08 April 2022

Is Salesforce Marketing Cloud your future?

Salesforce is an advanced cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) solution, bringing together companies and customers through an integrated platform. It was launched in 1999 and has steadily become the market leader of CRM software as it continuously offers products that adapt to transforming business needs over the years. The Salesforce suite includes a broad range of products and tools to help companies connect with their customers. One of these products is Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

As a digital marketing automation and analytics software, Salesforce Marketing Cloud is oriented to the end customer. The software as a service (SaaS) based CRM platform allows marketers to develop a personalised digital experience for customers by collecting data from multiple sources. These sources range from a loyalty database, the Salesforce CRM, external sources, or even data from social media interactions and advertising campaigns. The platform helps to improve customer relationships and experiences with data-first digital marketing that allows marketers to adapt quickly, really get to know customers and their ever-changing expectations, engage customers in relevant ways, and optimise impact. By using this fast, flexible and scalable platform, marketers can succeed in putting their customers first.

Why there is so much demand for Salesforce Marketing Cloud specialists?

As digitization takes over, more and more business processes are being automated. Alongside increasing customer requirements and expectations, the growth of automation means that it is difficult for companies and organizations to offer personalised experiences or services without a CRM platform like Salesforce. Companies desire to improve customer experience so they can adapt to and understand ever-changing customer expectations better, but they require specialists to accomplish this. With Salesforce Marketing Cloud specialists, companies can efficiently build and manage personalised customer journeys. They can understand the specific likes, dislikes, needs and preferences of customers and communicate with them using the most relevant messaging in real-time. All of which would be impossible to achieve with traditional means of handling customer databases.

The high demand for Salesforce Marketing Cloud specialists is because they give companies an edge over their competitors. It opens doors to seamless automation and advanced CRM functionalities that enable them to cater to customers in a personalized way. In other words, it allows companies to use and store details about every customer so they can take care of customers in the best way possible. The automated lead management system and artificial intelligence also means that specialists can stay with prospects until they are converted into loyal customers and easily find new prospective customers, which naturally increases conversion rates and customer count. However, there is a significant shortage of skills and businesses are having a difficult time finding and hiring the right talent.

What jobs are there for Salesforce Marketing Cloud specialists?

With a shortage of skills and high demand, jobs for Salesforce Marketing Cloud specialists are abundant. Jobs are distributed over a variety of industries from information technology, the financial sector, telecommunications, healthcare, marketing and advertising to management consulting, media and entertainment, travel, utilities, education and many more emerging sectors. Any company or organization looking for ways to boost sales results and improve customer experiences would require the specific skills of Salesforce Marketing Cloud specialists. As companies and organizations seek to get back on track after the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic, it's no wonder that job opportunities and vacancies are not only booming but expanding as well.

Job availabilities for Salesforce Marketing Cloud specialists are also not limited to permanent positions and embrace the rising trend of freelancing. The flexibility of the Salesforce platform means marketers can optimise their impact from anywhere at any time. This makes favourable benefits like remote working and freelancing viable. The pursuit for increased salaries and a desire for better work-life balance, which has grown exponentially in recent years, has key employees leaving jobs in search of more favourable conditions. As such, more companies are turning to freelancers or independent consultants to bridge these gaps as they search for suitable replacements–not an easy feat. This results in a bigger market and wider opportunities for freelance roles for Salesforce Marketing Cloud specialists.

Who should become a Salesforce Marketing Cloud specialist?

From beginners with no knowledge to pros looking to reskill and remain competitive, Salesforce is accessible to all. Anyone with an interest in enabling businesses to reach prospects across multiple channels and engage customers with personalized marketing should become a Salesforce Marketing Cloud specialist. Those enthusiastic about bringing together sales, service, marketing, commerce, IT and analytics together will flourish. Salesforce Media Cloud covers enterprise-level email, marketing automation, digital advertising, data management and analytics to connect data so you can leverage it to improve performance and humanise every moment in each customer's journey.

The key to levelling up a career is specialization, continuous learning and reskilling. In the fast-growing and rapidly evolving marketing environment, competition is fierce. For digital marketing automation professionals with 2–8 years of experience in Salesforce Marketing Cloud competitors like Adobe, Eloqua, Marketo or Selligent, this is an opportunity to easily learn or reskill so you can stay both one step ahead and future-proof.

How do you learn to work in Salesforce Marketing Cloud?

There are three main avenues to learning how to work in Salesforce Marketing Cloud. The first is to learn online at Trailhead, Salesforce's online training portal. Trailhead is free to use and provides guided learning paths that you can work through at your own pace. It's a fun, comprehensive and interactive portal that has all the information you need to learn about Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Trailhead is made up of useful and extensive modules with multiple videos, online tutorials and refresher quizzes that support you in gaining an understanding of the platform.

The second way is to learn from fellow peers in the Trailblazer community. Trailblazer is Salesforce's community forum, where you can get tips or assistance when you run into a problem. No matter what the nature of your issue is, there is always someone willing to help or provide advice in this welcoming and vibrant hub.

The third method is to learn from experts in live classes and workshops. These hands-on training sessions are provided by third parties and usually work in tandem with online resources such as Trailhead. The benefit of such training is that they can be divided into levels tailored for specific needs. This allows beginner marketers to work at their own pace, while upskilling those who are more experienced quickly. Some trainings are designed for a specific purpose, such as getting marketers certified or using a particular element in the platform.

Use a combination of all three of these avenues to maximise your opportunity, or approach us to find out how we can help you with your training needs.

Should I get certified in Salesforce Marketing Cloud?

The short answer is: yes. After achieving a solid understanding about Salesforce, getting certified is the next natural step. An official certification is proof of proficiency level, skill and knowledge, which immediately builds trust and credibility. Salesforce certifications grow your resume and highlight your skills. It proves that you have hands-on experience with Salesforce and gives you the competitive edge you need to attract new opportunities towards you.

Salesforce offers over 35 certifications for different products, disciplines and experience levels. Earning a certification is also a basic requirement for most Salesforce Marketing Cloud jobs as they demonstrate expertise to current and potential employers. Getting a certification automatically grants you industrywide recognition, which plays to your advantage. Although the exams are not easy, those who put time and effort into learning the platform will be able to grasp success.

The certifications are all about proving skills, and these in turn will get you noticed and accelerate your career. Given the choice, employers will always pick the certified expert.

Certifications are also a way for experienced marketers to demonstrate that they are still hungry for knowledge and remain competitive with up-to-date skills. The certifications are also a source of self-confidence, allowing you to work more efficiently and effectively. It sets you up to excel.

How can I get my first job in Salesforce Marketing Cloud?

Besides a Salesforce certification, adding experience will help you to get that first official job. Volunteering with non-profits in the Salesforce ecosystem are a great step to gaining experience. Beyond this, putting together a mock real-world client project is a challenge to demonstrate how you can use your skills to create solutions. Salesforce also offers Superbadges, an extra difficult module that tests whether you can take your skills and apply them to designing a solution for a complex real-world business problem.

To find that first job, check with recruiters, job portals and the Salesforce AppExchange. As demand for Salesforce Marketing Cloud increases, so does their place in the recruitment market. Recruiters, like us at Ariad, have feelers across the globe that can pair you with your perfect role. Companies seeking to hire specialists often rely on job portals to get the word out. A quick search that filters for roles that require Salesforce skills and knowledge will likely bring up multiple results. The Salesforce AppExchange has listings of partners and consultants that can be studied to familiarise yourself the active landscape. Checking out the individual websites of partners and consultants that appear on AppExchange may offer opportunities to quickly and easily extend Salesforce to real-world jobs.

What soft skills are important for Salesforce Marketing Cloud specialists?

Beyond the strong focus on Salesforce certifications and hard skills, soft skills are just as important and necessary. A few vital soft skills include strong communication and interpersonal skills, teamwork, organisation, flexible and open mind. Strong communication and interpersonal skills are necessary to sustain relationships with colleagues or clients in a respectful way, as well as to simplify complex topics for a broader audience. Teamwork and collaboration are key to success: being able to work together as a unit to quickly fix problems that pop up is essential.

Organisation skills are critical, there's a lot to juggle. Although the tools on Salesforce Marketing Cloud have systems to help keep an eye on multiple facets, tasks in these jobs can vary widely and you will need to ensure that everything is organised, under control and on track. Having a flexible and open mind will go a long way to help you adapt and re-align quickly so you can find creative solutions to unexpected issues.

Becoming a Salesforce Marketing Cloud specialist is accessible to all. For beginners it's a great way to get into the marketing industry with a widely recognized credential that is highly sought after. For marketers with experience, it's a way to reskill or upskill, which may accelerate career advancement or catch new opportunities. The demand for Salesforce skills and experience is high, and shows no signs of slowing down, which equates to favourable benefits and broad job vacancies. Armed with foolproof certifications, understanding of an intuitive and easy-to-use advanced CRM platform, and a positive attitude, the Salesforce economy is your oyster.