2024 Predictions from Salesforce Marketing Champions

By Lucy Mazalon

For the first time ever, Salesforce Ben brought two exclusive LinkedIn live events, both including an exclusive panel of Marketing Champions. This group provided us with some excellent insight into important key trends and a few New Year’s resolutions that will shape the future of marketing in the Salesforce ecosystem.  

The first question the Marketing Champions were asked was: “What will be important to your organization this year?”. This brought up answers that spanned AI and Data Cloud, plus the data quality, consent management and analytics that go hand-in-hand. Information moved fast in both events, so there’s a lot to consider. Here are the thoughts from the champions…

AI (+ Data Cloud)

Timo kicked off the popular topic of AI by emphasizing the broad scope of their organization’s work beyond Salesforce. With a focus on deriving business benefits from generative and predictive AI, they aim to assist customers in developing a robust data strategy while prioritizing sustainability and equity in their approach to AI. 

“At Salesforce, what’s important for us is to bring the power of data, AI, CRM, and trust to every customer interaction. I’ve been in this industry for 20 years, and if we think about it, data wasn’t top of mind, but now it is. Data has become the foundation of every AI transformation and what we’re trying to do really is to bring it into various industries on the power of Data Cloud and how it unifies and harmonizes data from every single source.“ – Guilda

More champions fed into the conversation with their unique angles on the combined topic of AI and Data Cloud:

  • Shibu: “I’ve been waiting eagerly to get my hands on Einstein Copilot. I’ve been seeing demos for a while, but I’m itching to try out Copilot Studio with the Skills, and Model Builder, including how to bring your own model. Also, to see which features are powerful on the sales and service side, and ask: How can we then use that within marketing.“
  • JB: “One focus [following the quarters after Q1] will be on Data Cloud and Marketing Cloud Personalization (MCP). How to maximize the products and integrate the segmentation aspects into Marketing Cloud – a complete lifecycle.”
  • Marcos: “Something in this upcoming Salesforce release that we’re excited about is being able to bring the Einstein Assistant into Account Engagement. Parts have existed within Marketing Cloud’s Content Builder, and now we will be able to build more robust, personalized campaigns in Account Engagement that can be brought to market quicker because of this advancement.”
  • Tammy: “I aim to help my team to become better consultants around AI. We’re going to find many new job titles as a result of AI. I’m seeing this at Media.Monks already. It will be around coaching my team, giving them the confidence to talk and consult on AI.”
  • Tom: “We’ve been proactive in speaking to clients about Data Cloud, and what could be a good fit for them. We’ve done one proof of concept for a global events company – initially for the free version of Data Cloud. We’ve reached the point where we found the gaps and then go backwards and fix – naturally things come up, especially when you’re dealing with, in this example, millions of data rows. It shows how bringing data together, manipulating it in such a way, and then giving a client a translated document that means it’s no longer a demo that they’ve seen on YouTube or at a Salesforce event – it’s actually a real, tangible, applicable concept that’s relevant to them.”

Data Quality, Consent Management & Analytics

We’ve already seen that the rapid introduction of AI and Data Cloud technology is one thing – but connecting the dots between the technology and the organizations that will use them is another altogether. 

Even before this, there’s groundwork to be done on data quality and consent management. To aid with this transformation, analytics will continue to be key in identifying the state of your data, monitoring the impact, and demonstrating results. 

Tammy highlighted three main priorities for her this year: data governance and building a data culture, consent management (especially with the upcoming updates in privacy laws), and trustworthy consent and accurate data for effective AI implementation.

  • Marcos: “Customers have witnessed the AI evolution, not just within the Salesforce ecosystem, but also beyond. Many are hesitant because they find it scary to use AI, or the data just isn’t there to power it. For us, it will be about data strategy and what it really means. What does it mean to consolidate your systems and for them to speak the same language? Do your fields have the same drop down values between integrations? What does it mean to have list hygiene? I think what’s becoming more important is to calculate the cost of having bad data in your system, and to not have all tools aligned.”  
  • Tom: “Back to basics, preparing our customers for what’s coming. There are many organizations that need an audit, for example, they have data that isn’t necessarily in the best condition, so not ready for AI. You have to set yourself up for success.”
  • Sarah: “One of the trends lots of people are asking for at the moment is analytics. I think it’s really become much more important in the last 12-18 months to be able to demonstrate the business value of what you’re doing in marketing and to bring that whole customer journey together.”
  • Timo: “Marketing Cloud Intelligence (Datorama) – I’ve been dabbling in it for some time, so I’m planning on becoming certified and extending my knowledge. There aren’t that many resources on MCI, so I hope to change that”.


Carl emphasized the importance of extending platform functionality, specifically exploring external actions and activities in Account Engagement. He aims to integrate Account Engagement with other platforms and leverage data cloud functionalities.

“What we’re concerned with at the moment is how we can extend the functionality outside of the platform to speed up the time from campaign ideation and creation, to making it a reality. I see external actions and external activities as underutilized. I made it a goal of mine to turn Account Engagement into something like Marketing Cloud Journey Builder, where you can integrate with other platforms and listen for events off-platform. We can cement Account Engagement in the middle of that tech stack.”

Salesforce Core

On a similar note, keeping an eye on what’s happening with Salesforce’s core platform is top of mind for most champions. 

  • Carl: “Even though I work with Account Engagement, I’m also doing a lot with Sales Cloud at the moment. I’ve made the decision to become the Neo of the Salesforce world – not just focus on declarative features, but also get my hands on all that’s in the backend. I’m going down the Solution Architect path, which includes data architecture, Apex and development, and more.”
    I’m not saying I can learn everything, right? Even Neo didn’t become Morpheus, but let’s see.”
  • Zoe: “I’ve been really interested in seeing the development of Salesforce’s Unlimited and Unlimited Plus editions. So features like Sales Engagement (formerly High Velocity Sales) has had a game-changing makeover in the past year. In working with Account Engagement as well. Bringing sales and marketing teams together, that are often head to head, is our focus.”

Email Deliverability

Email marketing is core to any marketing operations, and in light of announcements from major email service providers, we need to keep a close eye on how email marketing performance could be impacted. 

“Our focus for Q1 – with the movement towards first-party data, the Gmail and the Yahoo changes that are coming forth – is maintaining deliverability rates and making sure that we don’t have much spam or bounces”. – JB

Quality Over Quality in MOPs

Marketing operations can often become more art than science. With limitless ways to design your operations, the theme of balancing quality – while moving at speed – came up in conversation.  

  • Jaime: “2024 is undoubtedly about quality – we’ve covered quantity during the past two years in terms of marketing ops, chasing pretty ambitious growth targets as a scale-up company. Quality means doing things better, in a more scalable and sustainable way for our team and our customers.” 
  • Sarah: ”Last year was pretty tough for a lot of the industry, with instability and dealing with external factors. At Nebula, we’re not just focused on the marketing side, we’re focused on that whole B2B sales and marketing journey, using some of the new functionality to join the dots.”
  • Sarah: “Prioritization and making decisions around what to focus on will be key because there are so many changes coming. You’ve got new releases for Data Cloud, all of the AI functionality, extensibility, and using the API to build custom tools. So I’m going to be thinking carefully about what to focus my time and energy on.” 
  • Brandon: “Our organization is going to be focused on systems, not only for our internal systems but also optimizing those for the SMB companies we work closely with. Data harmonization is so important to ensure that we’re getting the absolute best value out of everything that we’re investing in. We are invested in Data Cloud, in AI, and in learning ways that we can deploy this to smaller businesses – making these new, fantastic tools accessible to the smaller companies that may think that they can’t afford it or that it’s not available to them.”


From working towards Solution Architect and dabbling in Data Cloud, to learning to play the piano and speaking Greek, there’s always something new these champions are learning. The community of Salesforce marketing professionals was discussed at length during the two sessions. As the demands on marketers to upskill on new technologies increases, attempting to be an expert in every single aspect is going to be a challenging (and possibly futile) goal. 

  • Jaime: “The community, like those who are speaking and listening today, give me a lot of energy and encouragement to grow. This year, I have more to give to them. I’ve gone deep into some parts of the Salesforce ecosystem and into some disciplines – I think that the next way I can contribute more is by widening the scope of the tools and processes I’m familiar with. Luckily, in the community, there are so many people that are absolute rock stars on one or two things that I know I can learn from them”.
  • Marcos: “I personally haven’t heard many stories about the successes with AI. The features are relatively new, so maybe that’s it. Helping the community as a whole train up on extending cross-clouds – so Marketing Clouds, and all the other ones through Flow and AI – and how we can use that to tell a better story. Going back to training, I want to start with the community first and then of course our customers and anybody else who’s willing to listen.”
  • Guilda: “I think back to when I first started in this space, there wasn’t a community. I felt like I was on an island trying to figure it out. Knowledge transfer, upskilling, and career transformation is so important. It doesn’t matter if you’re 25 years deep into the Salesforce ecosystem, or new to this digital marketing transformation era that we’re in. Systems change every month, right? My goal is to challenge others in the community to upskill. I’m not going to hoard information – if I know something, I’m going to share it out.”

The Author

Lucy Mazalon

Lucy is the Operations Director at Salesforce Ben. She is a 10x certified Marketing Champion and founder of The DRIP.

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