Salesforce Admins Podcast

Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we talk to Chris Zullo, Global Practice Director of Customer 360 and Marketing at AllCloud.

Join us as we chat about integrating Marketing Cloud and Data Cloud and how you can do more with your data.

You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Chris Zullo.

Bring all your customer data together in Salesforce

Chris is kind of my go-to Marketing Cloud guy, so I wanted to bring him on the pod to talk through how Data Cloud and Marketing Cloud go hand-in-hand. In his role as Global Practice Director of both Customer 360 and Marketing at AllCloud, he’s seen firsthand just how much of an impact Data Cloud can have by allowing both departments to work in tandem.

There are so many applications businesses use in today’s environment that each store data about your customers. But there’s a problem. As Chris puts it, “The likelihood of all of those systems talking to each other in any cohesive fashion is slim to none.” That’s where Data Cloud comes in. It allows you to bring all of that data into one place in Salesforce, and that’s where the magic happens.

Data Cloud creates a consistent customer experience

When a customer interacts with your business, they don’t care who they’re talking to—they just want to be treated consistently and as if they’re the same person. If they had a conversation with a sales rep about a certain product or feature, they expect the customer service rep they call to know what they’re talking about.

With Data Cloud, your customer service rep can look at all the communications a customer might have had with sales so they’re on the same page. And if they notice that there’s an email sequence scheduled next week to remind them about their warranty, maybe they can cancel it ahead of time and head things off at the pass.

That’s why it’s so important to give everyone a seat at the table when you’re establishing Data Cloud at your organization: marketing, sales, service, eCommerce, IT, and your data team. You want everyone working together to create a unified experience for your customers.

Data Cloud makes your data actionable

Some business units get really attached to their data. Sure, they’ll build you an API to provide a one-way glass view of their data, but why do you need them to integrate it with Data Cloud?

“It’s all about making it actionable,” Chris says, “it’s a verb, it’s an action. Just because I have a view doesn’t mean I can do something with it.” Data Cloud lets you do segmentation and targeting at scale without having to copy-paste into a bunch of pivot tables. And with AI features like lookalike segments, the possibilities are endless.

There’s a lot more great stuff from Chris about how Data Cloud can transform your organization so be sure to listen to the full episode. And don’t forget to subscribe to hear more from the Salesforce Admins Podcast.

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Full show transcript

Mike:
With Data Cloud, you can organize and unify data across Salesforce and other external data sources. After data has been ingested into Data Cloud, it can be used to drive personalization and engagement through the creation of audience segments. So that's what our help documents say. And I wanted to find out from Chris Zullo, who is a business puzzle solver, Salesforce MVP and Global C360 and marketing practice director at AllCloud. What he's seeing when he's helped other admins integrate Marketing Cloud and Data Cloud and all of the benefits across the organization from having visibility into that. Also, what are some of the questions that admins should be asking in order to get that integration going?
Now, before we get into the podcast, I want to be sure you're doing one thing and that's following the Salesforce Admins Podcast. And the reason I ask is if you're doing that on Apple Podcasts or Spotify or iHeartRadio, then the newest episode will automatically be downloaded right to your phone so you can listen to it on your bike ride or your dog walk, or maybe you just walk around the neighborhood to clear your head. But let's talk about integrating data with Chris and get Chris on the podcast. So Chris, welcome back to the podcast.

Chris Zullo:
Thanks for having me.

Mike:
It's probably been a while, but you're my go-to Marketing Cloud guy, and I feel a lot of people have seen you present in the ecosystem and talking Marketing Cloud. But catch us up. What have you been up to? What do you do? What's your exciting passion in the Salesforce ecosystem?

Chris Zullo:
Sure. So I mean, right now, I am doing a lot of things around Marketing Cloud and Data Cloud as a global practice director for Customer 360 and marketing for a company called AllCloud and just really trying to figure out how best to utilize the data that we have.

Mike:
I love it when you get titles based on marketing and you go, "Had that for a while."

Chris Zullo:
It's a long one.

Mike:
I used to be a director of social enterprise. I was like, "Ooh, that sounds neat." And then Salesforce dropped Social enterprise and I was like, "Oh, now I'm stuck with this." So I'm going to play devil's advocate because Marketing Cloud and Salesforce, I've done stuff, isn't campaigns enough? I mean, as an admin, I signed up my marketing people and they can create campaigns and they can put contacts in as campaign members.

Chris Zullo:
I mean unofficially the campaign object is the first part of the Marketing Cloud going back in time. But no, it is not in fact enough by itself as that is merely just a folder, if you will, a job folder that you can manage any engagement and activities that you plan to execute and engage with your customer base. So yeah, you need to do more.

Mike:
So what do we get when we sit down and have the grownup discussion of let's pull in Data Cloud?

Chris Zullo:
So when you think about pulling in Data cloud or why you would need Data Cloud, you got to think about how many systems and applications store customer data and it's never just one. The likelihood of all of those systems talking to each other in any cohesive fashion is slim to none. So with Data Cloud, you have the ability to connect and create a number of bridges, if you will, to allow all of these systems and applications to feed into one centralized location where we can harmonize, centralize, standardize all of that data to create a unified view of any one individual to better engage with them, to better service them, whatever the topic may be, and not have to swivel chair across multiple systems and try and remove a lot of the manual labor that goes into historically accessing customer data in a lot of different locations.

Mike:
So what are some of the things that you are finding when you work with marketers that they're excited to get data on with Data Cloud?

Chris Zullo:
Well, some of the bigger things are some of the more advanced segmentation capabilities that you're able to do. If you think about from retail businesses that are selling goods or products and they're wanting to figure out what's the customer lifetime value of an individual or how much are they spending with us? Recency frequency and monetary models where you can get into these more robust modeling above and beyond your typical segments of, okay, give me all the people who like the color red. You can get more just deeper into the weeds to create these more robust groupings of individuals that you can then break down into smaller parts as you need. And so, that's one of the bigger things is just really being able to look at that and isolate at scale what people are doing, how are they interacting with us and how much do they really like us?

Mike:
Yeah, how much do they really like us? Dear Marketing Cloud, how much do... Please, no, don't do that. So if I'm listening to this and I'm an admin, I'm putting myself back in those days of sitting in the chair and it's usually an executive or a stakeholder sees something at an event is like Data Cloud. We should talk about that. Where are you finding when you're helping admins or doing some of this work yourself? The admin should start this conversation. Does it start with the marketing team because the marketing team needs to pull that in and then they're going to service? Where are some of these conversations originating?

Chris Zullo:
Marketing certainly has a seat at the table since the concept that Data Cloud is built upon originated within the marketing realm over 10 years ago, the concept of a customer data platform, which really was to make their jobs easier. That being said, they're not the only ones that can benefit from data. So I think if you're going to do it right, you have the right heads of each of the major business units or teams or departments, however you organize your company at the discussion around what do we want to do? Who is our customer? Even before you get to the technology, it's really around alignment across sales, marketing, service, e-comm, maybe IT is involved or if you have a dedicated data team, these are some of the main voices that should have input into creating that centralized model because you may have different uses in each of those teams. The customer doesn't changed and they don't care who they're talking to. They expect to be treated consistently as if they're the same person regardless of the context of what their conversation is on.

Mike:
Yeah, sitting back as an admin where the data's at and that your customer doesn't know where their data's at, they don't get, like when you go check into a hotel, why don't you have all my information? I don't know where you keep all my information. I don't know where my name is stored versus my hotel room preferences and I don't care, I shouldn't because I'm talking to the front desk person. They should have all that. That's a thing that I always seem to forget. So what are some of the conversations like because I have to feel like a few of these databases or wherever this information stored have owners and they own the database. I've worked with orgs before where, yeah, well, IT owns the invoice server or whatever. Boy, they don't want to give that data up. What is the benefit in that? Or they'll come back and say, "Well, I can just write you an API that gives you a view into the order table." What is the benefit of going Data cloud versus a one-way, maybe pane of glass view?

Chris Zullo:
It's really making it actionable. I don't recall the specific quote, but you were in the room with me-

Mike:
Oh, boy.

Chris Zullo:
... back in the day. And it was a difference between a noun and a verb. If you recall the particular event we were at, it was it's all about making it actionable. It's a verb, it's an action. And so, just because you have a view doesn't mean I can actually do something with it. I mean, that's still swivel chair because if I've got to copy and paste or manually key something in that's not making it frictionless, and not only is that making my job harder, that is making the customer experience less enjoyable because that prolongs the conversation that slows down the resolution of whatever activity that individual's trying to carry out. And so, Data Cloud makes it actionable so that once we have that data in, and something that I don't think a lot of people realize is Data Cloud is not overriding those source systems.
It's not a survivorship model. So the systems of record are still the systems of record. The system owners are still in charge of what goes on in their domain. Data cloud is just making it so that we can combine the data from these various systems and make it more usable for business users. And if you want, you can activate or push data back to those systems if you see fit. Otherwise, you're going to activate it into the channels where you can do something with it that's going to benefit the customer and hopefully make your day job a little bit easier.

Mike:
So what I'm hearing is, as a marketer because that's where we started, I can query contacts and with Data Cloud also look at maybe contacts with invoices greater than a $1,000 and not have to do a pivot table with contacts I pulled out at Salesforce and then invoices that I got out of this other system because the data is actionable within Salesforce.

Chris Zullo:
That's absolutely correct.

Mike:
Just letting that moment of silence kind of fall upon people as you hear 10,000 pivot tables in the background screaming, because I feel like that. It's a different scenario, but I remember just Salesforce a long time ago used to be able to do web tabs or whatever. And so, I set up a web tab, which was our travel portal, and I remember the salesperson being like, "Oh my god, Mike, this is amazing. So this means that when I booked the travel, it's going to put it on my calendar." And I was like, "No, it's just a pane of glass to our travel portal. It is just that there is no integration."
And too often I think people get caught up in what the visual looks like. You asked for order information, so here it is on another tab when you click this and now you have access to it. Except as a marketer, I still have to go to this other system, to the invoice domain on this other server and pull customer numbers and pull contact records and then pivot table the two as opposed to using a report in Salesforce or something in Tableau to create that campaign.

Chris Zullo:
That can be a brutal way to go about things. And frankly, a lot of us have been used to that for so long because that's just the way it was done. But now there's a better way to utilize that data and like I said, make it more actionable to speed up the process and the time to value both for the business as well as the individual that you're supporting or trying to provide great customer experience to. So another example of that is you mentioned orders, but think about from a case perspective, and this is going to touch across multiple teams. If somebody calls in with an issue or have questions about a product or service that they've bought, so you have the customer service rep on the phone, there was an order placed and fulfilled at some point in the recent memory.
And you may have active marketing communications going out to this individual on a regular basis. And so, that's just three teams that could be involved in that one call. And so, in that moment, does the customer service rep know what you have bought recently without having to ask and make you repeat 15 times after they've done that to validate that you are who you say you are? But then can I see your order history? Can I see that there's some marketing communications scheduled very soon that might be touching upon this very same topic or related topic, which maybe we let go? Maybe we want to hit pause for a second and say maybe we don't want to hit them up with this marketing communication because they've called in, they have a question, we haven't resolved it.
It may or may not be negative, it may just be a neutral situation, but we don't want to potentially turn this into something bigger than it is. And so, you've got those three different teams that can be influenced by that one call, but how many systems does that rep have to go to see what this person has, what they have bought, what email communications are coming up, or SMS if it's a different channel? All of that can be in one view if you are able to unify everything through Data Cloud.

Mike:
Yeah, I always feel like the conversation with marketing is sales oriented, but the real increase in fidelity is when as an admin, marketing and service talk to each other, because that's normally where the joy can be maintained of the sale. After the salesperson not walks away, but closes the deal, to your point, if they have say, a warranty issue, the last thing they want is two days later after a customer service call to get a marketing email reminding them to sign up for a three-year extended warranty. Like, "Hi, welcome to Tone Deaf Marketing." But it happens, right? And I always feel like when you sit down with marketing people, their initial inclination is sales oriented. But I feel like what I'm definitely hearing is a big value comes to the customer service rep who is, "Hey, I hear you. Let's work through this issue. I see you're on a couple of warranty reminder emails. I'm going to go ahead and uncheck you from those." And you can correct me on this, the marketing team, empowering the service team to do something like that, right?

Chris Zullo:
Yes, exactly. Work smarter, not harder.

Mike:
What are other examples that you're finding of, I won't say it's unintended, but unintended collaboration like that unlocked because of Data Cloud?

Chris Zullo:
Sure. So I think other ones is to your point, from a sales perspective, sometimes people lump marketing and sales into the same team oftentimes and stereotypically and very humorously, it's like Westside story and they're on rival factions where we agree on nothing.

Mike:
I would love to think that every sales and marketing meeting begins with teams snapping at each other.

Chris Zullo:
Oh, I feel like there's a nice skit in the future with that one.

Mike:
There is.

Chris Zullo:
But so think about how those two can be working more collaboratively whether they want to or not, they should be. But thinking about you have people selling on an interactive basis, and if you are, say it's multithreaded in its account-based marketing, and you have different sellers talking to different people in the same organization, do they know that?

Mike:
Oh, yeah.

Chris Zullo:
Do we know if the left hand is doing while the right hand's over here shaking a new hand? How are we connecting the dots not only internally, but also looking at the target organization? Who is getting what communications? How are we bombarding them with all these different communications? Or potentially, do we want to empower the sales team to drop somebody into a nurture campaign? It would be a lot more effective if A, we can bubble up the fact that, okay, we have one organization, we have got two sellers talking to five different people and they're on all these different communications. One's not.
And then we can look at a broader picture from an account level at the individual level and internally who's doing what, when, where, and why. All of that rolls into how can we provide a better service from a sales perspective, and how can we empower bidirectionally marketing and sales to help each other to put them into the right communication? Or maybe again, similar to the previous example, maybe dial it back. Maybe we don't want to hit them as much because they're talking to a human being. We don't need to prompt them to schedule their next appointment.

Mike:
Right. Yeah, that's always fun when you're getting the email. So moving ahead, AI is a thing, it's been a thing for a while. We have Prompt Builder, we have Einstein Copilot. What are some of the cool things that you're hearing marketers are really looking forward to with some of the AI stuff that's out there?

Chris Zullo:
I think some of the predictive capabilities, I think really being able to leverage the AI from an ideation perspective, creating content or I don't know about you, but I do enjoy writing, but I don't always hit the ground running and wanting to be able to throw an idea out there, get something back and go, okay, that's not exactly what I wanted, but I can work with this. And so, then I can tweak it. And so, I might have a great idea, but I don't have the words to get it going. And so, that's one example from a marketing perspective. The other is from a data perspective, thinking about, again, the data has a story to tell and the better your data, the better the story can become.
And with AI in particular leveraging good data, we can then identify trends or identify opportunities that maybe we're not looking at as closely as we could or should, but also would take us a lot more time to effectively do if we were doing it manually and allowing that to create a lookalike audience, a lookalike segment to say, "Hey, here's your best audience based on these parameters. You've got this whole group of untapped potential that would potentially be really interested in this same product or this same service, but you've never bothered to ask."

Mike:
Yeah, I mean, you put a lot on the salesperson to make those connections in their head, and sometimes it's just not going to happen depending on the salesperson, right?

Chris Zullo:
Exactly.

Mike:
This is more of a Mike question because Mike's curious. So where are marketers falling with a lot of the advancements in AI writing emails to customers? Because you and I, we're from the days when marketing had to go over every single letter word, consonant vowel period in an email, and we built email templates and we would build workflows with email templates. And somewhere a marketer would lay his head down or her head down at night and be like, "I know exactly word for word what the customer got when we closed the deal." But now with AI we can kind of say, "Hey, tone and voice..." And maybe be softer or maybe be happier or funnier. And I suppose it's no different than just letting people write emails, but I'd be curious kind of what you're hearing because I feel you're a little more plugged into marketers than I'm.

Chris Zullo:
Yeah, I think there's a relative split. I think you've got a number of folks who are embracing it and leveraging it for the benefits that it offers. I do feel that there's still a bit of skepticism and fear. And to be honest, two years ago I was very much skeptical on what AI was going to do for me as a marketer. So I decided to investigate a little bit further and learn more about it and saw that there really is a lot of potential with AI. And I think the way I would explain it is AI is not going to replace you. I think people who understand and learn how to harness the power of AI are going to have an inherent advantage over others because it is a productivity play, in my opinion. And so, the way I have been explaining it to people is it's not so much artificial intelligence, but it's supplemental intelligence. You don't replace the human. The human still needs to be involved. You're still the chaperone. You still going to be a hand on the wheel, but it's almost like having Jarvis from a very popular.

Mike:
[inaudible 00:25:27].

Chris Zullo:
Yes, our boy, he is a helper, but he can't do all the things without your guidance. Jarvis was a product of Tony. And so, the AI that we're using in our organization, it's really going to be a product of how you utilize it to increase your time to [inaudible 00:25:54], your speed to market, or reduce the friction to process data. It's really about taking that and leveraging that in a way to be more efficient with the time that you have and still have the final say. I'm not asking Einstein to create an email and just send it blindly. No, I'm doing it to jumpstart the process and then I can refine it and revise it with a trained human hand that knows, you know what? That might not work the way that the output provided it. And you can either train it to get better, which it can do, but at the end of the day, it still requires you or me to be involved in the process. It doesn't work asynchronously. It just doesn't.

Mike:
Yeah. I was talking with a friend this weekend, and of course, this'll date me in 10 or 15 years, he's a professor at university. He said, "AI's not going to take your job. What's going to take your job is the people that know how to use AI."

Chris Zullo:
Exactly.

Mike:
And I was like, "Oh, you're so spot on." We diverged a little bit. Last question, anyone who's looking to get interested in Data Cloud, what would your suggestion be?

Chris Zullo:
I would jump on Trailhead for one. That is a great place to start because you can get hands-on exposure and experience. And honestly, whether you realize it or not, admins, you have such an important role in your organization and Data Cloud can have such a significant impact on how your data is managed, that it really is in your best interest to understand how it works, how it can impact your environment and how you can influence it. And so, number one, go to Trailhead and get started there. There's a number of resources out there. I'm trying to think of the name. There is a great YouTube series that Danielle Larregui oversees, the specific Data Cloud series and has a number of different guests from Salesforce on there about how Data Cloud works and how to use some of the various features within that, and it's a really good resource.

Mike:
I like it. Thanks for coming on the podcast, Chris. It's always good to hear from you and I'm sure we'll hear some crazy visionary insights from you at Dreamforce this year, right?

Chris Zullo:
I will certainly be there. I've been around for a while, so I don't know if anybody really wants to hear from me anymore, but I'm always happy to share.

Mike:
I don't know, I got to believe so, right.

Chris Zullo:
Hey, I'm willing and ready. If the invite's there, I'll be there.

Mike:
I appreciate it. So it was a great discussion with Chris I, You always think of what's the immediate benefit of doing something with another cloud? So what will Data Cloud get sales? Or immediately, as you heard in the conversation, my head goes right into marketing and sales, but there's also a lot of other benefits that other departments are seeing and we had that discussion about service, how you can actually talk and service your customers better. Having that integration, that information, it just kind of makes sense. So I hope you enjoyed the episode. I thought it was a lot of fun.



Direct download: Enhancing_Customer_Engagement_with_Salesforce_Data_Cloud.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am PDT

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