6 key takeaways from a recent Salesforce Marketing Cloud meet up

Last Thursday Networkers sponsored the third Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC) London User Group at our London office in the Cottons Centre.

Host Jimson Lee (20 year veteran in Information Technology) introduced the key note speakers as guests from near and far helped themselves to refreshments and sat eagerly anticipating a night of learning and networking.

The first key note speaker, William McMahon, founder of iManage, a London based CRM agency specialising in Salesforce Marketing Cloud implementations, stepped up to the podium. William discussed with Jimson Lee in length the success and failures of various Salesforce Marketing Cloud projects they have worked on in the past.

This discussion produced a variety of key takeaways for the audience to reflect on such as:

  • Customer interaction - It is integral that prior to embarking on a Marketing Automation programme that you cleanse your data – don’t hang on to legacy data. Your most valuable customers are the ones that have bought from you before so engage and empower these individuals.


  • Ownership - Identify a Product Owner of Salesforce Marketing Cloud. This individual will ideally need to have solid experience in MarTech (the blending of Marketing and Technology). 


  • Patience - Most Marketing Automation programmes are perceived to fail if marketers do not see success straight away. However, in order for these platforms to be useful they will need constant amendments. Successful marketers should take time with incremental improvements and only automate to simplify.

After a brief break and a nibble of pizza, Eliot Harper, Salesforce MVP and Salesforce Marketing Cloud Consultant based in Melbourne, Australia engaged the audience with a talk about Salesforce Marketing Cloud's Guide Template Language.

The Guide Template Language (GTL) is a powerful templating language within the Salesforce Marketing Cloud that allows you to construct personalised and data-driven messages easily and dynamically. Essentially, it simplifies interaction with content and data, especially if you use JSON (JavaScript Object Notation); a lightweight data-interchange format.

This thought-provoking insight enlightened the audience to a number of things to consider including:


  • GTL is most suited for non-complex data structures and facilitates rapid template development.


  • Potential scenarios where you would use GTL include transactional emails (e.g. eCommerce or database emails) or content-based files like weather or twitter feeds.


  • The overall benefit of using GTL and AMPscript over journey builder is the speed in which you can make changes to targeted communication.


These takeaways are a great resource of learning for Networkers’ Michael Parker who is a consultant specialising in Salesforce recruitment.

Michael shares his thoughts from the day:

“It was a pleasure for Networkers to host the Salesforce Marketing Cloud User Group and a great chance to learn about new technologies and think about the skills that will be in high demand from many of our clients that are in need of Salesforce skills.”

“I can see that in the future there will certainly be demand for Salesforce Marketing Cloud Technical Architect & Developer professionals who are skilled in Guide Template Language & AMPscript and have experience working within large B2C environments. There will also be an increased need for an organisation to identify a Product Owner for Marketing Automation, rather than having a generalist Salesforce Platform Owner across all clouds.”

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