Where to begin?
I specialized in technical, technological, and data marketing for over a decade. I have hands-on experience of over a hundred tools, and have been pitched a thousand. I have led DMP business cases, RFP, implementation, operationalization, et al. Salesforce DMP (previously known as Krux) is my 3rd DMP.
Salesforce has to be the worst bunch of clowns I have ever worked with.
From the get go, the signs were there:
- Sales team had not briefed Legal whatsoever, which also had no clue what a DMP was, and contract negotiation took forever
- Project team wasn't briefed and had no idea what our requirements were. They tried for weeks on end to force their implementation to-do list on us while never listening.
- Project team was clearly coming from Salesforce CRM and was incapable of answering basic questions.
When they figured out that ignoring the question wouldn't work, they basically would magic eight ball the answer. We had to redo implementation a month later because of their incompetence
Then the real fun began. A few weeks after implementation:
- Major security flaws were found. Read-only users could access billing info. A button to access the old UI was simply "hidden" (as in not visible but within the page's code), the old UI didn't really bother checking whether or not you had permission to access xyz feature or not. And some bigger things I won't even mention.
- Segments batch processing timed out... for weeks. They didn't notice, they never do. Either there are no control mechanisms whatsoever, or a company specialized in Customer Relationship thinks the last thing it should actually do is communicate with their customers. Except to try to sell them new features, because, you know, priorities.
- And then obviously you have to escalate everything to be taken seriously. They then try convincing you that the issues are very minor and "only on your account". Make sure to escalate again. And possibly again.
And then when you think things are getting back in order, two wonderful things happen:
- GDPR and the need to adapt all your architecture
- Let's also, around that time, migrate from the already clunky Krux technologies to the Salesforce stack.
What could possibly go wrong?
- Users losing permissions every other week
- Segments got "frozen", meaning the send to site feature broke, the lookalike feature broke, the standard data feed broke, the S2S activations broke, the reporting broke. Minor features, really.
They fixed it all, no worries. By fixing, I mean it looks like they wiped 50% of our data. If it doesn't exist, it ain't broken! Genius move!
Mind you, I might be wrong in my analysis, but it's not like I could know what's broken within their black box. They take a few weeks giving me a bogus explanation about what is going on, and when I take 2 hours disproving their argument, they take another few weeks to come back with another magic eight ball explanation. Never a dull day.
By the way, make sure to always disprove their argument within two hours. Gotta achieve those Customer Service KPIs and close the tickets ASAP!
I had written a better review before, a more nuanced one, but experience with Salesforce has taught me I was very, very wrong.
Now, Krux DMP is still very powerful and can prove to be very useful, but if you want anything more than a "set & forget" tool, be prepared to spend a LOT of time, energy and drinking on getting this technology to do what is it supposed to do.
I do not recommend Salesforce.
This applies to any DMP really.
Have a clear vision.
Make sure to validate all business requirements.
Have a clear go-to market plan
Meet suppliers, more than once, before the RFP; ask them questions you got from being exposed to other platforms.
Make sure your data-in is standardized
Make sure your stack is compatible
Make sure that the project is led by multiple tech-business-marketing savvy people
And test manual data management first. See what works, what doesn't, what the tech will do for you. Don't buy a DMP because of the Shiny Object Syndrome (SOS)