The Most Underrated Object in salesforce.com: The Campaign Object
What are Salesforce Campaigns? Campaigns are a standard object in salesforce.com that can ROCK. YOUR. WORLD. Or as salesforce.com, themselves, define it:
“A campaign is an outbound marketing project that you want to plan, manage, and track within Salesforce. It can be a direct mail program, seminar, print advertisement, email, or other type of marketing initiative. You can organize campaigns into hierarchies for easy analysis of related marketing tactics.”
Simply put, Salesforce Campaigns are really the link between your marketing initiatives and your CRM and they will allow you to create visibility, track, measure and report on your marketing programs in Salesforce.
Although most organizations are “using” salesforce.com campaigns today, It’s a rare day when I see a company really exploiting the power of that functionality. So here’s a quick breakdown of the things you should be doing starting yesterday…
1. Use Them!
This may seem to go without saying, but you would be surprised how many organizations are A) not using them or B) not using them well. For every marketing campaign or program you have running, you should have a salesforce.com campaign. If this object is not used, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to track marketing ROI. The Campaign Object is the key to accomplishing that closed-loop-reporting that is so hot right now. And here’s why: a Campaign will allow you to capture the details behind the campaign, the audience you’ve targeted, the leads/contacts that have responded, and the impact on Opportunities and/or Revenue. But you have to set them up correctly! Read on, my friends…
Don’t just throw anything into the Campaign Object. Establish your standard Campaign “Types” and all other fields that you want to track on your campaigns. Examples may be “region” or “product.” They could be “budget” and “details.” In essence, pick the fields you want to report on and compare to one another and make them required for every campaign created. In doing so, your team will not have to reinvent the wheel every time they run a campaign but more importantly, you’ll be able to report and filter campaigns as “apples to apples.”
Also, don’t forget to define “Success” for each Campaign and Campaign Type. For instance, in a Webinar scenario, my “success” for this Campaign Type could be that 5000 people register and 1000 people attend. My success for this particular Campaign may be that it drives 5 new Opportunities this quarter. Defining success can be challenging if you can’t compare it to historical campaigns but pick a starting point and set goals- then adjust your definition of success as you learn more.
3. Track Responses
Creating the campaign is just the beginning. They’re relatively useless if you do not religiously track and load responses. First, as we said above, standardize the “responses” for each Campaign Type. An example may be for a type of Campaign that is “Webinar” and my standard responses would be “Invited,” “Registered,” “Attended,” “Did Not Attend,” and “Watched Recording.” Those five response types would apply to every single Webinar so you can measure them “apples to apples.” To “track” responses- make sure you are either doing list loads, automating it by using web-to-lead forms or by syncing it with your marketing automation tool (the ideal scenario), or, by the dreaded but necessary manual entry. In tracking your responses, now you’ll be able to report on the Campaign successes and impact to opportunities and revenue or in other words, rule the world.
4. Leverage Campaign Influence
A standard functionality in salesforce.com is “Campaign Influence” and the first thing is to TURN IT ON, my friends. In doing so, Campaigns will automatically associate to Opportunities. Additionally, in turning on the Campaign Influence feature, you can attribute multiple campaigns for a deal- which is almost always the necessary case. But there’s a catch, this only works in the event that your process requires a Contact to be associated to Opportunities thus allowing closed-loop-reporting. This is CRUCIAL – repeat, CRUCIAL. And this is also the number one area where I see breakdown between a sales and marketing organization. If the Contacts are not associated to Opportunities, Marketing will have no ability to do true closed loop reporting in a regular and automated fashion.
There are a few ways to accomplish the above by either altering your business process to require a Contact be associated to Opportunities or to automate it. Either approach requires strategy and maybe some customization that your salesforce.com partner should be able to provide you.
5. Use Reports & Dashboards
If you complete points 1 through 4, then you graduate to this final point, closed-loop-reporting and Marketing Nirvana. But if you do not complete the above steps, go back to Start and DO NOT COLLECT $200.
But for the determined few who have made it, the following reports and dashboards (as defined by salesforce.com) will be available to you out-of-the-box in real-time, and in “just-in-time-to-ask-for-a-promotion”:
- Campaigns Member Analysis- Summarizes Information about Leads/Contacts who responded to Campaigns.
- Campaign Revenue Report- Analyzes which opportunities resulted from campaigns. You can also analyze products & revenue schedules.
- Leads by Lead Source- Shows all leads and the sources which generated them.
- Campaign ROI Dashboard (i.e. Mecca!)- Shows ROI reporting for all campaigns in a single chart.
It can’t be said enough that proper utilization of the Campaign object is a fundamental ingredient in marketing, sales, and IT alignment. So don’t dismiss this underrated gem. In setting them up correctly, using them religiously, and reporting on their output, you’ll finally have that line of site from marketing dollars spent to revenue returned, which is really what keeps us all up at night, amIright?