Given a customer's scenario, recommend the appropriate marketing automation solution.
Marketing Cloud provides the Automation Studio and Journey Builder products to automate marketing activities. In addition, Playbooks can be used to automate common email scenarios and Triggered Sends to automate API-based email sends.
Following tools exist to automate data management and marketing activities in Marketing Cloud:
Automation Studio is a tool to automate multi-step data management and marketing activities. It is used to extract, transform and load (ETL) data from internal and external systems. The tool can automate data management processes such as file transfers, data imports, data filters, SQL queries, reports, and simple sends. It is therefore ideal to segment and filter data on an immediate, triggered, or scheduled basis.
Journey Builder is a tool to automate multi-path and multi-channel marketing activities. It is used to design, build, and test one-to-one messages to targeted audiences. The tool can automate messaging flows based on schedule or behavior. Furthermore, a journey goal can be defined and tracked for continuous optimization.
Marketing Cloud provides templates for common customer journeys. Those templates can be used to create journeys with tooltip guidance pointing out best practices.
Playbooks is a tool to automate common email campaigns. It provides step-by-step instructions to design the campaigns and doesn’t require technical expertise. Following email campaigns can be defined using Playbooks:
The Playbooks tool will be replaced with Journey Builder in a phased retirement process. No new Playbooks can be created and all existing Playbooks will stop functioning by July 2019.
Triggered Sends are emails which are sent via API calls from external systems. The benefit of Triggered Sends is that they separate API calls from email definitions. While API calls are implemented outside Marketing Cloud, the emails can be defined and changed in Marketing Cloud. API call reference a Triggered Send Definition and Marketing Cloud users can define the content of the email message to be sent. Furthermore, Marketing Cloud users can pause and restart emails sent via Triggered Sends.
Which automation tool should be used depends on the individual customer scenario. However, related tools can be compared with each other based on their features.
While Automation Studio is designed to manage bulk data, Journey Builder is meant to design individualized messaging flows. However, the two tools can work well in conjunction: Audience can be built in Automation Studio and then used in Journey Builder to assign targeted one-to-one communications.
|Automation Studio||Journey Builder|
|Extract, Transform and Load (ETL)||Visual campaign creating|
|Automate Recurring Processes||One-to-one messaging|
|Advanced Segmentation||Goal-driven optimization|
While Playbooks is an integrated Marketing Cloud application, triggered sends to utilize the Marketing Cloud API to send automated emails. Therefore, coding in an external system is necessary to build API calls for triggered sends, whereas Playbooks can be built within Marketing Cloud using a simple user interface. In addition, Playbooks support series of emails, while Triggered Sends are meant to send a single email.
|User interface based||Code based API calls|
|Implemented Marketing Cloud only||API calls implemented in external system, and Triggered send in Marketing Cloud|
|Series of email sends||Single email sends|