We’re hearing it every day from our customers — budgets are tight and companies are being forced to make difficult decisions on where to focus their dollars. According to research done by the American Marketing Association, 56% of marketers have been forced to reduce their marketing budgets, on average by more than 30%.
We will get through this, and it’s imperative that brands set themselves up for success on the other side. Retaining a tight relationship with your consulting partner is one of the critical ways to do that.
Every day, Lev talks to customers who have gone down the route of self-implementing Salesforce Marketing Cloud or bringing the ongoing maintenance of their platform in-house. Unfortunately, what was likely done with the good intention of saving budget often leads to headaches and complications down the road after one or more elements have gone sideways, leading them back to a partner like Lev.
Below are some of the biggest reasons why it’s beneficial to work with a partner from the beginning, based on some of the common roadblocks we see customers encounter.
- Deliverability Expertise. A new IP needs to be properly warmed prior to being able to send emails out to your entire audience. Partners are required to stay up to date on the latest domain restrictions in order to avoid blocklisting. Replacing and re-warming a blocklisted IP could cost a customer tens of thousands of dollars - on top of the initial cost of the IP.
- Journey Strategy and Execution. In order to use Journey Builder successfully, it really should be built around a thought-out journey strategy that takes into consideration the vast functionality of the tool and the art of the possible. Customers that opt to implement it without the expertise of a partner often miss the mark when it comes to getting the most value out of their customer journeys.
- Preference Management. Building a well-designed custom preference center that properly tracks and manages customer opt-ins and unsubscribes is something that takes significant back-end experience. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for a customer to come to us with poor preference management, risking their reputation and legal fines.
- Underutilization and Time to Value. Partners know how to get you moving forward, fast, and without that, we see customers try to mimic their prior ESPs configuration or workflow when switching to Salesforce, which likely isn't taking full advantage of Marketing Cloud’s features and functionality. On the flipside, those that want to get fully immersed in Salesforce’s unique functionality can spend months learning about the nuances, resulting in some pretty long timelines to actually start using the product and see the ROI.
At the end of the day, partners are here to help you be successful. There is nothing more disheartening than meeting a customer, previously so excited about the power of Marketing Cloud, who is now disappointed that it isn’t working for them the way they expected. Working with a partner from the beginning gives you access to experienced experts who know how to set you up for success, and ultimately will prevent re-work expenses - critical in a time of tightening budgets.