What marketing automation platform are you using and how long has it been a part of your tech stack?
I’m using Salesforce Pardot. It’s been a part of our tech stack for three years. Prior to that, I used Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Eloqua and Campaigner.
What are the key features you utilize and find critical on a daily basis? Why?
I use dynamic lists for a myriad of purposes: synchronization auditing, mass email audiences, engagement studio diagnostics and so on. With the seamless integration between Salesforce and Pardot, dynamic lists in Pardot are reliable tools for identifying segments in the CRM, and often save me from needing to swap between platforms to run reports.
I also lean heavily on web tracking. Pardot is leagues ahead of its competitors in this respect. We use it not only to trigger Salesforce tasks and user assignments, but we also lean on it heavily for lead scoring and content journeying.
Do you believe that you are maximizing the use of your MAP? Why or why not?
We’re maximizing our investment in Pardot if you consider the sheer diversity of the functionalities we are leveraging. We’re using web tracking, engagement journeys, progressive forms, campaign reporting, automation rules, lead scoring, dynamic content, custom redirects and more — all on a daily basis.
That said, we have room for improving our analytics and better-leveraging Connected Campaigns and Campaign Influence models in Salesforce. Some B2B marketing analytics dashboards are impossible to use with our customized Salesforce instance, and this is challenging us to improve our marketing attribution architecture in our CRM.
What are the challenges limiting your abilities to leverage the full functionality of your chosen MAP?
Extracting maximum value from Pardot requires users to have a standardized campaign and opportunity architecture in Salesforce. This is a thorny constraint for enterprise marketers like me, who often inherit complex legacy data models in their CRM.
What are the features/functionalities you are looking for your MAP to incorporate in 2019 to improve performance? Why?
B2B marketing automation platforms are in their infancy from an analytics perspective. With that said, I’d like to see more product emphasis on supporting marketers with prescriptive insights — not unlike what Google Analytics has been empowering web analysts with for years.
I’d also like to see maturity assessments, setup wizards or migration assistants embedded in MAP platforms to accelerate implementation and adoption. An entire cottage industry of consultants exists to support what I think could be managed through well-designed, virtual assistants. For example, if marketers were to have a readiness tool providing them feedback on which analytics dashboards might not function with the current campaign architecture, that information could play a valuable role in helping them improve their CRM data model.
Finally, I’m excited about AI — not only from its role in facilitating prescriptive analytics, but also for the quality-of-life enhancements it should bring to marketers. Tools like LiteConnect by Datorama simplify data ingestion and analysis. They are a species of AI-powered features I’d expect to see introduced in more MAPs in the future.
What is your New Year’s resolution for marketing automation?
I’d like to think more about PPC and web analytics, and find a way to fuse these data points with sales measures to create more impactful B2B marketing reports.