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Give the Gift of Technology – to Your Company, and Your Customers

Julie Marques | August 9, 2022 

Retailers are under a lot of pressure to make their 2022 holiday campaigns a success. We previously shared some recommendations on what makes for a successful, ROI-producing campaign: personalizing experiences, leveraging data to anticipate needs, rewarding loyalty, promoting products and services across an omnichannel marketing mix, and providing excellent customer service that flows seamlessly with marketing messaging.

Yet while most of us know what we want to do, the much bigger question is how to accomplish these goals in a limited timeframe, with a finite budget, and an existing staff?

At ListEngage, we will never tell you that technology is a cure-all. Great technology won’t help you without the right strategy or people. But we will tell you that we love Salesforce, and we believe that incredible Salesforce technology, paired with your talented team and vision, can do amazing things for you. And it’s not too late to consider some Salesforce technology enhancements to bolster your 2022 holiday ROI.

Here are a few Salesforce enhancements that you can implement and incorporate into this year’s holiday planning. Assuming your company is already leveraging Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC) and/or Marketing Cloud Account Engagement, these enhancements will range in terms of licensing costs (some you may already have in your existing license; i.e., no additional cost!) and implementation costs (if you use an implementation services partner like ListEngage) but most can be implemented in under 12 weeks*. 

Personalized, Cross-Channel Journeys

Retailers that use three or more channels increase order rates by 494%. Don’t just rely on one channel to promote your holiday offers. Instead, use a “surround sound” approach, where you layer multiple channels strategically to get your messages out to your audiences. 

Marketers using SFMC can stand up sophisticated, personalized marketing automations using Journey Builder. This tool offers cross-channel outreach including email, SMS, push notifications, and digital advertising. With its data-driven branching logic, in each broad-based campaign, Journey Builder can tailor the marketing experience to unique customers based on available data like preferred channel, past purchases, products browsed, RFM data, and more. 

Similarly for marketers using Marketing Cloud Account Engagement, Engagement Studio can be used to set up CRM-data-driven marketing experiences using lead scoring/lead grading, and personalized customer messaging in emails and landing pages.

Digital Advertising

Although SFMC’s technology origin was an ESP (Email Services Provider), SFMC can be leveraged for so much more now. Did you know that you can use SFMC to select your best customer segments and push them automatically to advertising platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Google Ads using Advertising Studio? Even better, you can incorporate ads directly in automations using Journey Builder. This allows marketers to easily layer ads on top of email campaigns, or perhaps reach out with an ad for contacts who have unsubscribed from email.

SMS** and/or Push Notifications

Looking for even more channels? SFMC offers Mobile Studio which allows marketers to reach contacts through SMS or mobile push notifications. And, like Advertising Studio, these marketing touchpoints may also be woven into Journey Builder. 

SMS messages have a 98% open rate; therefore, businesses need a solid SMS marketing strategy. SMS is a great way to not only (selectively) promote holiday events or sales, but also to provide superior customer service. Consider SMS campaigns for notifications such as back-in-stock or item-has-shipped.

For your best customers who have downloaded your mobile app and agreed to receive your push notifications, mobile push is a great way to reward loyal customers with exclusive access to certain sales or promo codes. Or, for retailers operating out of physical store locations, consider using geolocation technology and beacons for special messaging when a customer is near or in your store.

Web and/or Email Personalization

During this holiday buying season, would you like to tailor your ecommerce site to reflect the products that would be of most interest to your individual customers? Even if they have not logged on and are anonymous? Of course you would! And that technology is within your reach using SFMC Personalization. A clear path to better ROI is giving your customers content that is uniquely appealing at an individual level. SFMC Personalization uses data within your existing customer profiles, along with collected data (web browsing activity, gathered with the right consent), to tailor web experiences. SFMC Personalization may also be used in concert with Journey Builder to personalize email experiences. 

Consolidated Customer Data for Better Targeting & Segmentation

The good news: you probably have a lot of customer data. The bad news: you probably have a lot of customer data. For many companies, data has become an embarrassment of riches, especially for retailers who perhaps run multiple ecommerce sites for multiple brands. How do you tie all of your data sets together to make it usable for marketing to the right person, at the right time, in the right channel? Many companies have added a Customer Data Platform to their technology stack to solve this problem. The Salesforce CDP solution is perfect for marketers who already have a lot of customer data living within Salesforce Clouds (Marketing Cloud, Service Cloud, Sales Cloud, Commerce Cloud) and need to consolidate that customer data, perhaps with customer data living in other systems, into integrated, meta-data-rich, unified customer profiles. 

While this may seem like a big IT/data project to take on, Salesforce has simplified CDP configuration quite a bit with their built-in, pre-made Data Kits. There is a lot you can do to establish and set up unified customer profiles in a relatively short amount of time (perhaps in time for this holiday season!).

Marketing Dashboards

Planning and executing quality campaigns is just half the battle. Understanding how they performed – what’s working and what’s not working – and pivoting your approach to cash in on the best-performers is critical to maximizing your marketing program. Don’t just guess at what’s working, or perform an analysis after everything has deployed, next January. Understand how your marketing is performing now, using easy-to-understand dashboard layouts, with Salesforce Marketing Intelligence. Using this tool, marketers can, for example, understand how similar ad campaigns are performing across different ad platforms, without having to cobble together multiple spreadsheets. This easily digestible information, coming in real-time through built-in Intelligence APIs, gives marketers critical insights so that they can make fast decisions and get the most out of their campaigns.

Interested in Giving the Gift of Technology? We Can Help

Planning early / planning now is important, as we teed up in last week’s holiday preparation recommendations. As you can see, there are many ways to optimize your holiday campaigns, and it’s not too late to make an impact for this year. ListEngage has experts in retail holiday preparation that are already working with other national and global brands to plan and prepare for the holiday season. Please contact us if you’d like to leverage our expertise for a conversation and a free assessment.

Stay tuned to the ListEngage blog for more great information on preparing for the holiday season. The next article in this series will take a deeper dive into marketing automation. Sign up for the rest of the series below.

* Complex projects may require longer timelines. ListEngage will custom-scope projects based on your specific requirements.
** SMS short code provisioning may require 12-16 weeks.
Interested in learning more about this topic? Sign up for the rest of our series on how to prepare for the holiday retail season.
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Julie Marques | Director of Strategic Consulting

Julie Marques brings over 20 years of marketing and strategy experience to her role as the Director of Strategic Consulting at ListEngage. Julie is passionate about consulting with clients to optimize their marketing campaigns through Salesforce Clouds and solutions. Skilled at developing and implementing targeted marketing and data strategies, Julie's deep expertise includes personalizing campaigns, integrating data sources, measuring key performance indicators, testing and optimization, and strategizing key communications across the customer lifecycle.