Impactful Ways Small-to-Mid-Market Businesses Can Survive During a Pandemic

Nov 18, 2020 Susan Marshall

The coronavirus has dramatically changed the world economy, forcing many businesses to alter their operations to survive during a pandemic.   The pandemic has taken a monumental toll, small businesses bore the brunt of job loss, with a decline of more than 17% in May 2020. With SMBs especially vulnerable during this time, these companies must be agile and nimble to adjust in ever-changing times. As companies prepare for the future, there are several ways they can come out on top during the pandemic.   Hiring Freelancers With more limitations on staff size and in-person office spaces as we enter fall and a new resurgence phase of COVID-19, businesses of all sizes must think outside of their network for staffing.   With these restrictions, we’re seeing more small-to-medium businesses bridge the gap by outsourcing work to freelancers rather than hiring new employees, especially for marketing services, project management and CRM. In fact, there are now 57 million Americans in the freelance economy, up from 53 million in 2014. (CNBC)   Not only can small businesses benefit from freelancers due to their specialized skill sets to address your every need, but they are increasingly more affordable and flexible without a long-term contract. Beyond that, leveraging freelancers makes it possible to attract world-class talent that would be unavailable to most organizations on a full-time basis.   Even when the danger of COVID passes, the use of freelancers is here to stay. With 43% of the working U.S. population turning to freelance work over the next five years, the rise of independent talent and a flexible workforce will enable businesses to stay competitive and change the workforce for years to come.   Implement a Customer Relationship Management Solution Since March of 2020, the consumer's way of life has changed dramatically. In order to captivate your target audience and stay top of mind without direct access to customers, SMBs must leverage new solutions. As a result, many businesses have implemented Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions to support their efforts amid the pandemic.   CRM technology has long been regarded as an essential tool for all businesses. From customer service and email marketing to personalization, companies now expect to be able to connect platforms and technologies with customer data, in order to provide a more personalized experience. With new operational challenges, leveraging this solution has become a necessity to stay afloat.   CRM is the fastest growing software market today. It was a $14 billion industry in 2010 and is expected to reach $80 billion by 2025. That’s nearly a 600% increase. (Source: Grand View Research). This technology drives revenue and gives SMBs a competitive advantage by targeting the most qualified leads, increasing retention efforts, improving sales productivity, and providing highly-personalized messaging to existing customers.   Utilizing a CRM helps businesses connect with their customers on a deeper level, even when they are stuck at home, and could be the deciding factor between those that thrive and those who struggle to survive.   Be Flexible and Adaptable Adjusting during this unknown moment is crucial for small businesses. Whether you’re adjusting to working from home, new marketing techniques, or selling products, being agile can help small businesses stay afloat.   Find creative ways to implement new market trends Having a unique way to market products or services helps you stand out from your competition and maintain a steady flow of customers and revenue. Give your business’s online presence a boost by: Optimizing your business website for mobile Creating valuable content Experimenting with some SEO research Incorporating keywords on your website pages Engaging in online communities and forums Improving user experience Enhance your sales strategy A few ways to enhance your marketing strategy and promote unique offerings might look like shopping virtually or hosting engaging virtual classes, meetings, webinars, and even conferences.   Invest in work-from-home solutions While most people likely have a phone, a computer, and an internet connection, the work they do from home may look different than the work they do in the office. Invest in technology like Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Google Drive to keep communication consistent and simple. The pandemic poses new challenges for small businesses as they adjust to the new reality and look toward recovery. Fortunately, new technology is booming and there’s never been a better time for companies to rethink their marketing, talent, and operations.   This article was originally published on Inside Indiana Business with Gerry Dick on November 17, 2020. Written by Torchlite founder and CEO Susan Marshall.

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Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Pardot Playbooks

Nov 02, 2020 Torchlite

Torchlite, the freelance marketplace for all your Salesforce needs, announces the release of a new series of Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Pardot playbooks designed to help the millions of small-to-mid-market businesses who have been affected by the ongoing pandemic. The Torchlite Mission The new series of playbooks address the challenges faced by businesses hit hard by the public health crisis. “It’s Torchlite’s mission to support small-to-mid-market businesses. We provide trusted, certified consultants. As a result, our customers are able to access the tools they need to get ahead, especially in this challenging time,” said Susan Marshall, CEO and founder of Torchlite. “With the launch of these new playbooks, our goal is to help businesses implement and optimize their Salesforce solution with ease.” Packaged Services The playbooks are packaged services delivered by a Certified Freelance Consultant or freelancer who has a holistic understanding of Salesforce products. Companies who leverage Salesforce Marketing Cloud or Pardot can purchase one of the 12 different playbooks in the new series.  Certified Freelance Consultants The Torchlite Marketplace enables customers who purchase the Marketing Cloud and Pardot playbooks to collaborate, share documents, and provide feedback through their unique rating system. “I love the flexibility and customer-first mentality of the Torchlite model. Salesforce is a living, breathing thing that will require highly skilled expertise for our model. We like the ability to have access to the short-term project and problem-solving assistance through Torchlite’s network,” said Lindsey Dunn, Director, Lead Generation for Scrubs & Beyond. Torchlite is a certified Salesforce partner with a wide network of vetted professional freelancers ready to help businesses of any size unlock the power of Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Pardot. The Torchlite Marketplace accepts only the top 4% of applicants, ensuring businesses get the very best experts in their field. Pricing Prices for each playbook in the new Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Pardot series vary. For more information on Torchlite and its services or to purchase a playbook, please visit www.torchlite.com.   About Torchlite Founded in 2015, Torchlite enables companies of any size to access and manage highly sought-after freelance talent from anywhere in the world. With Torchlite’s 3.0 platform, organizations can now take advantage of the growing freelance economy and create their own private marketplaces of experts who help customers take advantage of powerful technologies - on-demand.

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Webinar: Effective Selling In An Uncertain Market

Oct 16, 2020 Elizabeth Basile

Todd Caponi, author of the award-winning book, The Transparency Sale (and former sales leadership team member for the Marketing Cloud), and Susan Marshall, Torchlite founder and CEO, talk effective selling in an uncertain market.   [embed]https://vimeo.com/468654909[/embed] Consensus selling is hard. Consensus buying is harder. And given that our buyers are now remote and surrounded by continued uncertainty, the deck is heavily stacked against the sellers.But there’s good news. In times of uncertainty, we can actually read the minds of our buyers. Using a little behavioral science combined with practical application, we can shift the deck back in our direction.   In this hour long webinar, you’ll learn How to drive more sales by connecting with your prospects. How you messaged and sold in an up-market will not work in a down-market. How the buying brain engages, prioritizes, decide, and buys. Immediately actionable tips to optimize your messaging, positioning & prospecting.   Todd Caponi Author, Speaker, Workshop Leader Todd Caponi is the author of the best-selling and 3x award-winning book, The Transparency Sale, a speaker & workshop leader as CEO & Founder of Sales Melon LLC, and Managing Director of Chicago’s VentureSCALE. Previously, he had spent almost 4 years building the revenue capacity of Chicago’s PowerReviews from the ground up as their Chief Revenue Officer…turning it into Illinois’ fastest-growing tech company. Prior to that, he’s held sales leadership roles with 3 other tech companies, including ExactTarget, where he helped drive the organization to a successful IPO and a $2.7B exit through the acquisition by Salesforce.com. He’s a former American Business “Stevie” Award winner for VP of WW Sales of the Year, and also once owned & operated a sales training company.

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Press Release: Torchlite Promotes Robert Harris to Chief Operating Officer

Sep 18, 2020 Torchlite

INDIANAPOLIS (September 14, 2020) – Torchlite, the freelance marketplace for all your Salesforce needs, today announces it has promoted Robert Harris to the position of Chief Operating Officer (COO). Previously, Harris served as the Vice President of Product and Customer Success for Torchlite. Harris brings more than 25 years of experience in technology, e-commerce, and organizational leadership.  In the new role, Harris will lead all operations, including product development and engineering, and help establish the company’s strategic vision while facilitating the execution of critical projects. He will also work closely with Torchlite CEO and Founder Susan Marshall and its leadership team to help grow, scale, and operate Torchlite’s platform and services effectively. “With the launch of our new Marketplace for Salesforce, we are helping businesses implement the tools they need and provide highly-trained freelancers with meaningful work during this difficult time,” said Marshall. “Robert’s leadership skills, passion and proven track record in consulting and e-commerce make him the perfect candidate to take our new Torchlite Marketplace to the next level and further scale our services.” Harris is a proven leader with more than 25 years of experience building teams, products, and solutions that deliver compelling value to customers. In his previous roles, he’s demonstrated how to effectively drive cross-functional, organization-wide impact and work collaboratively with key internal and external stakeholders. Prior to working with Torchlite, Harris served as the Founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at MVP Launch Partners and VP of Product and Engineering at Sigstr. He also served in numerous leadership roles at Loxa Beauty and its parent company Beauty Systems Group. “It has been an honor to be part of Torchlite’s journey by helping build the category-leading freelance marketplace for Salesforce and filling a much-needed gap in today’s business ecosystem,” said Harris. “With the accelerating growth of freelancers, per a recent Payoneer report, this is just the beginning for Torchlite. We look forward to continuing to support businesses nationwide by giving them access to the talent they need to run and grow their business.” Recently, Torchlite launched its new Marketplace for Salesforce Essentials, offering a new way for small businesses to access certified Salesforce Essentials Advisors on-demand with no long-term contracts, minimums or limits. The new Marketplace allows small businesses who adopt the world’s #1 CRM platform to access highly-certified freelancers who empower them to sell smarter, deliver faster support, and get started in minutes. About Torchlite Founded in 2015, Torchlite enables companies of any size to access and manage highly sought-after freelance talent from anywhere in the world. With Torchlite’s 3.0 platform, organizations can now take advantage of the growing freelance economy and create their own private marketplaces of experts who help customers take advantage of powerful technologies - on-demand. For more information, visit torchlite.com.

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How Mid-Market Companies Can Get The Most Out of Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Jul 24, 2020 Maria Rummel

These days, it seems like everyone is using Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC) to elevate their marketing plans. The tools are incredibly enticing, especially when it comes to essential verticals like email and marketing automation. And their sales team? They are on it. So, you’ve fought for the budget and bit the bullet. Now you’re a Salesforce customer! When it comes to implementing and optimizing your SFMC tools, Salesforce services may be out of reach for small and mid-market companies. Luckily, Salesforce Marketing Cloud has become so universal that there are a range of options out there for getting help with your new tools. Here are a few of our free or low-cost recommendations for mid-market companies looking to get the most out of their investment in Salesforce Marketing Cloud: Manage your expectations If when you bought Salesforce Marketing Cloud, you thought everything would be easy-peazy with the flip of a switch, it might be time for a little reality check. Salesforce Marketing Cloud is a very big and powerful tool for marketers. However, it’s so big, and so powerful that even today’s modern marketer can struggle to find the time and expertise to get all of the tools up and running to their fullest capabilities. It’s important to set reasonable expectations about the timing of your implementation, the sophistication of the projects you want to run, and how quickly you’ll see results. Start small As with many technologies, it can be helpful to get your feet wet before diving all the way into your new Salesforce products. Look to tackle a small project first to get a feel for how the whole thing works. Then deal with your larger projects or dive into the more intricate features of your Salesforce stack. Learn about the tools and capabilities There are many available ways to learn about Marketing Cloud tools. If you have the time to do some of the learning on your own, resources like these can help you get up and moving with SFMC! Email Studio Email Studio Basics from Trailhead Salesforce’s email marketing best practices Social Studio Getting started with social studio Social Studio Trailmix from Trailhead Ad Studio How to Use the Professional Edition of Marketing Cloud’s Advertising Studio Getting Started with Marketing Cloud: Advertising Studio Audiences Marketing Cloud Products from Trailhead Journey Builder Trailhead: Marketing Automation Strategies Salesforce’s Implementation guide Teach Yourself Journey Builder in 10 mins by Robert Livingston Get some live help While there are a number of resources available online, it can be difficult to find and set aside the time necessary to really get the most out of your SFMC tools. Hiring an expert to help you implement and run marketing cloud technologies is pretty much a must. At Torchlite, we have on-demand experts to help you with all of your Salesforce Marketing Cloud needs.

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Get More From Marketing Cloud: Meet Salesforce Expert Karl B.

Jul 16, 2020 Emily Brungard

According to the Walker Sands 2018 State of Marketing Technology report, sixty-three percent of marketers feel the martech landscape has evolved rapidly or at light speed in the last year, while only 28 percent feel the same about their company’s use of martech. As companies continue to see the value of and secure the budget for marketing technology tools, they’re also realizing that squeezing the full value of these tools can be difficult. In other words, they need help in order to see ROI from their martech spend. We asked Salesforce.com Certified Consultant and Torchlite expert Karl B. to discuss how marketing teams can get the most from Marketing Cloud, and how on-demand freelance experts can help marketers do more with the platform. What is the most common issue you see when working with Salesforce Marketing Cloud customers? The most common roadblock I see, especially with new Marketing Cloud customers, is the expectation that Marketing Cloud is like other marketing automation platforms—that new users can jump in and immediately leverage all the cool features Salesforce promotes. That’s when you start hearing customer complaints about Marketing Cloud; how it’s hard to use and it doesn’t work like their old marketing automation platform. Especially if they’ve come from platforms like HubSpot, which are less powerful, but easy to use. While Marketing Cloud has come a long way in simplifying complex functionality for users—take Journey Builder, for example—the real power lies in how Marketing Cloud allows you to build nearly any solution your business might need. But that power has a price. Marketing Cloud requires training and a developer mindset to truly leverage the capabilities it offers. I often describe Marketing Cloud as a “marketing automation construction set.” What do you predict will be a bigger problem in the next year for Salesforce Marketing Cloud customers? Honestly, a shortage of Marketing Cloud professionals. Customer interest in Marketing Cloud is growing faster than the supply of experienced Marketing Cloud consultants and developers. Lack of training resources has been key to this shortage. Salesforce has created some Trailhead training modules for Marketing Cloud and I can’t help but expect that more are on the way. Trailhead has turned into an incredible learning resource for Sales and Service Clouds and Salesforce’s other clouds. I look forward to seeing how Trailhead training evolves for Marketing Cloud. What is your most frequently shared tip for using Salesforce? When in doubt—Google it! During training, I always tell my clients that “Google is their best friend” when using SFMC or the other Salesforce clouds. Chances are someone else has asked for help for the same problem in Salesforce’s own communities or on StackExchange. And then there are blog posts and, of course, Salesforce’s documentation. On the flip side, what's your "secret" tip for Salesforce success? Education. Never stop learning when it comes to Salesforce—especially SFMC, which evolves so quickly. And don’t be afraid to tackle new areas, like writing SQL queries or learning AMPScript. The best SFMC users found out early on that the real power in SFMC comes from thinking like a marketer, but building like a developer. And that means getting out of your comfort zone and learning some tech. What is your proudest Salesforce-related project? Probably my second SFMC project. The client already had a very complex Sales Cloud org and needed to create dynamic meeting notification emails delivered by a Journey. That project pushed me to level up my SQL skills, dig deep into AMPScript and learn how to code API callouts from Sales Cloud to Marketing Cloud. That’s when I realized how critical developer skills are for accessing the power in SFMC. What are you most excited about in the current B2B marketing scene? Funny, but it’s been an ongoing issue for me since my days as a copywriter and marketing consultant that’s finally gaining traction. Marketers forget when selling B2B that they’re selling to people, not businesses. While the best B2B marketers have always known this, the rest are catching on and realizing that engaging with the person, not the business, is critical, especially in the first touches. I think social media has helped marketers embrace the human connection that’s essential in B2B marketing. Personalization is key to establishing relevance, and I think AI offers enormous potential in helping marketers craft relevant messages to cut through the barrage of bland marketing that prospects face every day. Applying AI effectively and ethically is going to be an exciting challenge in the years to come. Why do you think having an on-demand SFMC expert is necessary? SFMC can be frustrating for marketers new to the platform and the learning curve is demanding. An on-demand SFMC expert accelerates time-to-delivery for your campaigns. And, quite simply, it’s the best way to unlock the power of SFMC for your business without dedicating your internal staff to many hours of training and the necessary trial and error experience. Interested in learning more? Request a demo of Torchlite today.

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Your Mid-Year Salesforce Marketing Cloud Check Up

Jun 15, 2020 Emily Brungard

It’s June—can you believe it? We’re not just telling you it’s June because we think you’re unaware of the date (we all rely on our Google Calendars, after all)—we’re reminding you that it’s time to check in on your 2020 marketing success. We’re halfway through the year—are you halfway to achieving your marketing goals? If you implemented Salesforce Marketing Cloud this year, you now have a solid six months of data to review. If you’ve used it for longer than that, even better: You have even more benchmark data to work from. Have you really looked at your Salesforce Marketing Cloud numbers yet this year? Not just your open rate or total engagements. Have you done a deep dive into your marketing processes to analyze what’s working and what should be changed? If you haven’t had a chance yet this year, we get it—marketers are busy! But doing so will give you the valuable insight you need to plan for the rest of the year and beyond. A/B Testing in Email Studio By now you know the importance of testing your emails. You even have the tools to do it yourself, but you might not know what your next steps should be. Email Studio’s A/B testing abilities give you visibility into whether or not your marketing emails could be working harder. Let’s say you are the Director of Marketing for a popsicle company. Your company is seeing an uptick in sales (it is summer, after all), but your email marketing program hasn’t been updated in a while. As you revamp your email efforts, you come up with two great, pun-filled subject lines. Which one will get the most opens, leading your customer to download a coupon and purchase your latest flavor? Only A/B testing will tell. Email Segmentation with Marketing Cloud You already know that sending your emails into cyberspace with no audience in mind is a no-no. When was the last time you refreshed your audience segments? If you’ve pivoted in your strategy over the last six months, it’s important to make sure that your emails are reaching the right prospects. More than that, prospects need to be receiving personalized messages that are relevant to them. With all of the information available to us as marketers today, there’s no excuse for not breaking down your audience based on marketing goals. Your popsicle company just launched a new flavor: prune. Your email sign up requires a birthday (for birthday treats, of course), so you are able to break down your audience by age. With your prior knowledge and a little research on the prune-eating demographic, you decide to target customers above the age of 50. Luckily, you've already built a list of customers who fit this demographic. Your prune popsicle is sold out in no time. Optimize Your Email Audience with Marketing Cloud As the Director of Marketing for your popsicle company, you know that you need marketing to generate popsicle buyers (also known as leads). Your email list helps you do that by sharing the latest news, upcoming events, and more. Did your list growth become stagnant over the winter? It’s time to reignite its growth with some old fashioned cross-channel marketing. Use channels you’ve already invested your time and money in, like digital advertising and social media, to create and execute your email growth strategy. Remember, just because the year is half over doesn’t mean you have to stick with what you’re already doing. Now could be the perfect time to dive into a new medium. Whether you work for a popsicle company, a start-up, or an enterprise business, the mid-way point of 2020 is here and it’s time to check in on your marketing progress. The Torchlite Marketplace connects you with experts and templates that show you what to do, how to do it and who can get it done.

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How Marketing Technology Companies Can Get More From Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Apr 24, 2019 Emily Brungard

Marketers are sort of like explorers. Over time they have developed and utilized different techniques and technologies to discover new and improved methods of success. Today’s marketers rely on software to enhance marketing plans or create entirely new marketing initiatives. This type of software is what we refer to as MarTech (Marketing Technology). Technopedia defines MarTech as: “The intersection of marketing and technology in today's highly digital business world. Any type of technology that has a bearing on marketing operations can be called ‘martech’ whether it is a part of an analysis platform, a device-facing benchmark tool, or any other type of digital or high-tech resource.” The diversity of MarTech has opened up loads of opportunities, tools, and techniques that empower marketers on their way to creating the ideal buyer’s journey — after all, there are more than 7,000 martech tools available today. This means that you will be sifting through hundreds of software and applications to determine which are necessary and work the best. But let’s get down to brass tacks. There are a few core principles or categories of MarTech floating around the marketplace at the moment, which also happen to be the areas that Salesforce Marketing Cloud has focused in on. They’re also the categories you need to create the best possible technology stack for your martech company. Many of these focal points revolve around the power of analytics and data as a way to monitor campaigns and your customer experience as a whole across the digital ecosystem. While there are nearly endless combinations of tools and platforms to add to your martech stack, these are at the core of a successful strategy. Content Marketing Tools We don’t need to convince you how important content is — but we’ll emphasize the significance of a few certain tools and applications for a successful content strategy. Your CMS (content management system) is responsible for a few necessary components of content management and has some key capabilities, including: Hosting your website Writing your content Editing your content Publishing your content Blogging Hosting native content (video, graphics, audio, landing pages) Popular CMS platforms include: WordPress, Drupal, Joomla We mention these content management systems because they are an important foundation. While your CMS is where all of your website’s content will live — you’re going to need to get people there. There are a ton of avenues available for driving traffic and converting leads from your website. Salesforce Marketing Cloud hosts an entire suite of cutting-edge marketing tools to get the job done. Email Studio This one seems to be a piece of digital marketing that simply won’t go away. It feels like every year someone predicts the decline of email as a successful marketing tool, and every year they are proven wrong. Email marketing technology is used by a ton of companies. In fact, 82% of all B2C and B2B businesses implement this piece of MarTech. Reaching customers through an email campaign takes a special approach. Not only are you dealing with extremely short attention spans, but you’re also trying to stand out among other email marketers. This can pose a challenge for marketers, but it becomes much easier with the right strategy, tools, and software. And there’s no shortage of tools out there. Automation tools like ConvertKit or Mailchimp are popular options. Salesforce Email Studio is built into the cloud and allows you to manage and produce fantastic email campaigns that work for your niche or target audience. Email Studio empowers you to make better email decisions, backed by data, with features like: 1. Relevant targeting for your audience Data is your most powerful ally. With Email Studio, you’re able to import, filter, and segment data making automation a breeze. Retarget your most active subscribers easily and send them more relevant information and offers. 2. Tools to build your email Email Studio empowers you to create beautiful emails with quick and easy template designs. You’re also able to optimize for mobile — this is a big one. So many people read email on their phones and having to pinch and zoom to read relevant information will lose you subscribers, fast. There are also some unique tools built into the platform as well. Interactive content like weather reports or different types of carousels set you apart from the rest with relevant personalization, which brings us to another key feature of Email Studio. 3. Personalizable content Take the power of AI into your hands with Einstein — a powerful way to personalize emails to an insane degree. 4. Scalable campaigns Personalize every email, regardless of the size of your target audience or the stage they’re in on their customer journey. Make changes along the way to further personalize and tweak your messaging. Best of all, you can test and preview your messages before you send them out. Journey Builder Creating an engaging and personal customer journey is an integral part of building a successful MarTech stack. Having a visual representation of that journey that you can manipulate and share across teams will help build a focused vision and goal. Effectively communicating your customer journey and unifying your marketing and sales departments to create a cohesive mission is an essential component of mapping a customer journey. With so many touchpoints to focus on, having a customizable customer journey simplifies the process. Engage your customers during real-time events like downloads, purchases, or other engagement behaviors. With data at your fingertips, you’re able to harness customer behaviors like browsing or purchase history to personalize messaging and deliver the right message at the right time. Social Studio While social media may have begun as a primarily casual platform, it has grown into a marketers playground. There are so many platforms with unique audiences, targeting and posting styles — companies are able to reach customers in a familiar way. Social media provides a new way to provide customer service and customer experience. Salesforce Social Studio lets you into the conversation. Listen in on what your customers are talking about and learn how to best reach your target demographic. This social hub is your social media one-stop-shop. Write, edit, schedule and publish content in one sharable location. Approve admins and unify your social media efforts under one roof. As always, you’ll have an inside look at reporting and creative performance — allowing you to pivot social campaigns and directives as needed. This visual studio helps you take command of your customer interactions and insights — allowing you to make more informed decisions on your social channels. Advertising Studio Online advertising provides an affordable way to reach millions of customers. The best part about having all of your MarTech syncronized through Salesforce is having actionable analytics, insights, and data to improve all aspects of your marketing approach. This includes paid online advertising. When you’re investing heavily on ad spend, you want to make sure it’s being used effectively to generate the right leads, and ultimately driving sales. Connect all of your digital efforts like email campaigns, social engagements, and Journey Builder to create the perfect Facebook or Google advertising campaign. Salesforce Data Management Platform (DMP) We can’t stress enough how important data and analytics management is. That’s why we recommend the Salesforce Marketing Cloud. There are so many amazing tools within the cloud that can empower your marketing efforts. From gathering marketing intelligence to sharing data, the power of actionable data has never been easier to digest. Mobile Studio Capturing customer via mobile has a ton of unique benefits. Customers spend a great deal of their time on their phones (more than 3.5 hours per day, on average), making it a great place to promote offers through mobile messaging. You can build and automate mobile campaigns with ease through Mobile Studio. You also have the ability to boost your apps’ messaging power with automated alerts or deals, either on a scheduled basis or even through location-based programming. There’s also great targeting and analytics built right into the platform, taking your targeting efforts and empowering your marketing technology even further. Harnessing the Marketing Cloud Cloud-based MarTech has changed the way we understand marketing technology. While many marketing efforts were siloed in the past, they are now interconnected and work in concert with one another to create a truly special experience for customers. The truth is that the transition to a unified omnichannel experience has become standard for most customers. If you’re lagging behind, they will take notice. Quality marketing is only as powerful as the MarTech that it’s built upon. While there are a ton of great pieces of marketing technology available, only a select few work seamlessly with one another. At the end of the day, your martech needs to be well-integrated to create a memorable experience for customers. Salesforce’s robust platform makes it easier for marketers to access and use their data to create personalized, relevant experiences for their future customers.

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Beat Marketing Overload With On-Demand "Flexperts"

Mar 06, 2019 Emily Brungard

“I need help yesterday.” It’s an all-too-familiar situation for busy marketers. A big client has been slow to respond to emails, but now they’re back and pushing for results ASAP. Another just signed on. Yet another is adding on an extra project that requires specialized help. Your team is bogged down with both client and internal requests, and they just keep coming. What if you could get ahead of these capacity shortfalls before they ever happen? You have options: Outsource to another agency Let’s say you work for an agency that specializes in Salesforce Marketing Cloud services. You’ve got a bunch of competitors, and your team’s capacity is filled to the brim. Do you outsource to a competitor? And who’s to say that your project is going to take priority ahead of higher-dollar campaigns? The price is usually steep regardless and oft-times they want to make the decisions instead of just doing as you’ve asked. Find your own freelancer The marketing industry is small. If you ask around, you’ll find someone who knows someone who can vouch for someone who’s used a rockstar freelancer in the past. Word of mouth and peer reviews are great, but the risk often comes with getting on his or her docket — getting your job to the top of the heap — and making sure that their skills line up with your needs. If you need help now, you’ll need to make sure that hour requirements and schedules are set well ahead of time. Plus, paying an independent contractor through PayPal can sometimes raise eyebrows in accounting. Tap an online flexpert service The modern marketer knows that the rise of the gig economy has done more than just made hailing a cab easier. Online talent marketplaces of specialized experts have transformed the way marketing is getting done. These marketplaces consist of what we call technical “flexperts” — or flexible experts — who can take your projects and get them done when you need them most. Web-based services like Torchlite provide an easy way to find a flexpert with the skills, background, and availability to support your projects. Plus, the service does the dirty work of vetting them for know-how and quality, so you can rest assured you get the right fit.

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Unlocking Salesforce: A Q&A with Marketing Cloud Expert Sean H.

Dec 12, 2018 Emily Brungard

Research from Salesforce suggests that customers now expect a more connected and personalized experience delivered to them in real time. In fact, 70% of customers say connected processes — like seamless handoffs or contextualized engagement based on earlier interactions — are key to winning their business. Marketers are expected to take data and transform it into an experience for customers. With tools like Marketing Cloud, the possibilities are endless, but if you’re not dedicated to learning the latest features of the platform, you’re only beginning to scratch the surface. That’s where Salesforce experts come in. One of the top benefits of working with an on-demand Salesforce specialist is that they’re true experts who obtain certifications, read the latest product release notes for fun, and are dedicated to unlocking the platform’s value. We sat down with Sean H., one of Torchlite’s on-demand Marketing Cloud experts, to talk about getting the most from Salesforce, and how experts can help marketers do more with the platform. What is the most common problem you see when working with Marketing Cloud customers? Underutilization. The marketing cloud is a powerful platform, but that can also make it seem overwhelming. Many clients don’t use newer features designed to make their lives easier and campaigns more impactful because there’s a learning curve associated, and they don’t have the bandwidth or the in-house knowledge to invest to really make the most of the platform. What do you predict will be a bigger problem in 2019 for Marketing Cloud customers? “Personalization” became a marketing buzzword a few years ago, and, at that time, many people didn’t understand how the idea of personalization applied to their businesses. Fast forward to now, though, and the best businesses are figuring out how to segment, target, and develop personalized content that is really driving results. For SFMC customers that haven’t taken the time over the past few years to dig into the platform and figure out how to put it to work to personalize the marketing experience, they may find themselves losing market share to competitors that are staying in front of the curve. They may find that the “batch and blast” strategy that served them well for many years just isn’t resonating any longer because Competitor B’s personalized multichannel campaign met their customer’s expectations that much better. What is your best tip for using Salesforce? How do you eat an elephant? A bite at a time. With a powerful platform, sophisticated data management, and a number of different ways to effectively execute each campaign you’ve envisioned, it’s easy to be intimidated by the Marketing Cloud. By breaking it down – Who do I want to reach with this? How do I want to reach them? When and how often should we talk to them? – you’ll find the right features and tools for the job, whether it’s a simple Guided Send or a cross-channel journey. What is your proudest Salesforce project? It seems quaint now, but when Journey Builder was still new several years ago, it was a really big deal to successfully build and begin firing those more personalized marketing experiences to customers. It’s not that we couldn’t execute similar campaigns at the time with available tools within SFMC, but the interface and experience was such a departure, really just the beginning of things to come, that you couldn’t help but be a little proud to be one of the pioneers. Why are cross-channel integrations so important for Salesforce customers? Cross-channel integrations are one of the biggest advantages of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud compared to some of the other platforms out there. In today’s information-overloaded, short-attention-span world, repetition is just as important as serving content appropriate to the channel. If you truly want your message to reach and resonate with customers, you have to be willing to take your message to where they are, whether they’re on email, social media, SMS or all of the above. Why is having an on-demand Marketing Cloud expert necessary? Because the SFMC platform is so powerful, and constantly evolving to boot, having an on-demand SFMC expert can be like having an on-call problem solver – you know that you want to reach high-value customers who bought Widget X the last time 12 months ago, for example, but you just don’t how to get there easily without a lot of trial and error. SFMC experts have taken the time to learn the ins and outs of the platform, know the shortcuts and the pitfalls, and can look at your problem and tell you, “This is the best route to get there.” In the end, this saves you time and money on internal resources and allows you to drive revenue on your new campaign that much more quickly. Have more questions about hiring an on-demand Salesforce Marketing Cloud expert? Tweet us, or request the help of a Salesforce expert today.

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