Marketers / Marketing Automation / Marketing Cloud / Service Cloud

Marketing Cloud + Service Cloud – It’s a Match!

By Timo Kovala

As a marketer, one of the best feelings is when you deliver useful content that solves a real customer issue. Throughout my experience, I have found that this is often achieved when marketing assumes a customer service role, delivering tailored content in key touch points during the customer relationship. This kind of marketing is commonly referred to as relationship marketing. When done right, relationship marketing feels more like good customer service than marketing.

In this article, we’ll dive into how you can run successful relationship marketing using the combined forces of Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Service Cloud. Aligning marketing and customer service comes quite naturally with Salesforce – you’ve got real-time visibility to Service Cloud’s case records and customer data, combined with the cross-channel journey-building capabilities of Marketing Cloud. And, as a cherry on top, there’s AMPscript, dynamic content, and Einstein features to personalize your interactions.

Don the Customer Service Hat

The first thing to do when getting started with relationship marketing is to align marketing and customer service. Make sure to approach this with kindness and reciprocity. If you’ve ever worked in customer service, you know that service agents are very busy – they serve as the front line between the customer and the company. 

If you offer to give a helping hand, odds are they’ll be happy to let you lighten the load. That said, you must be careful to a) not unintentionally create added work, and b) understand and follow the existing customer service processes to avoid creating friction.

Questions to ask at this point:

  • What are the typical causes for contacting customer service?
  • How are cases managed and what statuses or stages are in use?
  • What customer pain points have service agents identified during case handling?
  • Are there any frequently asked questions or problems that could be answered proactively? Are they related to a particular customer lifecycle stage or event?
  • Are there any product or service features that customers aren’t aware of or aren’t using?

Gather the Data

Even the most ambitious of marketing endeavors can crash and burn due to a lack of data. Using the Salesforce platform, you can assess if you can meet the data requirements for relationship marketing. 

When building a relationship marketing journey, you need to look for two things in your data: functional requirements and quality. The former refers to the data needed to build a viable journey with Marketing Cloud, i.e. data used for the journey entry source, audience segmentation and personalization. In Marketing Cloud, you can base your journey on record creation or change directly or create an automatically updated, segmented audience via Automation Studio.

READ MORE: Maximize your Marketing Cloud Data with Automation Studio

As for data quality, ensure that the data you are using is accurate, consistent, complete, uniform and valid. Use picklists and data validations where possible, avoid duplicates and validate your email addresses beforehand.

Questions to ask at this point:

  • What will be the triggering event or circumstance for the journey?
  • Do we want to target only a subset of customers with the journey?
  • Do we want to use data from Salesforce objects to personalize the journey (e.g. from the Case, Account or Contact objects)?
  • Do we want to enrich Service Cloud data via the journey (e.g. sms replies, email interactions or CloudPage form submissions)?

Build a Journey

By now, you have an idea on how you can help out your colleagues from customer service and you’ve secured the data you need to get the job done. Great! Now, it’s time to start building journeys. 

What’s great about Journey Builder is that it gives you real-time access to most Salesforce data, including Service Cloud data about Cases and Tasks. Journey Builder allows you to build multi-step journeys using several channels, including email, SMS, mobile push, and instant messaging. It’s tempting to go all out on different channels, but as always, simple is best. Here are a few examples of service-oriented journeys that you could build with Marketing Cloud:

Journey NameDescriptionTriggerGoal
New User OnboardingEnsure proper end-user adoption of your service.Contact is a new user of the service.Service and its features in active use.
Engage with Inactive UsersMinimize churn risk by activating passive users.Contact has not used the service for 6 months.Contact starts using the service.
Update Legacy ContractsMinimize churn and avoid unnecessary calls to the support hotline.Contact’s Account uses an older version of the service.Contract is updated and renewed.
Aftercare for Customer SupportConfirm that it is ok to close a ticket and ask for feedback.Contact is related to a Case that is closed.Contact gives feedback OR Contact reopens the Case.

Questions to ask at this point:

  • What is the goal of the journey? When should a Contact exit the journey?
  • What channels will you be using? Will customer preferences play a role?
  • What should be the overall duration and message cadence for the journey?
  • How will personalisation be used during the journey?
READ MORE: Power-Up Journey Builder With Marketing Cloud Connect and Salesforce Data

Measure Results Like a Pro

To make friends with the guys at customer service, you want to show them some numbers. The problem is that no out-of-the-box report or dashboard will give you the insights you need. 

Measuring marketing performance on service-oriented campaigns can be tricky, since you cannot measure results on new leads or won deals. The good news is that you’ll get by with Salesforce Campaign reports. Here’s how to set those up:

  1. Create a Salesforce Campaign for each Journey.
  2. Update the Campaign Statuses to something informative for each Journey (e.g. sent, viewed, responded, not responded).
  3. Add Campaign Member activities to the Journey. (Hint: use engagement splits to update the member status based on a Contact’s activity.)
  4. Build a Campaign report to display the Journey performance.
READ MORE: Salesforce Leads With/Without Campaign Reports – Build the Right Report

Questions to ask at this point:

  • What metric should be used to identify engagement (e.g. clicks, submissions, record updates)?
  • How do we determine if a Journey was successful or not?
  • Who do we want to share the results with? What level of detail are they expecting?


By combining Service Cloud’s case records and customer data and the cross-channel journey-building capabilities of Marketing Cloud you have a perfect match for relationship marketing. When done well, this can feel more like good customer service than marketing, and solving real customer issues feels so great! I hope this article has informed you how to help your customers (and yourself!).

The Author

Timo Kovala

Timo is a Marketing Architect at Capgemini, works with enterprises and NGOs to ensure a sound marketing architecture and user adoption. He is certified both in Salesforce Pardot and Marketing Cloud.

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