Article

Salesforce Marketing Cloud Experts–Why You Need One

Amy Collins, James Luck

It’s an open secret that people use only a fraction of the technology available to them on a typical marketing automation platform. A 2018 study by Holistic Email Marketing and Tripolis bears this out. Only 44% of companies that use marketing suites like Salesforce say they use half or more of the features on their email platforms.

But, even if they use less than half of the platform, they’re still paying for 100% of its potential. Having well-trained users will help you get more of what you pay for.

So, hire someone who’s an expert in Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC) to work with your marketing team. Sounds simple enough, right?

However, if you don’t check their credentials carefully, you could end up hiring someone who knows a little about email technology and figures they can teach themselves the basics of SFMC.

We can predict what will happen next because we’ve seen it before: The first time they log in to SFMC, they will feel like a 5-year-old trying to fly a Boeing 737. Your email marketing program could stall out while your new employee gets up-to-speed on the basics, and you’ll wind up paying for advanced services you’ll never use.

Why go with a pro?

SFMC is a leading technology platform in the digital marketing industry, and it is one of Trendline’s carefully chosen technology partners––along with Adestra, Oracle Responsys, Selligent Marketing Cloud, IBM Watson Campaign Automation, and others.

Most of our specialists are certified professionals who hold at least one of SFMC’s credentials. But we know as well as anyone how difficult it is to become an SFMC expert, one who knows the system inside and out and can do more than build a simple email.

It’s important to understand why users need more than a few days of poking around to learn how to use SFMC to the best of its abilities and why many companies prefer to work with an agency that already has top-flight professionals on staff.

Why Salesforce Marketing Cloud is different

SFMC has evolved into a powerful digital marketing platform that incorporates multiple functions, such as SMS messaging, social media, landing pages, and data integration to suit the demands of enterprise-level companies.

SFMC also requires extensive training and experience to use the platform effectively. As we explained above, you can’t pick it up just by trial and error.

Trailhead, SFMC’s robust self-directed training program, is where beginners start to learn the system and gain the knowledge and experience they need to earn their various SFMC certifications. But hands-on experience using SFMC programs, like Email Studio and Automation Studio, is what’s needed to solve real-world problems.

How to spot a genuine SFMC expert

Perhaps the easiest thing about SFMC is separating the experts from the wannabes. Ask candidates about their skills and how they use the platform to solve specific problems. Look for people who hold credentials in one or more of SFMC’s skill levels These credentials are awarded to people who have passed extensive certification exams. You can’t bluff your way through these tests!

Although Trendline’s job titles differ from the certification titles, the jobs themselves require the same skills sets as those needed to achieve SFMC certification. Below are the four credentials SFMC offers and the skills needed to earn them:

  1. Marketing Cloud email specialist: “Knowledge, skills, and experience in email marketing best practices. Includes message design, subscriber and data management, inbox delivery, and reporting.”
  1. Marketing Cloud developer: “Hands-on experience developing across the full platform. They create personalized, dynamic messages and landing pages, and are fluent in Marketing Cloud scripting languages. They’re also experienced in advanced segmentation, reporting and analytics, and data configuration.”
  1. Marketing Cloud consultant: “Set up and implement the Salesforce Marketing Cloud email application tools, providing solutions to execute both tactical and strategic email campaigns. Candidates should possess broad knowledge of Salesforce applications, external integrations with the Marketing Cloud email application and work with stakeholders to define requirements.”
  1. Marketing Cloud administrator: “Configure Marketing Cloud products utilizing industry and product best practices. Candidates should be generally familiar with data structure in subscriber data management and can thoroughly navigate Setup. Certified Marketing Cloud Administrators can successfully troubleshoot account configuration and user requests.

Our SFMC-trained employees hold a combined 50 certifications, at all tier levels, and they are continually encouraged to keep learning and going for higher certifications.

How partnering solves the problem

We don’t want to imply that it’s impossible to have trained SFMC users on a local marketing team. Many brands that use SFMC do have email or platform specialists on staff, but these people usually have to wear many other hats––designer, developer, deliverability manager, testing, QA manager, and more. So, in-house SFMC users have less opportunity to hone their technical expertise or maintain their certifications.

That’s why many companies that use high-performance platforms like SFMC will partner with an agency that specializes in that platform. The company can take advantage of the agency’s technical expertise in all areas, from strategic planning to campaign execution, at a fraction of the cost of maintaining a comparable team in-house.

We’d love to show you how our digital marketing pros can work with your teams to help you achieve your marketing goals. Learn More.

About the Author(s)

Amy Collins, James Luck

Amy Collins is a member of our Technology Consulting team, where she specializes in technical email marketing. James Luck is a member of our Campaign Management team, who are experts in platforms, processes and program management.

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