Recently I was asked - what are your thoughts on the difference a solution architect can make to a Marketing Cloud project.
This post is a collection of important high-level considerations that a solution architect will typically bring to a project. It is written to apply to both the macro and micro-enterprise when approaching a digital marketing strategy.
To help keep things easy to follow along, I am using the analogy of building a house to a Marketing Cloud project.
The three most important aspects of designing and implementing a successful Marketing Cloud strategy are:
- The FOUNDATION part of the checklist: like a house the structure, integration, and foundations need to support the entire digital marketing infrastructure.
- The FRAMEWORK part of the checklist: like a house, an approach is required that allows for campaigns to support the ongoing needs of customers effectively.
- The DESIGN part of the checklist: like a house good design brings a plan for delightful and compelling experiences to customers.
Let's get started with fitting all these digital marketing solution ideas together.
The FOUNDATION part of the checklist
Foundation: like a house the structure, integration, and foundations need to support the entire digital marketing infrastructure.
#1 - understand the data so that the STRUCTURE of the system is functional
Just like the layout of rooms in a house influences usability, in digital marketing how the data is structured influences how easily data flows through automations in the system reliably at scale. In practice, this means understanding how to leverage the relationships between contact and engagement data for effective digital marketing.
#2 - understand the complexities of how batch and API can be used to connect systems for SEAMLESS INTEGRATION
External electricity and plumbing services are often needed to make a house functional, and likewise in digital marketing, the use of batch and real-time processes to input and output data is required. In practice, this means understanding how to integrate with a data warehouse, customer relationship management (CRM) system, and/or other cloud-based platforms containing engagement data.
#3 - understand and be knowledgeable of the required FOUNDATIONS
A house needs a strong foundation to support the weight of the building and stand the test of time, and likewise, a digital marketing platform needs core functionality that allows it to scale. In practice, this means having a thorough knowledge of the marketing system tools, an understanding of procedures for managing the system, and a well-thought-out approach to data governance.
The FRAMEWORK part of the checklist
Framework: like a house, an approach is required that allows for campaigns to support the ongoing needs of customers effectively.
#4 - understand how the components are SUPPORTED
Just like the walls and roof of a house are supported by the framework, digital marketing processes are used to engage with the customer. In practice, this means understanding how best to select and trigger channel options for engaging transactional and promotional digital marketing.
#5 - understand how best to meet NEEDS AND PREFERENCES
A house needs to accommodate the needs of its occupants, in digital marketing, an understanding of how the platform can be used to meet the needs of the target audience is required. In practice, this means a deep understanding of the tools aand methods that can be used for segmentation, targeting, and personalisation.
#6 - understand how to do ongoing MAINTENANCE
A house requires maintenance to always remain in good condition, and likewise, digital marketing requires a strategy to remain robust. In practice, this means having processes in place for continually improving the platform with updates to adapt to changing customer needs and business requirements.
The DESIGN part of the checklist
Design: like a house good design brings a plan for delightful and compelling experiences to customers.
#7 - understand how to LISTEN
When building a house it all starts with an informed discussion, and likewise for digital marketing really listening to the brief is required to deliver strategic goals and KPIs. In practice, this means leadership is required for robust discussions that align with overall strategies and for conducting workshops to refine in what is possible.
#8 - understand how to deliver a concise doable PLAN
House building requires architectural drawings so that everyone involved understands how they contribute, and likewise, for digital marketing easy to understand documentation is what helps to make all involved do good work. In practice, this means preparing documentation prior to the build that discusses the process flows, data model, and components.
#9 - understand how to make DELIGHTFUL AND COMPELLING experiences
Good design brings a house to life, and likewise, good design enables digital marketing to have an impact. In practice, this requires the orchestration of the end-to-end delivery of digital marketing efforts that are effective, relevant, and engaging for customers.
Overall, a digital marketing project is like building a house in that it requires a strong foundation, a well-designed framework, and thoughtful design to meet the needs of customers and deliver results for the business.
Help continue the building analogy: what are your thoughts? is the roof a metaphor for providing security and do finishing touches help to provide a great user experience?
Comments are very welcome.