What Successful Marketers Know About Salesforce Auto-Association


What you don’t know about auto-association could be completely ruining your campaign influence reports in Salesforce.

Let that sink in.

Now that I have your attention, let’s talk about this auto-association thing. 

I spent many years in marketing and, I have to be honest, the term “auto-association” was never uttered at my company. As a marketer, I was relying on our Salesforce Admin to ensure that Salesforce magically spit out the correct information on all my campaign influence reports. But were they accurate?

Auto-association is key to ensuring that your campaign influence reports are attributing opportunities to the campaigns that truly had influence. It does this by limiting the time that a campaign has influence and/or by applying auto-association rules.

Auto-Association for Campaign Influence Set Up

Let’s break this down a bit.

Campaign Influence Eligibility Limits

Setting up timeframe limits for Campaign Influence in Salesforce allows you to specify the maximum number of days that a campaign is considered to be influential. This is determined by comparing the date that a contact was first associated with the campaign and the date that the opportunity was created. The general rule of thumb is to use two-to-three times your sales cycle to set these limits.

Let’s see this in action.

If your Campaign Influence Time Frame is not defined, all campaigns will be included in your campaign influence reports. Yep – All campaigns.  If a contact was associated with a campaign 5 years ago, another last week, and then had an opportunity created, the credit would be equally divided between both campaigns. It seems hardly fair that the old campaign is receiving equal credit for the efforts of your hard-working, new campaign!

If your settings look like the image below, in other words, and your Campaign Influence Time Frame is blank, then this is exactly what’s happening.

Let’s look at that same scenario – with one small change.

If your Campaign Influence Time Frame is set to 60 days, only campaigns with opportunities created within this 60-day window will be included in your campaign influence reports. If a contact was associated with a campaign 5 years ago, another last week, and then had an opportunity created, the last campaign would receive 100% of the credit. The old campaign would not receive any credit because the time between campaign association and opportunity creation is greater than the 60 day limit. Now that’s more like it!

Here’s an example of how a 60 day campaign influence time frame looks in Salesforce setup.

Now that we’ve covered Campaign Influence Time Frame, you may be wondering, what’s the deal with auto-association rules?

Glad you asked!

Auto-Association Rules

Setting auto-association rules in Salesforce allows you to apply criteria to limit campaigns that are considered to be influential. They are not required, but are highly recommended.

Consider this scenario.

You have an Engagement Studio Program set up in Pardot with the action to add all prospects to your “Follow-up” Salesforce campaign with the campaign member status of Sent and another action to update the status to Clicked (if an email was clicked). One of the members of this campaign also attended a webinar three weeks ago and is also included in your “Webinars” campaign with a campaign member status of attended. How would you apply campaign influence if a new opportunity was created and…

  • A prospect did not click any of the emails in the Engagement Studio Program
  • Versus a prospect who clicked an email included in the Engagement Studio Program

In my eyes, the act of being sent an email should have zero impact on campaign influence and should not be considered in your influence reports. However, the story changes if that email is clicked. This is where auto-association rules come into play.

The rule below ensures that only the Click campaign member status is included in your campaign influence association reports and excludes the Sent status. Pretty cool!

You can accomplish the same thing by creating a rule that looks for Responded status equals True (or combining both with an OR statement).

Keep in mind, this rule is looking at the Responded designation only, not the Member Status. If you go this route, you need to ensure that all your campaigns have Responded selected for at least one member status. If you don’t, that campaign will not be included in your campaign influence reports.

Use Salesforce Know-How to Step Up Your Marketing

Auto-association is just one aspect of Salesforce that can seriously impact marketing. As Salesforce and Pardot continue to move closer to a single platform, Salesforce knowledge is becoming a requirement for successful digital marketers and Pardot Admins.

Sound intimidating? Fear not – we’ve got you covered with our new Salesforce Basics for Pardot Admins training course. Check it out to learn more tips to improve your digital marketing effectiveness by working smarter in Salesforce.

The post What Successful Marketers Know About Salesforce Auto-Association appeared first on The Spot For Pardot.

By |2020-07-22T22:54:59+00:00July 15th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

There’s A Badge For That! Ideas for Leveraging Trailhead For Team Learning

For many organizations, especially our friends at nonprofits, non-governmental organizations, and even start-ups, making time to learn can be difficult. Would you be interested in a flexible, easy to digest, free tool to learn about Salesforce or Pardot prior to purchase, post-purchase or simply at will to skill up in specific features in 30 minutes or less?

Well, let me introduce you to Trailhead!

What is Trailhead?

As described by Salesforce –

“Trailhead is a learning experience platform—a library of educational content that you can access whenever you like.”

And guess what? It is absolutely free.

How can Trailhead benefit you?

Trailhead provides you with resources to prepare you for the start of a new career in the Salesforce ecosystem (or supplement your evolving journey with your current employer). In a way, Trailhead acts as your virtual Salesforce career support hub. You can also download the Trailhead app on your iPhone (sorry fellow Android users – our time will come…soon I hope).


To help, Trailhead outlines a few general roles in the Salesforce family and gives you statistics around them, these include: Administrator, Marketer, Business Analyst, Developers, Consultant, Services, Sales and System Architecture.


Taking it a step further, you can even sign up to become a mentee or a mentor to others who are starting to explore a career change or simply learning Sales Cloud/Pardot for their current role. You might get lucky and get paired up with someone from team Sercante (I have signed up to be a mentor twice!).

You can also set up a profile (like the one below) so you can use it as your Salesforce portfolio with your own URL. Then attach it to your different social media profiles.

What Type of learning resources are available on Trailhead?

With Trailhead you can customize your learning to tailor it exactly for you (or your team’s needs) and, similar to an online course, complete on your own time.

Some of the resources available once you create a free Trailhead account include:

  • Modules: Modules are snippets of learning material around a specific topic. (e.g. Email Templates)
  • Trails: Trails are a short chain of modules that explore specific features or use-cases (e.g. Email Marketing)
  • Trailmixes: A Trailmix is a series of custom trails, in other words you mix modules from different trails into a new learning set.
  • Projects: Like the name implies, projects are hands-on exercises with “recipes” you can follow to accomplish specific tasks. 
  • Superbages: Superbadges are like projects in that they assign specific tasks, but unlike projects, superbadges do not provide you with step-by-step directions to solve specific challenges. They’re great for applying what you have learned to common situations you’d encounter as a real admin. 
  • Supersets: These are a compilation of superbadges, which help you grow in proficiency in the skills required for specific industry roles. 
  • Quests: These act as incentives to gamify Trailhead and provide users with prizes; 


The more of these resources you complete, the more badges you earn and the higher your point count/rank will be within the Trailhead universe. In fact, some universities are starting to give college credit for these trailmixes in specific programs.

How long does it take to get through a trail or trailmix?

The real answer is, it depends. However you can always tell by the duration time at the beginning of each module. This allows you to use 15-30 minutes during lunch to tackle a part of the module and come back later or after you put the kids to sleep for the night.

Does Trailhead update their content regularly?

In short, yes. Most of the content on Trailhead is relevant to any role in the Salesforce ecosystem.


For those trailblazers trying to stay ahead of the curve, I recommend checking out:

  • Trailblazer Radio – Provides you with access to podcasts like: The Admin Podcast, the Developers Podcast and The Trailblazer’s Guide To Careers that can provide you quick knowledge snippets that are easy to digest during your downtime
  • Trailhead Live – Need fresh content? Trailhead live provides you with a series of new content webinars and virtual seminars around different topics directly from Salesforce Evangelists.

There are also several additional community components (pictured below) that you can explore to build a community both online and IRL. 

How can I use Trailhead at my company?

Trailhead can be leveraged at the individual and team level. However, Trailhead has limited content and isn’t very flexible when it comes to adding 3rd party content. For that purpose, many companies use myTrailhead to onboard their teams or develop new courses around their Salesforce use cases. You can embed videos, text, images, 3rd party links and even quiz your participants. By using myTrailhead you can even recommend modules for your team to review throughout Salesforce.

Not ready to dive into myTrailhead? Another way you can track your team’s progress is by using the Trail Tracker App. With this app, you can incentivize your team to manage their own learning by making monthly or quarterly badge challenges and also provide everyone (or management) with the visibility necessary to have impactful conversations around career development.

We just got Pardot. How do I use Trailhead to get up to speed quickly?

Trailhead is a great tool to leverage in-house expertise. If this doesn’t exist in your organization around Pardot, then I would encourage you to seek support from a knowledgeable Partner who has experience in your industry. Implementations can be tricky to do. It may seem like another cost but the amount of technical debt you can build from a partial or incorrect configuration could prevent you and your team from leveraging Pardot to the maximum.

We lost our Pardot Admin (or I’m the Pardot Admin now…), what do I do now? Can Trailhead help?

In short, yes. However, similar to Salesforce Administrators everyone has a style of doing things and if you don’t have experience working in the tool, even Trailhead can be hard to digest. I would recommend you reach out to a Partner for a system audit to help you create a roadmap of how to pinpoint any deficiencies and help you find solutions that fit your business. This would Once you have a base understanding of the system and ideas for how you want to use it, you can pinpoint which areas of Pardot you can learn from Trailhead.


For training, I would recommend signing up for a virtual course like our Pardot Admin Bootcamp, especially if your timeline is tight and you need to get up to speed quickly.

Additionally, these three Trailmixes can provide you with an excellent starting point to prepare you for your first taste of Pardot:

  • Getting Started With Pardot: For Training – This trailmix is tailored for those who want a more in-depth look at Pardot or are pursuing certification and would like to supplement their learning. Get Started > >
  • Getting Started With Pardot: For Operations – This trailmix is tailored for the day-to-day operations to get up and running as soon as possible. Get Started > >
  • Power User Topics: Pardot Technical Setup, Reports, and B2B MA – This trailmix combines a series of additional topics for Pardot power users. Get Started > >

Take Control of Your Career with Trailhead

You can take control of your career by leveraging Trailhead to learn about roles in the Salesforce universe and also become trained on them fairly quickly. Although Trailhead on its own is not a substitute for real-world experience, using this tool and actively engaging with it can help you prepare for your first junior role as a Salesforce or Pardot Admin.

For leaders exploring how to engage their teams further while they’re remote, Trailhead can become a good way to gamify the process of self and team learning with its point system, quests, and community dashboards.

By |2020-07-09T21:06:38+00:00July 8th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

5 Fab Functions of Salesforce Formulas

What comes to your mind when you hear the word “formula”? If you are anything like my 13-year old daughter, the quadratic formula and other dreaded mathematical functions come to mind. While formulas in Salesforce can be used to do calculations, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Below are five cool things that you can do with formulas.

Keep Data Clean

Is poor data derailing your marketing efforts and making your reporting impossible?

Hey – I’ve been there and feel your pain. Fortunately, formulas in validation rules can save the day!

Here’s a good example. Let’s say that you are in charge of marketing a product to individuals in the USA and Canada and that state or province is needed for your marketing segmentation. Your organization also does some business in other parts of the world, so state is not required when entering leads into Salesforce. Formulas to the rescue!

The simple formula below checks the country of leads upon entry and will not let the record be saved if the country is USA or Canada and the state field is blank.

Nothing too fancy, but effective. When users try to save the record with missing data, they are greeted with a friendly reminder at the top of the page.

Build Picklist Dependencies

One of my favorite Pardot form functions is dependent fields. This feature allows you to shorten forms and only show select fields based on the response to a dependent field. You can build very similar dependencies in Salesforce using formulas.

Let’s put our marketing hat back on for a moment and consider the situation below. As the marketing leader of an organization, you know the personas of your customers quite well and have determined that job function is one of the most critical factors in identifying future buyers. Based on customer analysis, you have created picklists in Salesforce to capture this information in a consistent manner when leads are entered (nice job!). You also had the foresight to include “other” as an option in your picklist to capture titles that may not be in your list or may be associated with future product releases. 

After creating “Job Function” as a required field (with picklist values) and creating a non-required “Other Job Function” field, the formula below can be added as a validation rule. This rule will require that the “Other Job Function” field be completed prior to records being saved if the “Other” option is selected in in the picklist.

Here’s the error message that users will see if “Other” is selected and the “Other Job Title” field is not populated.

Add Images

If your Salesforce org is any like the ones that I work in, there is a lot of data on your lead and contact page layouts. While the data is needed and serves a purpose, finding key information can often be a challenge. We’ve all heard the expression “a picture is with a thousand words” – you can leverage this concept by adding images with formulas. 

The example below is used to apply visual indicators based on lead rating. If the lead is Hot, five stars are displayed. If the lead is Cold, only one star is displayed.

Simplify Complexity

One of our core values at Secante is to “simplify complexity” and formulas can help us do that too. Sometimes we don’t need all the data presented on a page layout. The information needed can be conveyed through the humble checkbox.

Let’s say that your organization has a list of target accounts that are treated differently than other accounts. Asking the sales team to memorize a list of accounts that may be in a state of perpetual change, is just not scalable. However, the addition of a simple checkbox on the contact page layout to serve a visual indicator would easily address the need.

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Simplify Other Formulas

We’ve started off with some pretty simple formulas, but the reality is that formulas in the real world tend to get much more complex. In this example from the Advanced Admin Trail, a text formula named Case_Category _ _c was created to color code cases based on the length of time that they have been open.

While technically accurate, this formula has a lot of redundant components. Sticking with the “simplify complexity” theme that we mentioned earlier, a helper formula can be used to make this formula a bit more efficient.

In this case, the logic for calculating the case’s age can be defined in another formula called Case_Age_In_Days_ _c. We can then insert this formula field into our original formula and eliminate the need to do the age calculations within the “IF” statements. The result is a streamlined formula that’s much easier to read and understand.

Learn More

Check out these great resources from Salesforce to build and expand your formula skills.

By |2020-05-02T17:45:03+00:00May 2nd, 2020|Categories: CRM, Salesforce, Uncategorized|

How Pardot Admins Can FINALLY Bury the Hatchet with Sales


The relationship between sales and marketing departments is not always the stuff dreams are made of.

In fact, sometimes it can be a real nightmare with both sides pointing fingers at each other and a total lack of collaboration and alignment.

During my career, I’ve experienced both extremes of this relationship. This post is going to focus on the positive experience and some tips for strengthening your relationship.

First, Develop a Relationship

You don’t have to be best friends, but take the time to get to know your counterpart and understand what makes him or her tick. I’ve been in some situations where sales leadership had an immediate disdain for marketing (and I felt the same way about them) and these preconceived notions set the stage for failure.

My last role was quite the opposite, and it made all the difference in the world. We took the time to get to know each other as people first and then as sales and marketing professionals. We took the time at the beginning of each meeting to chat about our kids and maybe the score of last night’s game.

While this may seem unnecessary, I would argue quite the opposite. Because we genuinely like each other, we wanted to help the other succeed. We also had a strong enough relationship to disagree and offer constructive criticism.

The relationship between sales and marketing leaders is key – take the time to invest in it. While we no longer work together, Jonathan (the sales leader referenced above) and I still remain friends today and speak regularly.

Implement Lead Scoring and Grading ASAP

First, a truth for my friends in marketing.

Not every lead you generate is qualified and worth a phone call.

That guy who bent your ear for 20 minutes at the trade show booth is not a buyer. He simply enjoyed the free drinks a little too much and REALLY wants that t-shirt that you are giving away. He has no idea what your company even does at this point.

This is why lead scoring and grading is so important. Our friend from the trade show may be an ideal candidate for your services based on his job title (which would equate to his grade), but he has not shown any buying signals at this point and should not be sent to your sales team. Instead, take the time to nurture him until he engages with your marketing and shows buying signals (and meets a qualifying score). Only then should he be sent to your sales team.

Building an scoring and grading system that’s mutually agreed to and rooted in reality will go a long way towards building trust with your sales team and increasing the effectiveness of sales calls.

Collaborate and Share Knowledge

I work primarily with marketing teams in my current role, but I ALWAYS encourage collaboration with sales when it comes to the previously mentioned Scoring and Grading.

The truth is that marketing may THINK that they know what the perfect prospect looks like and engagement with which asset shows the strongest buying signal, but they don’t. The only way to know this information is through direct interaction with the customers – and that is something that sales has.

When doing scoring and grading, conduct a workshop with sales leaders and a few of the top sales representatives. Work collaboratively to prioritize marketing assets, engagements and scoring/grading thresholds. Both teams need to have skin in the game and agree to service level agreements to make the process work.

This collaboration should not just be limited to scoring and grading, however — it should extend to other areas of the business too. Just think of all the great reports and metrics that both teams have. Are they being shared?

Using Opportunities: Help Me Help You

Senior leadership looks to marketing to provide key ROI metrics and report on the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. While it’s true that Salesforce and Pardot can provide outstanding reporting on campaign influence, all these capabilities are negated if opportunities are not used properly by the organization and sales.

One of the most common issues that I see is contact roles not being associated with opportunities in Salesforce. Since marketing relies on campaigns to track attribution and there is no direct correlation to opportunities, sales MUST add contact roles to create the linkage. Without contact roles, there will be holes and inaccuracies in all your ROI reports.

(Side note: Realizing that the life a sales person is a busy one and associating contact roles may not the #1 priority, the team at Sercante Lab has developed the Automated Opportunity Contact Roles app to give your sales team a hand.

Help your sales team and yourself by checking it out today.)

Be Realistic with Tasks & Alerts

The automation tools in Pardot give marketing teams the power to create tasks and update notes fields in Salesforce using completion actions. Use this power wisely!

I’ll be the first to admit that I fell into the trap of:

“Not going to call my leads? I’ll create tasks for you – and send you reminders on top of it!”

The big danger here is that you could easily clutter the tasks assigned to your sales team and distract them from calling the hottest leads and contacts based on your agreed upon scoring and grading rules. You could actually hurt the number of opportunities being closed if you use this power with reckless abandon.

My advice is to again, talk to your friends in sales before creating tasks for them. Agree to what actions warrant a task and commit to a follow-up SLA.

By working together, tasks and alerts can be an excellent tool in getting the right people to sales – at the right time.

Celebrate the Wins – Together!

Sales routinely celebrates success in the form of SPIFFs, parties and sales awards, but it’s also important to recognize the contributions from the marketing team.

Like it or not, sales and marketing are related and can’t succeed without the efforts of the other. Sales needs the demand generation, brand awareness and lead qualification from marketing. In turn, marketing needs sales to close the business to demonstrate ROI and justify their budget.

Some of the best interactions that I’ve experienced are when sales and marketing come together to celebrate wins collectively. It can be something as simple as team lunch at the office or drinks after work.

Simply getting your sales and marketing teams together in a positive environment will help them come together as a team and provide motivation to better support one another.

There’s No Time Like the Present: Make the Effort for Better Marketing & Sales Alignment

There is no downside to better aligning your sales and marketing teams. A trusting relationship takes time to build, so why not start today?

Pick an item or two from this list and go to work – it’s sure to help.

Along the way, you are also going to develop your own set of alignment strategies and we would love to hear them. Share your successes in the comments below.

By |2020-04-13T19:40:46+00:00March 27th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

Introducing the Automated Opportunity Contact Roles App

Marketers want to show what campaigns drive revenue.  Sounds simple, right?

But not always as easy as it seems.


The Problem: Missing Data Ruins the Ability to Run ROI & Campaign Influence Reporting

If you’re a marketer, maybe you can relate to this scenario:

You’ve asked politely.  You’ve put together training guides. You’ve sent it up the chain of command.

But still… your sales people aren’t adding freaking Contact Roles to their Opportunities. This ruins your ability to link revenue with your marketing Campaigns using standard Campaign Influence and marketing attribution reports/dashboards.


The Solution: Automated Opportunity Contact Roles, Now Available on the AppExchange

We’ve seen the above scenario scenario play out time and time again.  So we built an app to address this issue and add Contact Roles automatically to opportunities.

Rather than waiting for sales to add contact roles (spoiler alert: they won’t), our app allows you to automate the process by creating business logic for when to automatically add Contact Roles to Opportunities.

You can set intelligent criteria for when to link targeted Contacts, ensuring your Campaigns finally get the sourced and influenced revenue credit they deserve.

No manual data entry for sales, no fuss, and you get the data you need for better reporting.


How the App for Automated Opportunity Contact Roles Works

Our Automated Opportunity Contact Roles app is extremely simple to install and use.  The highlights:

  • Choose top contacts to link to an Opportunity — based on Salesforce Last Activity Date, Salesforce Last Modified Date, or Pardot Last Activity Date.
  • Get granular: Apply your rules across all Opportunities and Accounts, or limit it to certain Opportunity owners and/or types of Contacts (with clicks, not code!)
  • Buy licenses for all of your sales reps, or just the ones that are extra bad at updating data busy
  • To take it to the NEXT LEVEL, you can even call our app’s functionality from Flows and Process Builder!

Here’s a video walk through to show you how it works:


How the Get the App 

Visit the AppExchange to learn more about the app or download to your org.  License pricing starts at $5 per user per month — a small price compared to all of the time you’ll save with manual data entry and missed opportunities to optimize your marketing campaigns without the data you need for ROI reporting.

Questions?  Reach out to [email protected], or give us a shout in the comments!

By |2020-02-05T18:50:45+00:00February 5th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

Sercante Completes Salesforce Accelerate Build Incubator Program

Last week marked the end of the Accelerate Build program, and looking back it has been quite the journey. We not only learned a bunch about building apps with Salesforce, we also learned a lot about how to work with various teams in Salesforce.  We’re really grateful to Salesforce and the AppExchange team (particularly Mike Kreaden, Emilie Jessula, and Hana Mandapat) for the opportunity to participate in this program and look forward to sharing more about our app soon.

A bit more about the Accelerate Build program

The Salesforce Accelerate Build program is an incubator that supports companies from idea to app, fast-tracking their journey to AppExchange.  Sercante participated in Cohort 7 for North America, along with these other amazing companies:

Starting in October, we had monthly workshops in San Francisco where all 10 companies in the program got together to  do hands on exercises as well as learn from speakers from both within Salesforce and partners in the AppExchange community. In between the monthly workshops, each week there were 2 webinars covering both business and technical topics.

Overall, there was a ton of information and it did feel like it was like drinking from a fire hose (in the best possible way). Luckily all the content was recorded so that we can revisit as needed.

A new product was born

We came into the Accelerate Build program with a product idea in mind, and 50% of the build complete.  In our November workshop, we had a lightbulb moment around a second product idea related to the reporting challenges Marketers face for ROI calculations.  After discussing and evaluating with some of the tools we were introduced to in the program, we decided to make this the first product to pursue.  We submitted the app for Security Review over the winter holidays and we hope to get word on it fairly soon.

A sneak peek at the product: Automated Opportunity Contact Roles

Rather than waiting for sales to add contact roles (spoiler alert: they won’t), our app allows you to automate the process by creating business logic for when to automatically add Contact Roles to Opportunities.

You can set intelligent criteria for when to link targeted Contacts, ensuring your Campaigns finally get the sourced and influenced revenue credit they deserve. No manual data entry for sales, no fuss, and you get the data you need for better reporting.

More to come on this soon…

Want to learn more about Accelerate? 

The Accelerate program is currently recruiting for its next cohort.  Learn more about the program on the FAQs page.

Update: As of February 3, 2020, our first product is live on the AppExchange!  Read more about it here.



By |2020-02-11T12:22:52+00:00January 27th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

Sercante Achieves Education & Nonprofit Cloud Certified Navigator Status

Sercante is proud to share that we’ve been recognized as a Certified Navigator for Salesforce.org customers using Nonprofit Cloud and Education Cloud. 

We are excited by this recognition and look forward to opportunities to continue helping Nonprofits and Higher Education institutions be successful on the Salesforce platform. 

What has Sercante done to grow its Nonprofit & Higher Ed team?

 After hiring several new team members with deep experience in the Salesforce.org ecosystem, we tuned our focus to upskilling our team.  7 team members have dug in, hit Trailhead, and earned the Nonprofit Cloud and Education Cloud Consultant certifications.

Our team also took on 5x more Salesforce.org clients in 2019 compared to previous year (and helped those clients see amazing results!).

What is the Salesforce Navigator Program?

The Navigator statuses help customers find the right partner for them based on a partner’s proven expertise in a Salesforce product. Based on expertise, product knowledge, and customer success, a partner can earn a status of Certified, Specialist, and Master Navigator. 

You can find Sercante’s Navigator statuses in Pardot, Sales Cloud, and Salesforce.org products on their AppExchange listing here

What’s next for Sercante with Salesforce.org?

Our team plans to double-down on our passion for the Salesforce.org community in 2020. We’ll be working hard to bring top-notch Pardot support to our Salesforce.org customers and the Power of Us community. 

We’ll be focusing on growing our team, digging deeper with our values, and leading the way for exceptional customer service. We have some exciting tools, upcoming Nonprofit and Higher Education success stories, and new Pardot-focused classes coming down the pipeline. 

Want to hear more about our work with Salesforce.org customers?

We’d love to chat about your needs and how we can help. Reach out to us at any time through our Contact Us form or in our Qualified chatbot on our website.

By |2020-02-05T16:57:54+00:00January 15th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

Conversational Marketing: a Debrief of the Portland B2B Marketing User Group

You’ve probably heard about conversational marketing or, at the very least, experienced it. It’s that chat window that pops up allowing you to have a real-time conversation with a company when you’re visiting their website.

At a recent Portland, OR B2B Marketers User Group, we dove into a deep discussion about conversational marketing. Many of the members have conversational marketing set up at their company to varying degrees.

We all took the stance of how we, as a prospect (not as the marketer), have engaged with a chat window on a company’s website. And we dug into why we engaged, to see how this could make us better marketers.

Conversational marketing: a doorway to personalized content and human interaction

Think back to the last time you engaged with a chatbot.

Most Portland user group members reported being mostly likely to engage when they feel there’s a real person behind it personalizing the experience, waiting for you to reply. It was also rare that we ran into these high-quality, engaging chat windows.

The more we dug into our experiences, we noticed the chat windows we have engaged with were heavily using personalization to draw us in. They called out what we’d seen on their website already and tailored their content to what they knew about us. And they assured us we could talk to a real person.

The role of trust in prospect interaction

My biggest takeaway from the user group discussion was most people began engaging with a chat window when they knew there was a human behind it, earning their trust. The idea of having to staff a chatbot can be a tough pill to swallow, but it immediately earns trust when there’s a real person waiting to talk.

And in 2019, not having trust with a company can be a deal-breaker.

According to the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report, only one-third of consumers trust the brands they buy. And 81% of survey respondents said trust is a deal-breaker when considering a purchase.

But, Edelman says:

“Brands can build trust by communicating with consumers through various platforms and voices, not with advertising alone.”

Introducing Qualified for conversational marketing 

Our user group meeting discussion had actually been sparked by a demo of Qualified, a conversational marketing app built specifically for Pardot.

Even though many people in the room had a conversational marketing tool already, I was surprised to see multiple people shake their head or say “wow” to just how much Qualified could do.

Qualified showed us how the tool helped add personalized content to the chat and brought in a real human at the right moment. Through Qualified’s tight integration with Pardot and added data enrichment from Clearbit, whoever was behind the tool had all the data they needed to make the experience tailored to the prospect- without ever having to ask the prospect for all of this information first.

4 ways Qualified helps build trust

Let’s talk specifics on how Qualified builds prospect trust:

1) Moving beyond text with voice calls

No more waiting for a form fill or sending over a calendar invite. With Qualified, you (or the prospect) can instantly start a voice call or screen share right through the chat window- going from chat to online meeting. Your team is right there the moment they want to talk, helping them get the information they need.

2) Starting conversations at the right time

With Qualified, you can allow the prospect to navigate your website and orient themselves before you initiate a conversation. Not only can your team use their LiveView feature to see exactly where within your website the visitor is, but your team can use Qualified to wait to start the conversation until they’ve navigated specific pages like your products page or pricing guide. 

3) Tailoring your chat to engage your top leads

Nowadays, we all expect communications to be personalized to our online activities. But with Qualified you can not only personalize the experience, but you can also prioritize your chats with top prospects and immediately route them to a real person- giving them the concierge service. What a fantastic way to grow trust and create an engaging brand. 

4) Using data enrichment to tailor your messages

Just like Pardot, Qualified uses GeoIP information to guess the location and even the company the prospect works for. Paired with just a prospect’s email address, you could unlock information on the prospect’s role in the company and company information. All of this data can help your team tailor their messages to speak the language of the prospect and their industry- quickly gaining their trust that you know their industry and could be a valuable asset to their business. 

Building better marketing that earns trust and drives growth 

In 2018, the average marketer has 20+ products in their martech stack. It’s overwhelming to consider owning and managing all of the data and tools at our fingertips. 

And that’s why using a tool like Qualified (or any conversational marketing product) should be a team effort. While one person will need to own it (like any of your marketing tools), it’s meant to help your team get in front of prospects the moment they come to you (or rather, your website). 

You and your team are doing the work to bring in qualified prospects to your site. Now your team can meet them when they arrive, building trust immediately through tailored messaging, personalized content recommendations, and a full stack of online meeting tools. 

What’s your experience with chatbots and conversational marketing? We’d love to learn how you’re using the tool to see growth and build trust.

By |2020-01-20T12:03:39+00:00January 6th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

9 Ethical Marketing Measures You Can Take with Pardot

If you’re sold on ethical marketing and ready to get started, here’s what you’ve come for. 

I’ve outlined 9 ways you can define your brand and use of Pardot in a more ethical manner.

1. Make sure your privacy policy is on your landing pages

For some businesses, it’s required by law to have and enforce a privacy policy when collecting data.  If you aren’t putting a visible link to your policies (or don’t have them) on your landing pages, you should start here. 

2. Don’t buy lists

Yes, of course, you shouldn’t do this. We all know that. But getting your boss or others on board with this idea can be really difficult in some spaces or organizations.

Here are the cut-and-dry points you can make to help you make the case against buying prospect lists:

  • You might be breaking the law (see GDPR, CCPA, or CASL) because those people did *not* give you explicit consent to start emailing them.

  • You might damage your sender reputation and sender score, meaning you might be marked as a spammer and never see an inbox again.

  • Your Pardot contract could be ended by Pardot due to violating its Permission Based Marketing Policy. We definitely don’t want that.

Can’t quit cold turkey? Pardot has a couple of alternatives to buying lists that will help wean your team off purchased lists. 

3. Learn to love AMPSEA

If you’re not familiar with the term AMPSEA, it stands for “Allowing Multiple Prospects with the Same Email Address.”

It’s the age-old argument of #teamampsea vs. #teamnoampsea. I’m staunchly Team AMPSEA. I know not everyone is, since it can cause messy data.

I’m Team AMPSEA because I believe ethical marketing means allowing your prospects to tell you who they are. I don’t believe ethical marketing happens when we get to decide that. 

AMPSEA not only allows for your prospects to control their preferences more, but it also allows for flexibility. This is really helpful in organizations that are not straight forward B2B (friendly reminder that all types of organizations use Pardot).

Finally, with AMPSEA, Pardot is aligning itself to Salesforce by allowing for multiple records with the same email. Obviously, this isn’t going away. And for other platforms and different types of clients (like nonprofits), this is long overdue. Streamlining platforms will make the work easier, the data better, and hopefully, allow for more Pardot growth.

4. Use and stick to your Email Preference Centers

Who doesn’t love transparency?! 

The people trying to hide things. 

Email Preference Centers (EPCs) are a godsend for those who want to create strong ethical marketing practices. The hardest part is not creating them, but sticking to emailing those lists on them.

One of my favorite activities with organizations looking to create ethical marketing processes with Pardot is to overhaul their use of Email Preference Centers. 

I see three main benefits to using them:

  • You’ll set clear expectations for your prospects. By allowing them to see what email lists they are on and why, you can build trust and loyalty. 
  • You’ll set clear expectations for your team. While you might be on board with ethical marketing, your time might need more time to understand and practice it. EPCs can help them get started by outlining the lists they should email, rather than the brand new ones they just created.
  • They truly allow your prospects to opt-in and opt-out. EPCs put the power back into the hands of your prospects. Through your proper use of them, prospects can own their consent and you might even find some good insights from this to further personalize and tailor your content. 

With a little extra planning, you can create a strong list of email communications your prospects can expect and easily manage. And a clear set of expectations for your internal team as well. 

5. Put the email footer area to good use

My best advice for any email marketer is to use open and honest language to state why someone is getting an email in an email footer. Here’s some copy to get you started:

“You’re receiving this email because…” 

“You joined our lists on MM/DD/YY when you signed up for X”

“Have you been forwarded this email? You can subscribe yourself here.”

Here’s an excellent example (and the replies to this are worth checking out as well.

Credit: https://twitter.com/rutdawson/status/1168436817110216705

6. Enable Pardot’s Tracking Opt-In Preferences feature
I see this as the easiest win of the whole list. This feature is that box that pops up asking for you to allow the website to track your activity. 

Without this feature enabled, you are not allowing your prospects to own their data preferences.

I highly recommend you use it, customize it for your company’s tone, and make it honest. 

7. Create Accessibility Standards

Roughly 15% of the world’s population live with a disability. Regardless of your stance on ethical marketing, making your digital marketing accessible to all with internet access should be a priority.

The infamous Pardot MVP and CEO of Sercante Andrea Tarrell wrote an excellent post on the Pardot blog breaking down 8 basic ways you make your content more accessible

8. Be mindful with your Image Files

I’m not telling you to find stock photos that look perfectly balanced with people who visually look diverse. 

I am telling you to try your hardest to be honest and kind with your images. 

  • No jokes at anyone’s expense
  • Keep gifs from flashing too much (and by too much, I mean less than 3 times per second- which can trigger seizures)
  • If you’re going to use stock images to portray your company, make it accurate. I still remember the email I received from a company that used rather diverse stock images, only to notice the company was comprised of all Caucasian men. 

9. Consider a double opt-in?

By no means do you have to do this, but if you want to give your prospects the ultimate control of their subscription, consider setting this up. It’s easier on other platforms but you can set this up in Pardot. 

Here’s a more in-depth article on the use cases for it and how to implement double opt-in with Pardot

When in doubt: communicate honestly

Not ready? Getting push back? Feeling overwhelmed?

Let’s take a step back and just think about how you can make small changes to make your communication with your prospects more transparent and honest.

More resources for creating your own ethical marketing standards

If you’re interested in this, I encourage you to learn more and form your own practices. Here are three digital resources you should check out. 

  • B the Change– the official blog of B Lab, who runs the B Corporation movement
  • Better Allies– run by Karen Catlin, an advocate for inclusivity, her newsletter and resources have expanded my marketing quite a bit. 
  • Business Ethics Highlight– highlighting the good and the bad, this news sources rounds up the latest in ethics and business.
By |2019-12-16T16:43:29+00:00December 16th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|

A Case for Creating Your Own Ethical Marketing Standards with Pardot

This is a question that motivates me:

How does your company make the world a better place through technology?

Asking this question is what lead me to start or join in on the philanthropic efforts at all of my previous employers. It’s led me to push hard for previous employers to adopt ethical marketing standards with their marketing automation. And it’s a conversation I regularly have with my Salesforce and Pardot clients.

To me, it’s a necessary question to ask before I launch any new marketing campaign. 

Ethical Marketing is my Driving Force: Could it be Yours?

Ethical marketing motives all that I do with marketing and marketing automation, like Pardot. It’s a reason I tweet, read, and give talks about ethical marketing for all kinds of organizations. As a consultant, and previously a Pardot admin, I’ve used this do-gooder lens to drive my decisions and better advise my clients. 

I believe ethical marketing is not just a way of the future or a passing trend. Ethical marketing is now a standard that many consumers look for when making a purchase. 

Whether they are marketers making a platform investment or a customer making a purchase — knowing that a company is going to take care of our data will drive us towards one company over another. 

So, What is “Ethical Marketing”?

..and how does this apply to Pardot, a B2B platform that’s pretty neutral?

I define ethical marketing as marketing that inherently tries to be good, just, and honest with their efforts while addressing their business’s needs. 

It’s a shift from solely helping your Sales team win, to honoring your prospect’s data while winning. 

First, let’s acknowledge this is tricky stuff. It can certainly be a grey area. And it’s different for every person and organization based on their values, use cases, and so many more factors. But this is where you and/or your organization can take a stance to make the world a better place. 

I really like this paragraph defining what ethical marketing is, from Dan Shewan,

“To put this another way, ethical marketing isn’t a strategy; it’s a philosophy. It includes everything from ensuring advertisements are honest and trustworthy, to building strong relationships with consumers through a set of shared values. Companies with a focus on ethical marketing evaluate their decisions from a business perspective (i.e. whether a particular marketing initiative will deliver the desired return) as well as a moral perspective (i.e. whether a decision is “right” or morally sound).”

What Does Salesforce Say About Ethical Marketing?

“We know that technology is not inherently good or bad; it’s what we do with it that matters. And that’s why we’re making the ethical and humane use of technology a strategic focus at Salesforce.” -MARC BENIOFF, CHAIRMAN AND CO-CEO, SALESFORCE

While I see Salesforce as putting the ball back in the court of their customers (rightfully so) to use their technology for good, they are also giving them the tools to do better through many of the best practices they teach on Trailhead.

Their actions and investments also speak volumes. You can see where their head is at through their formation departments like the Office of Ethical and Humane Use and the Office of Equality.

They speak a lot about “inclusive marketing”. I see ethical marketing and inclusive marketing as two different but highly aligned initiatives. 

Before I dive into how you can implement ethical marketing into your Salesforce and Pardot instances, let me introduce you to something I’ve read and shared a lot- a wonderful blog post on inclusive marketing written by Alexandra Legend Siegel, Head of Equality Content & Narrative at Salesforce. 

Ok, but Why Should I Consider Ethical Marketing?

Let’s start with this infographic from a Salesforce research survey from October 2018 that surveyed over 2000 American consumers:

Credit: https://www.salesforce.com/company/ethical-and-humane-use/

To me, the stat that speaks the most to the benefits of practicing ethical marketing is:

“69% of consumers say they spend more money with companies who demonstrate good ethics.”

It’s a simple equation of be good + do good = do more business. 

And to take this one step further, from that same survey 86% of consumers say they are more loyal to companies who demonstrate good ethics. 

Not only will ethical marketing help you earn more paying customers, but it can also help you earn their loyalty so they continue to be a paying customer. 

Want to learn more about putting this into action for your business?  Email me at [email protected] or subscribe to this blog at the bottom of the page — we’ll be posting several other blogs on this topic, including practical tips to get started.

By |2019-12-02T06:54:47+00:00December 2nd, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|
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