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The Pitfalls of Salesforce B2BMA

Let’s be clear, B2B Marketing Analytics (B2BMA) is an essential platform for Salesforce and Account Engagement (Pardot) customers. The reporting and analytics capabilities of B2BMA are incredible and when configured correctly, marketers can easily present confident metrics and demonstrate ROI. However, getting the dashboards to do what you need them to, is a challenge.

Coloured background with text The Pitfalls of Salesforce B2BMA

Now, at MarCloud we don’t like to be negative so perhaps ‘pitfalls’ is the wrong word to use but ultimately, there are aspects of B2BMA that can make it difficult to master. 

That’s not because the UI isn’t user-friendly (it is!) or because the tool isn’t flexible and full of powerful reporting features (it is!), but because creating successful reports depends on how you’re using Account Engagement and Sales Cloud too.

You can’t just install B2BMA and off you go into reporting heaven. Here’s why…

Side note: There are two versions of B2BMA, the standard version, and B2BMA Plus. Read about the differences between the two in this blog post.

Salesforce B2BMA challenges

Making errors during implementation

Salesforce integration guides are enough for most marketers to manage an independent B2BMA implementation but there are clear gaps in the documentation that usually mean customers miss key steps.

One of these is the B2BMA integration key, which needs to be set up with Manager access to the app. 

There’s also the fact that B2BMA won’t work right away if you haven’t done the groundwork to get your Account Engagement data in order! For example, if your assets are not associated with the right campaigns, you won’t be able to see true conversion rates.

Likewise, if during implementation you don’t understand datasets and how the schedules for datasets and recipes will run, you’ll encounter issues with inaccurate data later down the road. There are a handful of other reasons B2BMA projects fail too.

B2BMA has its own terminology

With data management inevitably comes data terminology and B2BMA is no different. When using B2BMA, you must understand the different terms to be able to implement and use it properly. Some of the words you’ll encounter are:

  • Dataset

  • Lens

  • Filter

  • Dashboard

  • Faceting

  • Dimension

  • Group

If any of those are foreign to you, it’s best to swot up on both the meanings and how they function within B2BMA before you start taking action.

Out-of-the-box reports are limiting

There are five pre-built reports in B2BMA:

  • Engagement dashboard

  • Pipeline dashboard

  • Marketing Manager dashboard

  • Multi-touch attribution dashboard

  • Account-based marketing dashboard

The purpose of all these dashboards is to combine marketing and sales data, using Account Engagement and Sales Cloud, to display performance. They are designed as a one-size-fits-all, for general businesses and organisations. This means they sometimes won’t meet your needs unless you have a very simple marketing and sales process.

If you make edits to the default dashboards themselves, you’ll be frustrated to find that if and when Salesforce makes updates to these, your changes will be overwritten. 

For this reason, we recommend creating custom dashboards instead. With custom dashboards, the reporting world is your oyster.

Reports are only as good as your foundations

This actually isn’t a pitfall - of course, reliable reporting depends on reliable data! The foundations of your Account Engagement and Sales Cloud accounts have to be in place for you to see true value with B2BMA and be able to confidently report on campaign effectiveness.

These foundations include:

  • Correctly qualifying and assigning prospects.

  • Reliable data with Lead Source and Campaign Member Status.

  • Tracking and attribution are in place and automated.

  • Aligned with the sales team and using Opportunities correctly.

  • Understanding how your setup might need to change as you scale.

We know, it’s a lot! If you’re ticking all of those boxes right now, you’re leaps and bounds ahead of most Account Engagement users. If not, you’re one of the many floundering in the system trying to get everything to work correctly.

Don’t be discouraged, not having the above in place doesn’t mean B2BMA isn’t for you. Quite the opposite, B2BMA is amazing for all Account Engagement users. There’s just a bit of prep work that needs to come first, so you’ll need to focus there initially.

B2BMA Nirvana by MarCloud

There is no better feeling than when a custom report in B2BMA presents a true picture of your marketing landscape. When you can turn up to meetings armed with undeniable evidence of your campaign effectiveness and prove the value of Marketing. 

With our market-leading framework, ‘B2BMA Nirvana by MarCloud’ we can get you to a place where everything just works. And you better believe that it is possible to reach complete clarity!

If you’re seeking marketing serenity, our consultants have the experience and wisdom to help you get there. Reaching B2BMA Nirvana starts with a simple phone call. Learn more about our unique framework can work for you, contact us to arrange a call today.

Chris Thompson

Chris Thompson

Chris is an experienced marketer and certified Pardot consultant. He's passionate about improving visibility for clearer marketing attribution, which in the world of Salesforce means aligning digital marketing strategy with the objects, tools and automations available within the Salesforce tech stack and beyond. His role at MarCloud is to support the Delivery Consultants in launching and managing client projects and campaigns, ensuring the best delivery and results.

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