Salesforce Marketing Cloud: Form Submission Data Flow/Architecture [SAMPLE]

Salesforce Marketing Cloud Form Data Flow

Do Software Developers Need a Degree?

Do software developers need a degree? This is an age-old question with a range of answers, including:

  • Yes. To validate your worthiness for those with traditional mindsets.
  • Perhaps. While it would help to put to ease one’s faith in your skillset, it isn’t absolutely necessary if you can show your skills in other ways.
  • No. Skills and experience are what’s of value, not a piece of paper.

In a Stack Overflow survey of 56K+ developers in 173 countries, over 69% of participants claimed to be at least partially self-taught, while 13% said they were fully self-taught.

Do Marketers Need To be Certified?

To that same end, do marketers need to be certified to be validated? Because I am not and because I have a history of self-learning and successful execution of marketing technology, my answer is NO.

I picked up Marketo, Hubspot, and Salesforce with little to no training on the job. (That is by no means meant to come off as a brag statement but neutral fact.) I set up Hubspot from the ground up and served as the technical admin for the organization. I also helped with the migration of an existing Salesforce instance to a new one, including mass data cleanse, update, and mapping, and eventually trained various team members on both platforms.

In another role, I picked up Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC), again helping with the implementation and deployment of a new instance, moving out of Act-On (another marketing automation platform) and continuing use of (and working toward improving) an existing SFDC instance.

My slight reluctance to getting certified is a) I don’t want to be tethered or restricted to working within a single platform or working with companies only using a certain platform, and b) getting certified is not cheap. Unlike the question of ‘to have a degree or not’, I already have two. And while they were not useless, per se, I am no longer in those specific fields. What I did gain out of them, however, was the ability to learn or be self-taught. Moreover, platforms are changing all the time and so are the platforms companies use. As I see it, companies should value those who can pick up new technologies over being a master of just one.

Sharing Work Samples as a Technical Marketer

That said, most (if not all) of what I know is hidden (in my head) and so to help shed some more insights into what I DO know and have experience in, I’ll be trying to share some more tangible insights into what I’ve worked on, and hopefully how I think and approach problems.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud Implementation of a Lead Form – Data Flowchart (and more)

The above flowchart, created with Creately (which I’ve never used but easily picked up and used for this post, as I did with LucidChart in a recent role), shows the flow of data for a lead form, from landing page to nurture to Salesforce updates.

This is a really simplistic, high-level birds-eye view of what’s happening. It helps, though, for both implementation and testing purposes, but to dive deeper, we could also discuss:

  • Landing pages – content, images, design, branding, CTAs, hosting, URLs
  • Forms – fields, picklist options, validation, hosting, progressive profiling, hidden fields
  • Data Extensions – set up, fields, folder location
  • Automations – SQL queries, order, timing
  • Journeys – audiences, entry sources, filters and exclusions, activities (like decision and engagement splits, emails, or Salesforce updates), timing, goals, exit criteria, and settings
  • Emails – messaging, content, design, CTAs, personalization, subject lines, preheaders, tracking
  • Marketing Cloud Connect – tracking and analytics setup
  • Salesforce – Lead and Contact fields and updates, dealing with duplicates, Campaign setup
  • Testing – what needs to be tested, how to test
  • Analytics – what to measure, what data to collect, where to store said data, how and where to measure
  • and more!

If you’re looking to set up a new Salesforce Marketing Cloud (or Hubspot or Marketo or other!, for that matter) instance for your business or optimize the programs you’re already running, feel free to reach out.

End-to-end marketing is my specialty. Growth is my business.

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