Penrod Blog

Are you making these mistakes in Marketing Cloud?

Written by Matt Fiel

Marketing Cloud is one of the most powerful B2C marketing platforms on the planet…and with great power comes great responsibility.

In healthcare, that responsibility is even more crucial. After all, Marketing Cloud has the potential to deliver life-saving healthcare journeys. However, it’s easy to squander the positive patient experiences, time-saving efficiency, and return on investment Marketing Cloud is capable of generating.

Most of these mistakes come down to:

Poor Planning
Messy Organization
Inexperienced Teams
User Adoption

Mistake 1: Poor Planning

Before you can set out on your marketing journey, you need to have a destination in mind. In order to plan for the future, you need to answer the following questions:

  • What are your goals?
    Don’t move the goalposts. Understand what success looks like before you start so that you can adjust tactics to get there.
  • Who are your targets?
    Success runs downstream from segmentation. Without the right targets, you won’t be able to personalize messaging, journeys, or channel preferences.
  • Which channels are most effective?
    Live on the channels your targets live on. Understand where, when, and how they prefer to be communicated with.

Once you have a clear understanding of goals, targets, and channels, you can begin to plan your journey.

The Marketing Cloud Customer Data Platform offers a variety of ways to segment your contacts and personalize their experience. By using data from Salesforce or other external sources, you can create powerful customer profiles that will guide your contacts through their journey. With a little planning and a solid data strategy, you can ensure that your marketing journey is a success now, and scalable for future growth

Mistake 2: No Strategy for Organization

For every person, there is a unique organization strategy (or no strategy at all), and there is no one-size-fits-all solution for every business. How you organize Marketing Cloud comes down to your industry, targets, and business model. The long-term success of your platform depends on documenting conventions for:

  • Folder structures
    Develop your folder hierarchy according to your content strategy. Is it seasonally based? Use years as the parent folder. Is it product focused? Use product lines as the parent.
  • Content Data
    Ensure you’re tagging emails, content blocks, code snippets, and dynamic content. Tagging greatly enhances searchability and ensures uses can work quickly. 

Ensure new and current users are aware of the conventions, and enforce them. Centrally document the standards so that every employee can be enabled or onboarded.

Mistake 3: Retaining Too Much Data

Like many things in life, “Less is more” from a data standpoint.

Start with the baseline information you need to run segmentation and personalization. It is much easier to add data to Marketing Cloud than remove it.  Be prescriptive but don’t overdo it from the start.

We recommend the following best practices for clean data:

  • Be willing to let data expire
  • Continually scrub your lists for un-engaged members
  • Limit the amount of data extensions you use
  • Only store data you need (especially when it relates to PHI)
  • Reduce column length and table size
  • Don’t use “Full data refresh” when a “new data refresh” would suffice

Mistake 4: Trying to Boil the Ocean

Don’t start your journey in a sprint.

Crawl, walk, run is usually the right approach for Marketing Cloud. Let’s face it – there are a ton of bells, whistles, and channels available from the get go, and it’s tempting to reach for the shiniest object. But that doesn’t mean you should try to boil the ocean and implement every feature at once.  

Start slow, learn the basics, and expand into new capabilities when you’re comfortable with the system. The learning curve in Marketing Cloud is real…unless you and your team have previous experience, don’t push too hard, too fast.

Mistake 5: Having the Wrong Team

Marketing Cloud is enterprise-grade, and it requires an enterprise-level team to implement. Make sure member of your team have previous experience, Salesforce Marketing Cloud certifications, and healthcare marketing reputoir. 

Also, consider hiring a consultant to help. Even if you have a staff with Marketing Cloud Experience, a Salesforce consultant may have accelerators that will produce a tested, more scalable solution that gets your marketing programs running more quickly.

For help selecting the right partner for you project, check out our guide to choosing a Salesforce consultant.

About The Author

Matt Fiel

EVP of Marketing

With over 15 years of experience in marketing strategy, web development, and creative design, I lead the marketing team at Penrod, a boutique Salesforce partner focused on the healthcare and life sciences industry. My core competencies include marketing strategy, creative direction, web development, and search engine optimization, which I use to create engaging and effective campaigns, websites, and content for our clients and partners. As a Salesforce Certified Pardot Consultant, I have deep knowledge and skills in leveraging the platform to optimize marketing automation, lead generation, and customer engagement. I aim to deliver ROI through marketing strategies that align with Penrod's vision and values. I am passionate about healthcare and life sciences. I enjoy collaborating with cross-functional teams, industry experts, and thought leaders to drive growth and success for Penrod, our customers, and the Salesforce ecosystem.

Get a Consultation

Need help with Marketing Cloud for your healthcare company?

We're Marketing Cloud experts. Schedule a free consultation to see how we can help by filling out the form on the right.