Marketing Cloud is a popular Salesforce application that many companies add to their platform. But with all of the hype, how can you know if it is right for your business? As with any major purchase, it’s important to do thorough research before signing any contracts. In this article, we will explore the different considerations you may need to take before paying for Marketing Cloud. Note that every company is unique and all of the information below may not apply to your specific business.
What is Marketing Cloud?
Before even considering this application, it is important to thoroughly understand the core product. By understanding its purpose and capabilities, you can begin to decide whether it can benefit your company.
Marketing Cloud provides tools for personalized customer engagement across the entire customer journey. It features ten different products that supplement customer interaction through messaging and automation, data and advertising, social media, and measurement and analytics. Marketing Cloud uses CRM data to target market segments and create communication plans for each distinct customer category.
If this product appeals to your organization, you should understand the costs and benefits associated with its implementation before taking any further steps.
Knowing the Up-Front Costs
Depending on the products within Marketing Cloud that you want to use, the cost can vary greatly. Each product is priced differently on their respective pages, and they are billed monthly. With so many different products, you can choose different combinations with different editions of each product for your organization. We highly suggest reviewing all of the products carefully before making your selection, as these up-front costs can be substantial. If you are unable to come to a decision after browsing these pages, it may be in your best interest to involve a third-party Salesforce partner.
Calculating Hidden Expenses
While the up-front costs are published on the Salesforce website, there are many hidden expenses that come with implementing Salesforce and its applications. Keep in mind that these expenses can vary from company to company depending on how you deal with them. Some of these costs can include:
- Third-party involvement
- In-house support salaries
- Project costs
- Training expenses
It’s important to take these additional costs into account when doing a Marketing Cloud feasibility analysis. Without them, you run the risk of under-budgeting and overspending. By staying ahead of these costs and factoring them into your budget, you can get a better understanding of whether adding this application makes sense.
Doing a Cost-Benefit Analysis
In addition to documenting all of the costs, it’s also important to understand the benefits that Marketing Cloud brings to a company. Some benefits may be:
- Improved lead conversion rates
- Full insight into customer information
- Personalized communication options
- Quality brand awareness
- Market segment understanding
If the benefits outweigh the costs, then it’s as simple as that. If you are unable to determine this with the information you have, some Salesforce products allow for free trials. Experiencing Marketing Cloud firsthand can give you a better idea of how it can benefit your company.
Understanding Corporate Goals
While Marketing Cloud is a great product, it has to align with your corporate goals and values to be profitable. If your company values customer personalization and flexibility throughout the marketing cycle, then Marketing Cloud may be a great fit. However, if your current marketing strategy is still being developed, then maybe you don’t need to invest in Marketing Cloud just yet.
If your company is just starting out and cannot afford a large license, this application has pricing for small businesses as well. By sacrificing some functionality, you can still experience the benefits at a lower cost. It all comes down to understanding your goals. Marketing Cloud can be a great addition to a company, but the culture and values have to be open to widespread adoption and use.
Bringing in a Third Party Consultant
If you are still contemplating an implementation, it may be a good idea to bring in a third-party consultant. Salesforce partners like Ntegro can help by providing an unbiased outside opinion about your company’s needs. We have experience calculating costs, benefits, and determining whether different Salesforce applications are viable for our clients. If you’d like to speak with us for a free consultation, just contact us online.
How did you decide whether or not to move forward with Marketing Cloud? Leave a comment below to share your story.