Understand the Case for Journeys

Learning Objectives

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

  • Explain what a Marketing Cloud journey is.
  • Describe how journeys help business users connect with customers.
  • Describe the process for preparing messages and journeys in Marketing Cloud to use in other clouds through Distributed Marketing.
  • Prepare for rolling out Distributed Marketing.


In Brand Alignment in Distributed Organizations, you learned about distributed organizations and the importance of keeping your brand consistent. You also learned a bit about Distributed Marketing and some of its features. In this module, we dive deeper into how Distributed Marketing works and take you through all the steps to set it up and roll it out to your organization.



In this module, we assume that you’re a Distributed Marketing administrator, and when we refer to admins or administrators, we mean Distributed Marketing administrators. When we refer to users or business users, we mean Distributed Marketing standard users.

Before we get started...

The content in this trail assumes that you already understand some fundamental concepts about Salesforce applications. We recommend completing these Trailhead badges first.

What Are Journeys?

When you think of journeys, you probably think about traveling from one location to another. Perhaps an exotic vacation to a sandy beach? Or maybe you’re thinking of an inner journey—growing from a child to an adult?

When we talk about journeys in Marketing Cloud, we’re describing the path that your potential customer takes to become someone who is engaged and committed to your brand. A journey is a customer communication plan that you design. And the tool you use to design this unique path is Journey Builder.

Journey Builder is a campaign planning tool in Marketing Cloud. You use it to design and automate campaigns that guide customers through their journey with your brand. You begin with a blank canvas (or a template) and set activities that tell Journey Builder how to communicate with customers who are added to the journey. After you configure it, Journey Builder runs responsive campaigns automatically and continuously evaluates your contacts to determine when to move them to the next activity.

A blank canvas in Journey Builder.

Here are a few examples of customer journeys.

  • Invite people to an event.
  • Guide new users through account creation.
  • Welcome new members.
  • Thank customers for purchases.
  • Remind shoppers about abandoned shopping carts.
  • Promote a seasonal campaign.

According to the Salesforce State of Marketing report, of the marketers who have implemented customer journeys, more than two-thirds agree it’s had a positive impact on their business. From decreasing churn rates to contributing to revenue growth, a customer journey strategy is the rising tide lifting all marketers’ boats. 

The Power of Journey Builder + Distributed Marketing

In Brand Alignment in Distributed Organizations, you learned about the divide between marketers and business users. Combine the power of Journey Builder and Distributed Marketing to close that gap and deliver an impactful experience of your brand to your customers.

Consider this example. An automotive manufacturer has a marketing team who designs the brand and all customer communications—from traditional marketing assets to knowledge articles, relationship-management messages, and more. The company also has a global team of dealers who work tirelessly to build their books of business, drive growth, and delight their buyers. These dealers are the face of the brand to the customer. They know their customers well. The marketing team has the time, skills, and expertise to provide meaningful communications that support the dealers’ success.

Enter Journey Builder and Distributed Marketing.

The marketing team uses Journey Builder in Marketing Cloud to create a lifecycle of communications, including emails that help new customers get started with their dealer and their recent purchase, remind customers of important events like inventory sales or suggested maintenance, deliver monthly reports, and even wish them a happy birthday.

When they aren’t with their customers, the dealers spend time working in Experience Cloud. They enter information for new leads, add opportunities for existing customers, and make notes of each engagement on contact records. 

With Distributed Marketing, the marketing team connects a Experience Cloud campaign with a Marketing Cloud journey. Marketers share content that supports best practices using short, simple engagements, multitouch experiences, and more. Then, the dealers simply add their leads and contacts to a relevant campaign at the right time and personalize messages. The communications flow automatically from Journey Builder. The marketing team also creates a library of email templates that dealers use to send messages to leads and contacts from within the lead or contact record. 

Distributed Marketing lets business users do what they do best—focus on building relationships with their customers.

There are many benefits to using Distributed Marketing with Journey Builder. Here are just a few.

  • Maintain brand consistency and compliance by creating on-brand, marketing-approved, legally compliant content and journeys in Marketing Cloud.
  • Easily add customers to journeys through the cloud your users work in most often.
  • Customize messages quickly and intuitively.
  • Let business users focus on customer relationships.
  • Understand and measure journey engagement and optimize in real time.

Check out this video for a quick refresher about Distributed Marketing.

Preparation Is the Key to Success

You’ve started learning about the power of Distributed Marketing and how it combines Marketing Cloud tools with data from your other clouds. Are you ready to get started? There are a few things to do before you install and set up Distributed Marketing.

Let’s stop and consider how your company will use Distributed Marketing. Before you dive in, use these recommendations to create a plan for your particular use cases.

Identify the players. Distributed Marketing is all about collaboration, so there will be stakeholders, participants, and influencers throughout your organization. A successful Distributed Marketing rollout requires participation from corporate marketing, business users, and your Salesforce administrators. Let’s dig in.

  • Corporate marketing owns the marketing strategy for the brand. Although they’re not involved with Distributed Marketing day-to-day, they do need to support and integrate business user requirements, create a global strategy, and provide standards that all Distributed Marketing content should follow. They primarily work in Marketing Cloud.
  • Distributed Marketing administrators, or channel marketers, are part of the corporate marketing organization.They act as conduits between marketing initiatives and business users’ needs. They are responsible for connecting Salesforce CRM campaigns to Marketing Cloud journeys and sharing templates with users. They may also be responsible for building collaborative content in Content Builder. They work primarily in Marketing Cloud, but also other clouds.
  • Distributed Marketing business users manage leads, contacts, and person accounts. With Distributed Marketing, these users send and personalize messages. Sometimes referred to as standard users, such as financial advisors, auto dealers, and franchise owners, they work in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Financial Services Cloud, or Experience Cloud.
  • Salesforce administrators are responsible for setting up and maintaining your Salesforce environments. They ensure that your organization is set up properly to use Distributed Marketing. They also install the Distributed Marketing managed package, and manage sharing and permissions for business users.

Make sure that you have the right tools. Distributed Marketing requires Marketing Cloud with Journey Builder enabled. You also need one of the following clouds: Sales, Service, Financial Services (FSC), or Community. (To use Distributed Marketing in Experience Cloud, the Partner Community license is required.)

Review Distributed Marketing requirements. Check out our list of supported clouds, editions, environments, and features.

Check your user permissions. Make sure you have permission in your Salesforce org to download AppExchange packages, customize the application, modify all data, manage authentication providers, assign permission sets, and view setup and configuration.



Distributed Marketing currently uses standard Salesforce objects including Campaigns, Contacts, and Leads. If you use custom objects to track individual records, you might not be able to use Distributed Marketing quite yet. Work with your Salesforce admin or program architect to evaluate your environment.

Get Ready in Marketing Cloud

Here’s where your marketing team can jump in and help. You can wait to configure your Marketing Cloud journeys after you install Distributed Marketing, but it doesn’t hurt to get a head start. Your marketing team can use these recommendations to get ready for your Distributed Marketing rollout.

  • Plan your customer communication journey.
  • Consider how you’ll personalize messages using customer attributes such as email address and geographic location.
  • Install the Distributed Marketing content blocks into your Marketing Cloud account. (We cover these steps later in this module.)
  • Design and build your messages in Marketing Cloud using any of the great tools available in Content Builder and Distributed Marketing content blocks.
  • In Journey Builder, configure journeys that use events with customer data from the clouds your standard Distributed Marketing users are working in.

Get ready! Up next, we take a look at permissions and Distributed Marketing installation.


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