Checklist to Success: Reminders for Efficient Martech Collaboration
A martech professional often juggles multiples roles. One moment, they could be donning the creative hat and the very next, using their technical expertise. And as one switches from one aspect to another, it is often easy to overlook the small things that can make a huge difference. To help make sure that important things do not slip through the cracks, here is a quick checklist for bringing to mind critical factors so that they are less likely to be missed:
Naming Conventions and Folder Structure
The importance of a consistent naming convention cannot be over-emphasized. This is especially true when working in bigger teams. Choose a naming convention that is unique, concise, and meaningful for all automations, journeys, content, data extensions, etc. Having assets, campaigns organized into right folder structure go a long way in having a clutter free platform. When using either Marketing Cloud or Pardot, follow the best practice guidance found in documentation on help.salesforce.com.
Blueprint and Documentation
Visualization always helps! Blueprint journeys before development to create a visual map and understand the end goal. Documenting flows, Data Extensions (DEs), SQL queries, and automations to be used as part of journey development should be a part of this process. Also, this documentation should begin at the onset of any new project.
Often, when building multiple journeys, this process can help streamline the development process and avoid creating redundant queries and DEs when the same could be referenced across multiple journeys. For instance, if more than one of your journeys references order data, plan and aggregate that into one DE which can be referenced across all journeys. You can then have the client review and sign this off to avoid confusion and also incorporate changes/requirement misses early on.
It’s always useful to have a second pair of eyes to review development before testing. Establish a peer review process within your team to catch unhandled scenarios and bugs.
Bullet-proof your code to handle all scenarios (or almost all). Simple things can really go along way, such as checking for valid rows before retrieving results or adding email addresses for the receipt of notifications in the event of automation failures. Having measures in place for how errors will be handled long before you need to handle them will set your team up to be able to quickly tackle any unforeseen issues that may arise.
When working in relatively bigger teams, it is easy to quickly end up with a lot of test data, test assets, campaigns, et cetera. So “less” can be “more” on a complex project that has many collaborators involved. Tapping into minimalist principles of only keeping around what is needed and ditching what is not can help here. Getting into the habit of archiving (or, depending on your team’s workflows, deleting) unnecessary things will battle digital clutter in your project. This point will be expanded on below.
Data and Process Hygiene
As noted before, digital items like test data, test assets, and so on can really pile up (even more so when the team is somewhat large). That is why, on a complex project that has many collaborators involved, the advice for keeping things in a good order is to leverage minimalist principles. Specifically, archive or delete (if that is an option) digital assets to mitigate against the risk of there being a heap of digital clutter in your project.
This applies not only to files or digital assets. This thinking should apply to things like communication channels, processes, and troubleshooting processes as well. For example, designating a sole channel/tool for chatting about the project instead of having multiple options can streamline communication and also make clear where collaborators should go for real-time engagement. Or having one avenue for reporting issues that are spotted will do that same. These activities will help to reduce digital clutter, improve visibility, and maintain clarity. So do purge unnecessary items — Marie Kondo would be pleased.
We (Deboleena Bhattacharyya and Mahogany Beckford) aim to share insights and perspectives from our experiences as technical marketers. Hopefully the checklist helps you and your team. Also, please feel free to support the technical marketer community by sharing additional tips or any items that your team really finds useful as you are collaborating — we’d love to hear them!