A successful sports coach knows the need to have a variety of plays that they know work and can be used when facing a tough opponent on game day. We feel the same way about how we approach customer challenges. We always start with an accurate view of the field (discovery) and then focus on ensuring we solve the pain points of customers. We have found that often the challenges of a customer are not entirely unique and can be solved by implementing a solution that is similar to past successful strategies. Just like a sports coach, we have compiled many of these “plays” in what we have dubbed our “Lev Marketing Cloud Playbook.” We’d like to share one of those plays with you to help shine a light on how we approach and solve challenges in strategically repeatable ways. We’ll share additional plays with you over the coming months; but first, dive into how we have helped franchisees and field reps send quality controlled mobile messages a little easier.
Play 1: Self-Service Email & SMS Portal For Field Reps & Franchises
Many companies are structured with a strong corporate team and a distributed network of locations, stores, representatives or the like. Often a bulk of the digital marketing activities lies with a corporate or regional marketing team. This creates an enormous amount of efficiencies and allows for continuity. However, the nature of this type of model creates a heavy load of internal communications and approvals when it comes to marketing local events and sales activities.
For this play, our customer had a core challenge to offload the amount of manual work that the corporate team was doing and allow for access to QA mobile message deployments for field sales representatives. This problem was exasperated by time sensitivity and seasonality of their business. In this particular case, our customer was willing to provide their sales reps with a fair amount of control over the message and timing but wanted to put some governance in place to ensure alignment with the Mobile Messaging Association (MMA) standards.
To combat this challenge we developed the Self Service Email & SMS Portal. This is a tool that allows provisioning for franchisees and field reps through a centralized web portal. The concept of field-based marketers deploying their emails and mobile messages is not new. However, the fundamental difference in a field rep or some franchise models is that the distributed users are likely not marketers or Marketing Cloud users. This is a vital distinction when it comes to what solution will work best for the challenge of field reps and many franchisees. They needed to be compliant, automated and simple to use.
Our solution was a web portal that was built on top of the Marketing Cloud platform. This allowed sales reps to select lists and deploy text messages without direct access to the system and alleviated the internal, manual back and forth. Using Mobile Connect, we were able to put restrictions and holds in place which ensured text messages had a standard greeting and were sent only during certain times of the day. This solution was a Heroku-based application that utilized user configuration settings to populate available content & audiences through the API.
This resolved a core challenge for the business and allowed the digital marketing team to refocus their attention on more revenue-driving mobile and email send activities while allowing the distributed sales reps the ability to remind their end customers of upcoming ordering and events.
This particular use case could be easily adjusted to provide more or fewer restrictions for mobile message content, length, and timing. A layer for higher quality could also be added which would require a corporate approval before the message was deployed. Additionally, this same approach of a web-based portal could be deployed for email messages as well with varying levels of corporate control as appropriate for the business.
We’re already working to deploy this solution to additional customers to allow for an increased number of specific, localized campaigns without the high-touch needs from corporate headquarters.