Journey Builder Deep Dive: How the ‘Object Activity’ Can be Your Best Friend

April 13, 2018 Jerome Lodovisi

If you are using both Salesforce and Salesforce Marketing Cloud, and you have installed Marketing Cloud Connect, you may have noticed additional Journey Builder activities have opened up to you. We’ll talk specifically about the “Object Activity” and how you can use it to create a better customer and worker experience in your organization.

What is the Object Activity?

The Object Activity is a Journey Builder Sales & Service Cloud activity that allows you to create or update records in a standard or custom Salesforce object. 

Object Activity improves the Worker Experience

One question we hear often from clients is, “how do I know if a contact is in multiple Journeys?” Well, in instances where you want to know where your contact is, the Object Activity will be your best friend. The Object Activity can be used in the following ways to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of reporting. The act of tracking down which contact is in your Journey can increase the Worker Experience exponentially.

  1. You can use the Object Activity to improve your Journey Builder report by creating a Journey Builder Status custom object in your Sales/Service Cloud instance.
  2. In each Journey your organization is running, you can place the Object Activity after a Send Email, Decision Split, Engagement Split, or any other type of activity.
  3. You can then add that custom object as a Related List on the lead or contact record in Salesforce.
  4. Now, not only can your workers see which Journeys the lead or contact are a part of, but they will also be able to pinpoint where the contact is within each Journey. Also, once you’ve established a Salesforce report, you can use the records in your new custom object to really understand when and why the customer is taking action.

Object Activity improves the Customer Experience

See #4 above. Let’s say you have to stop a Journey because you realize you’re missing a key message for all contacts that drives a purchase. Well, currently, there’s no pause function in Journey Builder, so you’ll need to stop the Journey, eject all contacts, create a new version, and activate that new Journey. But how do we know where customers were in the Journey? You guessed it — Object Activity.

You now have the information in your newly created custom object to properly inject your contacts back into their previous locations in the Journey. You will need additional decision splits, but that is a small price to pay to ensure your customer is not getting repeat messages, and thus a poor customer experience. The Object Activity allows you to treat customers as individuals, enhancing their experience and communication with your brand. Without the activity, you will have to treat them as email addresses and lump everyone together.

How Can You Get Started?

If you want to make best friends out of your Object Activity, ensure your instance of Marketing Cloud Connect is installed and working properly. It’s beneficial if you already know how you use data for your marketing efforts, and furthermore, have previous experience within Journey Builder. 

If you do get stuck, don’t feel bad. Journey Builder is a robust tool, and Object Activity is only one feature. It’s only one facet  of the smart marketing and communication ecosystem that Salesforce has built. If you need additional guidance, or would like more ideas on how your organization can implement the Object Activity and better utilize Journey Builder, feel free to reach out to Appirio’s Marketing Cloud Practice experts

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