In our most recent #SalesforceQA, we caught up with John Baldaserini, Salesforce Marketing Cloud Administrator at Nielsen.
John talks about the increasing importance of Marketing Cloud in today’s digital world, some key challenges organisations need to overcome when implementing Marketing Cloud and offers his advice to those looking to pursue a career in the Marketing Cloud space.
Salesforce Republic (SR): To kick-off could you tell us a little bit about what inspired you to pursue a career in Salesforce?
John Baldaserini (JB): The Salesforce Marketing Cloud product inspired me to pursue a Salesforce career. During my first month using Marketing Cloud, I remember being eager to see how the tool could handle challenging or atypical use cases. Every time, Marketing Cloud passed the test and I thought wow, the ExactTarget and Salesforce product owners have planned for everything. Within two months, I knew Salesforce was with whom I wanted to start a new career.
SR: In your opinion, why is Marketing Cloud becoming so important in today’s digital world?
JB: In today’s digital world, a growing number of consumers expect brands to know: what products/services they would be interested in, what products/services they would not be interested in, through what technology they prefer to receive marketing communications and what time of day they prefer to receive marketing messages.
At the same time, a growing number of consumers will “break up” with a brand after receiving one too many thoughtless marketing communications.
Marketing Cloud can ensure consumers receive relevant marketing content, through their preferred technology, at their preferred time.
SR: What are some key challenges organisations need to overcome when implementing Marketing Cloud?
JB: Organisations need to understand the people who will be using the tool. Ultimately, Marketing Cloud users determine how the product is used and what the return on investment is.
I think it’s common for purchasing decision makers and implementation architects to have big plans for Marketing Cloud without considering users’ desire, technical ability, and time resources to learn the product’s functionalities or processes.
For implementations I’ve worked on, I have sent users online surveys asking about their Marketing Cloud needs. The challenges are people don’t understand or answer the questions. Then I decide if we should have a discovery call.
SR: In your opinion, has the past year impacted the priorities and / or purpose of Marketing Cloud within businesses?
JB: Yes, Covid-19 impacted businesses’ Marketing Cloud priorities in a couple of ways.
Firstly, organisations prioritized sending business continuity messaging from Marketing Cloud, over their business as usual messaging. Organisations needed to quickly inform clients and customers how they will continue to operate in a safe manner.
Secondly, I suspect organisations prioritized trying lessor used Marketing Cloud apps like Mobile Studio and Social Studio to push their business continuity messaging.
SR: What advice do you have for others looking to start a career in Marketing Cloud?
JB: I would advise people to first spend a few hours becoming familiar with the 12+ builder and studio apps within Marketing Cloud. Some apps will have a greater return on learning time investment than others. So, search job postings to see what builder and studio knowledge is in most demand.
After completing your research, decide on three or four apps you want to learn inside out. Content Builder and Email Studio should be on every beginner’s list. If you’re interested in coding, add AMPscript to your list.
Now, where can you find in depth information? Start with Trailhead, Salesforce’s free, online training site. Next, join Trailblazer Community Groups and attend their online meetings. Listen to Marketing Cloud podcasts produced by Salesforce and Salesforce partners. Subscribe to Salesforce partners’ email newsletter and be a guest in their training events. Lastly, read blogs written by Marketing Cloud experts.
SR: What are some key traits needed to succeed as a Marketing Cloud Administrator?
JB: Here are five traits that come to mind.
Adaptable – A successful Marketing Cloud administrator must be able to quickly adapt to changes within their organisation and the marketing technology they employ.
Communicative – A Marketing Cloud administrator should be able to listen to stakeholders’ marketing needs and clearly explain how the tool works.
Curious – The successful Marketing Cloud administrator is innately curious.
Respectful – A Marketing Cloud administrator should be respectful and follow marketing laws and regulations such as CAN-SPAM, CASL and GDPR.
Resourceful – A successful Marketing Cloud administrator must know where to find in depth Marketing Cloud information.
SR: Finally, what emerging trends both in Marketing Cloud and in the ecosystem more generally, are you most excited about and why?
JB: Within Marketing Cloud, I am most excited about Interactive Email. For over 15 years, when brands wanted customers to provide information, the best they could do was send an email with a link to a webpage containing a form. The March 2020 Marketing Cloud release introduced the ability to add forms directly into an email message. These in-email forms should have a higher submission rate than web forms because they don’t require the additional effort and time to access a web page.
Among the broader ecosystem, I am most excited about the Customer 360 platform.
If you’re a Salesforce professional and would like to join John in our Q&A series, please get in touch with us today!