Sweetness! Quick-n-dirty segments in MailChimp

With the magic phrase “automatic de-duping” for a form field you can just paste from excel or a local CSV. Neat.

You can export a list from your CRM, open it in Excel, create a pivot table or perform some other data magic tricks, then copy-paste your results right into this field. We’ll automatically exclude any emails that are not actively subscribed in that MailChimp list.

Segments created by pasting a list are saved as static segments for future use.

Link to MailChimp blog here.

#CirrusPath Raises the Bar & Brings Google Closer to Salesforce

I’ve been playing with Yesware for a bit, where I’m a member of a Yesware team provisioned by a client.  I like the Yesware interface, and its easy integration with Salesforce.  And of course, the control freak in one gets addicted to the intel on when your missives are read (and re-read because they’re just that good).  But just as I was getting ready to subscribe, I diligently took one more look through the app exchange, where I found that Cirrus Insight basically matches Yesware feature for feature (with the added bonus of having experience and opinions on both offerings).


What really stood out, however, was Cirrus GoogleDrive<–>Salesforce integration:  unimaginatively named Cirrus Files.

CirrucPresentation Cover copy copy
It’s a great offering; don’t be put off by the me-too trendy visuals.
























As they pointed out somewhere in their mess of a site (the worst part of the entire experience is their website’s rather incoherent information architecture, with menus changing unexpectedly and rather jarring shifts in graphic design style: see contrasts below) Salesforce storage is costly; Google Drive is dirt cheap, and is easier to configure for collaboration with parties external to your organization.  So, intrigued, I downloaded yet another package and set it up. (Kudos, kids: your video instructions are really in a pedagogical sweet-spot)

It only took a few minutes to deliver this result:

Your Google Drive files - even if not on your official corporate domain -- are pulled into the key SF page layouts (Account, Contact, Opportunity, Case, Lead) )
Your Google Drive files – even if not on your official corporate domain — are pulled into the key SF page layouts (Account, Contact, Opportunity, Case, Lead) )

#Skuid, #Salesforce.com, #Usability

SKUID is a nifty AppExchange Offering that enables you to transform this long, scroll-intensive page

Standard Salesforce Account Page Layout
Click for Full-Size


to this much more friendly view

SKUIDIFY it - tabbed view of the same page
Much Less Overwhelming, Eh?


No doubt, I’ll be writing more about this, and their lovely data model tools.

A New Business Intelligence Hub for CBS Alumni

The user experience is calculatedly thus:

Enticing hints of what’s contained within – along with realistic expectation setting for something published so publicly.

So, after the movie explains why our ‘chaperoned’ romp through partially disguised data allows an alum in networking or job search mode to identify some prospects/targets, indicate their choices to a club administrator who balances privacy concerns against a stronger, more robust network by asking the target alums for specific permission to share (fortunately it’s almost always given)

Then on to a couple of reports & visualizations, all the while exhorting the alum to register for an access-controlled site for supervised exploration.

Salesforce Contacts, Employer Accounts and Non-Profit Edition Relationships carry the majority of the payload — supplemented by visualization tools like Google Maps Engine and SharePoint 2013’s robust security settings.

Click on the image to take a look at the public offerings.

The New CBS Business Intelligence Hub
The New CBS Business Intelligence Hub



More Walking that Walk: Salesforce.com Coding Schema for an Cloud-Based Alum Club

So, I had been regaling you the way the person, me:

Darren Scott Kowitt, a new yorker by birth but a washingtonian by circumstance  got to new york first by way of new haven (isn’t that coy!) and in new york I studied marketing at Columbia Business School before coming to DC for love

Now Salesforce.com is  a robust platform.  It likely could accomodate stories like that without too much difficult int the hands of the appropriate database & platform administrator.  but all that broadband personhood i suggestively sketched above — well, it has to be shoe-horned into an unmovable and unforgiving fact about Salesforce.com.

it’s staring you in the face with the name: it’s got sales in its DNA. and sales means nothing without [ACCOUNTS]..  Where there are [ACCOUNTS] there may be people.  so in terms of the Salesforce.com instance for Columbia Business School Alumni of MetroDC , this is how it plays out concretely:

I, Darren Kowitt, who graduated from Columbia in 1997, I Darren am represented in the database when first loaded/created as:

[ACCOUNT]=MBA’97: Kowitt, Darren

[ACCOUNT].[CONTACT] = Mr. Darren S. Kowitt, residing at…born on…

with as much detail as External Relations in New York cared to provide me with

note how the [ACCOUNT] record is functioning/quacking like an Alum Household — to which a subsidiary partner or spouse might be easily attached — and, provided the coding schema is rigorously applied, and attached in such a way as to be acknowledged and included where appropriate — but not gratuitously and carelessly.  this is not an accident.  It’s important to remember that coding is a choice of how to represent reality (in all its potential complexity) in the database.

running an ivy league alumni club in a major metro is stimulating and at its best, fun.  but it takes a lot of partnering.  the people i deal with, wheedling, cajoling, begging, borrowing — oh and let’s not forget: drinking with, conversing expansively with, but also receiving upon their arrival at Union Station,. these personages, some august, others less so — well there’s no easy way to categorize them all: so here’s an attempt at conveying to you the breadth of their diversity:

  • Alumni (they’re easy: that MBA’YY: LName, FName sees to that)
  • Spouses do show up, but not as often as you might think
  • Professors visit from new york
  • Admissions stages its dog & pony show each fall
  • Applicants paw at us, rending our garments in their over-eager enthusiasm to simply put their nose up against the iorn fence. But I digress
  • the Columbia Business School Alumni Board of course has much traffic with the board of the Columbia University Club of Washington, DC (and in truth, my alums are truly, fully Columbian in both senses)
  • but we don’t always keep in the family: sometimes we even collaborate on programming with those people from Cambridge, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Palo Alto (the dirty secret of competitive MBA populations is: in the long run, excellence converges)
  • i’d be remiss in not mentioning congress members, their staff – and the economics/policy beat journalists  we run with
  • Compass Strategic Guidance. Stronger Non-Profits,
  • and then there is a wonderful organization called CompassDC whose purpose is to harness all that pan-ivy-league intellectual firepower towards helping regional non-profits change for the better and indeed even thrive.  every fall they recruit pro bono volunteers for a 7 month collaborative consulting project.

Some of the relationships are essentially/practically permanent:  for better or worse, I shall remain myself until I die.  thus MBA’97: Kowitt, Darren is quite strongly tied to Mr. Darren S. Kowitt.  not all relationships are quite so durable, however.  and this is not merely truth spoken from a broken heart.  an Alum Club Board has terms of office — or at least in theory good governance principles somehow suggest that, even if  such evasions of the unspoken still amount to quite the opposite of permanence,  and those Compass projects are by their nature fixed in term.

So the data I want to capture in my CRM system is, to be polite, heterogeneous.  And thus every time I set about creating a new Alum in the database, am I faced with this  choice

Ar the moment of creation: what a choice!
Ar the moment of creation: what a choice!

–somewhat paralyzing to the unititiated, I’m afraid.   and i’ll leave you to mull over that for now.