How-to Group Salesforce Campaigns

We got a good question the other day about using Campaign Types and Campaign Hierarchy. These two features are essentially used to help you group Salesforce campaigns for reporting purposes. 

  • The type field is pretty rudimentary but it works great for simple sorting.  For example, if over the course of the year you run multiple email, event and mailing campaigns.   All three of those options can be made into types, so that at points in the future you can group campaigns by type when you run reports.  Hence you can see how the results of your overall annual efforts might have broken down along the types of campaigns you ran.  Custom fields can also be added to the campaign if you have additional drop-down lists you want to group campaigns by.
  • The campaign hierarchy is also for grouping but in a much more specific way.  You can think of this feature as enabling you to create Parent-Child relationships between campaigns. The main benefit is that on the Parent campaign are specific fields that roll-up in real-time the results of child campaigns which can be very useful. For example some organizations will create a Parent Campaign for all outreach efforts in a specific year as a means of reporting across the whole of the annual efforts (campaigns).
  • In discussing how-to group campaigns, I would be remiss to not also mention that you can group campaign by using a naming convention in the campaign name field. This could be an alternate way to group campaigns by year (if parent campaigns aren’t your cup-of-tea), simply by starting all the names with the year of the campaign (for example: “2012 Annual Campaign”).  You can then use this value when running reports to limit your results to annual efforts.

How to leverage each of these (and which is right for you) depends on what you want in the way of reporting at the end of the day, month, quarter and year.  If you haven’t already, try writing out your key reporting requirements for campaign fundraising and test these methods in a sandbox to find the one that works best for you.