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Effective Use of Your CRM and Marketing Solutions

By Dan Luton September 5, 2018

Ask an Architect
Marketing and communications are critical to the success of any nonprofit or higher education institution. Sales and Service Cloud give you the ability to build a picture of your constituents in a more effective way than ever before; your communication strategy defines how you will use that data. Without an effective marketing plan, and platform, the information stored in your CRM remains an unused and un-actionable collection of data.

The CSA team has compiled a report that aims to explore the relationship between Salesforce and its two premier marketing suites and to delve in depth into some of the nuances and features of the Marketing Cloud in particular.

Throughout this piece we will return to this theme: Your CRM data should be central to how you think about and design your marketing strategy. This will help you use your data effectively, and thoughtfully to enhance your goals and deepen your relationships with your constituents.

. Below, is a list of the questions we’ll address in this whitepaper report.

1. Pardot and/or Marketing Cloud

“Pardot or Marketing Cloud?” is one of the most common — and complicated — questions asked by organizations looking to expand their marketing abilities. Both are marketing automation products from Salesforce, and both are used successfully by nonprofits and educational institutions. So how do you decide which is right for you?

2. Incorporating Marketing Cloud into your Salesforce Plans

“We’ve been using Salesforce across our organization for a while now and are moving all of our communications over to the Marketing Cloud. How do I ensure we’re incorporating the Marketing Cloud into our Salesforce ecosystem in a way that sets us up for long-term success?”

3. Marketing Cloud Architecture

The Marketing Cloud can be a scary place. You have your strategy and have decided to integrate into Salesforce as a CRM but this now opens up a whole new front of questions. What list structure should you be using in Marketing Cloud, and how can you ensure that the data you are bringing over is usable for your marketing teams?

4. Email Duplicity

You are building a relationship with a major donor and, not only have they shared their personal email with you, but wonder of wonders, also their work email… and their Foundation email… and their assistant’s email. So, now that you have all this additional information, how do you actually make use of it?

5. Opt-Ins and Preferences

You have acquired a new constituent and begun to engage them within your email program. However, you know that sending generic content once per month is not the best way to build a relationship and convert them. So how do you make sure you are sending content and messages that are relevant and targeted to your goals?

6. Which Automation

You want to deliver the right content, at the right time, to the right people. Now that you have all your CRM data you are finally able to ensure that your content is truly reflective of your relationship with each constituent…In short, you can create emails that really feel like they are written specifically for and to a single person, hurrah! Now all you need to do is to hand create a single email for every person in your Salesforce instance every time you run a Campaign. Wait…What?

7. Marketing Cloud with HEDA and NPSP

So you have spent the last year implementing Salesforce with the amazing products that have allowed you to truly customize the platform to your business and goals. Now you are ready to start expanding your Salesforce footprint and Marketing is where you plan to start. But wait, won’t all of these additional objects, fields and custom builds interfere with how Marketing Cloud wants to work?

8. Connector Best Practices and Common Use Cases

Salesforce, and, invest a huge amount of time and effort in ensuring they product up to date and usable documentation for their products, muc of which is made accessible through Trailhead. However, technical documentation cannot possibly cover every use case or implementation scenario. So, what are the common best practices and use cases that have challenged our customers when implementing Marketing Cloud and Salesforce together?


This blog is also part of our larger “Ask an Architect” content series. To learn more about engaging a Customer Success Architect in your organization, please contact your Account Executive.

About the Author
Dan LutonDan Luton is a Customer Success Architect Director at and heads up the Nonprofit arm of the Advisory team. He plays a critical role within ensuring the success of HIgher Ed and Nonprofit customers as they seek to accelerate their use of Salesforce technology in line with their missions.