My Dynamic Success at Trendline within Salesforce Marketing Cloud 

James Luck

4 minute read

I just earned my Salesforce Marketing Cloud Consultant certification after only six months working with the Salesforce Marketing Cloud platform. I even passed it on my first try – a real accomplishment given how complex the certification exam is. 

I’m not saying this to brag about myself, although I’m pleased to have come so far so fast – I’ve  been with Trendline since October 2019. 

What’s exciting for me is learning new skills, having my command of those skills recognized through the Salesforce certification process and being able to take ownership of client problems that put those skills to work to find solutions.  

How I found my way

A friend showed me what Trendline does in email marketing and with Salesforce Marketing Cloud as a technology partner, and I was interested immediately. 

So, I started seeking out information and found answers on Salesforce’s Trailhead career site. My first goal was to get my Salesforce Marketing Cloud Email Specialist certification, which demonstrates I have the knowledge and training to work in SFMC at the entry level.   

Salesforce provides many of the resources I needed, but an excellent outside resource was Trendline’s own book, Salesforce Marketing Cloud for Dummies, written by Chester Bullock, a certified Salesforce MVP formerly with Trendline, and Mark Pollard, senior solutions architect at Trendline.

After I acquired my Salesforce skills, I was hired at Trendline. Besides having the technical skills for the job, I knew I would be able to put my military experience to good use because it taught me to see a situation and make it better. 

I had also read Ken Coleman’s The Proximity Principle, which says, in effect, that finding your sweet spot – where your greatest talent intersects with your greatest passion – will give you the most satisfying work. 

Now, as a certified Salesforce Marketing Cloud consultant, I’ve demonstrated that I understand all of the tools in SFMC and how they work together so that I can advise clients on building out their email programs.   

My next goal is to continue my progress and become a SFMC developer within the next 12 months so I can be the best I can be for our clients and fulfill their email marketing needs.

Putting SFMC skills to work finding solutions for clients

Before learning about Trendline and digital marketing, I’d never heard of  HTML, AMPScript or SQL. But I’ve learned how to use these and to master SFMC tools like Journey Builder, Contact Builder, Automation and Email Studio, among others. Passing both the email specialist and consultant certification exams made the previous six months of intensive self-training worth the effort.

All that work paid off when I took on a project for a client who needed a dynamic email built but also was having issues tracking preferences and behavior. It’s a common saying in internet communities that you can’t track dynamic content within SFMC. 

But I found people who were having this problem were not looking in the right places to find the solution. I was able to create a solution for each campaign that would break out reporting on preferences, clicks and opens by using Automation Studio and SQL queries, an approach that gets around some of the limitations in other tools. 

This was satisfying on many levels – for me, personally, I was able to use my SFMC knowledge to solve a problem that had frustrated other people for a long time. I’m happy to know that this has also given our platform team more understanding of how to look at things in a new way and use other tools within SFMC.

Most importantly, it solved a major problem for our clients. They can now track dynamic content down to the user level so their analytics teams can see individual behavior.

In a second project, I created a global footer for a client that’s new to the email industry. Because of the way this client’s business is constructed, the email team had to adjust email footers multiple times across all of the company’s newsletters – a time-consuming effort. 

I used AMPScript that gave the team settings to adjust the footers as needed. This allowed the company to use the time it normally spent on these tedious tasks in more productive areas.

Why these skills matter

I’m constantly trying to find ways to improve our processes and give our clients the best solutions. Being able to write AMPScript and SQL and being able to work within SFMC are important skills. Trendline also encourages us to continue learning and to get certifications to build our skills.  

But you need more to contribute to a successful email marketing program. 

Communication is the most important skill in this line of work. In the military, I found the best way to serve others is to be transparent and open-minded to other ideas and solutions. I’ll be the first to step up and say I don’t have all the answers. But, here at Trendline, I’m proud to have the opportunity to collaborate with other team members and get their perspectives and ideas. 

I’m not bound to do things the way they’ve always been done. I can get creative – I can look at what I can do within Salesforce Marketing Cloud and work from there. 

Hard work pays off in job satisfaction

Digital marketing is growing and evolving everyday. If we don’t evolve and keep up with the technology and tools to grow with it, we will certainly fall behind and not connect with subscribers with full potential. 

We bring our “A game” here at Trendline every day. That’s why I work so hard to learn what I have in the short amount of time. I want to inspire those coming into this field of work and let them know that it’s hard work, but the hard work pays off. 

In keeping with Ken Coleman’s Proximity Principle, I have found my sweet spot in email marketing here at Trendline. This where I’m supposed to be. The work is satisfying, both in learning how to solve problems and to keep finding better ways to help our clients. 

Check out some of the work we’ve helped our clients with here.

Trendline Interactive

Ready to send better messages?

About the Author(s)

James Luck

Certified Salesforce Consultant and 2x Wartime Veteran, James enjoys solving complex challenges and coming up with innovative solutions. James dedicates his time collaborating with others to improve the digital marketing industry and helping others become more successful in their careers. Outside of work, he spends time helping his 14 yr old college student with her academics and enjoys teaching and playing with his younger two children. Follow James on LinkedIn

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