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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 what Distributed Marketing is 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.

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 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 journey canvas in Marketing Cloud 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 an abandoned shopping cart.
  • 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 tide lifting all marketers’ boats. 

This graph shows the percentage of marketers who strongly agree or agree that a customer journey strategy has positively impacted their business.

Survey results show 73% for customer engagement, 70% for customers’ willingness to recommend products and services, 70% for revenue growth, 67% for customer satisfaction scores, and 65% for customer churn rates. All metrics are positively affected by implementing a customer journey strategy.

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. A financial planning company has a marketing team who designs the brand and all customer communications. The company also has a team of financial experts who are on the road, meeting with clients daily to build relationships and deliver services. The financial experts know their customers well, while the marketing team has the skills and expertise to provide impactful communications.

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 financial advisor, remind customers of important events, deliver monthly reports, and even wish them a happy birthday.

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

Now with Distributed Marketing, the marketing team connects a Financial Services Cloud campaign with a Marketing Cloud journey. Then, the financial experts simply add their leads and contacts to a relevant campaign at the right time and personalize messages. Then the communications flow automatically from Journey Builder. This process lets those financial advisors do what they do best—focus on building relationships with their customers.

Want to learn more? Check out this webinar: Supercharge Productivity for Advisors, Agents and Bankers with Distributed Marketing (signup required).

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.
  • Personalize messages quickly when adding customers to campaigns.
  • Let business users focus on customer relationships.
  • Understand and measure journey engagement and optimize in real time.

The campaign approval flow is another feature of Distributed Marketing. For many customers,  marketing teams, assistants, or other team members suggest customers for specific campaigns based on segmentation and business rules. However, we know that just because a customer falls into a segment doesn’t always mean it’s the right time for a particular message. With the approval flow, advisors, partners, owners, or anyone who owns a book of business can review suggested recipients to ensure everyone is getting the right message at the right time. We sometimes talk about this as “artificial intelligence plus humans.” 

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.

Understand Your Use Case

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



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

  • Identify your marketing team. These folks will be the Distributed Marketing administrators, with the power to connect Salesforce CRM campaigns to Marketing Cloud journeys.
  • Identify your Distributed Marketing standard users. These people manage leads, contacts, and person accounts. With Distributed Marketing, these users are going to add customers to campaigns and personalize messages (if they want) before the messages are sent.
  • 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 (the Partner Community license is required to use Distributed Marketing in Community Cloud).
  • 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 for individual records, you might not be able to use Distributed Marketing yet. Work with your Salesforce administrator 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 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 this checklist to get ready for your Distributed Marketing rollout.

  • Plan your customer communication journey.
  • List customer attributes that you’ll use to personalize messages, such as email address or gender.
  • Design and build your messages in Marketing Cloud using any of the great tools available in Content Builder and Distributed Marketing blocks.
  • Configure journeys in Journey Builder 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 installation of Distributed Marketing.