Having just put a wrap on my 2012 ExactTarget Connections experience, I wanted to briefly sum up the preview I got see of the ExactTarget/Adobe CQ5 connector, thanks to my friends at Adobe. Officially it’s called Adobe CQ Marketing Campaign Management (CQ MCM). Having only recently been exposed to the ExactTarget suite of tools, my first exposure to the email template creation tool was a light bulb moment. The ExactTarget content creation tool worked very much like a CQ authoring environment. You can create templates for entire emails and subtemplates to be used in multiple emails with a lot of drag & drop and in place content editing. My eyes of course lit up when I saw it and immediately saw why these tools found each other and why everyone saw a need for a coupling between them.
Getting started with ExactTarget inside of CQ is just like working with any other CQ Cloud Service; you’ll need to create the connection between CQ and ExactTarget in the same way as how you connect to a tool like Scene7. Simply navigate to the Cloud Services console, expand the ExactTarget dialog, clicking Configure Now and create an ExactTarget Configuration. Then you’ll be prompted to enter your company, username and password to connect to ExactTarget. Once you’re authenticated, you will have access to the ExactTarget Landing Page template type for creating content.
The thing that really makes this coupling so compelling is the melding of CQ and ExactTarget functionality. When you pull an asset from the CQ5 Digital Asset Manager (DAM) into an ExactTarget Landing Page, CQ remembers where that asset was referenced, in the same way as when you use that assent on a typical CQ page, so no matter what channel your engaging your customers, you’re meeting them with a consistent professional message. With CQ MCM you can rapidly and more accurately identify the ROI of the campaign, which is essential in helping justify marketing expenditures which insures smiles from both the CMO and the CFO.
For my current customer who already uses ExactTarget and is considering CQ to replace their existing web content management system, this functionality is beyond valuable. They have significant privacy concerns and it’s essential for them to keep track of where every asset is used in case they need to remove that asset from their production email runs. Furthermore, you’ll have less replication of assets and little to no chance of assets becoming stale between DAM and ExactTarget. When you look at a platform that integrates content management, digital marketing and analytics, like this connector creates, it provides a tremendous value in being able to track content from creation through a marketing campaign, to the user clicking through on your website instantly in order to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns and content pages across your enterprise.
Once an ExactTarget Landing Page has been created in CQ, you can affect workflow processes on that page, just like any other CQ page before publishing that ExactTarget Landing Page to the ExactTarget platform. Once the Landing Page has been published to ExactTarget, you’re moving back into the realm of 100% ExactTarget, where you’ll need to log into the ExactTarget console to utilize the landing page for sending communications to your subscribers.
My preview was brief, but so is the nature of creating content in CQ for ExactTarget. So many features on these two platforms function in a similar fashion, it really quite simple for CQ administrators and content authors to create ExactTarget Landing Pages. Because of how intuitive the CQ authoring environment is and how similar it is to the ExactTarget templating environment. ExactTarget users will have very little learning curve for working within CQ and reaping the benefits that the CQ environment will bring to this powerful technology synergy.