Skip to main content

Prepare for Implementation

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Identify use cases for Marketing Cloud Personalization.
  • Prepare for implementation.
  • Document your business requirements.

Before You Begin

Marketing Cloud Personalization implementation requires assistance from our professional services team or an implementation partner. Need help selecting your implementation team? Reach out to your account executive to learn more.

Preparation and Discovery

In this unit, we cover everything you need to prepare for Marketing Cloud Personalization and craft your business requirements. Here’s the checklist we follow to help you get ready for your first implementation discussion.

  • Identify stakeholders.
  • Identify data access and security requirements.
  • Understand implementation steps.
  • Refine your use cases and personalization strategy.
  • Finalize business requirements.
  • Confirm your implementation partner.

Let’s review each area.


First up, consider who needs to be involved in implementation. Depending on the size of your organization, this may be you or it could be a team of people. Ask yourself these questions.

  • Who manages website operations at your organization?
  • Who in your IT organization is responsible for configuring data integrations?
  • Who will use Marketing Cloud Personalization after implementation?

Data Access and Security Requirements

Next, it’s important to consider your company’s data security requirements. If you’re familiar with Marketing Cloud Engagement, you know that enterprise accounts use business units to enforce account separation and allow for enhanced security measures. Similarly, Marketing Cloud Personalization uses datasets to control access to data. Businesses use separate datasets for various reasons, such as geography, different brands, or even test data versus production data. Datasets are used to limit access based on assigned roles within Marketing Cloud Personalization. Datasets are also used to isolate consumer data like attributes and behaviors that should be kept separate in your organization. 

For example, the international sales and marketing team for Northern Trail Outfitters (NTO) shouldn’t have access or visibility into the US sales and marketing team’s customer information, and vice versa. Therefore NTO creates one dataset for US-based customers and prospects, and a different dataset for international customers. NTO’s admin then assigns roles and permissions to a user based on which dataset they are permitted to see. 

Manage Datasets screen showing NTO and NTO International.

As you document your requirements for implementation, think about whether you need to use separate datasets, and if so, how many datasets you need.

Implementation Steps

Once your team is ready to begin, you’ll follow an implementation path with several steps. To help speed along implementation, review these steps and answer the requirement questions in advance.

Step Description Business Requirement Questions

Deploying the web SDK

To begin using Marketing Cloud Personalization on your website, you need to place a line of JavaScript (called the Marketing Cloud Personalization web SDK) in the header of your website, web application, or within your tag management solution.

  • What release schedules do you need to follow?
  • What processes need to be followed to add scripts to your website?
  • Do you use a tag manager and plan on deploying the tag through the tag manager?


Once the SDK has been placed on your website, it’s important to be able to track contextual and behavioral data in a meaningful way.

Mapping your website and pertinent behavioral events is critical to both understanding and engaging your customers on a 1:1 level in real time.

  • What is the primary purpose/function of your website?
  • What business objects do you want to capture?
  • What are key points of interaction on your website that indicate engagement?
  • What use cases are you looking to execute?
  • How can a user identify themselves on your website?

Configuring data ingestion (optional)

Marketing Cloud Personalization can receive data through ETL (which stands for extract, transform, and load) feeds and system integrations. 

While external data is not required to use the platform and realize value, many customers choose to consolidate data and pass customer, transaction, catalog, or external engagement data into Marketing Cloud Personalization.

  • Do any of your use cases require external data outside of Salesforce products?
  • How often would the external data need to be synced with Marketing Cloud Personalization?
  • What are the data specifications of your integrations?

Use Cases for Personalization

As a marketer, your main focus as you prepare for Marketing Cloud Personalization implementation is to identify your business challenges or use cases. This helps you develop hypotheses around personalization. Defining them now can help your implementation partner understand how you plan to use Marketing Cloud Personalization when your account is ready.

To help you develop your use cases, let’s see how a variety of industries put Marketing Cloud Personalization to work


Marketing Cloud Personalization Use Case


Challenge: The Northern Trail Outfitters (NTO) marketing team tries to segment and target offers to specific key customers in Marketing Cloud Engagement. However, the team is unable to deliver a consistent offer when a customer is on the NTO website ready to check out from their shopping cart.  

Solution: With Marketing Cloud Personalization, NTO uses real-time decisioning across channels to share the same personalized offer from Marketing Cloud Engagement to NTO’s ecommerce system. By providing a consistent offer across channels, the marketing team can more easily track the revenue associated with their marketing campaigns. 


Challenge: Diamond Casino wants to optimize the agent booking process to improve the customer experience for VIPs. Previously booking agents received an anonymous customer phone call. This caused VIPs to feel less than important. 

Solution: Now with Marketing Cloud Personalization, agents can recognize when a VIP guest calls and they can personalize their conversation based on what they know about that VIP guest. Agents can even trigger a Journey Builder campaign to send the VIP personalized booking information right after the call ends.

Financial Services

Challenge: Banking prospect Leigh is getting emails from Cumulus Bank that are not relevant to the products Leigh is interested in. Leigh is looking for a personal credit card but keeps receiving offers for mortgage loans.

Solution: With Marketing Cloud Personalization, Cumulus learns about Leigh’s online behavior, updates Leigh’s affinity toward personal credit cards, and adjusts Leigh’s profile. This real-time adjustment allows Cumulus to regain this customer’s interest, by only showing Leigh relevant emails and web recommendations about personal credit cards moving forward. 

Are you daydreaming about your own use cases? You’ll work with the Marketing Cloud Personalization implementation team to consider your company objectives, current challenges, and overall vision to develop and document your Marketing Cloud Personalization use cases. To prepare for those conversations with the Marketing Cloud Personalization implementation team, consider the following questions.

  • What are your primary objectives?
  • Are there specific parts of your customer journey or experience that need improvement?
  • What current problems are you trying to solve with Marketing Cloud Personalization?
  • What are your most important engagement channels?
  • What are the primary KPIs that you are looking to drive with Marketing Cloud Personalization?
  • What audiences are most critical to your success, and how are you personalizing their experience?

Create a Campaign Strategy

Once you develop use cases, it’s time to develop a campaign strategy for each use case. Remember we talked about developing a hypothesis? That’s a critical piece of this process—but it’s not the only piece. There are several steps involved in creating your strategy for using Marketing Cloud Personalization.


Questions to Ask

Example Answers

Identify your audience.

Who are you targeting with this campaign? What are their goals and needs? How would you like to communicate to different audiences?

Repeat web visitors who haven’t made a purchase.

Define business goals.

What do you want to achieve through this campaign? Is there a particular problem area you’d like to address?

Get repeat web visitors to make a purchase.

Determine measurable KPIs.

What is a metric that I can track? How do I know when my goal is achieved?

Increase web conversions by 2%.

Develop a hypothesis.

Is my goal specific? Can I test this hypothesis with a campaign? 

We can increase web conversions by 2% for repeat web visitors by showing product recommendations. 

Review needed content.

What resources/assets do you have available? What content needs to be built to support your tests?

Product images need to be re-created to have a consistent background.

While following these steps doesn't guarantee success, it does provide a framework for what worked or what didn’t as you test your marketing campaigns.

Document Business Requirements

After you have reviewed your data needs, prepared for implementation, and identified a clear strategy, it’s time to write down all your requirements and project goals. Next, send those to your internal project stakeholders to make sure you didn’t miss anything.


Use this Quip checklist to build out your requirements and discuss with your implementation partner.

Kick Off Your Project

As mentioned before, Marketing Cloud Personalization implementation requires assistance from our professional services team or an implementation partner. With your written requirements already drafted, you are ready to initiate the project with your selected partner. You’ll be delivering personalized interactions and testing your hypotheses in no time!


Keep learning for
Sign up for an account to continue.
What’s in it for you?
  • Get personalized recommendations for your career goals
  • Practice your skills with hands-on challenges and quizzes
  • Track and share your progress with employers
  • Connect to mentorship and career opportunities