AKA — A Pilot’s Pre-Landing Checklist for New Marketing Cloud Installs
Salesforce Marketing Cloud is only getting stronger within its own universe in the Salesforce ecosystem. Overall, it can be complicated as it’s a huge platform in general. Like the 757–200 in the photo above, the pointers below will help you land safely & securely on a tight schedule when conducting an implementation.
This is especially relevant considering that recently Salesforce has decided to make Pardot part of Marketing Cloud (which will eventually be known as Marketing Cloud **Account Engagement). **And, for even more information, see my previous blog article regarding these upcoming Marketing Cloud feature adjustments from May 10th.
In the meantime, here are some high level tips to remember when conducting a Marketing Cloud Implementation! Work through them from top to bottom and you’ll be at baggage claim in no time:
**Design & Whiteboard a Proper Solution: **Always plan on designing a roadmap that outlines everything from start-to-finish. And I mean Everything. From Data Migration activities into Data Extensions, to running SQL queries of data sets in Automation Studio, to outbound Email sending strategies in Journey Builder. If you’re onsite, be sure to bring an extra set of markers and to expect the unexpected in terms of whiteboard documentation!
Decide on a Fixed & Designated Team Meeting Schedule: Externally, schedule daily “Stand Up” calls and weekly-technical calls with the teams handling sensitive data into the Marketing Cloud system. This would also include folks who handle connector settings in Sales Cloud which will be mostly be most concerned with mapping fields into Contact Builder. Have the weekly schedule be rolling for at least several months to account for any unexpected “turbulence” during implementation.
**Upload Marketing Assets & Data Properly: **Be certain assets (EG: Email Templates, CloudPages, Data Extensions, Drip Campaigns) from other existing sources are migrated over to Marketing Cloud on-time and securely. Don’t be shy to overreach to make sure all assets are structured properly into various folder settings as well (Marketing Cloud has a lot of these).
**UAT Testing of all Features Prior to Production: **Any and All Technical Functionality within Marketing Cloud, designed and implemented, should be tested to ensure met user expectations and satisfaction. Make sure to build out both an internal and external test lists to conduct UAT testing upon moving assets into Marketing Cloud (for various approvals) as well.
**Train the Trainer(s) + Promote End-User Awareness: **A logical sign-off typically involves making sure users are comfortable using all aspects of the new system. Going above and beyond means making sure all team members can easily use & deploy everything built, and that it’s all safe & secure. If you’ve been creating documentation from the beginning, it’s easy to whip up an implementation manual that contains everything you’ve covered during the implementation for future use.
**Bottom Line: The Goal of Every Implementation is to Accelerate the “Speed to Value” for your organization and your users: **Always refer back to what is & isn’t in-scope within the S.O.W. (Statement of Work) or the project requirements to ensure what you’ve been building is in line with expectations. And always look for opportunities to expand an existing roadmap because there can be a ton of opportunities down the road.
And Finally: Always reach out to us (or, of course, Salesforce support) if you have any questions along the way during an implementation.
Happy Flying! And we’ll see you in the cloud.