Smith Adopts Marketing Cloud for Enterprise Marketing Automation

Dear Smith Salesforce Community,

I am excited to announce that the Salesforce Advisory Board has selected Marketing Cloud as the Smith School’s new enterprise marketing automation platform! 

Marketing Cloud is a Salesforce owned product, so we expect integration with our Salesforce CRM and user adoption to be painful but smooth 🙂 While we are excited for this selection and the impact it will have here at Smith, we are still at the early stages of purchase, so there will be much more to come and we hope you stay tuned!

In the meantime, I thought I’d try and anticipate some of your questions and tackle them below:

What’s the big deal… why do we need an enterprise marketing automation platform? Fair question, especially if you haven’t seen the data we uncovered in the discovery process. Smith has 23+ unique tools currently being used to communicate with internal and external stakeholders. In other words, we’re emailing the same people, from different departments, at the same time, on the same day, with the same information? (maybe), with different information (sure), with information they asked to receive (unlikely), with different branding? (probably), all with total neglect for school-wide coordination, relevance of content, and subscription preferences ( <– that’s a federally regulated issue). Yikes! Need I say more? We are in dire need for personalized, customized marketing to keep our stakeholders engaged with us instead of tuning us out.

Who selected Marketing Cloud? We were fortunate enough to work with a Smith Alumnus, Steven Washington, throughout our research, discovery, and selection process to help us navigate this important decision. In addition to Steve’s support, we formed a sub-committee, the Marketing Automation Committee, under the guidance of the Salesforce Advisory Board (who, again, is made up of 23+ members representing every business unit here at Smith). The Marketing Automation Committee was tasked with supporting requirements gathering through 6+ hours of discovery interviews with various stakeholders across the school, providing feedback during our three product demos, and participating on customer calls with our top two vendors. They participated in many meetings where we strategized our plan for selection, debriefed on our research from discovery, and made the final selection as a group. 

I wasn’t part of the discovery process, so which stakeholders gave feedback? Every business unit was invited to nominate representatives to participate in our discovery interviews, but we didn’t get a chance to hear from every single one of you individually. Aside from staff representatives, we had multiple meetings with our Marketing Communications team, and RedHouse, our external marketing agency that supports lead generation across our various graduate programs. 

What does this mean for me? For everyone, one day, it will mean that your sole platform for mass communication will be Marketing Cloud. If I could turn on a switch and grant everyone a license and insert a microchip in your brains with all of the training and documentation you need to run with it, I would prefer that route 🙂 Our long-term goal (6-12 months) is to decommission the 23+ mass communication platforms currently being used across the school. But what it means for you today, totally depends on your business unit, since we can’t onboard everyone at the same time 🙂 

What is the roadmap for on-boarding my business unit? Our  immediate  next step is to hire an implementation partner to kick us off, provide technical support with the integration, schedule trainings, and identify a timeline & roadmap to see where your business unit will fall on the calendar. There are many considerations that go into the latter, including your department’s desire to be on- boarded, your need, your impact, and complexity. The next blogpost you’ll find on this topic will likely be unveiling this roadmap 🙂 

What can I do in the meantime to get ready for Marketing Cloud? I’m so glad you asked! There is so much that you and your department can start working on while we work to get our roll-out strategy in order. Here are some suggestions:

  1. CLEAN YOUR DATA! Ask yourself: Where do my contacts that I communicate with currently live? If the answer is NOT Salesforce, we need to work together to start cleaning up those spreadsheets and get that data imported into Salesforce so that you can build your lists in Marketing Cloud. Cleaning up data can be time-consuming, so getting a head start on this is a great idea. Reach out to me first so that I can work with you on identifying your data’s current hygiene and develop an import template for you to work with.
  2. Start drafting out the marketing journey (or journeys) that you want your contacts to follow. This means developing email content & ideas, and a timeline for the flow of communication. 
  3. Generate excitement within your department. Our success with adoption will largely depend on our success with rolling out our change management strategy along with the product itself. Start talking about Marketing Cloud to your team members, ask if they have any concerns or questions, and invite us in to your meetings for helpful discussions. 
  4. Don’t stop using your current marketing automation platform (since we haven’t on-boarded you yet to Marketing Cloud)… but please don’t go purchase another one if you don’t already have one! 

So what’s next? Another blog post of course! Stay tuned for more fun, helpful info, and get ready for Marketing Cloud!


Your Salesforce Admin



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