Salesforce Marketing Cloud is one of the leading marketing automation platforms out there but, as with any premium software, it comes with a learning curve. For busy in-house marketers, it can be challenging to learn the system and run efficient, successful campaigns. This is why Salesforce Marketing Cloud partners exist.
How to find a Salesforce Marketing Cloud Partner
It’s important to note that not all agencies and consultancies are certified Salesforce partners. Anyone can claim to be an expert in SFMC but official partners are vetted by Salesforce and go through due diligence and review before becoming approved. You can find partners on the Salesforce AppExchange.
The AppExchange allows you to filter by industry experts, Salesforce expertise, location, and ratings. For example, if it’s important to you that your partner is based locally, it’s easy to find consultants in your area.
Image: Salesforce AppExchange
Salesforce Marketing Cloud experts should also have the credibility of individual certifications, such as ‘Certified Marketing Cloud Consultant’ or ‘Certified Marketing Cloud Email Specialist'. You can usually spot certification badges on partner websites, like below:
If you’re considering working with a Salesforce Marketing Cloud partner, be sure to check these credentials as part of your selection process. Sadly, I’ve come across suppliers who are not 100% truthful. There’s a big difference between a ‘specialist’ and a ‘consultant’ in that each requires its own certification. Luckily, it’s easy to verify individuals using the Trailhead Verification tool, which you can access here.
What to expect from your Marketing Cloud partner
The purpose of Salesforce Marketing Cloud partners is to assist businesses with best practice implementation, development and management. Common services include:
- Platform and module setup
- Integration with Salesforce and third-party tools
- Data modelling and configuration
- Managing Data Extensions
- Email templates
- Campaign strategy and management
- Journey Builder or Automation Studio setup
- Analytics and reporting via Datorama
- Technical troubleshooting
- Sales Cloud support related to Marketing Cloud
- Team training
A good partner should act as an extension of your in-house team, providing proactive consulting and support as well as being hands-on in the system where required.
Of course, the scope of work your partner should deliver will depend on the service agreement you have. However, at MarCloud we make it our mission to ensure that all of our Marketing Cloud clients receive the following as standard:
- Free account reviews - clients shouldn’t pay for initial reviews as these help to identify opportunities and solutions that we can then collaborate on.
- Knowledge sharing - we publish regular blog articles and emails that help clients understand and self-serve in the platform too.
- Bespoke services - partners should not be serving cookie-cutter strategies across multiple clients and all work should be tailored to the individual client.
- Comprehensive planning - time should always be spent on mapping out activities, including visuals and written documents, before changes are made to an account.
- Best practices - clients will always receive a best practice approach, avoiding cutting corners or producing sub-standard work, no matter how busy we are!
- Open communication - we talk through real-life scenarios and sense-check plans to ensure they will be effective in practice. We love feedback and collaboration!
- Flexible but not ‘yes people’ - as an extension of your team, we align with your way of working but we’ll also be honest in recommending preferred approaches.
Most importantly, you don’t know what you don’t know. So it’s vital that your Salesforce Marketing Cloud partner uses their expertise to provide agile, continuous improvement by recommending better ways of doing things in the system.
The mark of a poor SFMC consultant is one that simply does what is asked of them, without providing feedback or value-add. Invest in a partner that cares about your results as much as you do!
Find an outsourced team who will make suggestions and keep you updated on new features and releases, so you can take your automated activity to levels you may not even realise is possible.
Why opt for a Salesforce partner?
As an outcome of partnering with certified Marketing Cloud experts, you should:
- be up and running faster, with fewer errors and technical conundrums.
- have more time to dedicate to marketing strategy and improved campaigns.
- avoid an expensive hire and hours of onboarding and training in-house.
- experience better marketing and sales alignment and relationships.
- know exactly where you can make improvements to generate more ROI.
- achieve high delivery rates for email campaigns.
- better understand Marketing Cloud and the features available to you.
- be using Marketing Cloud to thrive!
If your current partner isn’t ticking every one of those boxes, you can do better.
Feel free to take us up on the offer of a free Marketing Cloud account audit. We’re an official Salesforce partner with plenty of accreditations and top-rated client reviews.