The Salesforce Marketing Cloud is an impressively powerful platform that enables marketers to create a 360-degree view of their customers, engaging with them in truly personalized and meaningful ways. In order to fully leverage the functionality of the amazing feature-set available within the Marketing Cloud, your organization will need data – lots of data! However, we all know that when a lot of data is introduced into the equation, things can get rather complicated. I’m here today to help you navigate the data management waters of the Marketing Cloud so you can ensure your customers are always receiving the right content at the right time.
Data management 101
One of the best aspects of the Marketing Cloud is the ease in which it can ingest data – from all types of sources. The flip side of this is, well, the platform can easily ingest data from all types of sources! This double-edged sword can present potential pitfalls for teams who err on the side of the ‘bringing everything into the platform’ mentality – many will quickly find themselves struggling to access the valuable customer data they’ve worked so hard to acquire.
The easiest and most straightforward means of avoiding this scenario is to keep things simple when it comes to importing data into the Marketing Cloud. I know, much easier said than done, right? Let’s walk though a specific use case on paring down your data, as this may help provide a concrete and actionable example of how to adopt the ‘less is more’ mindset.
Less is more: Sales Cloud + Marketing Cloud sync
One of the most valuable aspects of the Salesforce ecosystem is the ability to connect and share data across the various Clouds. In this case, we’ll explore the Sales Cloud and Marketing Cloud sync, which allows organizations to synchronize their CRM data to their Marketing Cloud instance.
For example, this particular feature allows marketing organizations to import their Sales Cloud Contacts, Leads, Person Accounts, etc. into Marketing Cloud for subsequent use in campaigns. Once you have established the connection between Sales Cloud and Marketing Cloud, it’s easy to synchronize customer data, as shown here in this example of Contact attribute selection:
In the above image, users have the ability to easily select customer attributes from their Sales Cloud instance for sync with the Marketing Cloud. It’s so easy, in fact, that one could quickly select all attributes for import. In this particular example, a user could import all 241 attributes from their Sales Cloud Contacts records in a matter of only a few clicks. Incredibly powerful and easy to use? Absolutely. Will marketing organizations leverage every single attribute of the 241 available? Probably not!
This is why less is more is so important when managing your customer data. Although it’s easy to include everything, it’s best to stick to only what you need. Including data that you will seldom or never use will only make it that much more difficult to find the data that