Marketing Cloud Limitations (and Ways Around Them)

In this session, Cyril Louis, Head of Salesforce Practice, Globaz SA, highlights the limitations of Salesforce Marketing Cloud while suggesting ideas for possible workarounds.
Leonard Linde
Keynote Speaker
Cyril Louis
Areas We Will Cover
Salesforce Marketing Cloud

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Marketing Cloud Limitations (and Ways Around Them)

In this session, Cyril Louis, Head of Salesforce Practice, Globaz SA, provides several workarounds for common issues that users of Salesforce Marketing Cloud might have noticed. After all, certain capabilities and limitations alike of Marketing Cloud are not immediately obvious to people who are new to using this tool. They might not realize that it is possible to get help with lead scoring, email testing, data segmenting, synchronizing clouds, duplicating landing pages, and more.

This session is ideal for those who are new to Marketing Cloud and want to know about possible limitations ahead of time. It’s also perfect for Marketing Cloud veterans who have always wondered about workarounds to some common problems, as not everyone has gotten around to finding fixes for these roadblocks. Marketers and developers alike may be interested in these shortcuts for Marketing Cloud users.

From this talk, it’s clear Louis has spent lots of time exploring Salesforce Marketing Cloud, so listeners can sit back and learn little-known solutions they weren’t aware were available. Knowing these workarounds will make this tool work better for everyone, rather than having to turn to other programs to do everything from lead scoring to segregating important data. As such, this session is great to have on hand any time Marketing Cloud users feel they’re facing a brick wall when it comes to certain functions of this tool.


What You Will Learn

  • Synchronize with your Sales Cloud Sandbox using Marketing Cloud’s connector [00:05:43]
  • Segregate your data [00:07:00]
  • Learn how to use ideas.salesforce.com for ideas [00:08:00]
  • Find out how to synchronize your Sales Cloud data to Marketing Cloud [00:08:53]
  • Get the Deployment Manager for Marketing Cloud on the AppExchange to deploy different customer journeys between business units [00:12:25]
  • Learn which tools to use to duplicate landing pages [00:13:17]
  • How to preview emails on different devices using Litmus [00:14:48]
  • Learn how Super Messages work on Marketing Cloud [00:18:03]
  • Listen to how to use SaleSwings App for lead scoring [00:22:12]

[00:00:15] Welcome to another X-Force Data Summit presentation. Today we have Cyril Louis, who runs a Salesforce practice at a consultancy called Globaz. And today he's going to talk about the sales marketing cloud limitations and workarounds, and I just wanted to mention that this is a great complementary presentation to Carrie Townsend's presentation, which was introduction to Salesforce marketing cloud.

[00:00:43] So if you like this presentation, you might want to see Carrie’s, and those of you who saw Carrie’s, welcome to Cyril’s. And without further ado, here's Cyril. Yeah. Thank you very much for the introduction.Yes, indeed. I built this presentation from my own experience when I've started some marketing cloud implementation.

[00:01:05] So I faced some limitation, some difficulties. And I try to find workarounds, workarounds when possible, and for sure it's something I wish I knew when I started some implementations, so I hope it will be useful for you to share something I faced when I did some marketing cloud implementations.

[00:01:29] So, who am I? So, my name is Cyril Louis and I'm working at Globaz, and I'm working in the CRM ecosystem since the last 17 years now. And I'm specialized on Salesforce since the last eight years now. So, I've built tons of projects on Salesforce, working on different clouds, sales cloud, service cloud, community cloud, and so on.

[00:01:59] And then I started to specialize in marketing, not just marketing cloud, but different topics around marketing strategies and different tools, but obviously marketing cloud. And then when we were working on marketing, data is more and more useful and important. So I've been involved in different data and artificial intelligence projects using DMP, CDP, machine learning, predictive intelligence, and so on.

[00:02:32] If you know me on social media, you may see that, I like to snowboard also. So it's something I do really like. There is no, since I think something like, 2002, no year without snowboarding. And the last topic to introduce myself is around the Trailblazer community. So it's something I do like to share knowledge, being involved in the community.

[00:03:04] So talking about community, I'm a user group leader and I've been also involved in community, even named Keyforce. So you see the link with Salesforce in the snowboard. And so I've been also awarded as a Salesforce MVP and Salesforce Lightning Champion. And as I told you, I'm the user group leader in Geneva, Switzerland, and I've been also involved in different Salesforce events, as a volunteer or as a speaker.

[00:03:35] So it could be Dreamforce, different Salesforce World Tour or Basecamp, or different kinds of events. I mentioned some Trailblazer Community events. So it's also different kinds of events I like to be involved as a volunteer or as a speaker. So your event X-Force Data Summit is one example. And I've been involved in the French Touch Dreamin, CzechDreamin, North Africa Dreamin, sharing some best practices, sharing knowledge.

[00:04:07] I also had the chance to, you know, guide or, help people to train on Salesforce in different universities here in Switzerland and also being a speaker in different eCommerce or marketing conferences. And the last thing, I've been also, I had the chance to share some knowledge, insights or ideas in different blogs and newspaper.

[00:04:38] But before I start my presentation, I will just share with you these nice forward-looking statements, and I'm quite sure you know these slides. It's just for you to know that, do not base your purchasing decision on what I will tell you today. But only on, you know, the features already available on the platform, because I may speak around features of volition, innovation, or whatnot, like, yeah, let's see.

[00:05:12] Ideas, ideas.salesforce.com. So today, it's sharing. It's about sharing my knowledge and my experience, my own experience on Marketing Cloud and talking about some known limitations and sometimes unknown limitations and discuss about how I face those limitations and if I find some workaround, share it with you.

[00:05:36] So the first topic is around Sandbox. So if you're working on the Salesforce core platform, so for sure when you start a Marketing Cloud, you will raise this question. So where is my Sandbox? Where is my Marketing Cloud Sandbox? I would like to test my data on a Developer org, or I would like to run some campaign on my marketing Sandbox data.

[00:06:04] Or I would like to synchronize with my Sales Cloud Sandbox. So the first action to do is use the Marketing Cloud’s connector. You can synchronize. The thing is to synchronize data, you will have all your data in the same, what we call that, Data Extension. So in Marketing Cloud, all your data will be at the same place.

[00:06:30] So first thing is maybe build another data extension. Instead of having all your subscribers in what we call the all subscriber list, maybe build a dedicated testable Data Extension where you will put your test data in it. If you do not want to create a dedicated Data Extension, you can just create the custom field on your all subscriber list. You can name it whatever you like, but name it Sandbox, and then use the check box as a criteria when you would like to segment your campaign. So you will, you will be sure that you only segment test data.

[00:07:14] Another way is to segregate your data. So, I just told you that all your information, all your data will be in what we call the all subscriber list in Marketing Cloud. But you can also build a business unit, and a business unit it’s a kind of Chinese wall between your data. You will really segregate your data.

[00:07:37] So if you have business units, you can create a business unit, you can name it Sandbox, and every data in this business unit can be used for your test campaign, for instance. But to use it, you have to have a specific option name, multi business units. And if you would like to synchronize these business units with your Sandbox, you have also to purchase the multi org features.

[00:08:07] So you need multi business units and multi org to synchronize your test data with sales Sandbox, for instance. Or you can also avoid for this idea. So if you're not aware of what ideas.salesforce.com is, it's the community that raised domain or claims ideas. And if a lot of people within the community vote for this idea, Salesforce will include this new evolution in the roadmap for the future release.

[00:08:42] So please, go to this idea and vote, if you want to have a Sandbox on Marketing Cloud.

[00:08:54] Another topic when I started on Marketing Cloud is how do, how does it work to synchronize data between Marketing Cloud and Sales Cloud, for instance, but also in the other way, from Salesforce to Marketing Cloud, Marketing Cloud to Sales Cloud. And so on. So a few questions when you start.

[00:09:17] so how do you synchronize your Sales Cloud data to Marketing Cloud? How does it work? I know there is a connector. The second question is, okay, and what if something had happened on Marketing Cloud and I would like to now refresh and update my data on Sales Cloud. So, the first thing to synchronize is to use Marketing Cloud Connect.

[00:09:40] It's super easy to implement and it will allow you to use your sales or service cloud data in Marketing Cloud. So you can use those data as criteria to build your segmentation and some, straightforward. But if you need to update Salesforce, your Sales Cloud or Service Cloud, you will need to be at the customer journeys and use Salesforce activities that will allow you to update from Marketing Cloud to Sales Cloud.

[00:10:14] Or you can also use AMPscript. AMPscript is a kind of specific language for Marketing Cloud. It’s, you know, to develop for developers, mainly.

[00:10:29] Another option could be for you to have a closer look on the new Salesforce Customer 360. Salesforce is pushing a lot on Customer 360, in order to have all those different clouds, more and more connected. So maybe Salesforce through Customer 360 will help you to synchronize and update your data through all your different clouds.

[00:10:56] Or you can also avoid for this idea, to help you to synchronize information both ways. The idea I've listed here is strongly focused on the email status, but if Salesforce tried to deliver something, for sure, they will also increase the capability around synchronization.

[00:11:22] Another topic is around customer journeys. If you're using Marketing Cloud, it's also to build customer journeys. So you have different questions. The first one is, okay, I'm running Marketing Cloud. So it's live, it's in production, and I would like to build a new customer journey. How can I do? How can I test to make sure that I will not, you know, ran on my production data?

[00:11:50] How can I test it maybe on my Sandbox business units? And then when it’s live, I would like to deploy on the other business units or maybe someone in another business. You need to build the super useful customer journeys and we would like to reuse it in all the different business units. So, when I started this presentation a few months ago, the first answer was you can only share assets or email templates between different business units, and to do so, you will use the shared folder.

[00:12:26] But in the shared folder, you cannot put customer journeys. So the answer was there is no workaround. Actually, if you want to share customer journeys between different business units, you have to just rebuild it. Or, we had these ideas, and this is the real value of ideas because it's quite new.

[00:12:53] Actually, this solution has been delivered by Salesforce. The connector is available on the AppExchange, and it's named Deployment Manager for Marketing Cloud. And this AppExchange will allow you to deploy your different customer journeys between your different business units. So, as you can see, if you see something missing on the solution, you create the idea.

[00:13:18] If a lot of people within the community vote for this idea, this can be delivered in the next release. So, we just talk about how to duplicate customer journeys. Another topic is landing pages. So again, I've been to landing pages for, I don't know, a game or, form or registration and so on. And I would like to reuse these landing pages.

[00:13:46] Maybe like a template. I would like to save it, clone it, copy, and so on. And actually, it's not possible within Marketing Cloud. It’s quite crazy. But if you, if you have linked pages, you have to rebuild the landing page. You cannot just clone it. So what I found is instead of using the Marketing Cloud capabilities of building landing pages, you can use another tool, like FormAssembly, or again, you can also avoid for one idea, like asking Salesforce to allow us to duplicate and clone our existing landing pages.

[00:14:32] Another topic on Marketing Cloud is, you know, that multichannel. So you will use different channels, and one of the channels could be mobile. So you're building your templates. Before, to send the template, you would have the preview on Marketing Cloud and you would say, I would like to see what will be the rendering on a mobile phone.

[00:14:54] So you see it on your Marketing Cloud solution. It looks good. You click on send and when you receive it, it's going totally crazy. So, you don't understand why, because the template looks good. But when you click and you receive it, something goes wrong. So another workaround I found that during my test send, when I send a test of my campaign, I use Litmus.

[00:15:20] And with Litmus, you can have tons of previews. You can select what kind of mobile phones you would like to have, what kind of email clients you would like to see the rendering on. So it's super useful, super easy also to use. And obviously it's integrated with Marketing Cloud, so you can have a look at that.

[00:15:42] It will save tons of time for you. And another option could be to wait, because Salesforce just bought Rebel months ago. So maybe through these acquisitions, Salesforce will bring additional capabilities to Marketing Cloud. As an example, you know, you may be aware of what is interactive email.

[00:16:10] So interactive email is how to build forms or surveys within an email. So this feature is coming from Rebel. So maybe Salesforce will have more and more, instead of the mobile preview. Maybe it's coming through this acquisition. Or you can also upvote for this idea, asking the Salesforce team to have a look on the mobile rendering.

[00:16:38] Cause obviously they have something, it's not good enough so that they could also work on that.

[00:16:49] Another topic is about the commercial threshold. So. If you're using a different type of solution for marketing automation, it's something that you usually see. You do not want to over solicit your subscribers. You don't want to send too many messages. So you would like to say, I don't want to say in another email, if someone, I don't know, have received more than five.

[00:17:18] emails in the two in the last two weeks, for instance. But the thing it's not, this feature, which exists in another solution, is not an out of the box feature in Marketing Cloud. So a workaround, maybe you can use Marketing Cloud Measures to track the number of emails sent. And then reuse this measure as a criteria.

[00:17:45] Another option could be to use SQL query. So within Marketing Cloud, you can build some SQL query so you can evaluate the number of emails that have been sent to every contact, and then use Automation Studio to automate this query. And use the results of this query to build an exclusion list. So if your query is, I would like to have all my subscribers who received more than five emails in the last 14 days, so it will be added.

[00:18:22] They will be added to the exclusion list to make sure that will not be over solicited. Or you can ask Salesforce to have a look on these features and upvote for this idea, and maybe it will be delivered in the next release.

[00:18:43] So we talk about the automated number of emails that we've sent to the customer and make sure we do not over solicit. But actually, when you started on Marketing Cloud, you have to buy a package of Super Messages. So what is a Super Message? A Super Message is the unit within Marketing Cloud for all the email you will send, the SMS, the push notifications or also the landing page and cloud pages impressions.

[00:19:15] It's the units. So you buy a pack of units. And the question will be, where am I? How many, how many Super Messages I still have now, because my database is growing, I've sent more and more emails. And actually, there isn't. This information does not exist within Marketing Cloud. You have to ask your account executive.

[00:19:41] So, workaround. If you're using only email as channel, you can just run a report and you will see how many, how many emails you have sent. So you can know how many Super Messages you've bought, so you will see where you are. But if you're using also SMS push notifications and cloud impressions, there is no workaround. You have to raise the question to your account executive and it will give you the answer.

[00:20:11] Which is weird because if an account executive can have your answer, so this answer should be shared to the customer. So you can upvote for this idea asking Salesforce to display this information within your own Marketing Cloud org. You should be able to see this information without you contacting your executive.

[00:20:39] And the last topic, when you're working on Marketing Cloud, because it's a solution for marketing automation, you may have questions about scoring, because you said, okay, Salesforce, I know that Salesforce has a solution in Pardot, and within Pardot, you have scoring, you have grading. But what about Marketing Cloud?

[00:21:04] So where is this scoring for my subscriber? How can I do if I would like to score to rate my subscriber list. So, it's not available out of the box. So we can think of different ways to address this topic. Actually with some people, we think about it before. And so you can have some insight on this blog post on SalesforceBen.com. The first one is maybe you can build a custom scoring on Sales Cloud using the Marketing Cloud Connect.

[00:21:45] So the Marketing Cloud Connect will send information to Sales Cloud like what kind of, how many emails you have open, how many clicks you've done on emails or how many interactions, and with Process Builder on your Sales Cloud, you will increase dedicated custom scoring. Maybe opening an email is five points and clicking on the links is 10 points and you will increase this information.

[00:22:14] And again, through the connector, you will reuse this custom score, send back to Marketing Cloud and use it as a custom criteria. Another option could be to build a customer journey to increase the custom scoring into a custom data extension. So after each email you've sent, if the email had been opened, if a link has been clicked, or if you submit a form, the landing page and so on, you will update that extension, and then you can also reuse this information.

[00:22:56] Another option, if you do not want to build that extension, you can implement SalesWing App. So SalesWing App is an external application. It's for lead scoring and website tracking. So you will have intelligence, you can have scoring and grading, and this, all this information can be also synchronized to the Marketing Cloud.

[00:23:20] So SaleSwings App can bring you kind of Pardot scoring and website tracking into Marketing Cloud. And by the way, it's a, it's a Swiss company. And of course, you can also upvote for this idea, a link here, to ask Salesforce to give us the kind of feature for scoring on Marketing Cloud.

[00:23:58] So this is just a few topics, that I've faced. Sometimes, because I was used to have this, this features in different solutions, so I was quite surprised not to have the solution within Marketing Cloud and sometimes we just, using dedicated, you know, use cases. And I said, whoa, it's strange that I could not just duplicate the landing page.

[00:24:26] So now, now that I have faced this problem, how can I do to ease my day to day work? So I hope, I really hope this feedback from my real-life experience would be useful for a lot of people watching this station. And of course, feel free to reach me on different trials, email, Twitter, LinkedIn, and I will be more than happy to help.

[00:24:53] Thank you, Cyril. It was interesting to see kind of an eye-opening list of, of, shortfalls on Marketing Cloud. I guess one of the one questions I had is if you run out of Super Messages during the middle of a campaign, what happens? Can you restart your campaign after you get another, quota of Super Messages? Does Marketing Cloud fail gracefully, or is it a cleanup?

[00:25:18] No, when you started with Marketing Cloud, you have a different criteria on your contract. So the first one is Super Messages, how many Super Messages you will use. And the second one is how many contacts you will store in your database.

[00:25:36] But when you hit, when you hit one number on your contract, it’s not like a strict stop of your company. It will just ring a bell to the account executive. They will come back to you and ask, do you need more Super Messages or pay attention, you've just hit the maximum number of contacts that you can store into your contract.

[00:26:06] So two options. Do you want to raise your limits, or do you want to clean part of your database?

[00:26:10] Okay, well that's better than just failing right out. So, when you're previewing your mobile emails, basically you send an email, you send a test email to Litmus, and then look at it in Litmus, is that what you do with this workaround you're talking about?

[00:25:32] Yes. So you can send only one email, actually, you send an email. And then you open the rendering on Litmus and then you say, I would like to see how it looks on an iPhone 6, and I would like to see how the email looks like in Age or in Chrome, or in, in a Mac or and so on. So you will select your mobile device, but also your email clients. So you have tons of options. You can also have a look how it looks on, I don’t know, Outlook or, yeah. Cool. You'll have tons. Tons, tons of options.

[00:27:13] Nice. So the internal one isn't very good, huh? That's interesting. Guess Salesforce needs to acquire Litmus. Tell me a little bit about Customer 360. What do you think that's going to bring to Marketing Cloud or allow you to do more?

[00:27:34] So what Salesforce is trying to do is to connect all the different clouds to allow you to have a real complete view of your customer, all the different touch points you may have.

[00:27:43] So the main example is you have part of your customer data on your Sales Cloud, a part on your Service Cloud, but also could be on your Commerce Cloud and on your Marketing Cloud. And because part of the cloud’s also coming from acquisition from Salesforce, they have not on the same infrastructure or on the same data model.

[00:28:10] So Customer 360 will help you to deduplicate your data because you have different records. But at the end of the day, it's the same customer behind. So Customer 360 will help you to have the customer unique view, depending on all the different touch points you may have. So it's a way to connect all the different clouds of Salesforce, but also how to, you know, merge all the data.

[00:28:38] So this is why for Marketing Cloud, it can be also useful to synchronize with all the clouds. It's a way to deduplicate, to find what actually is the unique key and how to find that a subscriber in Marketing Cloud is a consumer in Commerce Cloud, which is a customer or prospect in Sales Cloud and so on with at the end of the day, the same human being behind.

[00:29:03] Yeah, that would be helpful, I think. Very helpful. Well, thank you so much for the presentation, Cyril. I learned a lot about Marketing Cloud and its limitations and hopefully you stay healthy.

[00:29:20] Yeah. So keep in touch if you have questions, and I hope it will help a lot of people to you know, to go into Marketing Cloud and maybe to have more certifications on Marketing Cloud and so on.

[00:29:30] Great. Right. Thank you. Welcome. Thank you very much.

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