2022 Marketing Cloud Best Practices

By Jennifer Choo

KEY TAKEAWAY

Leveraging marketing cloud technology is a critical element in the modern marketers success strategy. From collecting and leveraging customer data and ensuring customer engagement and retention to creating compelling, on-brand marketing materials, there are a number of best practices that should be followed when it comes to your marketing cloud.

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For modern marketing teams, the key to success lies within the ability to rapidly adapt to change. The past two years have put the agility of the marketing team to the test with the constant evolution of technology and the warp-speed pivots incited by the endemic era. 
As we witness the evolution of customer demand, marketing capabilities, and technologies endless growth, we are seeing a new set of best practices emerge to ensure success, especially when it comes to utilizing key tools like marketing cloud. Let’s take a look at the universal best practices for marketing cloud in 2022. 
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Utilizing the Right Platform

Like many of the current technologies that make up your MarTech stack, marketing cloud platforms come in many shapes and sizes. With so many different technologies in the market, selecting the right platform to suit your brand’s needs is critical.
 
Some important factors to consider when selecting a marketing cloud platform include:
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  • Speed
  • Out-of-the-box capabilities
  • Features, user interface
  • Ease of use
  • Integration capabilities
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While many of the big names in marketing cloud software today check all the boxes for a large number of modern marketing teams, there are some industries, like publishing, that require capabilities not available across the board. 
 
To pinpoint which platform is best suited to your business, you must determine your current needs as well what you will need in the future. Only when you have this fully developed can you begin to evaluate marketing cloud solutions to find the right fit for your business.

Be Transparent When It Comes To Data Collection & Utilization

Across all industries and brands, data is at the core of modern marketing success strategies. With first-party data collection on the rise as the third-party cookie takes its final bow (not to mention a collective consumer call for transparency in marketing practices), the need for robust, in-house data collection and transparent utilization has never been more critical.   
To adapt to the endemic era, many marketing teams are integrating more robust omnichannel strategies to enable more first-party data collection points. In addition, we are seeing a rise in popularity of the Customer Data Platform (CDP) and their inevitable integration to modern marketing cloud technologies to enable marketing teams to collect and leverage holistic and transparent data profiles for their customers.  
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Get to Know Your Customers at a Deeper Level

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Just as data is the core of a successful marketing strategy, the customer is the core of every business. Knowing your customer has always been a foundational element of marketing strategy, but the modern consumer wants to be known and understood on a deeper level more than ever before. To accomodate this, marketing teams are creating in-depth customer personas and leveraging their robust data collection strategies to identify and target ideal audience segments when and where they want to be targeted. 

To do this properly, it is imperative that your marketing cloud technology allows for proper integration to a CDP, has targeting and segmentation capabilities, and of course, supports personalization within your campaigns. As personalized campaigns for targeted audience segments take shape, various strategies for personalization and engagement come into play. Savvy teams leverage tools like dynamic marketing creativeskinetic emails, and interactive mobile apps to drive personalization for customers across a multitude of channels and mediums. Crafting resonant messaging that appeals to your ideal audiences is key to capturing their attention

Streamline Work With Template Systems

A triedandtrue best practice that has been implemented across industries within a variety of successful campaigns is the utilization of a standardized template system within marketing cloud platforms. To do this, many teams are replacing their long-form marketing templates with a template system build of stylized, branded wire frames.   

This not only allows for standardization of branded interchangable marketing elements that uphold brand guidlines, it also promotes optimization and streamlined workflows within the marketing team. This is an especially relevant practice for brands that send out a multitude of messages across a large variety of audience segments on a daily basis. If you haven’t intiatited this into your marketing cloud platform, now is the perfect time. 

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Deliver Hyper-Personalization Experiences

As previously mentioned, the modern customer is calling for more transparency and even more personalization than ever before. In the wake of worldwide lockdowns and an upsurge in digital messaging during the start of the pandemic, consumers were inundated with marketing messages. As a result, many marketing teams who were not leveraging targeting and personalization over the past two years saw a downturn in their KPIs and ROI. 
To negate this and answer the call from the modern consumer, many teams are leveraging their data to create more hyper-personalized messaging for their audiences when and where they frequent. This combination of omnichannel strategy and highly targeted personalized messages are scratching the endemic itch for brands to better understand their market and be more relatable. To further ensure their personalization strategies are increasing engagement, many marketers are looking to enhance their interactivity and contextual marketing strategies by way of streaming video and A.I. integrations. 
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Leverage the Power & Efficiency of Automation

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Lastly, the most important best practice of the current era is future-proofing your marketing intiatives — a task which has become heavily reliant on the integration of automation. As a topic of conversation across the marketing landscape for a long time now, automation has pivoted from a someday concept to a necessity for growth. This is especially relevant when it comes to your marketing cloud platform and your MarTech stack as whole.

As we enter into the era of the Metaverse, we expect that the digital-first strategies weve seen evolve throughout the pandemic are only the beginning of what is to come. Digital growth will continue and scalability is inevitable for brands who want to prosper in the endemic era and beyond. The only way to ensure longterm success is implementing automation across marketing campaign and processes within marketing cloud platforms and across other elements of your MarTech stack. Optimizations can include:
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  • Automating drip campaigns
  • Streamlining Order-to-Cash (O2C) processes with automation
  • Leveraging creative automation 
  • Implementing Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO) 
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To Sum It All Up

Our agility has been and will continue to be tested as we continue pushing forward in this modern endemic era. While many of the current best practices we are seeing across the industry are not new concepts, their adaptations certainly are. As the modern customer continues to evolve their preferences and demands so will the strategies utilized by savvy marketing teams to ensure longevity and success.  
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Marketing cloud platforms are a critical component of the modern marketing success blueprint. Collecting and leveraging holistic customer data, ensuring customer engagement and retention, creating compelling on-brand marketing materials, and streamlining processes and workflows to ensure scalability are the best practices that will help teams succeed. Adhering to these modern adaptations will allow teams to remain agile and future-proof their methodologies, helping them to build for today and optimize for tomorrow.  
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