaction and then provide a next-step for the client. And if they don’t interact, then you have already created an alternative path that automatically kicks into gear.”
Another feature, Ryan says, is the ability to create a custom preference center. With that, he says, the marketer can customize the feel of an email. “You can have different values to collect from clients so you can have further segmentation to really dial in the message.”
Clayton believes that the best place to begin to employ Marketing Cloud is by leveraging the core products: Automation Studio, including Journey Builder, Web Studio and Email Studio. “Once you get a grasp on these, you can really hit the ground running with nearly anything you want,” he maintains.
Email Studio allows marketers to create one-off, customized emails with personalization using AMPscript which renders content on a subscriber-by-subscriber basis in HTML emails as well as text emails, landing pages, SMS messages and push notifications from MobilePush, a powerful technology that can manage segmented audiences of mobile contacts. It can also send targeted and personalized push notifications, send inbox messages, and use geofence and beacon messaging for location-based campaigns, among other things.
Once a marketer has the email and its content ready to go, the next step involves Journey Builder with which the marketer creates a journey for that email campaign that would involve tracking ‘if-then’ actions. Once an action is taken – or not taken – Journey Builder can automatically trigger another action and can do so across multiple channels if email doesn’t elicit a response.
Web Studio provides the means to create and host a landing page for a company. This is where a company could host the custom preference center that Ryan alluded to, earlier. Web Studio captures customer data while allowing a marketing team to view customer interaction with the page in real time and publish the page across multiple channels.
In and of itself, Marketing Cloud is powerful but when combined with Sales and Service Cloud from Salesforce, its strengths increase. Sales and Service Cloud hold customer data and can push it out to Marketing Cloud on demand for segmentation or other purposes.
“You can also connect Marketing Cloud to Commerce Cloud to power your abandoned-cart emails or product recommendations and do so with automated processes. This eliminates a lot of manual effort that’s usually required,” Clayton says.
A Genius Called Einstein
Behind it all is the power of Einstein Analytics that can inform a marketer which subscribers are most likely or unlikely to click on an email or even unsubscribe. In this way, a marketing team can zero in on who the best subscribers are in order to target them directly.
Certainly, Marketing Cloud alone isn’t going to re-fire the global economy or an individual company on its own. But, today, the name of the game is survival in the short-term with an eye on being positioned to rebound with strength in the medium and long term. This is where and why Marketing Cloud is a key ally.
Gerent has always looked for top talent in the Salesforce technology field. Every Gerent customer benefits from that with every project that our company implements. Ryan Clayton and his deep knowledge and experience with Marketing Cloud is just one case in point.
For more information on Marketing Cloud, contact us today.