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What is the "20 minute workday"?

One of the biggest challenges in CRM and marketing automation is keeping things neat and tidy in your database. It's sort of like cleaning the house, the longer you let it go, the worse the job is.

So here's a little tip, don't let things get too messy, use the power of the platform to help you identify things that need organizing and do a little bit each day.

By using reports, lists and other tools, you can organize a group of items that you simply check on a daily basis, each one having a specific data quality purpose. The goal is a set of tasks that might take about to 20 minutes or so to do (thus the 20 minute workday name). This little bit of effort helps a lot to keep your database in good shape. If your system allows you to tag objects like lists or organize reports in a folder, I recommend creating a tag or folder called "20 minute workday" that you simply work through one by one.

Here are some examples of things you might put in your 20 minute workday:

  • A list that looks for new records with essential fields that are blank. Purpose: see if anyone can fill in or fix records from context or other publicly available information.

  • A report showing records that won't sync with the CRM. Purpose: correct the issue causing a lack of sync.

  • A report showing who has unsubscribed in the past 24 hours. Purpose: maybe one of your campaigns, or a combination of campaigns is causing people to quit you. Identify why.

  • A report looking for records that appear to be spammy, solicitations or purposely opaque -- the "" email address. Purpose: Clean out record submissions that are not usable.

  • A list that shows people that have had no activity in a certain period of time and are not synced with the CRM. Purpose: Clear out inactive contacts to keep database size under control.

Some of these items might have zero things in them to fix on a given day...great! You do nothing and move on. Sometimes you end up with a lot of things in the list-- this can be an early warning that something has gone wrong-- for example, a bad import, or something built wrong in a drip campaign.

The items that will be useful in your 20 minute workday list will depend a lot on how your system is designed, who's using it, what's important to you, and how people are manipulating your data, so be creative and experiment! Sometimes what seems like a good idea results in a one-time cleanup activity that never replicates, but at least you found some bad data to begin with.

Companies that don't have a dedicated marketing operations function can benefit a lot from this approach, because it's giving marketing a specific operational reason to interact with the system every day in the pursuit of better data quality, and that's never a bad thing.



*As of April 2022, Pardot has been renamed Marketing Cloud Account Engagement, as part of Salesforce's effort to organize all the marketing products under the same platform umbrella. "MCAE" is simply the same Pardot we know and love under a new name. The product is temporarily being referred to as "Marketing Cloud Account Engagement powered by Pardot."   

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