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Building a personalized constituent experience with American Marketing Association

How the American Marketing Association are building a personalized constituent experience a multi-cloud approach

Jeremy Van Ek, Chief Operating Officer at the American Marketing Association (AMA) joined us at TractionForce Toronto last year. Before outlining some of the successes of the AMA's multi-cloud Salesforce journey, he spoke about the limits technology had previously imposed on their organization.

The AMA interacts with the marketing community (professional marketers, academics and college students) across five different lines of business. Constituents often relate to the AMA in multiple capacities. However, existing systems lacked the scale and integration needed to provide constituents with a tailored, streamlined experience across divisions and lines of business.

“We knew we needed to change,” Jeremy explained at TF Toronto. “But we had two big inhibitors. One was technology and the other was people. We needed to build a great team that was capable of change and we needed to get the technology platform in place in order to enable us to do that. That was where we started.”

Disparate data & technical debt

The AMA partnered with Traction on Demand and began a multi-cloud digital transformation journey with Salesforce to address a number of challenges caused by their legacy systems. One primary issue resulted from the disparate nature of the AMA’s constituent data. Their two sales teams (Alliances and Memberships) worked within different platforms, making it difficult to fully understand how constituents interacted with other departments. Consequently, the AMA struggled to generate reports and derive meaningful insights from constituent data.

The AMA sought to modernize their systems and build a multi-cloud ‘one-stop-shop’ to meet all constituent needs. However, they needed to reduce the technical debt they had accumulated over the years to achieve that goal. Their systems were highly customized and lacked documentation, making it difficult to alter the system without compromising functionality.

Beginning a multi-cloud Salesforce transformation

The AMA wanted to build on a platform that would scale with the needs of their community, so they implemented a multi-cloud solution leveraging: Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Community Cloud and Pardot.

Data modelling: The project team worked to connect the AMA’s users with all the relevant data needed to serve constituents. To that end, they created a new data security model that (1) brings both the Alliances and Memberships teams into Salesforce, and (2) ensures they only see the data relevant to them. Additionally, the project team cleaned legacy data and migrated it into Salesforce. As a result, all new and old constituent interactions captured in Salesforce. This enables the creation of meaningful reports for the AMA to better understand their constituents.

Service Cloud: Within Service Cloud, the AMA can assign and prioritize cases based on membership status. They can also track cases and case trends in real-time through reports and dashboards. Salesforce Knowledge deflects cases as constituents access articles that answer potential queries. This all ensures the AMA’s service team spend more of their time working on high-priority cases.

Experience Cloud: Previously known as, Community Cloud, this is a key component of the ‘one-stop-shop’ the AMA is building. Constituents move seamlessly from the AMA’s new website to their Customer Community with single-sign-on (SSO). Likewise, users easily connect to the AMA's integrated Learning Management System. Constituents login to the Community where they are served with dynamic content that reflects their relationship with the AMA. Additional dynamic purchase flows make it easy to purchase online offerings within the Community.

Towards a personalized constituent experience

This first phase of the AMA’s long-term roadmap with Salesforce delivered two major changes. Firstly, the AMA transformed the way constituents interact with them. They also found better ways to access the data created through these interactions.

  • Constituents interact with the AMA in a seamless, branded environment through Knowledge articles, the Customer Community, etc.
  • The AMA are utilizing Salesforce as the single source of truth for more comprehensive reporting, better analysis and decision-making.
  • Leveraging the data they need in a single screen, the AMA are providing a more personalized experience to constituents.

“The big thing for us with this project was paying off the technical debt of having arcane systems that were outdated,” Jeremy said last summer in Toronto. “We feel like we’re in a position now where we have a platform that we can build and grow, and that’s flexible.”

Hear more from Jeremy about the American Marketing Association’s exciting transformation in the recording from our Technology and Transformation session at TF19 Toronto.

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