Podcast Preview: NextThingNow with Guest Andrea Tarrell

We all know constant changes are inevitable in the realm of marketing technology. So, having a pulse on what’s coming and what we know to be true is essential. 

ICYMI – Sercante Founder and CEO Andrea Tarrell recently joined the UpperRight team on the NextThingNow podcast to share her thoughts on the future of MarTech and the next big things coming to the Salesforce marketing community.

Here’s a quick preview of the podcast episode and links to listen so you can be in the know.

What is the NextThingNow podcast?

The MarTech landscape is complicated. NextThingNow podcast aims to demystify the craziness by talking to experts from across the ecosystem. 

Hosts and co-founders of UpperRight Adam Levelle and Alan Schulman ask questions that go beyond stock answers to real solutions to benefit listeners who work in the marketing technology space. 

Adam Lavelle
Alan Schulman

Words of Wisdom from Special Guest Andrea Tarrell

We all know constant changes are inevitable in the realm of marketing technology. So, having a pulse on what’s coming and what we know to be true is essential. 

In this episode of the NextThingNow podcast, you’ll learn what the future looks like for marketers on the Salesforce platform from Andrea’s perspective.

With the pandemic in the rearview mirror and big Salesforce Marketing Cloud platform changes on the horizon, Andrea covers the major themes she’s following to stay ahead of the curve. She also talks about her career progression, how Sercante came to be, and what’s in store for Sercante clients and friends in the coming months.

And of course, Andrea’s inherent real-talk cheekiness makes an appearance.

Listen to Andrea on the NextThingNow podcast

You have so many options to listen to the NextThingNow podcast. So, get on that!

Here’s how to listen.

Go give it a listen while you churn out your marketing magic. And then tell us about your greatest takeaway from the podcast episode in the comments section below.

Enjoy!

Original article: Podcast Preview: NextThingNow with Guest Andrea Tarrell

©2022 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post Podcast Preview: NextThingNow with Guest Andrea Tarrell appeared first on The Spot.

By |2022-11-03T22:29:00+00:00November 3rd, 2022|Categories: Community, Real Talk, Strategy|

Breaking into the Salesforce Ecosystem: A Military Veteran’s Story

Merivis recently named Sercante as their “Partner of the Year” for 2022, and I couldn’t be more proud to be a #Merivet AND a #SercanteDragon. In the spirit of this award, I want to share the story of my journey into a new career in the Salesforce ecosystem as a transitioning military veteran.

Summer is in full swing, and folks are having BBQs, going to baseball games, and heading out for vacation. This is also the time of year when many active-duty servicemembers and their families are getting ready to move from one duty station to another, or transition from the service back to civilian life. 

Every year, over 200,000 active-duty sailors, soldiers, airmen, marines, guardians, and coast guardsmen separate or retire from active duty. This is a large group of highly motivated, smart, and loyal potential employees that have no idea that they can break into tech and the Salesforce ecosystem. 

First, I’m going to tell you a bit about my journey and then I’ll lay out resources for you and your team to tap into this talent goldmine. 

My Limited Duty Officer Class in front of the USS Constitution in Newport RI, circa 2011

My journey from sailor to Salesforce solution engineer

Why am I talking about this? 

Well,  a little over two years ago, I was in that same group of transitioning service members. I was coming up on 20 years of active duty service and was preparing for life after the Navy (Yes, I’m a retired sailor). I knew I didn’t want to be one of the guys who leaves the service only to come back as a Government employee — it just isn’t for me. 

I spent a lot of time mulling over my options, and I knew I wanted to break into tech. But that’s a nebulous destination at best with so many options (too many to count!). 

By now, you’re probably thinking…

“Jason, get to the point, I mean isn’t this blog supposed to be about marketing?”

Well, not in the traditional sense but be patient young grasshopper. 

Here I am reenlisting one of the best sailors I ever worked with. Reenlisting a sailor was a sacred honor I cherish to this day.

Introduction to big tech through military-sponsored program

In 2019 as I was planning my escape, er I mean, retirement, I applied to and was accepted into a program called Fourblock. It’s a program specifically designed to help veterans and transitioning Active Duty break into tech. 

We got to do some cool stuff like visiting the T-Mobile HQ, Microsoft Campus, Amazon (they are truly everywhere in Seattle), and meeting with and networking with Veteran Group Leaders at these Fortune 100 companies. 

We did resume reviews, interview prep, and networking! Pretty awesome stuff, right? I mean I had never seen a place that had craft beer ON TAP in the lunchroom, wild!

It was during this time in my Fourblock cohort when I was lamenting about breaking into tech without any tech skills (queue up imposter syndrome), and someone recommended Salesforce.

I jumped on Trailhead, created my profile, and got to work. ANNNND then the pandemic hit — my job got super crazy and I totally neglected Trailhead, Astro, and all the cool things I was starting to get hyped about with Salesforce. 

Learning Salesforce through the Merivis cohort program

Fast forward to Spring 2021 and I’m starting to panic about my post-Navy career. Then, after one fateful Veterati Mentorship phone call, I was directed to the Merivis website

I applied to and was accepted into Admin Cohort 20, and I achieved my Salesforce Administrator certification in June of 2021. 

It was through a Merivis contact, the amazing (and former Sercante Dragon) Hayley Tuller, that I was introduced to the leadership team at Sercante. And the rest is history. 

Team Sercante with Merivis Executive Director Kate Perez

Since joining Sercante in September 2021, I’ve added 2 more certifications and I truly love my job! 

I get to work with thought leaders in the Salesforce and Pardot (MCAE) space every day. And the best part is that it’s fully remote. My commute is the 15 seconds of walking downstairs to my office after taking my dogs out. 

What is Merivis?  

The name Merivis comes from the Latin roots of Merit and Force, Merivis is a non-profit Veteran’s Service Organization (VSO) that specializes in “Transforming military years into tech careers.”

 It was founded by Hector Perez, Kate Perez, and Joe Castro and focuses exclusively on helping veterans, military spouses (current and former), and transitioning service members break into the Salesforce Ecosystem. From Hector’s experience as a hiring manager at various tech companies, he recognized a growing talent gap that veterans could be trained and hired to fill, which inspired him, Kate, and Joe to found Merivis. 

Merivis provides no-cost training by Salesforce Certified Instructors to members on a wide range of certifications: 

  • Salesforce Administrator
  • Platform App Builder
  • CRM Analytics
  • MCAE (Pardot)
  • and more

Members of each cohort are paired up with a coach to help them with the technical side of understanding Salesforce and a mentor for accountability and guidance on job seeking and networking. 

Seriously, that one phone call with  Jeri Lim and her advice to check out Merivis changed my life. 

Why Veterans? (or Transitioning Military, or Mil Spouses?)

We all know and appreciate military veterans for the jobs they do while wearing a uniform. But what if I told you that even the most junior enlisted sailor has better project management skills than the kid who just graduated from college? 

Real-Talk: Any member of the military who has served for at least 2 years has been a project manager. And the same applies to military spouses. Military spouses are project managers, logistics experts, and financial gurus. No joke.  

The point I’m trying to make is that most, if not all, vets, transitioning service members, and military spouses have those “soft skills” you see on job posts. 

Hard skills versus soft skills 

Hard skills are the things that can be taught or learned — like coding, building automation, writing flows, building marketing campaigns, developing reports, etc. 

Soft skills are more abstract and tend to be hard to codify — like being a team player, adaptability (whoa boy is that a military requirement), authenticity, passion, and leadership. 

You can study a book on coding and retain the information and make use of the skills immediately, but it takes time and effort to put soft skills into practice. And it takes a lot more time to effectively use and master them. 

Ok, you’ve convinced me. So what’s next? 

I’ve only scratched the surface of what the veteran and mil-spouse community can bring to the table. And I could write a series of blogs about each group, vertical, or specialization that veterans and mil-spouses can excel in. 

However, to keep this more of a blog and less of a Doctoral Thesis, I’m going to sum things up for you. 

  1. Veterans, mil-spouses, and transitioning service members are often overlooked as a resource in the martech space and Salesforce ecosystem when searching for talent. 
  2. Training in technology is easy. Training in soft skills is hard. Vets and mil-spouses probably have the soft skills you’re looking for. 
  3. Merivis and other amazing VSOs provide no-cost technical training to vets, mil-spouses, and transitioning service members. 
  4. Finally, if you connect the dots, Merivis and other VSOs fill the skill gaps for vets, mil-spouses, and transitioning service members so they can come to the Salesforce ecosystem and find fulfilling careers. At the same time, they’re filling skill gaps that make it hard to hire people for technical specialty roles.

Technology career resources for military veterans

There are a number of great resources out there for companies looking to hire veterans and veterans looking to break into the tech industry. 

Here are some links:

My sincere goal was to introduce you to these wonderful organizations, bring awareness to this untapped talent resource, and share a little bit about my story.  

If you have any questions, feel free to hit me up on LinkedIn or drop a comment below.

Cheers!

Original article: Breaking into the Salesforce Ecosystem: A Military Veteran’s Story

©2022 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

By |2022-07-07T20:51:00+00:00July 7th, 2022|Categories: Career Development, Community, Community Spotlight, Real Talk, revive|

The Great Resignation: Filling Gaps on the Marketing Team

The Great Resignation has impacted businesses throughout the US for the last two years and more specifically, it has created a talent gap for many departments. Marketing teams in particular seem to be taking a big hit, mainly when it comes to specialty roles like digital marketing and marketing operations/technology. 

One theory behind the Great Resignation is that it can be traced to the earlier part of the Covid-19 pandemic; workers reevaluated their current employment and determined if their role at said company was still in alignment with their needs and wants. Whether that was tied to company policies around PTO, working from home or their level of pay, workers started to seek out new opportunities and leave their sometimes long-held positions.

Whatever the impetus behind the Great Resignation, it has caused many business leaders to take pause and evaluate both how they retain and hire top talent. 

Retaining and hiring marketers in the Great Resignation

Retention often means understanding what your current marketers want and need in their job to stay satisfied. It’s time to break down some of the old traditions of once a year, one-sided evaluations as an indicator of worker satisfaction. Do those evaluations fully articulate satisfaction anyway? Probably not. Internal surveys, informal check-ins and reverse evaluations can offer both qualitative and quantitative  insight. 

When hiring is the next feasible option, your company’s reputation, training and benefits are what will be of most import to the job seeker. If resourcing becomes more critical in terms of immediate need, there are additional options to consider and supplement until top talent can be brought in or even in lieu of onboarding new employees. 

Use your company website as a talent pipeline

A company career page isn’t solely a place to post job descriptions, it also provides insight into the culture and values that a particular company holds. This can be articulated through mission statements and core values, but also pictures of team building trips and activities. First impressions hold true in many circumstances, but especially for potential candidates searching your site for a glimpse into your company’s culture and overall vibe. 

Since review sites like Glassdoor.com exist and often display as a top search result, establishing your company’s image first can make a significant difference when it comes to reputation management and drawing in the top candidates you seek. 

On this career page, within job descriptions themselves, you have another opportunity to snag the attention of top marketing candidates. Give the job description a broader appeal and provide a vision of what the position’s “day in the life” can be like. 

Crafting a story within the job description can help job seekers envision themselves in that role with greater ease and get a better understanding of expectations and cross departmental functionalities. Here’s an example from the Sercante website.

Another way to capture the attention of the ideal marketing technology candidate is to include a pay range within the position description. This can make your company stand out and create good faith moving forward, especially for previously underpaid demographics.  Pay transparency is the new unlimited PTO. 

Train marketing talent from within 

Instead of looking outside the company for the ideal marketing ops candidate, empower existing team members to learn something new by offering training opportunities

Many “traditional” marketers can feel pigeonholed and often want to learn a new skill to expand their expertise. For example, a PR professional might be tired of writing press releases and want to delve into the social media world, or content writers might wonder how their email copy is being used within a particular marketing automation platform. 

Giving your internal team members the time to learn on the clock can be a major confidence booster. Assign a task in Asana (or other project management tool) with 3-5 hours per week to team members open to learning new technology. 

Allowing company time for learning and growth opportunities may help build toward a positive impression with your current employees. Salesforce Trailhead is one of the best platforms to turn marketing-minded individuals into marketing technology powerhouses. Likewise, HubSpot offers free marketing certifications. Take it one step further by paying for certification tests and/or tying certification completions to additional bonuses. 

To supplement self-guided training, setting up a company catered Lunch & Learns results in a pro-learning environment and is a beneficial team building tool. When the training models are checked off and certificates produced, the next step is aligning team members on openings and evaluating opportunities for advancement in title and pay. 

Offer solid benefits + competitive pay to stand out 

Competitive pay will often be the number one indicator of a company’s ability to obtain top talent. In addition to pay though, a generous and even unique benefits package can help your company stand out among competitors. 

The standard (or expected) benefits such as a tech stipend, retirement investment account, healthcare and PTO are now considered the bare minimum. Here are additional benefits that businesses have recently started offering:

  • Fitness reimbursement 
  • eBook subscriptions
  • At home office stipend
  • Meditation app subscriptions
  • Nap pods 
  • Food delivery/meal prep service discounts 
  • Unlimited or extra PTO

As family structures change, more forward-thinking companies are aligning to different parental leave benefits or PTO for recent adoptions or foster care placement. Perhaps some of the more sought after benefits aren’t just tangible, they are about breaking down the very structure of how folks are seeking to work such as 100% remote workplaces or even 4-day work weeks. 

Leverage external resource for team expansion 

So you’ve tackled your reputation, finessed the job descriptions and looked internally for resources but have a gap and have an immediate resource need. After all those emails won’t trigger themselves and that landing page won’t magically layout on its own. For some companies, the immediate need for marketing technology individuals can hold up business processes and slow down the marketing to sales pipeline if not fulfilled. 

So who can you turn to when looking to supplement your internal team? This is where hiring managers can tap into freelance marketing professionals or consultant agencies. Agencies, like Sercante can act as an extension of the team, function on a project basis lending expertise or fill in for someone on health leave. Sometimes you can even have a fully trained team but too many projects that are all priorities. This is where the external support can assist with minimal ramp-up time.  

The Sercante motto is we make marketers wildly successful with the Salesforce platform. This means we share our expertise for all things automation and Sales Cloud and training teams to use the tools themselves. 

Looking toward the Great Resignation bright side 

One of the benefits of the Great Resignation is opportunity for realignment both inside companies and for the new job seeker. 

The last two years have shown us that workers want to feel valued and seen for their contributions and companies are starting to see the importance of finding the right talent or resources to assist with marketing technology projects. 

Are you looking to become or obtain top marketing talent within the Salesforce ecosystem? Feel free to check out the Pardot & Marketing Cloud Job Hub.

Original article: The Great Resignation: Filling Gaps on the Marketing Team

©2022 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post The Great Resignation: Filling Gaps on the Marketing Team appeared first on The Spot.

By |2022-06-17T15:07:00+00:00June 17th, 2022|Categories: Career Development, Community, Real Talk, revive|

The Great Resignation: Filling Gaps on the Marketing Team

The Great Resignation has impacted businesses throughout the US for the last two years and more specifically, it has created a talent gap for many departments. Marketing teams in particular seem to be taking a big hit, mainly when it comes to specialty roles like digital marketing and marketing operations/technology. 

One theory behind the Great Resignation is that it can be traced to the earlier part of the Covid-19 pandemic; workers reevaluated their current employment and determined if their role at said company was still in alignment with their needs and wants. Whether that was tied to company policies around PTO, working from home or their level of pay, workers started to seek out new opportunities and leave their sometimes long-held positions.

Whatever the impetus behind the Great Resignation, it has caused many business leaders to take pause and evaluate both how they retain and hire top talent. 

Retaining and hiring marketers in the Great Resignation

Retention often means understanding what your current marketers want and need in their job to stay satisfied. It’s time to break down some of the old traditions of once a year, one-sided evaluations as an indicator of worker satisfaction. Do those evaluations fully articulate satisfaction anyway? Probably not. Internal surveys, informal check-ins and reverse evaluations can offer both qualitative and quantitative  insight. 

When hiring is the next feasible option, your company’s reputation, training and benefits are what will be of most import to the job seeker. If resourcing becomes more critical in terms of immediate need, there are additional options to consider and supplement until top talent can be brought in or even in lieu of onboarding new employees. 

Use your company website as a talent pipeline

A company career page isn’t solely a place to post job descriptions, it also provides insight into the culture and values that a particular company holds. This can be articulated through mission statements and core values, but also pictures of team building trips and activities. First impressions hold true in many circumstances, but especially for potential candidates searching your site for a glimpse into your company’s culture and overall vibe. 

Since review sites like Glassdoor.com exist and often display as a top search result, establishing your company’s image first can make a significant difference when it comes to reputation management and drawing in the top candidates you seek. 

On this career page, within job descriptions themselves, you have another opportunity to snag the attention of top marketing candidates. Give the job description a broader appeal and provide a vision of what the position’s “day in the life” can be like. 

Crafting a story within the job description can help job seekers envision themselves in that role with greater ease and get a better understanding of expectations and cross departmental functionalities. Here’s an example from the Sercante website.

Another way to capture the attention of the ideal marketing technology candidate is to include a pay range within the position description. This can make your company stand out and create good faith moving forward, especially for previously underpaid demographics.  Pay transparency is the new unlimited PTO. 

Train marketing talent from within 

Instead of looking outside the company for the ideal marketing ops candidate, empower existing team members to learn something new by offering training opportunities

Many “traditional” marketers can feel pigeonholed and often want to learn a new skill to expand their expertise. For example, a PR professional might be tired of writing press releases and want to delve into the social media world, or content writers might wonder how their email copy is being used within a particular marketing automation platform. 

Giving your internal team members the time to learn on the clock can be a major confidence booster. Assign a task in Asana (or other project management tool) with 3-5 hours per week to team members open to learning new technology. 

Allowing company time for learning and growth opportunities may help build toward a positive impression with your current employees. Salesforce Trailhead is one of the best platforms to turn marketing-minded individuals into marketing technology powerhouses. Likewise, HubSpot offers free marketing certifications. Take it one step further by paying for certification tests and/or tying certification completions to additional bonuses. 

To supplement self-guided training, setting up a company catered Lunch & Learns results in a pro-learning environment and is a beneficial team building tool. When the training models are checked off and certificates produced, the next step is aligning team members on openings and evaluating opportunities for advancement in title and pay. 

Offer solid benefits + competitive pay to stand out 

Competitive pay will often be the number one indicator of a company’s ability to obtain top talent. In addition to pay though, a generous and even unique benefits package can help your company stand out among competitors. 

The standard (or expected) benefits such as a tech stipend, retirement investment account, healthcare and PTO are now considered the bare minimum. Here are additional benefits that businesses have recently started offering:

  • Fitness reimbursement 
  • eBook subscriptions
  • At home office stipend
  • Meditation app subscriptions
  • Nap pods 
  • Food delivery/meal prep service discounts 
  • Unlimited or extra PTO

As family structures change, more forward-thinking companies are aligning to different parental leave benefits or PTO for recent adoptions or foster care placement. Perhaps some of the more sought after benefits aren’t just tangible, they are about breaking down the very structure of how folks are seeking to work such as 100% remote workplaces or even 4-day work weeks. 

Leverage external resource for team expansion 

So you’ve tackled your reputation, finessed the job descriptions and looked internally for resources but have a gap and have an immediate resource need. After all those emails won’t trigger themselves and that landing page won’t magically layout on its own. For some companies, the immediate need for marketing technology individuals can hold up business processes and slow down the marketing to sales pipeline if not fulfilled. 

So who can you turn to when looking to supplement your internal team? This is where hiring managers can tap into freelance marketing professionals or consultant agencies. Agencies, like Sercante can act as an extension of the team, function on a project basis lending expertise or fill in for someone on health leave. Sometimes you can even have a fully trained team but too many projects that are all priorities. This is where the external support can assist with minimal ramp-up time.  

The Sercante motto is we make marketers wildly successful with the Salesforce platform. This means we share our expertise for all things automation and Sales Cloud and training teams to use the tools themselves. 

Looking toward the Great Resignation bright side 

One of the benefits of the Great Resignation is opportunity for realignment both inside companies and for the new job seeker. 

The last two years have shown us that workers want to feel valued and seen for their contributions and companies are starting to see the importance of finding the right talent or resources to assist with marketing technology projects. 

Are you looking to become or obtain top marketing talent within the Salesforce ecosystem? Feel free to check out the Pardot & Marketing Cloud Job Hub.

Original article: The Great Resignation: Filling Gaps on the Marketing Team

©2022 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post The Great Resignation: Filling Gaps on the Marketing Team appeared first on The Spot.

By |2022-06-17T15:07:00+00:00June 17th, 2022|Categories: Career Development, Community, Real Talk, revive|

9 Essential Rules for Attending Salesforce Community Events

I just returned from an action-packed week at Connections (Salesforce’s banner event for marketers) and I gotta say — it feels good to be back with the Ohana.

It’s been a hot minute since in-person Salesforce community events were in full force. Dreamforce 2019 is the last big thing I attended prior to this event. As we ramp back up, I’m realizing that some of my team members, customers, and friends in the ecosystem actually have never attended a Salesforce event. And those who have are a little rusty (I know I was.)

If you’re looking to get more involved in the Salesforce ecosystem through events, here are a few rules/guidelines you can follow to maximize the benefits.

Rule 1. Mix it up and attend both “official” and “community” Salesforce events

There are a few types of Salesforce community events that might come across your radar. And there’s value in attending all of them.

Each event type brings something unique to the table. If you have the opportunity to, I’d recommend engaging with a mix of Salesforce-sponsored and community-led events. 

Salesforce User Groups

Local events led by a community member, customer or partner. Topics are often how to/best practice oriented. They’re usually 20-30 people, sometimes more in bigger metro areas. 

Search for Salesforce user groups in your region here.

Erin Duncan welcomes attendees to an Atlanta Pardot User Group meeting.

Salesforce World Tours

These are usually in a big city and are official events put on by Salesforce (free to attendees). Expect a couple thousand people, a big expo hall, dancing mascots, and a high energy keynote full of product news and big logo customers. Oh, and post-event happy hours from vendors and partners. 

A few Sercante dragons were spotted in the wild at Salesforce World Tour London 2022

Dreamin’ Events

Although increasingly virtual or hybrid, these are usually in a big city and put on by members of the Salesforce community for a modest fee (usually $100-300). In other words, they’re created by Salesforce users, for users, and are loosely sanctioned/supported by Salesforce. 

The content is totally different in comparison to Salesforce World Tours. There’s no “selling” angle in mind — instead, you’ll find “in the trenches” advice from admins and hands-on folks with lots of real talk. This is a great place to find your people and meet someone you can call with an SOS when you’re stuck on something.

MarDreamin’ (formerly ParDreamin’) is a marketing-focused Salesforce community event

Dreamforce

This is the Superbowl of Salesforce. There’s a huge volume of content catered to almost any audience, and Salesforce pulls out all the stops to make this a fun, flashy, and engaging event. And the entire partner ecosystem rallies to woo customers, throw parties, and celebrate headline product news. 

The price tag is $1-3Kish depending on discounts and how early you buy your Dreamforce ticket. 

Pre-covid, they shut down multiple city blocks in San Francisco and had nearly 200K people. This year, rumor has it that attendance will be capped at 30K (but limited info out about that yet.) 

Here are scenes from the last big Dreamforce in 2019.

Salesforce Connections

Already happened this year, but for future reference, Connections is like a mini Dreamforce for marketers (also Salesforce sponsored). It’s been in Chicago for the last several years, and is the place to be for customers (or would-be customers) of Marketing Cloud and Commerce Cloud.

The Sercante team was happy to gather and learn at Connections 2022.

Rule 2. Define your goal for participating 

Do a little soul searching to figure out your ‘why’ for attending these events. Your objectives for attending Salesforce community events might include:

  • Tactical, how-to learning
  • Getting ideas & inspiration
  • Networking with other users 
  • Meeting your Salesforce account team
  • Recruiting 
  • Sales & prospecting
  • Learning about interesting products that work with Salesforce 
  • Evaluating prospective partners
  • Building a personal brand in the ecosystem 

Determining what’s most important to you will inform what events you should prioritize. As a rule of thumb, I would say user-led events are the best for tactical, how-to learning. 

Rule 3. Get digital business cards

I completely forgot business cards were a thing until Connections. Surely I have a stash of pre-covid cards somewhere in my house… but it didn’t even enter my mind until I was ready to swap contact info with someone.

I was surprised to see A LOT of people using QR codes for an efficient contact info swap. Some people connected this to their Linkedin, and others had a QR code that created a contact record in the scanning user’s phone. I will definitely be doing this before the next event! 

Image credit

Rule 4. Don’t just attend… speak and volunteer! 

Once you have a feel for what these events are all about, I highly recommend throwing your hat in the ring to speak. I’ve found speaking at events to be incredibly rewarding and fantastic for networking. 

You know you’ve found your people when you can get up in front of a group and say

 “I worked on XYZ, I struggled with ABC, and here’s where I’m at,” and see heads nodding. It’s validating to find others who have the exact same challenges and know we’re all figuring this thing out together.

I’m a big believer that we all have something to learn and something to teach. If you’re reading this thinking “I have nothing to speak on” — check that imposter syndrome

Another great way to get more engaged is through volunteering. As someone who isn’t a particularly natural networker, working badge check in desks used to be my go-to to meet people in a low-pressure way.

Rule 5. Pick what sessions you want to prioritize

When it comes to the bigger conferences and Dreamin’ events, it’s not uncommon for popular sessions to fill up and not be able to accommodate everyone who wants to join. Skim the agenda before you go and pick three things you really want to attend.

Pro tip: If you see Circles of Success on the agenda, pick those! They’re group discussions and rarely disappoint.

Rule 6. Try to figure out who you want to meet… in advance of the event 

Ask around (i.e. customers, partners, friends, Salesforce AEs) and see who’s going. Events are a great opportunity to get some facetime with people you only work with online. Skim the speaker list — anyone with an interesting background? 

Ping these folks before the event and set up a coffee or lunch date, or plan to go find them the day of.

(And if you don’t know anyone who’s going — not to fear. You can still have a great networking experience attending live! This extra step ensures you get the value you were hoping for out of the event.) 

Rule 7. Check out Twitter 

The Salesforce ecosystem is active on Twitter. That means it’s the place to be for social connection during the actual event. 

For bigger events, follow the event hashtag to see pictures, find information about happy hours and adjacent events, read people’s hot takes, and more. Many user groups also have their own Twitter accounts and hashtags.

Pro Tip: Follow the #SalesforceWorldTour hashtag.

Rule 8. Don’t skip the “real life” social parts 

After a long day of networking, you might want to head home or get back to your hotel room to decompress. But you’d be missing the best part — happy hours, dinners, and spontaneous post-event hang outs are some of my favorite memories from Salesforce events. That’s because people tend to be more relaxed and aren’t rushing to the next thing.

If the idea of unstructured open networking makes you green in the face, then try thinking of a few questions to keep in your back pocket. 

For example: 

  • What was your biggest takeaway from the event? 
  • Are you working on anything you’re excited about?
  • What do you see as the biggest barrier or struggle with Salesforce at your organization? 
  • Have you ever seen a ghost? (Seriously — someone asked me this once at a happy hour, and it led to the most interesting group conversation ever.)

Rule 9. Say thank you and follow up 

Most people consider the event over when it’s…. well, over. But the magic is staying connected and building on value you got from the event. 

What relationships can you nurture? Who can you say thank you to? Do you have any thoughtful resources or help you could offer a new acquaintance? 

If all else fails, at least fire off a few Linkedin requests. 

Salesforce community events propel careers

I can’t tell you how many people I’ve met at Salesforce community events who later became teammates, clients, and partners. And I get it. These things aren’t easy for natural introverts like me. 

What I can tell you is someone else in the room is likely experiencing the same anxiety you’re feeling about being in these situations. And there’s luckily a big enough variety of Salesforce community events to accommodate all social situation comfort levels.

  • Not a fan of crowds? Check out an intimate user group meeting in your area. 
  • Don’t wanna be around people at all? Connect with Trailblazers through a virtual community group meeting (this blog post has a few examples).
  • Rather blend in with a crowd? Dreamin’ conferences have a spot for you to soak in all the educational in-person sessions.

Bottom line is — get yourself out there. You’ll connect with people who have similar work experiences and learn a few things. And, who knows, it may lead to your next big opportunity.

Have any nuggets of wisdom for attending Salesforce community events that we forgot? Tell us about it in the comments section.

Original article: 9 Essential Rules for Attending Salesforce Community Events

©2022 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post 9 Essential Rules for Attending Salesforce Community Events appeared first on The Spot.

By |2022-06-16T21:09:39+00:00June 16th, 2022|Categories: Career Development, Community, Events, Real Talk, revive|

8 Tips for Passing the Marketing Cloud Administrator Exam

Passing the Salesforce Marketing Cloud Administrator exam demonstrates that you have the skills to configure and administer Marketing Cloud products using industry and product best practices. And having that distinction puts you in a position where employers will compete to welcome you to their team.

That’s because people with Marketing Cloud skills are among the most difficult to find and retain, according to research by 10K. Based on supply and demand, there are great opportunities for those who put in the time and energy to develop these skills.  

Use these tips to pass the Salesforce Marketing Cloud Administrator exam

There are a lot of Salesforce-approved exam prep resources available. So, we’re not going to dive too deeply into them (we’ll touch on them a bit in tip #3). 

This post will instead focus on eight tips that helped me pass the Marketing Cloud administrator exam — and I hope they will help you too.

Tip #1: Pregame with the Marketing Cloud Email Specialist Certification 

While there is not an official practice exam for the Salesforce Marketing Administrator exam, the Marketing Cloud Email Specialist Certification is a worthy stand-in. There’s a fair amount of crossover between the email specialist and administrator exams. Sure, the weights are different and the admin exam goes into more depth, but the overall concepts are similar.

There are different schools of thought as to the order in which the marketing cloud exams should be taken. But I firmly believe you should not take the Marketing Cloud Administrator exam until you’ve passed the specialist exam. It will ensure that you have a solid foundation in place and it will let you beef up your LinkedIn profile with another cool certification!

Tip #2: Setup is king in the Marketing Cloud admin exam

Setup is a whopping 38% percent of the Marketing Cloud Administrator exam. The next closest section is  Subscriber Data Management at 18%. This is basically make it or break it territory. Ace the Setup section, and you are well on your way to adding a new credential to your collection. 

With that said, I take a very methodical approach to exam preparation. I study the exam guide, make sure I understand the weight of each section, and then budget my study time accordingly. This may seem like common sense, but I see people stressing over sections with low weighting all too often.

Tip #3: Don’t trust the internet

We all know the policy about exam dumps and questions floating around on the internet. In short, don’t use them. If you have any questions about this topic, be sure to review the Salesforce Credential Code of Conduct.

Not only is the use of exam dumps and non-approved study materials in violation of the code of conduct, they are often wrong. The only thing worse than studying for hours is studying the wrong information for hours! 

Do yourself a favor (and the right thing) and stick to Salesforce-approved materials.

Here are Salesforce-approved resources I found to be helpful.

Tip #4: Focus on key Marketing Cloud terminology 

I’ve taken my share of Salesforce exams, and I would classify the Marketing Cloud Administrator Exam to be more straightforward than most. If you’ve taken any of the Salesforce Administrator certification exams, you’ve no doubt seen the scenario based questions that are about a paragraph long! 

The questions on the Marketing Cloud Administrator Exam are pretty simple and to the point. The point of confusion lies in the list of answers provided. Outside of a random term here and there, most are terms that you’ve seen in Marketing Cloud. This tends to lead to second guessing as you’ll be telling yourself “Yeh. I remember that one.”

 My advice is to create a list of key terms and know it like the back of your hand. These questions become VERY easy — if you know the terminology and can quickly eliminate the wrong answers.

Here’s a list of terms I made for myself. I compiled these from a variety of Salesforce-approved resources. This list is NOT inclusive of all the terms you’ll see on the exam. Use this as a starting point and add more terms based on your experience level with Marketing Cloud.

Term Definition
Access Log List of non-allowlisted IP addresses and login names logged into Marketing Cloud accounts for network.
Audit Trail Allows security admin users to view Marketing Cloud access and activity records.
Burst Sending Burst Sending allows you to send emails fast. The audience is locked down and the emails are built when the schedule send time is set. Use this feature for flash sales or emergency messaging.
Contact In Contact Builder, it is an individual added to any contact database. A contact is also any other individual to whom you sent a message via any channel using Marketing Cloud.
Contact ID A system defined, unique identifier representing a Contact.
Contact Key A user defined attribute that is used as a unique identifier for the contact model, and other models (Journey Builder) except Email Studio.
Content Detective Tool in Email Studio that will identify spam triggers in your email content. Scans the preheader, the subject line, the body copy for words, patterns, and phrases that it views as spam.
Delivery Profiles Specifies the delivery information for a message (Company, IP Address, Header and Footer).
Domain Allowlist Trust all email addresses within that domain to receive your data.
Export Email Allowlist Individual email addresses that can receive exports via email from your Marketing Cloud account.
Identity Verification Requires you to authenticate the browser or app used to access the application.
IP Allowlist Range of IP addresses who can access your account to prevent unauthorized logins.
Multi-factor Authentication Another layer of protection so users must provide two factors when logging in.
Primary Key A unique field on a data extension that identifies a specific and unique data point. Often this is the contact key, but it can be something unique to that data.
Reply Address Definition Configure reply-to info like email display name, reply subdomain, and email reply address.
Reply Rules How reply mail management identifies and responds to the replies that subscribers send.
Routing Address Email address that replies are sent to when the reply is not defined in the Reply Rules.
Safehouse Decrypt or encrypt files before import or extract without exposing these files to the Enhanced FTP directories. Only authenticated users can access the Safehouse, which resides on highly redundant, highly available central storage servers.
Send Classification Composed of Sender Profile, Delivery Profile, and CAN-SPAM classification
Sender Authentication Package (SAP) Purchased from Salesforce and includes a collection of products, including a private domain with link and image wrapping, a dedicated IP address, and reply mail management (RMM).
Sender Profile Specifies the From information for a send in a central location (from name).
SFTP A secure method for transferring data from one computer to another over the Internet.
Subscriber A person who opted in to receive communications from your organization.
Subscriber ID A system defined, unique identifier representing a Subscriber.
Subscriber Key A user defined text field that contains a value that uniquely identifies a subscriber. Shouldn’t contain email addresses.
Tokenized Sending Used to send contact data that is too sensitive to store in your Marketing Cloud account database. Instead of storing sensitive information in your Marketing Cloud account database, your account stores a single token per send attribute. Support must activate this feature.
Web Analytics Connector (WAC) Free feature that appends a ‘string’ to every Email Studio email link. Simply put, it adds data to the end of your links for tracking purposes. The string is typically used to add Google Analytics UTM Parameters, but it can really be used for anything you want.

Tip #5: The devil is in the details 

Pay attention to details when taking your exam, and be sure to read all options before selecting your answer. I noticed several questions on the exam that had several answers that were seemingly correct.

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about.

How would a Marketing Cloud Administrator add new users in EMEA to the correct business unit?

  1. Setup > Users > Edit Business Units
  2. Setup > Business Units > Manage Business Units
  3. Setup > Users > Manage Business Units

There are a couple things to note when looking at this question. The first is the navigation path. Can you add users to BUs under Business Units? Nope! This is where you would go to set up your business units. We can now cross answer B off the list.

The second thing to note is the action referenced in the answer. “Edit Business Units” and “Manage Business Units” both sound correct, but you have to choose one. This is where paying attention to details is really important. Inside Marketing Cloud, “Manage” is the action that’s used to add users to business units (and roles).  

So the answer to our relatively straightforward looking question is “C”. You would add users to the EMEA business unit by navigating to Setup > Users > Manage Business Units

Tip #6: Pay attention to product names  — new and old

Salesforce recently updated the names of several products, and Marketing Cloud was impacted (Salesforce Name Changes: Pardot & Marketing Cloud Get A Rebrand). When I took the Marketing Cloud Administrator exam, these changes had not yet been integrated. I’m sure this will be addressed quickly in the next release, but it’s worth mentioning as every question counts! Don’t be too surprised if you see something like this.

The Marketing team would like to be able to pick the next best action based on real-time interaction data. Which Marketing Cloud add-on best addresses this purpose?

  1. Journey Builder
  2. Interaction Studio
  3. Automation Studio
  4. None of the above

So where’s Personalization? We all know that the correct answer is Marketing Cloud Personalization, but it’s not included in the list. The first instinct would be to select answer D “None of the above,” but that would be incorrect. 

The correct answer is B “Interaction Studio.” This was the name of that add-on at the time the exam was written. Be sure to know the new and old names — just in case!

Tip #7: Activate those Einstein features 

Salesforce is really excited about the Einstein features in Marketing Cloud (as they should be). A lot of time and effort has gone into enabling marketers with AI, and you are going to be asked about these features.

To make sure that you understand the capabilities of Einstein, activate ALL the features available in your account. I guarantee that you’ll learn something you didn’t know! 

Keep in mind that data is not instantly available in your account after activation. Depending on the feature, it could take 24 to 72 hours.

Tip #8: Get hands-on practice! 

This exam focuses a lot on how to DO things in Marketing Cloud. If you are anything like me, the best way to learn is by doing. There are a lot of great Trailhead modules on Marketing Cloud, but no hand-on challenges. It’s really easy to read the content and answer a couple of questions to get your badge, but did you really learn anything?

My advice is to make those modules hands-on. Login to your Marketing Cloud account and follow along. You don’t need to save all your work in your account, but the act of navigating to the correct sections and clicking the buttons will reinforce your learning. Sure, it’s going to take you a lot longer to complete the modules, but it’s not a race!

As I said  in tip #4, the devil is in the details. You are going to need to know how to navigate Marketing Cloud to pass this exam. If you don’t know your way around (very well), save your $200 and don’t take the exam until you have more hands-on experience.

You can do it — now go pass the Marketing Cloud admin exam!

I would not rate the Marketing Cloud Administrator Exam as one of the toughest Salesforce exams that I’ve taken (that honor goes to the Salesforce Advanced Administrator exam). But it should not be taken lightly.  

You’ll have 105 minutes to take the exam, which I found to be very generous. Don’t rush and take the time to read the question and all the answers before making your selection. With adequate preparation and a good amount of hands-on experience, you’ll pass this exam.

If you don’t pass on your first try, don’t be discouraged. Look at it as a learning opportunity. While exam results don’t show results by individual questions, the section level scoring is a great way to see your strengths and areas for improvement.

If you have any specific questions about the exam or just want to talk Marketing Cloud, drop a note in the comments section or hit me up on LinkedIn.

Good luck — you got this!

Original article: 8 Tips for Passing the Marketing Cloud Administrator Exam

©2022 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post 8 Tips for Passing the Marketing Cloud Administrator Exam appeared first on The Spot.

By |2022-06-15T19:52:33+00:00June 15th, 2022|Categories: Career Development, Community, Real Talk, revive|

How to Pass the Pardot Consultant Certification Exam

You’ve conquered the Pardot Specialist exam* (Yipee!) and you’ve caught the Pardot bug. Next on your hit list is the Pardot Consultant exam, but what does it take to pass the Pardot Consultant exam?

First and foremost, not everyone needs to take the Pardot Consultant exam. The exam is aimed at those who are implementing Pardot or solutioning with clients. 

In this post, I share the steps I took to pass the Pardot Consultant Certification exam — from study resources and practice exams to preparing for your exam and what you can do on the day of the exam

Note: Yes, we know Pardot is now called Marketing Cloud Account Engagement. However, as of the time of this blog publication, Salesforce is still calling the exam the Pardot Consultant Certification. We’ll update this blog post if/when Salesforce updates the certification name.

*Passing the Pardot Specialist exam is a requisite of taking the consultants exam.

Preparing for your Pardot Consultant Exam

Before you start studying for your Pardot Consultant exam, have you booked it? 

No? Go and book it now (we’ll wait here). There is no better driver to studying than having a set date to work toward. 

Download the Exam Guide

Let’s start with the basics, download the Exam Guide! 

It can be tempting to jump straight into the practice exams and study material but if you don’t know what areas you need to study for you may end up spending time on topics that feature very little in the exam. 

How do YOU study?

This won’t be the first Salesforce exam you’ve taken so use what you learnt from the specialist exam, by this I mean how do YOU study best? Are you a practice test taker, a reader, a watcher or a discussion leader. 

Spoiler Alert! The length of  the questions in the consultant exam are MUCH longer than in the specialist exam, there is a lot more detail to consider, so bear this in mind when choosing your study resources. You’ll need to not only talk the talk when it comes to Pardot but you will also need to master the art of understanding Salesforce exam questions. 

I’m a firm believer that the time in which you take the exam and how you take it (online vs onsite) makes a difference. Every Salesforce exam I have taken has always been at 11 a.m. and online (and 2 out of three have been strangely on a Tuesday, call me superstitious!). 

The 11 a.m. exam slot gives me time to fully wake up, exercise and get my brain in gear. It also means I don’t sit and worry about the exam all day. Taking the exam online means I don’t have to worry about traffic or finding a parking spot. 

If you prefer to take the exam in person then great. Do what works best for YOU!

Understand your strengths and weaknesses

We can’t be experts on all topics. But what we can do is break the exam down (using the guide) and find the areas that hold the most weight. These are going to give you the biggest percentage of marks, so focus on these. 

Don’t sweat over the small stuff! There is little value in worrying and trying to learn everything about all topics if they only count for a small percentage of the exam (Salesforce Engage). 

The number of questions you will get on them is very small. So get a good understanding of the topics with the larger percentage. More on that coming up!

Pardot Consultant Certification Study Resources

It’s probably the main reason you found yourself here on this post — what study resources should I be using for the Pardot consultant exam!? 

There are so many resources out there when it comes to mastering the Pardot ropes and you clearly have a solid foundation as you have gained your specialist exam. However, the consultant exam pushes your understanding of the tool outside of the basics. 

You’re required to advise and provide detailed solutions. So when it comes to study resources, the best thing out there is hands-on experience. Try and get as much experience working in Pardot as possible. If you’re after some resources to supplement your hands-on experience, then read on. 

Video Content

If video is your thing, check out this Pardot Consultant Bootcamp video series. 

This is a great way for those who are newer to Pardot and consulting. It does take time to get through all the content. So, set aside 45 minutes – 1 hour a day to watch all the videos before your exam. If you don’t have time to watch all the videos, watch those covering the areas you lack knowledge in.

Flashcards and Quizzes

If you’re more of a quizer, Quizlt has a whole host of flashcards to test your knowledge. Consider buddying up and test each other, there’s nothing better than a healthy bit of competition .

 The flashcards will also help you get familiar with the wording used on the consultant exam. 

Jenna Molby also provides flashcards, quizzes and study games found here. You’ll also want to bookmark her website as she has lots of additional resources related to Pardot features!

Practice Exams

When I took the Pardot Consultant Exam, I found it hard to find quality practice exams. However, these Pardot Consultant practice exams have been tried and tested by the Sercante team, so if you learn better by putting your knowledge to the test, these may just work for you. 

With all practice exams, bear in mind that some may be a little outdated. 

  • TestPrep.com – For a small fee (about 10 USD) you’ll get access to 6 full-length practice exams and a set of practice questions. 
  • Udemy – Again for a fee (anywhere between 10 – 30 USD) Udemy provided access to full-length  practice exams. These exams mimc the exam pretty closely. 

Reading Material

There are a ton of resources available to read through but let’s focus on the areas that have the biggest weight. 

Automating Business Processes: 17%

You’ll need to know your automation tools inside out.

Given a scenario, recommend the best automation tool(s) (automation rule, segmentation rule, dynamic list, completion action).

Given a scenario, design a sequence of events in Pardot to complete a marketing initiative (assets, automations, notifications, etc.).

Given a scenario, develop and implement a lead nurturing strategy

Account Configuration: 20%

This is the difference between the specialist exam and the consultant exam, you’ll need to know Pardot implementation and setup.

Articulate the implications and importance of technical setup.

Develop a plan to maintain data integrity during data migration.

Given a usage governance plan, develop and recommend a strategy that addresses organization and authorization (or access).

Evaluation: 17%

This is a pretty vague area, but one not to be ignored. Carrying an impressive 17% of the exam you’ll need to master this topic. 

The exam guide notes that you should have at least 12 months hands-on experience of implementing and administering Pardot. This is because of sections like this one. It’s going to be pretty hard to study for this section without hands-on experience — memorizing answers for this section won’t be enough. 

For this reason, I’d recommend reading through this post for tips on how to approach this section of the exam. But don’t go anywhere just yet!

Spoiler Alert! Think like Salesforce… There may be multiple ways to achieve the end goal but what would Salesforce advise. Brush up on Salesforce Pardot best practices. 

Day of the exam

The day has arrived, you have studied and practiced all you can… it’s exam day! I’d consider the next set of tips as important as studying. 

Even though you have been through the process of a Salesforce exam before you shouldn’t neglect prepping your mind and environment before this one. After all, who wants to be let down by a bad internet connection just as you log in to take the exam. Believe it or not, this happened to me twice during this exam. Either way, you have to keep your cool and focus.

  1. Get a good night’s sleep. Studies show that the key to transitioning what we learn from short-term memory to longer-term memory (so you can recall it on a test!) is getting enough sleep. 
  2. Eat brain food. Blueberries, eggs, and whole grains are known to improve brain performance. Make a healthy meal the day of your exam to keep you full and energized during the exam. 
  3. Relax! Perform breathing exercises, meditation and reserve 30 minutes before your exam to relax. 
  4. Exercise. Endorphins can improve brain function. Take 15-30 minutes to take a walk, do yoga or stretch the day of your exam. 
  5. Last-minute studying. Is there a topic you’re still unsure about? Use the day of your exam to review those areas. 
  6. (Online exams) Check your technology and remove any distractions. By taking the exam remotely, you are in a less controlled environment. Prep your space with good lighting, remove watches, phones and pets and children from the room, as well as keep the door shut to avoid any unwanted interruptions. 

You do have an online proctor, so pay attention to messages that come through and if something does happen, you can work with support to reschedule your exam.  Finally, run a speed test and check your webcam is working.

How to succeed during the exam

  • Read the question and each answer a few times (at least 3) to make sure you know what it’s asking. You may know what the question is asking but reading it a few times through may indicate what you need to answer. 
  • Reversely, reading the answers before the question can sometimes be useful. Particularly with the Consultant exam, the answers are recommendations based on the question. Try this time with a few practice questions to get the hang of it. 
  • Eliminate the obvious wrong answers. Are there any answers that you know are just wrong? This narrows your answer options significantly when you remove the clearly incorrect answer. When you have your remaining options, think about what answer satisfies the whole question. 
  • Decipher the right answer for the question. This is particularly true for the Consultant Exam as there are multiple “right” answers based on the client’s need. Remember that since this is a Salesforce exam, try to select the answer that you believe Salesforce would recommend. 
  • Trust your gut instinct. Even if you aren’t 100% sure, your first instinct is probably correct. 
  • Be mindful of the time. This is a timed exam, so you’ll want to make sure you finish the entire exam before the time runs out. The best approach is to answer every question once through, and “mark for review” those questions you aren’t confident on. Save 30 minutes at the end of the exam to review those questions and think thoroughly on your answers. 

Come prepared and leave happy

The Pardot Specialist certification exam may have been a walk in the park for you, but the Pardot Consultant certification exam is on a whole new level. While it is possible to pass the exam without hands-on experience, there really is no substitute for getting in there and working inside the platform so you can fully understand it.
Need structured Salesforce training to get you where you need to be? Check out our current roster of training courses. And tell us all about your best study secrets in the comments section below.

Original article: How to Pass the Pardot Consultant Certification Exam

©2022 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post How to Pass the Pardot Consultant Certification Exam appeared first on The Spot.

By |2022-05-04T15:52:00+00:00May 4th, 2022|Categories: Career Development, Community, Real Talk, revive|

A Hot Take on the Pardot Rebrand to Marketing Cloud Account Engagement.

It’s official — Pardot is going to be called Marketing Cloud Account Engagement going forward.

This is a big, bold change.

I have a lot of respect for whoever did the work on this rebrand, and whoever ultimately had to push the button and make the final approval on these changes. Having been a part of several corporate rebrands, I have a tiny peek at how much work goes into that.

Time and Twitter will tell how the new names land. Like most things — there are both pros and cons for this change. I suspect there will be a lot of strong opinions on both sides.

Quick background on the Marketing Cloud name changes

Here are the latest name changes affecting marketers who use Salesforce:

  • Marketing Cloud Email Studio (aka ExactTarget) 🡪 Marketing Cloud Engagement
  • Pardot 🡪 Marketing Cloud Account Engagement
  • CDP 🡪 Marketing Cloud Customer Data Platform
  • Interaction Studio 🡪 Marketing Cloud Personalization
  • Email, Messaging, and Journeys 🡪 Marketing Cloud Engagement
  • Advertising Studio 🡪 Marketing Cloud Advertising
  • Datorama 🡪 Marketing Cloud Intelligence
  • myTrailhead 🡪 Salesforce Sales Enablement
  • Salesforce CMS 🡪 Digital Experiences

Get all the details on the recent Salesforce product name changes here.

What I like about the name changes (particularly the Pardot one)

Let’s start with the good stuff.

1. It sets a vision for the connection between Salesforce products

The new naming conventions for the Marketing Cloud suite of products emphasizes that these products are part of the same family. 

Salesforce has made a large number of acquisitions in the martech space, and retaining the individual brand names dilutes the message that they’re all one platform. A unified naming system simplifies the message for the existing stack, and makes it easier to name and talk about future additions.

2. It aligns with marketers’ big picture needs 

Marketers need more than a pile of point solutions.

They have a vision, and they need infrastructure to execute on that. This line in Salesforce’s announcement about the change stated it perfectly: 

“As you consider how to make the wow moments that build customer trust and loyalty, we know you’re focusing less on one channel or technology and more on the full experience. Our job is to deliver the how behind the wow.”

This shift also mirrors a recent change that we made in the positioning of this blog. We announced a few weeks ago that “The Spot for Pardot” is becoming “The Spot” and broadening its focus to a broader subset of martech — and this need is exactly why.

3. It focuses on what the products actually DO from a customer’s perspective

If you already know what Pardot is, you know what it does and what problems it solves. If you already know what Datorama is, you know what it does and what problems it solves.

But no one is sitting around saying “I need a Datorama.” 

They’re saying: “I need actionable business intelligence.”

Putting the names in the customer’s language simplifies the message, in some cases, on why a particular product is the solution of choice for a particular business challenge.

4. It makes it clearer that Pardot + ExactTarget play nice in the sandbox 

For whatever reason, Pardot and ExactTarget have often been viewed as “competing” with one another. People liked to compare features, list pros and cons, and generally viewed it as a “this or that” choice. 

Really, the products both send email, and that’s about where the similarities end. They are totally different tools, designed for totally different customers, with totally different admin experiences. 

Using Sercante enterprise customers as a sample, I’d estimate about half use both ExactTarget and Pardot in different subsets of their business. Having both ensures their marketing teams can run fast and solve hard problems for the business. 

(Somehow in this “either or” narrative people seem to forget that’s why ExactTarget actually bought Pardot before Salesforce scooped them both up. Clearly their founders recognized they were better together than they are apart.)

4. It’s easy to pronounce!

First, at least people will pronounce the new name correctly. Goodbye, Par-dough. 

Silver linings, guys.

Some challenges with the rebrand

Now, for a gentle critique.

1. It’s going to be hard to unstick the legacy brand names

My friend’s mom decided she wanted to be called “Grand-mère” when her daughter brought little humans into the world. 

Her grandchildren decided she was, in fact, “Lulu.” 

Why? Not a clue.

But it stuck.

Take it from the 2 year olds: it’s really hard to tell people what to call you.

The ExactTarget brand was “sunsetted” ages ago. But people still call it that today, mostly for disambiguation with Marketing Cloud. It was rebranded Email Studio. Then Messaging & Journeys (kind of.) Now it’s “Engagement.” 

Jury’s out on how Pardot customers will react to this change.

2. It’s going to make things harder to talk about 

While the new naming system does have a unified nomenclature, it looks clean and sharp on a slide deck, it messages the right things from a customer perspective… 

…it’s going to make the products really hard to talk about.

Take Salesforce Personalization for example. Formerly known as “Interaction Studio,” Salesforce Personalization provides a category-leading experience for AI-driven personalization in cross-channel marketing campaigns. It can be used alongside both Marketing Cloud or Pardot (see also: 3 Interaction Studio Features Marketers Should Look Out For from our Pardot conference last year.)

But labeling it with the generic word “Personalization” makes it really hard for people (customers, colleagues, the community, etc.) to know what you’re actually referring to. 

Because you can personalize content with Pardot using handlebars merge language, dynamic content, or legacy variable tags. You can personalize content in Marketing Cloud with AMPscript or personalization strings. And we call those things “Personalization” too.

I don’t think it’s super clear in the current naming system that “Personalization” is its own thing that requires a separate SKU on your Salesforce order form and requires its own implementation.

3. “Account Engagement” doesn’t reflect the needs of all Pardot customers 

“Account Engagement” implies a go-to-market model where sales reps are identifying target accounts and getting after them, and marketing is complementing those efforts through an ABM strategy. 

That reflects the use case of some customers, for sure. 

But many others use Pardot differently. They use it to communicate with students and donors. They use it for community engagement. They use it for recruiting and internal comms. And Pardot is pretty darn good at those things. The new name doesn’t jive with this. 

4. It makes talent acquisition more confusing 

If I see “project managed Pardot implementation” or “reported on KPIs to stakeholders using Datorama” on a resumé, I have a pretty clear vision of what that person did and what they can do for my company. 

If you take away the OG brand names, it sounds like nonsensical fluff. Project managed Account Engagement? Reported on KPIs to stakeholders using Intelligence?

This is going to need some work.

5. It makes finding a partner more confusing 

The AppExchange made a change to its filters a few days ago, presumably to align with this change to remove “Pardot” and “Datorama” from their filter criteria:

Expertise implementing one part of Marketing Cloud does not always translate to other parts of Marketing Cloud. In the short term, I think this change to the searchability of the AppExchange is going to really damage the ability of customers to find and vet qualified partners. 

In the long term, I think we will see an increased emphasis on partners growing to support across the entire Marketing Cloud. But that will take some time.

6. It makes Googling your way to success more confusing 

What do you search if you’re looking for Pardot help in the future? 

“Marketing Cloud Account Engagement Tips for _______” is almost certainly going to turn up a lot of irrelevant content.

I have a lot of faith in Google, but it’s going to be tricky there for a while.

How I expect the Pardot community to respond to the name change 

The Pardot community is going to full-on rebel in the wake of this name change.

Mostly kidding.

I think a decent subset of Pardot customers, consultants, and long-time users will see the intent of what Salesforce is trying to do with the naming update and get on board.

I also think a decent subset of Pardot customers, consultants, and long-time users will call it “Pardot” until their final days. 

Remember back in 2019 where Salesforce tried to force a name change of Pardot User Groups to “B2B Marketing User Groups”? Yeah, they’re still called “PUGs.”

The Spot has several digital community hubs to rebrand following this change:

More to come on those after the dust settles from this announcement. 

The bottom line 

I believe in the “why” behind the Pardot name change 100%. I appreciate that Salesforce is aligning with customer needs and meeting them where they’re at when they’re talking about their business challenges.

I have faith that Salesforce is going to work on the details and logistics of what this means to customers to make this a net positive at the end of the day. There will be some bumps in the road. And many people will hold on to the Pardot name. And it will continue to help marketers kick butt and take names with engaging their audiences in a scalable way.

What’s your take on the name change? 

I’m dying to hear what ya’ll think of this renaming. Are you for or against? Spicy feelings? 

Drop a comment with your opinion and let’s discuss.

Original article: A Hot Take on the Pardot Rebrand to Marketing Cloud Account Engagement.

©2022 The Spot for Pardot. All Rights Reserved.

The post A Hot Take on the Pardot Rebrand to Marketing Cloud Account Engagement. appeared first on The Spot for Pardot.

By |2022-04-07T19:26:00+00:00April 7th, 2022|Categories: Community, Industry News, Real Talk, revive|

Salesforce Name Changes: Pardot & Marketing Cloud Get A Rebrand

Salesforce announced today that they’re changing the name “Pardot” to… drumroll… Marketing Cloud Account Engagement. Along with this rebrand, they’re changing the names of about a dozen products — but of course, Pardot is nearest and dearest to my heart.

Do I have opinions? Ohhhh yes. And I will be sharing those in a blog tomorrow.

In the meantime — here’s what you need to know about the future of the Pardot brand. 

2022 Salesforce product name changes

Salesforce likes renaming things. It’s what they do. Having been a customer and partner in this ecosystem for 12 years, I’ve kind of accepted it.

In this quarter’s wave of brand updates, Salesforce itself is actually getting an upgrade. The company announced in March 2022 that Salesforce.com is changing its legal name to Salesforce, Inc. (Sorry, I’m still going to call it SFDC though.) 

The most recent wave of Salesforce name changes

Several products are also getting the rename treatment. Pay attention — you’ll have to use these new names when communicating with Salesforce support agents. 

Here are the latest name changes affecting marketers who use Salesforce:

  • Marketing Cloud Email Studio (aka ExactTarget) 🡪 Marketing Cloud Engagement
  • Pardot 🡪 Marketing Cloud Account Engagement
  • CDP 🡪 Marketing Cloud Customer Data Platform
  • Interaction Studio 🡪 Marketing Cloud Personalization
  • Email, Messaging, and Journeys 🡪 Marketing Cloud Engagement
  • Advertising Studio 🡪 Marketing Cloud Advertising
  • Datorama 🡪 Marketing Cloud Intelligence
  • myTrailhead 🡪 Salesforce Sales Enablement
  • Salesforce CMS 🡪 Digital Experiences

Wait, what? Why?

The word Salesforce has used as a touchstone when communicating these product name changes is that they are EASY. 

Salesforce EVP & GM Digital Experiences Lidiane Jones echoed this in the official announcement about the name change: 

The Marketing Cloud portfolio is now more aligned with the language marketers already use, so the capabilities and value are easier to understand. For example, many marketers are looking for the capability and value of real-time Personalization, not an “Interaction Studio” solution.

We’re expecting to hear more on Salesforce’s logic behind the changes at the Sydney World Tour. 

What is NOT affected by the Pardot name change

With the name change, there’s lots that is staying the same:

  • Product features & functionality (continuing to grow and expand as part of the normal release cycle) 
  • Pricing 
  • Packaging / bundles
  • The actual SKU names on your Salesforce contract

Not ready to accept the new brand? Let’s cope together. 

If you’re anything like us, Pardot is your BFF and you know all the Pardot trivia, including how Pardot got its name.

So, you might need some time to process the news from Salesforce — especially since Marketing Cloud Account Engagement just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

Spotify playlists for your recovery

While we are still waiting for the ecosystem to establish its own moniker (McKay, anyone?) we have just the thing to get you through all of your stages of grief — some tunes to carry you through. Check out our breakup playlists on Spotify. 

What’s your reaction to the new name? Share your take in the comments while we all process this.

Original article: Salesforce Name Changes: Pardot & Marketing Cloud Get A Rebrand

©2022 The Spot for Pardot. All Rights Reserved.

The post Salesforce Name Changes: Pardot & Marketing Cloud Get A Rebrand appeared first on The Spot for Pardot.

By |2022-04-06T18:13:53+00:00April 6th, 2022|Categories: Community, Industry News, Real Talk|

The Spot: A Community Resource for Marketers on Salesforce

Your Marketing Automation Platform (MAP) doesn’t exist in a vacuum. And neither do we.

The Spot for Pardot is following a natural evolution we’re seeing in the marketing technology industry. As demand for integrations with MAPs increase and Marketing Operations Professionals (MOPs) are finally finding voices among the big players, we’ve shifted our focus to the MarTech stack as a whole.

We’re still The Spot for Pardot. But now we’re so much more.

Moving forward, you’ll find community resources for ALL marketers who use the Salesforce platform. The ones who use Pardot. Or Marketing Cloud. Or both. Or some other MAP they’re integrating with Sales Cloud.

We’ll share what we know about using marketing technology and the Salesforce platform together.

A new focus for “The Spot” (and a new name)

It started as a personal blog sharing quick tips and solutions from one Pardot user. Then others joined to share their knowledge. And more readers followed. Now it’s a community hub for marketers on Salesforce who work together to reach their goals. 

Here’s a message from the original The Spot blogger, Andrea Tarrell, to share how we got here.

A message from Andrea, OG blogger at The Spot

I am thrilled to announce a fully revamped, reimagined, relaunch of “The Spot.”  Shout out to the amazing marketing team at Sercante — especially Sarah, Ambre, and Christina — for bringing this to life.

The new site looks infinitely better than the old WordPress site I hacked together in 2017. 

But it’s much more than a face lift.  The content, authors, categorization, and overall focus are evolving to better serve you, dear reader — and I couldn’t be more excited about it.  

Where The Spot got its start

I started The Spot for Pardot in August of 2017.

It was a side project.

Actually, if I’m being honest — it was a bit of a stall tactic.

I was thinking about starting a business, but I was scared.  So, I started the blog instead.

As a marketer, I wrote hundreds of blog posts for various clients and employers, on everything from insurance best practices, to architecture, to industrial printing, to trucking firms, and more.

But I had never had a place to write about things that mattered to me.

I created The Spot as a place to express myself and share learnings, hot takes, and the occasional war story.  I half expected no one to read it.

But it picked up steam shockingly quickly.  Turns out that a lot of other marketers had been grappling with the exact same problems that kept me up at night.  And before I knew it, the blog became a magnet for my PEOPLE — the kinds of marketers that I want to work with, both as team members, clients, and community members.

The authors on The Spot: More insights from the best minds in MarTech

For the first two years of The Spot, it was just me penning posts.

But today, it is supported by authors from the Sercante team, and across the entire martech community.  (Shout out to Brittany Rhyme for being our first ever “guest post” back in 2018 and opening the flood gates!)

Do you have a perspective you’d like to share?  We welcome guest posts and paid, long-term contributor gigs.

The Name: Welcome to “The Spot”

To reflect our new focus, we’re dropping the word “Pardot” from our blog name.  Instead, you can just call us “The Spot.”  (And actually, most people called us that anyway.)

We’re keeping thespotforpardot.com as the URL right now for SEO juice, and will be phasing that out over the next 12 months.

What’s not changing: Our relentless zeal for learning & sharing

To recap — in addition to a new look for The Spot, you’ll now see:

You’ll also continue to see our team share content and resources through:

When I started The Spot back in 2017, I had no idea what it would grow into.  Thank you for being here, for sharing this content with your friends and colleagues, and for constantly challenging my team and I to bring our best to this community.  

Cheers to the next chapter!

Content on The Spot: Hello Marketing Cloud, martech & more

The Spot started out as content about Pardot with the goal of sharing insights to help marketers be successful on the Salesforce platform.

To meet that goal, we’ve branched out beyond Pardot. We’re covering topics and platforms like:

Expect to see a wave of new content covering all kinds of martech — especially other parts of Salesforce Marketing Cloud that we see growing in relevancy for savvy digital marketers. 

We’ve also added a categorization system to our posts. Now, it’s easier to browse and find what you’re looking for:

Why marketers on Salesforce need third-party resources

Yes, we realize Salesforce has Trailhead. And product-specific blog posts. And webinars. And all kinds of other resources. But you’re only getting information from the Salesforce perspective. 

You’re a real marketer with real-life challenges. And you know your tech stack includes more than just Salesforce products.

The Spot has resources to find solutions and better utilize all of your technology tools — all from the perspective of a marketer who uses the Salesforce platform.

On a mission to mobilize marketers

Our mission is simple — to provide an online home for marketers on Salesforce to learn and collaborate. It’s a central location to find Pardot resources across all levels — from getting started guides to launch an org to expert tips for advanced integrations that extend marketing technology stacks.

We want marketers to realize “what could be” and feel empowered to take their marketing campaigns and lead generation efforts to the next level. 

Get involved and claim your spot

Contributors from around the world represent all kinds of digital marketing specialties on The Spot. It’s filled with easy-to-digest (and sometimes cheeky) content for marketing professionals who use Salesforce and want to automate all the things.

Join us by getting involved and connecting with the community.

3 ways you can get involved with The Spot

  1. Become a contributor.
  2. Post an open job listing.
  3. Join the conversation in our Slack community group.

And remember to become a subscriber! The Spot newsletter delivers a healthy dose of martech to your inbox — and nothing more.

The post The Spot: A Community Resource for Marketers on Salesforce appeared first on The Spot for Pardot.

By |2022-03-29T11:30:38+00:00March 29th, 2022|Categories: Career Development, Community, Community Spotlight, Real Talk, revive|