Today, data analytics are at the core of strategic decision-making for businesses looking to successfully engage consumers.
I recently spoke with Idealist Consulting’s Director of Marketing, Kirsten Kippen, who detailed how more businesses are making a shift to drive efficiency and build relationships through Salesforce.
“We help progressive companies grow through technology,” says Kippen. “We want to remove process issues that are getting in the way of achieving missions, whether that’s a non-profit mission or a private sector company that is trying to reach certain revenue goals.”
The Portland-based company was founded in 2006 by Rob Jordan who wanted to bring sophisticated corporate sector technology to non-profits. Rob and his team soon decided on Salesforce consulting and customization as their exclusive service.
Idealist Consulting is currently targeting a 50/50 cliental; half nonprofit and the other private sector. About 30% of its clientele is located in the northwest and the rest are spread nationwide. Headquartered on Mississippi avenue, the company has 14 staff members, with about 30 additional colleagues working remotely across the country.
Idealist Consulting focuses on three areas: Salesforce implementation, marketing automation consulting, and application development, which all fit within the Salesforce ecosystem. When clients approach Idealist Consulting, they are either on Salesforce already and want to do more with the tool, such as connecting to different systems, or they are new Salesforce users who need help customizing the tool to their company.
“We work on a customized, individual level with each of our clients. We ask a lot of questions about how their current data is structured and then transition them to a new system that can do more,” notes Kippen. “Then there’s usually a cultural shift that tends to happen - we help people use technology to think bigger about their missions. We really take the time to get to know our clients and understand the individual dynamics on the team. The client is a partner throughout the whole process so at the end of a project, they feel comfortable on their own.”
With regards to marketing automation, Idealist Consulting works with systems like Pardot and Act-On to integrate those with Salesforce so that a company’s communications don’t happen in a silo separately from other business processes. As a starting point, this includes the technical implementation where clients are getting the tracking code on the website, setting up the forms and landing pages.
The strategic side of marketing automation consists of inquiring about the client’s current state and internal culture around the way it thinks about communication.
“We help people use marketing automation to make improvements so that they are spending their mental energy on thinking creatively about how they can better service their constituents and clients instead of stressing over exporting CSV files or manually entering in data.”
Kippen adds that as the marketing automation industry grows, there is increasing demand for support from firms with technical expertise.
“We’re seeing a lot of opportunity for marketing automation consulting. We see ourselves as providing this tech-based strategy approach, which is very different from the agency model. When you work with Idealist Consulting, you’re not just getting market data or audience trends, you’re getting very concrete, tactical info that you implement right away.”
Going forward, Kippen envisions doubling down on Idealist Consulting’s strategic and technical skills and increasing the blend of marketing automation and Salesforce.
“Fundamentally, we have deep expertise in Salesforce and nonprofit technology - that’s what our foundation is built on,” she says. “We want to be top of mind for any local nonprofit and progressive business doing work in Salesforce and marketing.”
To learn more about Idealist Consulting and the cultural shift between marketing and sales, come to their panel event September 13. More info and tickets here.