Marketers universally are being challenged to do more with less. With a looming economic downturn, the stakes are higher than ever – it’s a common thought that marketing is the first function to be slashed in a recession.
But it’s not all “doom and gloom”. For the optimists out there, change presents opportunity to fine-tune their techstack. “Extensibility”, Orchestration”, “unification”, “personalization”, are all terms we’ll hear circulating in 2023.
Your success is not only down to what Account Engagement (Pardot) delivers; as a marketer, what’s even more important is how your strategy influences what you do with your account.
How will you seize all the opportunities within your reach? Here is my list of New Year’s resolutions, let’s see what could be in-store.
1. Explore Extensibility
Extensibility is all about ironing out inefficiencies throughout one’s tech stack – aggregating data from multiple sources faster and optimally, reducing manual work, and more.
Extensible orchestration is a term has been on the tips of Salesforce marketing experts’ tongues over the past two years, but what does it actually mean? Let’s break it down…
- Orchestration: most commonly related to a musical conductor’s intentions is to plan and coordinate the elements (instruments) of their situation (the orchestra) to produce the desired effect (harmonious music).
- Extensible: designed to allow the addition of new capabilities and functionality.
Extensible and Orchestration come together in a Account Engagement (Pardot) context to improve how marketers coordinate the elements (data sources, content, workflows) of their situation (teams, channels) to produce the desired effect (single profile of an individual, actionable engagement data) – and be able to add elements without disrupting their situation.
Examples off the top of my head include:
- The Pardot API v5 (more endpoints added with each release)
- Marketing App Extensions, with External Activities and External Actions.
- Email Content object, being able to deploy to different types of emails.
I have a feeling we will see more functionality over the course of 2023 that will make your Marketing Cloud tech stack feel more like an orchestra than a “cocktail” of platforms.
2. Learn Salesforce Flow
There’s a belief that Account Engagement (Pardot) specialists should be familiar with some aspects of Salesforce administration. Our guide highlighted the many Salesforce skills that we believe will help you get the most out of Account Engagement (Pardot), and confidence in understanding your connected Salesforce org.
Salesforce Flow empowers you to build complex business solutions using clicks, not code. Flow Builder is the most powerful tool that a Salesforce Admin has at their disposal, and is clearly the de-facto for process automation in Salesforce.
So, why should you care? There are many use cases you may like to build for Account Engagement (Pardot) that can’t be achieved with the automation tools provided by Account Engagement (Pardot). That’s when you can turn to Salesforce Flow to support these special use cases, for example birthday campaigns, or different lead lifecycles for specific prospects.
Understanding the potential of Flow – even if you don’t know exactly how to build the process – will enable you to extend your Account Engagement (Pardot) processes in a scalable way. The Ultimate Salesforce Flow Foundation course is on my list for the first quarter!
3. Organize Your Campaigns
A classic new year’s resolution that always makes the list. Once you’ve nailed down how your campaign hierarchy should be structured, ensure you then wrap your head around all the related objects. Marketing asset records can be related to campaigns (landing pages, emails, forms, snippets etc.)
We have already seen how Salesforce Campaigns have become the hub for end-to-end campaign management, e.g. setting targets, creating assets with the Lightning builders, Engagement History reporting. The overarching goal is to make campaigns repeatable to boost user productivity. Get organized now, and reap the benefits all year.
4. Explore CDP and Profile Unification
Marketing Cloud CDP (Genie) has been part of the Marketing Cloud suite (better suited to “transactional purchases”, therefore, a tendency to be known as a B2C marketing suite).
A sizeable proportion (31%) of marketers struggle to execute account-based marketing (ABM) due to the lack of a unified view of customer data. Originally a B2C challenge, B2B marketers should take profile unification seriously, too:
With rumors that CDP will become available for Account Engagement (Pardot) sometime in 2023, now is the time to get familiar with this new ‘world’ – a new way of thinking about your database.
We’re currently writing a glossary of Salesforce CDP terms so you can get to grips with the jargon faster. Keep an eye out for that guide in the next few weeks.
5. Build Your Personal Brand
With a job, your work identity is tied to your employer; with a personal brand, your work identity extends beyond the role you’re in. Building a personal brand requires commitment; not only is it beneficial for your career, it’s highly rewarding to ‘gift’ your knowledge and insight, without expecting anything in return.
To some degree, a personal brand also protects yourself against economic downturns. An employer is less likely to lay off someone who has a personal brand – and should they get laid off, the individuals with strong personal brands will be able to bounce back faster into another job.
There are multiple ways you can go about this – this is by no means an extensive list!
- Your LinkedIn profile is up to date and showcases your skills. This is your online resume, so include certifications, tools and technologies you’ve used, your volunteering experience. In each role, brag with some figures, for example, KPIs you improved, the size of your database, or how many users you looked after in your org. Similarly, give some love to your Trailblazer.me profile – and link the two together!
- Having an active social media presence. For example, post regularly on Linkedin; short form posts (i.e. 10+ lines) explaining something you’ve recently discovered, are really impactful for gaining engagement.
- Participate in the Trailblazer community – most importantly, speaking at in-person or virtual user groups.
6. Repurposing Content
Content repurposing is all about getting more mileage out of one’s content – and is something that we’re trying to be more effective at, at Salesforce Ben. You produce a video, white paper, article – how can this be transformed into other formats?
While this may sound simple, it’s easy to not be as disciplined at repurposing.
For example, podcasting is one tactic where marketers aren’t planning to slash their budget. Surveying over 8000 marketers, Neil Patel found the overwhelming majority were increasing their budget for podcasting:
While there’s the risk of diluting your marketing efforts across too many channels for you to maintain, it’s worth asking yourself whether you are truly maximizing what you’re already producing.
7. Design/Create a Custom Email Component
The Lightning email builder comes with standard components, third party components (e.g. Vidyard). Did you know that Account Engagement/email specialists can add their own components, to be reused across multiple emails throughout the marketing team?
Challenge yourself to make your emails interactive, and stand out from the crowd! While you’ll need a developer to create and test the package, you should be involved in the design phase and measuring prospect engagement.
8. Marketing Collaboration
During these rocky times, we need to pull together as a team. Distributed teams are here to stay, and the silver lining from the pandemic was that marketers can still collaborate effectively when not physically together.
We’ve united with collaboration technologies – an average of four per organization, according to Salesforce – and 70% of marketing leaders expect these investments will be permanent. We can reflect back to a time when “collaboration” wasn’t an investment that was expected to impact the bottom line.
Let’s take a look at how Slack has shaped the daily lives of marketers. In 2023, an enhanced Slack app for Account Engagement is on the table – the initial Pardot-Slack release at the tail-end of 2021 was only a taster of what’s to come.
Have you given serious thought to collaboration (within the marketing team, and with other teams)? Where can improvements be made?
Now you’ve seen our resolutions, it’s over to you – what are you going to focus on in 2023?