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How to immediately save 50% of the time you spend on data management in Salesforce Marketing Cloud

As a Marketing Automation Manager, one of the main challenges you face is properly managing customer data to deliver campaigns efficiently and with great results.

Your customer’s experience influences their buying decisions more than ever before, so you must deliver personalized campaigns to give them that experience. At the same time, your management has certain expectations with regards to marketing ROI (return on investment).

In such a context, you may find managing data challenging. Your team may easily be spending up to 40% of their time on data management. But with the right approach, you will find things can be easy and a lot more efficient. 

To immediately save 50% of time spent on data management in Salesforce Marketing Cloud, you need an intuitive and fully integrated segmentation solution.

Success stories from Salesforce Marketing Cloud customers with an intuitive and fully integrated segmentation solution

Cambridge University Press

First, have a look at this success story.

Cambridge University Press used to have a Data Manager to operate Salesforce Marketing Cloud. This senior expert spent 50% of her time on various data activities, such as imports/exports, writing SQL queries, and even cleaning up data in Excel.

Then, Cambridge University Press switched to DESelect for drag-and-drop segmentation. The Data Manager now only spends 10% of her time on data management and can focus on more value-adding tasks. In addition, non-technical – even junior – marketers perform complex segmentation in Salesforce Marketing Cloud. This takes them minutes, instead of hours.

“Segmentation for our marketing campaigns used to be a time-consuming task. DESelect allows us to easily build a list of targeted segments, which saves considerable amounts of time!” – Juliette Ouchouche, CRM Analyst

Now, have a look at another success story.

During their Salesforce Marketing Cloud implementation, PLI planned SQL training for marketers with mixed feelings. They also assumed their Data & Analytics team would need to provide support for many campaigns. 

However, with DESelect, PLI canceled the planned SQL training, saving a considerable cost. Their Salesforce Marketing Cloud onboarding was fast and they reported great user adoption. Now, PLI marketers can work independently without having to rely on their Data & Analytics colleagues with DESelect as part of their standard campaign process.

“We are very impressed with DESelect’s capabilities” – Gary Ma, Director of Data & Analytics

For Marketing Automation Managers using Salesforce Marketing Cloud

This is for Marketing Automation Managers who want to deliver campaigns efficiently and feel in control over their Salesforce Marketing Cloud. This is for those who think they should be getting more out of their data and that this should be easy. This is for those who want to feel proud of their marketing automation team and platform.

If you’re looking for a way to easily manage your audiences in Salesforce Marketing Cloud , personalize campaigns, segment, and target your customers, you’re in the right place.

If you hate being dependent on SQL queries, and want to launch campaigns without consulting a data expert every time, you’re in the right place. 

If you understand that achieving great marketing results is about campaign engagement and not send volumes, you’re in the right place.

If you’re fed up explaining to management why it takes so long to prepare data for campaigns or, afterwards, extract campaign results, you’re in the right place.

If you would rather be shown and not told how a solution would work, you’re in the right place.

You want to be able to press the send button on a campaign without worrying about sending to the right contacts. 

You want to be able to close your laptop on a Friday evening, knowing your automations will run just fine, and when you get back on Monday you can start the week with at ease.

You don’t want to waste precious time on manual tasks, but to get the most out of your tools, experiment rapidly, and deliver awesome campaign results. 

If you worry Black Friday is going to be another campaign nightmare, or that you will show up late for the Christmas dinner again because of messed up data, there’s ways to avoid that.

If you want to boost user adoption of Salesforce Marketing Cloud because users found it unexpectedly technical, there’s a way to (still) do that.

You may have tried other alternatives:

You may have tried using standard filters in Salesforce Marketing Cloud, but found them limited and not bringing you the user experience you expected.

  • You may have tried creating reports in Salesforce CRM (assuming you have it) and push results through to Salesforce Marketing Cloud, but you found out that you now need additional user licenses and that these reports are still limited.
  • You may have tried SQL queries, but had to invest in training, found a lack of enthusiasm for this within your team, and never quite mastered it. You still found yourself dependent on technical expertise and lost heaps of time.
  • You may have tried audience management solutions, but found it was expensive, took a lot of time to set up and integrate, and in the end remained complex.

You have probably wondered why Salesforce Marketing Cloud is so technical. You may understand the platform is both tremendously powerful and flexible, but you may have also suspected that it could be less challenging to master. You don’t get why suddenly you need additional resources just to manage, segment, and target audiences. You have probably guessed (correctly) that with the right tools, this stuff should be easy. You may have realized that these activities are eating up massive amounts of time from your team, whereas they should spend their efforts on delivering highly personalized campaigns, experiment rapidly, and analyze campaign engagement to gather insights.

Here’s the truth: Managing data in Salesforce Marketing Cloud is actually easy when you have an intuitive and fully integrated segmentation solution.

Why we built DESelect for Salesforce Marketing Cloud

We have faced the data management challenge in Salesforce Marketing Cloud for years and understand it inside out. Building DESelect was the product of that journey.

Anthony Lamot DESelect (1)

(Anthony Lamot, CEO & Co-Founder at DESelect)

Here is how I (Anthony) got to experience that journey.

My career took off at Deloitte, where I was involved in European-wide CRM transformation projects. It was my first exposure to handling large amounts of customer data.

I went on to contract at Waeg Consulting, which provided me with a dynamic and international environment. Here I learned the challenges and potential of marketing automation.

Next was 4C Consulting, the largest independent Salesforce Platinum partner in Europe. I deepened my marketing automation expertise and began to manage national and international projects.

Finally, through management consulting firm HazelHeartwood, I took up the role as the Marketing Automation Lead for Toyota Motor Europe, overseeing the rollout of Salesforce Marketing Cloud to 30 different markets in just a year. While supporting Toyota’s car model launches, I ran marketing experiments and managed data at an unprecedented scale.

And so throughout the years, many people came to rely on my advice regarding marketing automation and CRM.

However, when advising another automotive company in summer 2018, I struggled a while to understand why their marketing team spent so much time on data. To prepare data for campaigns and extract results afterwards, they imported and exported big CSV files from Salesforce Marketing Cloud over an FTP server. Then they modified the data as needed in Excel, which would often freeze. Often, they relied on outside help for writing SQL queries. The marketing team complained a lot about this cumbersome process.

I wondered then about the possibility of a segmentation solution: With intuitive drag-and-drop and full integration with Salesforce Marketing Cloud, I imagined the marketing team would be a lot more efficient, would no longer have to rely on SQL expertise, and enjoy their work more.

When I pitched the concept to the Marketing Director, he told me “You’re going to score big time with this!”. Encouraged, I then pitched the concept to an insurance company where I did another project before. They asked for a quote on the spot.

Mind you, at this point we had not written a single line of code, yet here were these marketing leaders who were already showing serious interest. 

So I got together with my long time friend, ex-colleague, and even ex-co-founder, Jonathan, and we began building the DESelect MVP (minimum viable product).

Jonathan van Driessen DESelect

(Jonathan van Driessen, CTO & Co-Founder at DESelect)

We began to hit the market and laid the foundations of our company. Although this was before our official partnership with Salesforce, we pitched clients together from day one. The people at Salesforce who trusted us back then deeply understood that we solved a real problem and that we strengthened each other – something I am still grateful for.

When we signed up our first customers, feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with users saying that “DESelect was a dream to use”. What used to take them hours, now only took only minutes. And even graduates could now do a job that used to take senior technical resources.

Asides customers, we saw traction amongst Salesforce partners – from small local agencies to “Big 4” consulting firms. Relevant media also began to cover us. This naturally led us to announce a partnership with Salesforce early 2020, when we published DESelect on the Salesforce AppExchange

One mistake we made initially was to assume we would mostly be helping smaller organizations. We reasoned these would have less access to SQL expertise and hence more need for drag-and-drop segmentation. But it turned out that larger enterprises stand to gain most from DESelect, simply because it saves them so much freaking time.

It now seems self-evident, but we realized the data management challenge in Salesforce Marketing Cloud is the biggest at large corporates and enterprises.

This realization has helped us envision powerful segmentation capabilities beyond simply combining data extensions and adding filters. What’s more, we now enable Marketing Automation Managers to:

  • Unlock more value from their data, for instance through lead scoring or RFM models.
  • Have better data governance, for instance through advanced deduplication.
  • Explore campaign results, for instance through calculations or pivot tables.

How to immediately save 50% of time you spend on data management in Salesforce Marketing Cloud

To save 50% of the time you spend on data management in Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC), you need to perform two key activities.

Key Activity #1: Prepare campaign audiences efficiently

To send out campaigns, you need to prepare your audiences. Specifically, you need to create data extensions with targeted contacts and additional data used for personalization. 

The usual ways to prepare audiences for campaigns in SFMC are:

  1. Filters (SFMC feature): Filters are a relatively simple way to filter data extensions. However, you cannot reliably use them across multiple data extensions and their functions are limited. The user experience is not that great either.
  2. Salesforce reports (CRM feature): Assuming you have Salesforce CRM (for example, Service Cloud) connected to SFMC, you could consider using “Salesforce reports” in the CRM. This will give you more functionality compared to the filters in SFMC, but there are still severe limits. You can only use CRM data in SF reports, so for example not the campaign engagement data captured only in SFMC. You also pay double license costs, because marketers now use two platforms. And of course, going back-and-forth between the CRM and SFMC gets inefficient.
  3. SQL queries (SFMC feature): When looking from a narrow functionality perspective, SQL queries seem to fulfill most segmentation needs. However, this approach is cumbersome and you will likely meet only a handful of people who get excited writing SQL. Most teams are not prepared for the cold SQL reality when they start with SFMC and realize they need to upskill their team or outsource. Either way is slow and costly.
  4. An audience management solution: The main advantage of an audience management solution is its ability to query large data sets in a performant way. However, this approach bears a significant cost and you need experts to implement the solution. During the implementation project, your team also needs to invest time to explain requirements and validate. Once implemented, data is typically copied on a daily basis from SFMC to the solution, so you always use data that is just out of date. Finally, when you need to use different data or explore data from a different angle, you have to call the experts again to reconfigure the solution… at a price.

As you can see, none of these approaches are particularly great. And we have not even addressed the fact that creating data extensions is time-consuming, debugging SQL queries is like finding your way in the dark, and you may fall back to Excel anyway for certain operations.

So, how should you go about this?

Well, to efficiently prepare audiences for campaigns, you need a segmentation solution that offers intuitive drag-and-drop directly inside Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

Why? We have learned this through the following insights:

Insight: Reduce the time you spend on audience management from 40% to just 20%

When we surveyed Marketing Automation Managers and their team members across a number of companies and industries, we were amazed they reported spending 40% of their time on data management. 

Consider that number for a moment. 

On average these teams spend 2 days a week just managing data in SFMC, while they still need to take care of marketing strategy, content, experimenting, and gaining insights.

Through careful analysis and working with customers, we demonstrated we can cut this in half. Indeed, this can reduce the time you spend on data management in SFMC from 40% to just 20%. When this happens, your team suddenly has time for things like digging deeper in campaign results and revising those long overdue templates.

Graph-of-faster-campaign-cycle-using-DESelect-for-Salesforce-Marketing-Cloud

You can actually calculate the added value this brings to your company – it’s not even that hard. First, estimate how much time your team members spend on data in SFMC (or just ask them). Then copy this template and fill in the numbers. For the resource costs, you can use industry averages if you are not sure. Then, knowing you can cut the time you spend on data management in half, you will have a rough estimate of the added value you can get from efficiently preparing campaign audiences.

What if you do know SQL or have access to experts? Then you save 50% time on data management, providing a strong business case. 

What if you work with contractors? Contractors, on an annual basis, are typically much more costly than internal resources.  Besides, given their skillset you can probably have them perform more valuable work than lots of manual tasks. Efficiency gains and cost saving can be significant in this situation.

Insight: Get rid of “targeting ping-pong” to launch campaigns A LOT faster

You may have experts outside of your team to perform activities like writing SQL queries. While sometimes it makes sense to have resources dedicated to specific activities, with this approach you get something we call “targeting ping-pong”: The going back-and-forth between the marketer and expert who prepares the campaign audiences. This dramatically increases the time it takes you to launch campaigns.

Targeting PingPong DESelect

(An illustration of “targeting ping-pong”.)

Maybe it is not as bad in your team. But it keeps surprising us just how often customers burst out laughing when we explain the concept to them, because they can relate.

You see, there are several problems with “targeting ping-pong”:

  1. You don’t spend time efficiently and get communication overhead.
  2. You get waiting times that increase the time it takes you to launch a campaign and which puts pressure on deadlines.
  3. Every time you wait and then pick up this topic again, you have a switch cost. “What filter criteria was I using again?”

These issues vanish when you enable marketers to prepare campaign audiences independently. You do this by providing intuitive drag-and-drop with access to all data they need.

A great example of this is Village Roadshow Films. Their marketing team used to rely on technical experts to write SQL queries. This introduced some of the problems described above. When they began working with DESelect, they were able to quickly master its intuitive features and create segments independently. After a couple of months, they realized preparing campaign audiences is not always that hard, so they even handed over some of this activity to junior marketers.

What if you don’t rely on experts to prepare campaign audiences? As a marketer, maybe you picked up some SQL along the way. Still, this approach remains time-consuming, and since this is not your core competency, it is a stretch to assume you really master it.

What if your team doesn’t understand your data? We sometimes encounter this sentiment in larger teams or enterprises where marketers are mostly focused on content. But you may wonder if your team doesn’t understand data, or simply lacked the right tools. An intuitive segmentation solution will help your team gain a better understanding of your data.

What if you want experts to prepare campaign audiences anyway? In this case, you will be able to save your experts significant amounts of time using an intuitive segmentation solution.

What if your data model is really simple and preparing campaign audiences is easy? In this case you may want to consider enriching your data model to deliver more personalized and successful campaigns. An intuitive segmentation solution will help you with this.

Key Activity #2: Integrate your segmentation solution fully with Salesforce Marketing Cloud

To manage your data in Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC), maybe you use a stand-alone solution or even just Excel. However, with these non-integrated approaches, you end up doing a lot of manual imports and exports which takes time and increases the risk of making mistakes.

Or maybe you integrate an audience management solution, or have SQL queries written to generate “master data extensions” to use for your campaigns. These kinds of integrated approaches require an implementation project. In these cases, you hire experts to analyze, integrate and configure the solution. Not only is the cost usually significant, your own team will also need to invest time to provide input and validate the result.

Adding to that, your data model (just like your data, i.e. “customers”) changes over time, in which case you will be dependent on experts to modify your setup again. This is a hidden cost many Marketing Automation Managers don’t consider when they set off on their Salesforce Marketing Cloud journey.

And most audience management solutions essentially copy data from SFMC with daily batches to their own database. This approach may raise some concerns from a data storage and protection point of view. You also have to use data that is always just out of date – annoying when you want to use your latest campaign results.

How do you overcome these challenges?

To enjoy full and immediate integration with Salesforce Marketing Cloud, you need a plug-and-play segmentation solution with no-maintenance and real-time integration.

The following insights will help you better understand this:

Insight: Plug-and-play integration will save you significant amounts of time and money

With a segmentation solution that is plug-and-play, you avoid spending time and money on an implementation project. 

When Practising Law Institute (PLI) set off on their SFMC journey, their Marketing and Data & Analytics teams initially accepted they would write SQL queries. But once they signed up for DESelect, they were able to cancel their planned investments in SQL. Within a month, drag-and-drop segmentation had become a part of their standard campaign process.

The adoption curve below illustrates the number of selections PLI created using DESelect to generate data extensions for campaigns and other use cases:

Graph # of Selections created using DESelect

What if you like having support when using a new solution? A good plug-and-play solution will still offer you support through a support portal, case logging, and regular customer success calls, even if there is no implementation project team.

What if you need training? A good solution provider will offer training. This can take the form of materials, data that can be used for training purposes, and tutorial videos. You may even be able to get “hyper care” support for questions specific to your requirements.

What if you have already completed an implementation project? If your solution does not offer no-maintenance integration, then you may still depend on services for modifications, as we will explore next.

Insight: no-maintenance integration will make you less dependent and extremely agile

When you integrate a solution with SFMC, you carefully choose which data sets to use. Over time your data model changes, at which point you may have to depend on experts to modify your integration. Instead with no-maintenance integration, your segmentation solution will always have access to the latest version of your data model, and your segmentation strategy becomes extremely agile.

We have worked with a number of clients who expressed this frustration. Over time, they defined a new data model or added new data sources to SFMC. However, they had to modify their integration or rework existing SQL queries, for which they would typically rely on experts. This created inertia in these organizations.

What if you rely on experts anyway for some of your activities? There is nothing wrong with this,  except that these people could be providing you with more value-adding services instead of maintaining legacy setup.

What if your data model does not change (a lot)? This argument makes us a bit suspicious. Why does the data model not change a lot? Maybe it is just hard to do because the current architecture is rigid? In the rare case your data model actually does not change (a lot), your integration between SFMC and your audience management solution may still not offer you real-time data, as we will explore next.

Insight: Real-time integration will make sure you have the latest data

By having a segmentation solution that offers real-time integration with SFMC, you can always use the latest data available. To top it off, you can also create data extensions that can be immediately used for campaigns.

What if you don’t (always) need your latest data? Sometimes you may indeed be able to perform segmentation with data that is a couple of days old. Still, having up to date information is helpful when you want to target based on engagement, or when you want to explore campaign results.

What if some of your data in SFMC is not real-time anyway? This may happen when some of your SFMC data sources were integrated using FTP, which will be a batch process. This data can of course not be accessible in real-time, but introducing another batch process on top of that will make the data available for audience management even more outdated. As your data becomes more outdated, its usefulness decreases, while the risk for miscommunication becomes higher.

So, all you need to is: 

  1. Prepare campaign audiences efficiently with intuitive drag-and-drop segmentation, and
  2. Integrate your solution fully with plug-and-play, no-maintenance and real-time integration

And you can immediately save 50% of the time you spend on data management in Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

Comparing alternatives for Salesforce Marketing Cloud audience management

Let’s compare the usual approaches to data management in Salesforce Marketing Cloud with what we recommend.

You could use filters in Salesforce Marketing Cloud. However, this approach:

  • Offers very limited segmentation.
  • Does not allow you to reliably filter across different data extensions.

Instead, DESelect offers powerful segmentation capabilities.

You could use the “reports” feature in Salesforce CRM (assuming you have it and it is connected to Salesforce Marketing Cloud). However, this approach:

  • Is actually meant for reporting, and as such only offers limited segmentation functionality.
  • Only lets you segment based on CRM data and not other data collected in Salesforce Marketing Cloud, such as engagement.
  • Forces you to pay for additional Salesforce CRM licenses for your marketers.
  • Results in a clunky process, since you need to switch between two platforms.

Instead with DESelect, marketers can easily segment how they want directly in Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

Like most Marketing Automation Managers, you could hire people to write SQL queries. However, this approach:

  • Is a costly way of allocating resources.
  • Will leave you dependent on technical expertise.
  • Is not efficient at all and causes communication overhead.

Instead, with DESelect, segmentation becomes so easy that even junior marketers can do it in a matter of minutes.

You could use an audience management solution and integrate it with your Salesforce Marketing Cloud. However, this approach:

  • Comes with a very high implementation cost.
  • Can also come with additional license costs.
  • Will make you dependent on experts to implement the solution and make modifications later on.
  • Makes you use outdated data (because of the daily batch).

Instead, DESelect is plug-and-play, and its integration is no-maintenance and real-time.

DESelect is for Marketing Automation Managers who want to deliver campaigns efficiently, but who’s teams are still struggling with data management in Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

At the start of this article we already mentioned some of our success stories. Now, let’s dig deeper.

How Cambridge University Press saved over 50% time on data management within a month

At Cambridge University Press, a Data Manager used to spend 50% of her time on SQL queries and managing data in Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Marketers could not segment themselves and would have to rely on technical expertise.

With DESelect, the same Data Manager spends only 10% of her time on preparing campaign data. A SQL query that used to take an hour to write can now be created with drag-and-drop segmentation in less than 5 minutes, something even Junior Marketers find themselves able to do with minimal training.

All of this occurred in less than a month.

Combining data sources at Cambridge University Press

The Press began adopting Salesforce Marketing Cloud as of June 2018, but had not been able to fully unleash the power of the platform. As Cherry Otto, Data Marketing Manager at the Press explains: “Our segmentation strategy involves a process of regular uploads from four different systems to Salesforce Marketing Cloud. These systems include Salesforce Sales Cloud and a third-party CRM containing school contact data from the UK. However, we would have to manually combine these data sources to arrive at a data set that we could use for campaigns.”

Combining those data sources manually (and uploading them into what is known in Salesforce Marketing Cloud as “data extensions”) was indeed time consuming. For the Press, this usually meant combining lists in Excel and then uploading the files through an FTP server due to their size. Such a process demanded significant quality assurance due to the risk of manual errors. However, there was no good alternative if they wanted to deliver targeted and personalized campaigns.

From SQL to drag-and-drop

It was in this context that the Press came across DESelect, the targeting and segmentation app for Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Following a brief discovery, DESelect was connected straight to the Press’s Salesforce Marketing Cloud environment. This allowed the Press to use DESelect on their latest data, and allowed them to create re-usable segments.

Aisling Miller

The pilot was highly successful: “It was a dream to use! I put a stopwatch on and it took 4m20s to do a query that normally takes my colleague an hour!” commented Aisling Miller, Senior Digital Marketing Executive at the Press.

Indeed, previously the Press would often have to rely on writing SQL queries to arrive at campaign-ready data sets. Expertise with SQL tends to be rare for marketing teams and so it was for the Press as well, further hindering the segmentation process. Now leveraging DESelect, the Press simply uses a drag-and-drop interface to create targeted lists for outbound campaigns on the fly. Or as Cherry Otto put it: “Having used tools with similar purposes before, DESelect feels familiar for me. But it just works better.”

You can find their 5-star reviews on G2 here.

How PLI reached full Salesforce Marketing Cloud user adoption in 1 month while cancelling all investments in SQL training

PLI planned SQL training for all their marketing resources during their Salesforce Marketing Cloud implementation project with mixed feelings. They worked under the assumption that the Data & Analytics team would need to provide support for many campaigns.

But with DESelect, PLI simply canceled all planned SQL training, saving considerable investment. They experienced a fast onboarding on Salesforce Marketing Cloud and improved user adoption. Their marketers are now able to work independently without having to rely on their Data & Analytics colleagues by using DESelect as part of their standard campaign process. 

They achieved this within one month.

Training marketers in SQL at PLI?

PLI had just transferred their marketing and segmentation activities from IBM’s Unica Campaign to Salesforce Marketing Cloud 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 Salesforce Marketing Cloud. For some of their employees this may have sounded like an exciting challenge, but for others appeared as a pretty unattractive activity.

Democratizing data

After having a discussion with David Smith, Vice President for Marketing and Communications, and Dennis Queally, Email Marketing Strategist, we outlined the main objectives for their new marketing automation landscape: 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. Marketers had to be able to easily “marry together” 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.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud segmentation with DESelect at PLI

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”, said 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.

“It was a pleasure working with the folks at DESelect; their product and service are top-notch and solved the business need perfectly,” said Dennis Queally, Associate Director of Marketing Operations.

What Benefits Can You Expect From DESelect?

Here’s what is going to happen when you sign up for DESelect:

  • You will be able to save 50% time on data management thanks to intuitive drag-and-drop segmentation that is completely integrated in your Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
  • Consequently, you will be able to deliver campaigns at least 20% faster.
  • You won’t have to rely on experts to write SQL queries or implement a solution.
  • You will benefit immediately, because DESelect is plug-and-play.
  • You won’t worry about hidden costs, because DESelect has a no-maintenance integration.

With all that, you will enjoy a sense of control over your Salesforce Marketing Cloud data. You will be able to deliver campaigns efficiently, gather insights, and run experiments rapidly. This will give you the confidence to deliver on management expectations.

Let’s have a look at the features that will bring you these benefits.

DESelect Features

So how does DESelect work? 

First, we will explore DESelect’s intuitive drag-and-drop segmentation. Then, we will discuss its full integration with Salesforce Marketing Cloud. We will also elaborate on training and support, and finally discuss security.

Intuitive drag-and-drop segmentation

DESelect offers intuitive yet powerful segmentation features through what we call selections. Selections allow you to combine data sources and apply filters to generate segments.

Join data extensions together

Use drag-and-drop to easily join data extensions together and define how they are related. 

Exclude records

Similarly to joining data extensions, indicate records you want to exclude from your selection.

Append data sources

Append data sources by indicating different data sources, each with their own criteria. (This is similar to UNION in SQL.)

Apply filters criteria

Apply any of the available filters across data extensions and sources, supporting all field formats.

Perform calculations

Use subqueries to aggregate data and perform calculations, like how many purchases a customer has made or how much a customer has spent.

Sort and limit results

Sort your results alphabetically, by date, or any other way that is logical. Limit the number of results if needed.

Enjoy picklists

Define picklist values and labels as an admin, enabling your team to filter with more certainty.

Deduplicate records with rules

Deduplicate records with one or many rules, given a certain priority.

Set manual or rule-based values

Personalize your results, by setting manual or rule-based rules, for example “Female” becomes “Miss” and “Male” becomes “Mister”.

Use waterfall segmentation

Apply cascading rules to use ‘waterfall segmentation’. 

Full integration with Salesforce Marketing Cloud

DESelect offers full plug-and-play integration that is no-maintenance and real-time.

We do it for you

Let our team set up DESelect through our “Installed Package” – a matter of minutes.

Plug-and-play

Start using all features right away once setup is complete.

Access any data extension

Leverage any data available within the Salesforce Marketing Cloud business unit to which DESelect is connected. This includes any type of data extension: Standard, synchronized, Salesforce, or even shared.

Access any field

For any data extension you select, DESelect will provide you with the available fields and field formats.

Leverage behavioral data

Leverage and explore behavioral data by accessing data views – system-generated data extensions populated by Salesforce Marketing Cloud with information on subscriber engagement and more.

Automate your segmentation

Automatically refresh your segments, by adding SQL query activities that DESelect generates to automations within Automation Studio.

No-maintenance integration

Leverage new data sets the moment they are available in Salesforce Marketing Cloud without having to make modifications.

Access data in real-time

Always access your latest data, as DESelect continuously checks for the latest data extensions in your Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

Limit access to certain data extensions in DESelect

As an admin, limit data extensions to be leveraged for segmentation as needed.

Preview results

Obtain rapid feedback on your selection through a preview of results.

Use segments for campaigns immediately

Use selections to populate target data extensions, ready to be used for your next campaign or journey.

Auto-map to your target data extension

Auto-map the data coming from your selected data extensions to your target data extension to save time.

Automatically create data extensions (AC/DE)

Use AC/DE to create new data extensions on the fly and ensure right field formats. 

Training and Support

Although most customers find DESelect incredibly intuitive, included with any subscription comes training and support to ensure maximum success for your segmentation strategy.

Kick-start with onboarding training

Learn about all DESelect features through live and customized onboarding training and receive extensive training materials.

Get training materials & data

Receive complete training materials and even training data – already uploaded in your Salesforce Marketing Cloud – so you can practice your new segmentation powers.

Get support anytime

Find the latest features and documentation on our support portal. Open cases via the portal or email. 

Watch tutorials

Watch video tutorials on our YouTube channel showcasing different segmentation scenarios. Use the training data we provide to tag along.

Get hyper care

Following onboarding, enjoy a period of “hyper care” during which our Support team will be happy to provide help with any segmentation scenario you think of.

Security and Data Protection

At DESelect, we take security and data protection seriously. 

Keep your data safely stored in Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Keep all your customer data safely in Salesforce Marketing Cloud, as DESelect only stores “metadata” such as data extension names.

Comply with ISO-27002

Rest assured knowing DESelect complies with ISO-27002, covering all aspects of best practice information security policies and processes.

Comply with GDPR and CCPA

Rest assured knowing that DESelect complies with both GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act). 

Securely connect DESelect to your Salesforce Marketing Cloud

DESelect has passed Salesforce’s security review. Find out more about our secure connection to Salesforce Marketing Cloud in the DESelect Security Documentation.

Get a Price [Limited Free Trial]

Now if you wanted to get this job done before DESelect, you might have faced a start-up cost of over $100,000 and a keep-it-running cost ranging between $51,000-$276,000. But you can get DESelect at a fraction of that recurring cost, and without the startup cost.

Here is what you get once you sign up with us:

  • Intuitive drag-and-drop segmentation: Save 50% of the time you spend on data management. This is valued at $45,000-270,000 per year, depending on how many campaigns you do, how mature your segmentation processes are, etc.
  • Plug-and-play: Immediately start using drag-and-drop segmentation without an expensive implementation project. This is valued at $100,000.
  • Onboarding and training: Get a complete understanding of DESelec’s features and how they can meet your requirements. This is valued at $1,000.
  • Support: Get support anytime you need it. This is valued at $6,000 per year.
  • Hyper care:  Get expert advice in the months following your onboarding when you need help figuring out how to implement your segmentation strategy with DESelect. This is valued at $6,000.

This makes up for a total value of $107,000 (start-up) and $51,000-$276,000 (annual recurring). However, we will charge you a fraction of the annual recurring cost and no startup cost.

Our pricing is designed around three factors to optimally scale with the business we will bring you:

  1. The DESelect edition.
  2. Number of business units in which DESelect will be used.
  3. Number of Salesforce Marketing Cloud contacts.

As a result, pricing is different for everyone.

So contact us to get a price.

Please be advised that we are currently experiencing a surge in new customers while we can only onboard a limited number at the same time. If this rings bells, then book a time slot now so we may review your planning together.

Now, for those reading this, we will do something special: 

The first 10 customers to react to this article will be entitled to a 30 day completely free trial. This includes all benefits mentioned above, so asides access to DESelect, we will also take care of setup, training, and support. 

So, let us summarize our offer.

You get: 

  • Intuitive drag-and-drop segmentation for Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
  • Full integration (plug-and-play, no-maintenance, and real-time) done for you.
  • Live onboarding training, training materials and data, and video tutorials.
  • Support through our portal, cases, email and even hyper care support following onboarding.
  • [For first 10 customers responding to this only] 30 days of free trial, including all the above.
  • If you missed the trial: 30-day money back guarantee (minus our investment in your onboarding).
  • A guaranteed spot as we onboard an increasing number of new customers.

All you need to do is contact us now.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

General questions

Will this work for me?

We have worked with customers of different sizes, industries, and geographies. Most of our customers report significant time-saving, shorter campaign cycles, and improved user adoption. Their marketing organizations can operate more independently and can deliver more sophisticated campaigns, yielding better marketing results.

Every company is unique given its organization and data. We encourage you to book a demo to find out precisely how DESelect can benefit you.

Why do I need this?

Data management is a large part of operating a marketing automation platform like Salesforce Marketing Cloud. However, data management processes are often terribly inefficient and complicated and marketers tend to rely on experts to do the job for them. DESelect lifts these problems, allowing you to deliver campaigns efficiently and focus on achieving results.

Can I afford this?

Can you afford not to? For our customers, DESelect provides a clear ROI (return on investment). Without DESelect, our customers would be less efficient and more dependent. DESelect gives them the tools to be more targeted and personalized when interacting with their own customers. In short, without DESelect, our customers would be missing out on significant added value.

Also consider that:

  • Firstly, compared to other solutions, DESelect offers competitive pricing. 
  • Secondly, most solutions are also very resource-intensive. This is especially true for writing SQL queries, which typically comes with a substantial resource and overhead cost.
    Example: A company may pay a contractor $5000 a month to come and write SQL queries. But asides this, the company should also factor in the fact that a marketer is still spending 20% of his time to create data extensions and align with the contractor. This kind of overhead cost is often missed but is important to assess when building a business case.
  • Lastly, some solutions simply don’t offer the features you may require to implement your segmentation strategy. However, just passing on that should ring alarm bells.

What if I don’t have time?

If you don’t have time, that weighs in favor of starting with DESelect as soon as possible, since one of the main benefits is time saving.

However, you may worry that you will need to invest a lot of time to get started with DESelect. Rest assured that this is not the case. DESelect does not require an implementation project to get started. Rather, our team will set up DESelect for you, which is a matter of minutes. 

Once DESelect is set up, most customers find it intuitive enough to get hands-on right away. We do offer a live onboarding training which typically takes 1.5-2 hours. If you can’t even spare that amount of time, we are happy to schedule it later.

Why should I trust you?

We were founded by people with deep Salesforce Marketing Cloud expertise, who kept running into the same challenges you’re probably experiencing yourself. We are like you… just with a solution.

We are proud to already host a number of partnerships, ranging from agencies, to consultancies, to Salesforce itself, which we believe reflects the trust that the ecosystem has in us. 

Lastly, and most importantly, our customers include important and serious organizations that champion our solution.

Questions about DESelect as a company

Who are you?

We used to lead major Marketing Automation and CRM projects for established brands. As such, we believe we bring some unique insights to the table. Our team consists of former consultants, people specialized in Salesforce Marketing Cloud through experience and constant learning, and highly specialized technologists.

You can learn more about our team here.

Where are you located?

Our head office is located in Antwerp, Belgium. Let us know when you’re in the neighborhood!

About 50% of our workforce works remotely and we are proud to host a company culture that is both diverse and international.

What is your mission?

Our mission is to be the preferred segmentation solution for Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

What are your values/principles?

DESelect is a principles-driven company where we act on trust, personal responsibility, customer experience, continuous improvement, and adaptability.

Read more about our principles in our manifesto.

What is your relationship to Salesforce?

Salesforce is a trusted partner with whom we actively collaborate in several ways. For instance, DESelect is published on the Salesforce AppExchange for Marketing Cloud, after we passed their security review.

Asides our business relationship, we look at Salesforce and its leadership as a source of inspiration. For example, Trailblazer by Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff was a source of inspiration when we defined our own principles.

Who do you partner with?

We are proud to host a number of partnerships ranging from small agencies to big 4 consulting firms, and everything in between. We choose our partners carefully based on expertise and capabilities.

Refer to our homepage for an overview of partnerships.

Questions about DESelect terms

What is the price?

Our pricing is designed to scale with the added value we can bring to your company. It is based on three factors: 

  1. The DESelect edition you want.
  2. The number of business units you want DESelect connected to in your Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
  3. The number of contacts in your Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

Nonprofits can also enjoy a 50% discount.

Given these factors, prices can vary a lot, so we encourage you to contact us and get a price.

Is there a price to pay per user?

No. You can use DESelect with as many users as you like. Admins can decide who gains access.

Is there a limit to the amount of selections I can make in DESelect?

No. You can make as many selections as you want.

What if the price is too high?

We have taken care to design our price based on the added value we can bring. At the base of this, we aim to always consider the business case for a segmentation solution like DESelect based on your situation. 

Based on increased efficiency alone, most customers are able to demonstrate clear ROI (return on investment), with the potential gains often outweighing the price with a factor 5:1.

If your data model is very simple (for example, just a list of email addresses) and time spent on data management is already limited, then the question is probably not “what is the potential gain in efficiency?” but rather “what is the potential gain in revenue?”. Predicting marketing generated revenue can be heard, but nonetheless building such a business case can be beneficial.

If we believe we cannot demonstrate added value in terms of efficiency or revenue, we tend to advise against DESelect. In such cases, the business case may simply not make sense, so it is probably better for the customers and ourselves if we don’t invest too much time in it.

How do I justify the cost to my manager?

It is important to present a clear business case that illustrates both quantitative and qualitative benefits you expect to gain. We can support you with a business case template and with customers success stories that back up our claims, such as saving 50% time on data management in Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

Are there hidden costs?

No. When you sign up you will know exactly what unit prices and services your DESelect subscription consists of.

How long do your contracts last?

A DESelect subscription typically lasts for one year, with some customers signing up for multiple years. 

When do I pay?

You pay your subscription in yearly installments. According to our standard terms, payments are due within 30 days.

Does your contract automatically renew?

Yes, contracts typically renew automatically at the end of their term for another year. However, either party can cancel 60 days before the end of the term.

What if I want to cancel?

You can cancel your contract up to 60 days before the end of its term, in which case it will not renew.

How does the free trial work? [Limited availability]

You can have us set up DESelect in one of your Salesforce Marketing Cloud business units and use it in any way you see fit. Your free trial of DESelect starts once setup has been completed and lasts for 30 days. After, DESelect will be deactivated, and you will have the chance to sign up. During the trial, you can enjoy full access to training and support. To legally protect both parties, you will be required to sign our NDA.

What are the exact terms of the guarantee? 

Within the first 30 days of your subscription you can cancel your contract for any reason. You will be paid back the full price minus 1/12th of the price – a fee for our investment in training and support.

Can the free trial and guarantee be used together?

No. Once you have completed a free trial, you should have sufficiently determined DESelect works for you, which nullifies the reason for a guarantee.

Questions about DESelect services

What regions do you serve?

We serve companies globally.

As of writing, we have customers in the Americas, EMEA, and APAC regions.

When should I start with DESelect?

We recommend using DESelect just after your Salesforce Marketing Cloud implementation but before your first campaign. If you’re already doing campaigns, we recommend to get started as soon as possible.

Data management is an integral part of using Salesforce Marketing Cloud. The earlier you have DESelect, the more time you will be able to save.

Do you provide training?

Yes. Training is included in your DESelect subscription and provided in several ways.

After DESelect has been set up in your Salesforce Marketing Cloud, we will plan an onboarding training for your key users. This live training via webinar typically takes 1.5-2 hours, covers all DESelect features, and allows for questions and answers. We provide demo data so you can play around with features without having to worry about which data to use. After the training, you will receive all training materials.

We also provide training materials online. For instance, using the demo data, it is possible to get hands on with several segmentation scenarios described on our support portal. You can also watch video tutorials about these on our YouTube channel.

We also share best practices through our newsletter. Subscribe here.

For more information or additional training needs, contact your DESelect representative.

Do you provide support?

Yes. Support is included in your DESelect subscription and provided in several ways.

Our support portal is publicly accessible. It contains documentation covering all DESelect features and other helpful resources. Customers can also submit requests here or simply via email.

If you’re a customer, a DESelect representative will also reach out to you on a quarterly basis with the option to plan a customer success call. These calls are used to identify needs and challenges, so we can offer suggestions and use your feedback to improve DESelect for you.

What services do you offer?

Other than training and support services (that are included in your subscription), we don’t offer services.

Questions about DESelect as a solution

What results will I actually get?

Ask yourself: “How much time does my team currently spend on data management (discussions about data, creating data extensions, writing SQL queries,…)?”

We find we can save our customers 50% on data management – sometimes less, sometimes more. As a consequence, our customers are also able to launch campaigns 20% faster (or faster, since fewer people may be involved in the process causing less communication overhead).

Then ask yourself: “Am I currently doing marketing as targeted as I could?” Many of our customers find themselves exploring more targeted and personalized campaigns with DESelect, because the threshold is suddenly much lower. This typically results in higher conversion rates and better marketing ROI (return on investment).

To help you quantify these results, we offer this business case template.

Why can I not use filters to segment?

Filters are a basic way of segmenting data in Salesforce Marketing Cloud. However, they offer very limited functionality and a suboptimal user experience. For most customers, filters simply don’t meet requirements.

If you currently use filters, you will find DESelect offers you much more possibilities.

Why can I not use filters to segment?

Filters are a basic way of segmenting data in Salesforce Marketing Cloud. However, they offer very limited functionality and a suboptimal user experience. For most customers, filters simply don’t meet requirements.

If you currently use filters, you will find DESelect offers you much more possibilities.

Why can I not use Salesforce reports to segment?

‘Salesforce reports’ is a feature of Salesforce CRM, like Sales Cloud or Service Cloud. For some companies, Salesforce reports pose a viable alternative, however:

  • You will need Salesforce CRM and connect this to Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
  • You will only be able to use the data in the CRM, which typically excludes campaign engagement data stored in Salesforce Marketing Cloud in data views.
  • You will be paying an additional license cost for any marketer who needs access to Salesforce CRM to segment.
  • You will still face limits with this approach, especially when wanting to work with custom objects in Salesforce CRM.
  • You will miss out on efficiency, as you have to switch back and forth between both platforms.

If you currently use Salesforce reports, you will find DESelect offers you much more possibilities and saves you time.

Why can I not use SQL queries to segment?

From a narrow functionality point of view, SQL queries can probably support most use cases for segmentation in Salesforce Marketing Cloud. However:

  • You need to know SQL or find someone who does.
  • Even if you know SQL, you can still do the same work with DESelect faster.
  • If you don’t understand SQL, you will be dependent on experts to write and maintain queries.
  • You may experience lower user adoption.

If you currently use SQL queries, you will find DESelect supports your segmentation needs while not being dependent on experts, and saves you a significant amount of time.

Why can I not use an audience management solution?

Audience management solutions allow us to segment across millions of records in a performant way. However:

  • You need to complete an implementation project.
  • You need to depend on experts to set it up and maintain.
  • You will be copying your data to the audience management solution, and data there will typically be updated with a daily batch, meaning data will be slightly out of date.
  • You may not be able to perform certain use cases.

If you’re currently using an audience management solution, you will find DESelect is much easier to set up and maintain, while being able to support your use cases.

What happens if I wait?

you’re likely to experience a competitive disadvantage due to the cruciality of marketing data today. 

At DESelect, we understand that managing marketing data can be time-consuming and often dependent on technical expertise (cost factor) yet can easily go wrong and is sensitive to increasingly stringent legislation (risk factor). Less obvious – though arguably most important – is the opportunity cost associated with sub-optimal targeting and personalized in a time where customers’ buying decisions are heavily influenced by their customer experience (revenue factor).

Are you secure?

Yes. At DESelect, we take security and data protection seriously.

To secure our integration with Salesforce Marketing Cloud and perform authentication, we follow the Salesforce API security guidelines. As part of our partnership with Salesforce and being listed on the Salesforce AppExchange, we have also passed the Salesforce security review.

Read our security documentation here.

Do you store data?

No, we only store metadata (such as usernames).

Are you GDPR compliant?

Yes. Contact your DESelect representative for more information.

Are you CCPA compliant?

Yes. Contact your DESelect representative for more information.

When do you release updates?

We release significant features every month. Smaller patches may be released on a daily basis. Bug fixes are released immediately.

Read our release notes here.

What is your roadmap?

Currently our main focus is to keep expanding DESelect’s segmentation capabilities.

We are also looking into supporting some other key features, such as lead scoring, connecting with third party databases, and more. 

We can and do heavily prioritize features based on customer needs.

For more information, contact your DESelect representative.

What is the ‘SFMC Quick Search’?

The SFMC Quick Search is a pet project of ours. It is a free Chrome Extension that allows you to easily find objects in Salesforce Marketing.

Download the SFMC Quick Search Chrome Extension here.

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