Favorite Salesforce Marketing Cloud August '17 Features
The new additions to Salesforce Marketing Cloud are live since about a week now and one of the bugs I discovered and debugged together with Salesforce has a solution in place now that should work for most use cases. And there is another long-awaited addition to the Journey Builder wait activity.
New Expression Builder
When configuring expressions in Entry Sources, Decision Splits, Goals and Exit Criteria since the release you have a new interface that lets you see the evaluation path of the expression. Furthermore you can select an attribute to compare, that can be used to identify objects that have a one-to-many relationship to the contact object for example.
One of my use cases for this is having a custom object in Service Cloud that represents an offer sent to a customer. The creation of such an object triggers a journey sending the offer to the customer and a follow-up email if the offer hasn’t been closed after some days. Until now there was the need for a custom activity as decision splits didn’t check the correct custom object if there was more than one offer for this contact. With the updated Expression Builder, the Salesforce-ID of the offer-object that is present in the journey’s entry source can be used as lookup attribute to compare. The only downside of this fix/feature is, that you cannot directly look up data from all synchronized data extensions by default. To check the data you need to create an attribute group in Contact Builder, which can only be done if there is a field containing the Contact Key.
Note: This should fix the wrong decision split evaluation that I described in “Scenario 2” of my blogpost “How to fix wrong Decision Split evaluation in SFMC” and also eliminates the need for a custom entry event in “Scenario 1” as the transaction key can now be used as attribute to compare.
Wait Activity Enhancements
Another added feature that I awaited for a long time is the enhancement of the wait activity in Journey Builder, that now enables you to
- Wait for a Specific Date
- Wait by Attribute
Until now a workaround using an Automation that queries all the subscribers that should be injected on the current day and injecting them into a journey via an Automation Studio audience was necessary. However this wasn’t a good option as the complete flow wasn’t visible in one single journey as before the “Wait” simulated by the automation they exited journey part 1 and on the specific date they entered journey part 2.
As a last point I like to add that I’m pretty happy to see the fix for a bug I reported and debugged with Salesforce and like to encourage everyone to try actively improving Marketing Cloud. Some weeks ago I posted an idea on Salesforce Success Community IdeaExchange and not long after that a product manager at Salesforce Marketing Cloud contacted me and we had a chat about my feature request and other possible improvements. This is another example of Salesforce’s dedication to further improve and taking customer’s needs into account.
The complete Release Notes can be found in the Marketing Cloud documentation: http://help.marketingcloud.com/en/documentation/release_notes/august_2017_release/.