Salesforce Marketing Cloud for Nonprofits: Which Product is Right for Your Nonprofit? - Heller Consulting

Salesforce Marketing Cloud for Nonprofits: Which Product is Right for Your Nonprofit?

Marketing automation tools offer big potential for nonprofits that want to take their marketing communications and campaigns to the next level. If your organization uses (or plans to use) products on the Salesforce platform and you’d like to use a marketing automation tool in conjunction with those Salesforce products, then you have two main options:

If you try to research these two products online, it can get confusing. Not only have the names of the two products changed from their previously well-known names, but they’ve also changed to names that are now similar to each other. Plus, there’s a lot of information out there to sort through.

That’s why I’m writing this article – to make it easier to understand key points to consider if your nonprofit is thinking about adopting one of these two marketing automation products from Salesforce.

What do marketing automation tools do?

Let’s start by defining what marketing automation tools can help your nonprofit accomplish. Most marketing automation tools, including Marketing Cloud Account Engagement and Marketing Cloud Engagement, offer these features and capabilities:

  • Email automation
  • Landing page and form building
  • Dynamic content/personalization
  • Data management
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) integration

How does Marketing Cloud Account Engagement compare with Marketing Cloud Engagement?

In our work with nonprofits, our team here at Heller Consulting has found that there are six key points to consider when thinking about implementing a marketing automation product from Salesforce. These points are:

  • Ease of use
  • Salesforce integration
  • Key product features
  • Reporting and analytics capabilities
  • Data security and privacy compliance
  • Licensing and pricing

Here are some of observations about each of these key areas for the two Salesforce marketing automation products:

Ease of use

People generally seem to find Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (aka Pardot) easier to use. It’s essentially an app within Salesforce Sales Cloud, so it looks and feels as if it’s part of the same solution. You log in to the system once and can then easily navigate between the two tools. People also tend to find the user interface to be more modern. Plus, much of the basic configuration of the product is completed during implementation.

Configuration of Marketing Cloud Engagement (aka “Marketing Cloud”) is more complex. However, once it has been properly configured, it is straightforward to use. The product is also extremely flexible, which means that it offers many options but can require more time to configure and test.

Salesforce integration

With Marketing Cloud Account Engagement, integration with Sales Cloud is available out-of-the-box since it is installed as an app within your instance of Sales Cloud. Standard fields on key objects, including Leads, Contacts, and Opportunities, synchronize by default without additional configuration required. With minimal effort, additional custom fields can be configured to synchronize.

In comparison, Marketing Cloud Engagement exists outside of Sales Cloud. It integrates with Sales Cloud through an app called Marketing Cloud Connect. Once Marketing Cloud Connect is installed, additional configuration is required before Marketing Cloud Engagement and Sales Cloud has integration on par with Marketing Cloud Account Engagement and Sales Cloud.

Key features

As mentioned previously, both products offer the same baseline features and capabilities as most marketing automation tools. However, there are some key differences between the two.

Marketing Cloud Account Engagement offers lead scoring and grading capabilities, which help you to measure how much engagement a prospect has had with your marketing materials and communications as well as how appealing a prospect is to your organization based on key profile details. The product also includes file hosting, although it does not offer a great deal of storage. It offers SMS (text) messaging functionality via third-party tools, but the functionality is less robust than that in Marketing Cloud Engagement.

Marketing Cloud Engagement offers robust SMS and push messaging capabilities. It’s also better suited for transactional messaging than Marketing Cloud Account Engagement. Plus, with additional configuration (and cost), it offers the ability to personalize content on your website based on data that you already have about a contact who is visiting your site.

Analytics and reporting

When it comes to reporting and analytics capabilities, the two products are similar. Reporting in both products includes much of the same types of data and offers the ability to easily extract data for storage elsewhere or for integration with other systems.

That said, Marketing Cloud Account Engagement’s reporting is arguably easier to digest. It also has the added benefit of being able to include your marketing data within Sales Cloud’s standard reports without much additional configuration required.

Data security and privacy compliance

The two products are similar in this category as well. Their approach to granting subscribers the ability to control the messages that they receive is similar. Both tools make it easy to opt a contact into or out of a particular mailing list or to all marketing messages. It’s also easy in both systems to delete someone entirely from your system at their request and to export all of the data that you have about an individual.

Licensing and pricing

While you can find licensing prices on the Salesforce website, it’s important to speak with a Salesforce Account Executive to get an accurate quote for your specific needs. There are many features available only at an additional cost. Plus, there are often discounts that may be applied depending on your industry, the timing of your purchase, and the term of your commitment. There are also additional costs for product implementation, which vary depending on specific needs.

Which Salesforce Marketing Cloud product should nonprofits choose?

When it comes to which Salesforce marketing automation tool is right for your nonprofit, the answer is: It depends.

We’ve found that Marketing Cloud Account Engagement meets the marketing automation needs of many nonprofit organizations.

However, if your nonprofit uses (or plans to use) text messaging as a key part of your marketing strategy, then Marketing Cloud Engagement may be better suited to your needs. Marketing Cloud Engagement may also be a better fit if your organization has data in multiple systems and requires complex data manipulation.

How to take the next step in your nonprofit’s Marketing Cloud journey

While it might sound intimidating to move from your current email marketing tool to a more sophisticated Salesforce marketing automation product, it doesn’t have to be. Salesforce offers a great deal of online training and support. You can also start using the product slowly versus trying to use all of the features and functionality at once.

That said, it can be extremely helpful to work with a partner like Heller Consulting for an objective assessment of which Salesforce marketing automation tool is right for your nonprofit. We can also work with you to implement the marketing automation product in a way that works optimally to support your organization’s goals.

If you’d like to learn more, contact us today. We’re ready to help you take the next step.

About the Author

Adam Kaye
Adam has been supporting nonprofit clients and leading technical teams for more than a decade. At Heller, Adam taps into his robust technical background and strong communication skills to guide his clients through digital challenges and enables them to make the most of digital technology. A veteran of the... Read More
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