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March 05, 2024

Top four ways to level up your MarTech's capabilities

Leverage personalization, enhance workflows and harness real-time data to deliver a value-driven, customer-centric marketing strategy.

Ideally, your MarTech stack should make it easier to plan, execute, measure and optimize your marketing campaigns. Many modern marketing tech solutions should have advanced capabilities, such as user experience personalization, automation and campaign analysis available, so you can begin to measure the impact of your tactics and drive more efficient spending.

With so much software to choose from for every marketing function, where is a good place to start transforming your marketing tech stack? If not implemented properly, marketing tools can easily become siloed technology that slows you down instead of improving efficiencies. As with anything in business, the key is setting goals and taking an objective look at your current system.

Maximizing your MarTech one step at a time

Given the current economic climate, it’s not surprising that companies are avoiding new tech implementations. However, many marketers' tech stacks are underutilized. There are tools within your existing technology suite that could help you exceed customer expectations and achieve your strategic objectives. You can begin to use these new functions by digitally transforming your tech stack.

When beginning your digital transformation journey, it’s critical to use a crawl, walk, run methodology. Start with your current tech stack as your foundation, such as your email service provider (ESP) and customer relationship management (CRM) system.

1. Transform customer communication with enhanced personalization

According to Saleforce’s State of the Connected Consumer report, 84% of customers say it’s important to be treated as a person when connecting with brands as a key element for winning their business. That’s a reason to ensure your personalization strategy exceeds your audience’s needs. One way to do this is with Salesforce Marketing Cloud (MC) Engagement.

Before implementing MC Engagement within your current stack, consider whether you are personalizing communications by:

  • Including custom fields such as first names or job titles within email
  • Segmenting customers based on their location
  • Delivering any dynamic content based on those segments

If not, MC Engagement can help you build and automate email campaigns that send relevant content based on your customer’s preferred channels and device, enabling you to reach them with the right messaging where it matters most.

Once you are beginning to walk with personalization, you can take it to the next level by layering on MC Personalization (formerly Interaction Studio) for real-time personalization and interaction management. This allows marketers to promote relevant products and services to their customers and prospects in real-time via the web, email and mobile with unique, specific offers. Engagement scoring is also useful in identifying website visitors who are ready to purchase and customers who are appropriate for an upsell or cross-sell.

2. Craft custom journeys with Journey Builder

Are you leveraging any workflow tools, such as Salesforce’s Journey Builder? If so, take a look at your current journeys and ask yourself:

  • Are your journeys a simple series of emails (crawl) or are you using decision criteria (walk), such as clicks to drive different experiences?

  • Are you bringing in data from your CRM via the Salesforce Connector to help inform other decision criteria in a journey (such as whether the customer made an appointment)?

  • Are you using just email with Journey Builder (crawl), or are you using other channels, such as MobileConnect, MobilePush, or Ad Studio (walk) to communicate with your subscribers in the channels they prefer?

  • Are you using Journey Builder to conduct A/B testing (walk) to see which content drives the most conversions?

Journey Builder also offers Salesforce Sales and Service Cloud. This allows you to automate Salesforce activities, freeing up the representative to focus on other tasks (run). For example, a contact receives an email about a case they opened. That triggers the log message history to be updated and, depending on the case priority, a critical task is created. Later, a survey could be sent and automatically recorded in the message history. If the contact clicks “Yes” to indicate they’ve been helped, the case is marked as “closed” in Salesforce. But if they click “No,” the case is automatically escalated, ensuring customers get the quality service they need.

That's just one example of the many powerful things you can accomplish with journeys.

3. Monitor campaigns with data visualization tools

It’s important to monitor your campaigns, even if you’re currently sending emails. Data visualization is key when looking for trends and other insights. Marketing Cloud offers MC Intelligence Reports (crawl) out of the box with standard dashboards for email, journeys and MobilePush. As your strategy matures, consider upgrading to MC Intelligence Reports Advanced (walk), which allows for dashboard creation and customization, as well as pivot tables, four cross-channel apps and data query options. Upgrading to MC Intelligence (run) enables you to optimize your spend and customer engagement with unified performance data from thousands of sources, and offers  automated reporting, customized dashboards and cost-savings through AI-powered insights.

4. Establish a real-time data infrastructure

Customers today expect experiences with brands to be in the moment, moving seamlessly between various marketing channels--email, and mobile apps. Unfortunately, most companies don’t have all their data environments connected in real-time, making it difficult to customize their omnichannel customer experience. This is where a Customer Data Platform (CDP) comes into play. A CDP reconciles customer identities and connects databases that typically don’t share data, such as e-commerce engines, ESPs and customer service software, to help you deliver data in real-time. With this, brands can provide personalized experiences across all areas of their business.

Leveling up marketing tools is a collaborative effort

Once you’re using the full capabilities of the systems you’ve already purchased, consider choosing technologies that will help you scale up. Build your MarTech stack one tool at a time, testing things out as you go to make sure everything is running smoothly.

When adopting new tools, never deploy in a silo. Marketing is intertwined with other business efforts across departments, so choosing the technologies without considering cross-departmental interests will result in bottlenecks and other inefficiencies. For example, adding multiple tools at once could lead to high performance load on your core CRM and other essential data platforms, slowing down systems and affecting other departments. Don’t forget to factor in training and your current team’s skillset. Don’t adopt something just because it’s an industry trend. Make sure you have the resources in place to set up the tool, use it and maintain it.

Shift your marketing tech strategy to be more customer-centric

By focusing more on improving the customer journey, marketers will see a better return on their investment. If the next marketing tool you consider doesn’t help personalize the customer experience, don't purchase it. Ensure your system is consistent across all touchpoints and give the consumer value that differentiates the brand, then step away. 

We've helped marketing teams solve their toughest challenges by establishing a digital transformation journey roadmap. Contact us today to discover we can help you make sense of your MarTech suite and transform it to take your customer experience to the next level.

Susan Prater

Principal Marketing Consultant, Salesforce Marketing Cloud Practice


Susan Prater is an experienced consultant with a background crafting innovative customer digital communication strategies & campaigns that elevate the connection brands have with their customers.

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