We are glad to welcome Practising Law Institute (PLI) as another happy customer, and share their marketing automation success story with you. Established in 1933, PLI is a membership-based nonprofit institution that has mentored the legal community for more than 80 years by providing its professionals with the necessary tools and training throughout their careers to successfully represent their clients. The organization provides the highest quality, accredited, continuing legal and professional education programs in a variety of formats which are delivered by more than 4,000 volunteer faculty including prominent lawyers, judges, investment bankers, accountants, corporate counsel, and U.S. and international government regulators. The essence of PLI’s mission is its commitment to the pro bono community.
Training marketers in SQL?
PLI recently transferred their marketing and segmentation activities from IBM’s Unica Campaign to Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC) as a more accessible alternative to market their more than 320,000 user network that continues to grow. During this transition, the initial intention of PLI was to invest in training for marketers, so they could create data extensions through SQL queries in SFMC. For some of their employees this may have sounded like an exciting challenge, but for others as a pretty unattractive activity. It can’t be argued that writing queries can be time-consuming and is prone to manual human error.
After having a discussion with David Smith, Vice President for Marketing and Communications, and Dennis Queally, Email Marketing Strategist, we outlined the main objectives that they wanted to see in their new marketing automation landscape. Those goals could be summarized as follows: Data democratization and leveraging their “star schema” (a customer-centric data model they had developed internally).
The idea behind data democratization was that marketers need to be able to segment and target easily without further assistance from their Data and Analytics colleagues, to have a so-called ‘segmentation self-service’. The other important aspect for PLI was to leverage the star schema, which means that marketers should be able to easily marry various data sets that include customer aspects like specializations, roles, purchases, behaviors and so on, in a seamless and easy manner. Consequently, the overall aim was to integrate and implement a new marketing automation approach in the shortest time and most productive way possible.
DESelect for segmentation in Salesforce Marketing Cloud
In a search for solutions for filtering Data Extensions, Gary Ma, Director of Data & Analytics at PLI, came across DESelect as a solution that can save time while performing Salesforce segmentation. “We are very impressed with DESelect’s capabilities”, shared Gary. The choice became evident, as the core features of DESelect allow you to join different data extensions in an easy manner, while also providing robust segmentation capabilities. After our team enabled DESelect in PLI’s Salesforce Marketing Cloud environment, a train-the-trainer approach was used to get the team (PLI internally as well as their partner) up and running. They’ve been able to create ever more sophisticated segments since – without relying on SQL queries.