Marketing Cloud is a far cry from plug and play, especially in a financial services application. That’s because Marketing Cloud isn’t a simple slick app that takes a couple tasks off your plate. It lets you leverage your customer data in powerful new ways so you can speak directly to them like never before.

Building a journey that digs this deeply into data does require you to enter the headspace of a data scientist. That can be intimidating to someone whose background is marketing, not data science. But if you plan for a strong start in Marketing Cloud, you’ll be amazed by how it takes your team to the next level.

Have The Right Team in Place

If you value your team’s marketing prowess, their ideas and marketing skills, it’s also important to gauge their technical expertise. What strengths do they bring to the project? If you have gaps in this level of expertise, don’t panic. There’s plenty of training and educational materials to help them. The important thing is not building to perfection at the get-go. It’s about having honest conversations about where people are at, and from there, where to find high-quality help to get them up to speed.

Build The Right Implementation Strategy

Countless partners have learned there’s a great deal more to implementing Marketing Cloud than meets the eye. Programs like Trailhead and watching webinars can help you wade in and get started. However, if you’re new to building a data model, its actually all too easy to paint yourself into a corner, or, in the worst-case scenario, reach the wrong customers. For a smoother launch, an implementation partner can help you avoid the messy consequences and ensuing cleanup.

Choose The Right Implementation Partner

Many marketing teams don’t realize at the get-go that working with an implementation partner to launch Marketing Cloud is key to a successful launch and getting the most out of your investment. The foundation to everything you do in Marketing Cloud is building a solid data model.

Here’s the thing we don’t talk about enough with Marketing Cloud: It forces marketers to have to think more like data scientists and data engineers, and less like marketers.

Think of the plumbing in your house. This is one area where it’s a get-it-right-the-first-time situation. Finding a faulty connection and fixing it after the pipe burst isn’t necessarily a problem, but it’s the cleanup that makes starting over so difficult. Much like your house’s plumbing, the data model in Marketing Cloud needs to be set up right so your campaign launches without having to dig out from these complex and messy consequences.

Not only will you want to choose an implementation partner to set up solid data models, but you’ll want one that comes with the subject matter expertise in the financial industry. Because of the data and privacy regulations, the right partner can help you avoid unwanted outcomes that lead to scrutiny and bad publicity.

Embrace Agility

From a project management perspective, some organizations embrace the very methodical, stick-to-the-plan Waterfall approach, versus the more responsive, flexible (though not rudderless) Agile approach.

If you’re new to Marketing Cloud and have an auto-finance campaign that’s ready to roll, there’s no reason to wait for other areas of the campaign before taking it live. The sooner you can start talking to your target audience, the better.

It’s a bit like a restaurant doing a soft-launch with breakfast service versus waiting for everything else to get ready and staffed up for lunch and dinner. As long as you have everything you need, right now, why not serve up delicious breakfast burritos to the hungry people in the neighborhood?

That’s what informs the Agile mindset: You can start reaching customers and gather rich data immediately. Be open to phasing things in, and launching campaigns as they’re ready, so your marketing efforts can start to flourish with Marketing Cloud.

Be “All-In” With Training

Of course, once you start using Marketing Cloud, there’s much to learn as you go along in a real-world implementation, and you can expect some trial and error. But that’s part of the process of leveraging this marketing tool for your brand.

A good implementation partner will make sure you have all the tools you need for a successful launch with Marketing Cloud. Actively participating in any training that’s provided is the best way to prepare. An expert will be leading live walkthroughs of your data models and providing strategies to help you solve for your brand’s unique challenges. Once trainings are done, the recorded trainings will be available to you.

Let EMS Consulting help you get started with Marketing Cloud

The truth about Marketing Cloud is it takes time along with trial and error before your team finds its rhythm and sweet spots. It’s a data-intensive platform, which is why working with an implementation partner is key to making your debut successful.

EMS Consulting can help your marketing team get the training they need for a smooth launch of Marketing Cloud. Talk to us today.