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Marketing Cloud and Commerce Cloud: Connections ‘24 News Highlights

By Lucy Mazalon

Salesforce Connections, aimed at marketers and merchandisers (commerce), is a two-day event kicking off today. The main keynote is always a great place to start, showcasing what Salesforce has been working on.

Perhaps some people will consider this a rehash of existing releases, thinking “It’s been done before”. While Salesforce may not have announced a shiny new product, read between the lines, and you will notice a few advancements. The new narrative is bringing the two products/disciplines together in a tighter way. It’s like Salesforce has been playing a game of Tetris with their AI-enabled tools for marketers – and now we’re seeing them all fit together.

As the ‘poster child’, Data Cloud gets the spotlight as the essential piece, underpinning the transfer of data between Salesforce CRM, external sources, and making the copilot experiences more powerful.

The slide below is a good visual to gain an overview of all that’s new in the world of Marketing Cloud and Commerce Cloud. If you’re overwhelmed, then you’re not alone. We’ll pick out the key points to help you navigate the avalanche of innovations.

AI Copilots “Everywhere”

Salesforce is pushing the idea that multiple copilots should be working together – like an AI symphony. While different groups of internal and external users will use Einstein Copilots for their respective and specific use cases, the message is that copilot experiences should hand off to one another. One assumes that with one ‘Einstein’ (i.e. AI model), the algorithms will get smarter, faster.

The Einstein Copilot for Marketers, Einstein Copilot for Merchandisers, and Einstein Copilot for Shoppers are good examples of copilots working end-to-end.

It all starts by asking a question. Behind the scenes, copilot builds what’s termed a “plan”, compiling all the data and processes that are required to give the user an answer (a set of actions).

Einstein Copilot for Marketers generates a campaign brief, in which copilot ‘reaches into’ your customer data and brand information. If desired, this can perform other actions, such as translating content, creating email layouts and copy, and even sending emails/SMS out to the customer on your behalf.

Commerce Cloud customers can converse with Einstein Copilot for Merchandisers to set up their storefronts, write product descriptions, and even to optimize product listing SEO and e-commerce site conversion rates.

The Marketers and Merchandisers copilots join in harmony when looking at smarter ways to upsell/cross-sell while answering to customers’ intentions.

When bringing this intelligence into the hands of customers, that’s where Einstein Copilot for Shoppers comes in. Sitting ‘on top’ of your e-commerce/website, browsers can interact using natural language to find the right products, delve into your catalog, and ask questions that would otherwise be gathering dust in your FAQs (frequently asked questions) section.

Below, you can view snippets from the demo – from generating a campaign brief and suggesting bundles to the customer interfacing via WhatsApp. This is Salesforce’s vision for matching up marketing and commerce in a way that’s not feasible with other CMS or marketing automation platforms.

READ MORE: Salesforce Copilots Will Work Together Across Products

Data Cloud for Commerce

Salesforce’s ‘poster child’, Data Cloud, gains more status as an incredibly valuable asset for Salesforce and its customers.

According to Salesforce’s recent report, only 31% of marketers are fully satisfied with their ability to unify their customer data across sources. Data Cloud, handling data harmonization, ensures that there’s a ‘common view’ of an individual customer – in other words, connecting everything ‘under the covers’.

Additional data makes for a more powerful copilot experience, wherever and whoever is interfacing with Einstein. You can see the number of data types and ways to activate data for more effective operations in your organization (‘visibility’) and customer communications.

Data Cloud for Commerce is a new announcement, which will move into general availability in Summer ‘24.

This brings in various commerce-related data points that are then usable for richer customer experiences (‘hyper-personalized’) and more accurate up-sell/cross-sell purchases.

Compare this to the alternative. If there is a weaker view of the customer (not as unified as could be), your organization could be left tackling ineffective targeting, abandoned shopping cards, lost revenue, and even customer churn.

Activation is a key part of Data Cloud. While connecting and harmonizing data is important, doing something with these unified profiles can deliver incredible value. That’s where activation comes in, delivering better experiences for customers across every touchpoint for any channel.

Einstein Personalization

This announcement focuses on the website experience your customers and prospects have when interacting with your brand.

Build cross-channel marketing campaigns that automatically trigger actions, such as best offers or personalized pieces of content. This works by combining real-time engagement data and a unified customer profile (from Data Cloud). For example, an unknown visitor visits a website. By the time this visitor navigates back to the homepage, personalized content will be displayed thanks to the new Einstein personalization engine running underneath the website storefront.

If you’re thinking, “This sounds like Marketing Cloud Personalization” (formerly Interaction Studio), then we’re on the same wavelength. Our team is looking forward to exploring where Marketing Cloud Personalization fits into the picture.

Zero Copy Partner Network

We know that with AI-enabled features, the more data available, the better the outputs AI can generate. The importance of this method is also becoming more apparent, with the rise of copilots as part of the ‘AI revolution’.

Zero-copy means that data in sources external to the Salesforce platform can be referenced but not actually stored on the Salesforce platform. Compare this to traditional integrations, where record data is passed through an integration (via APIs) and the record is essentially duplicated to be stored on the destination platform.

There’s a growing number of partnerships that allow zero-copy. In the visual below are listed a mixture of partners, with data warehouses, consulting partners that will implement and optimize your zero-copy architecture, and data kits that are more ‘plug in and play’ in nature.

READ MORE: What’s the Deal with Salesforce Data Cloud’s Zero-Copy Architecture?


Salesforce Connections is a key event for marketers and merchandisers, introducing valuable announcements and enhancing customer experiences.

There’s so much new in the world of Marketing Cloud and Commerce Cloud – from the increased role of Data Cloud, the introduction of Einstein Copilots, and the innovative Zero Copy Partner Network. These advancements promise significant value for marketers, and it will be intriguing to observe how different users leverage these tools and processes to optimize their strategies.

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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