Salesforce Genie ingests and stores real-time data streams on a massive scale, and combines it with Salesforce data. A little lost? Don’t worry, we’ll explain this in greater depth.
Declared the greatest Salesforce innovation in the company’s history, Genie has paved the way for highly personalized customer experiences, delivered in real-time. Salesforce has publicly stated their goal to be a $50B company by FY26, with their bets placed on Genie as a core differentiator in the crowded marketplace.
You may be asking: What’s the big deal with Genie? Can my organization really benefit from Genie? What’s the general CDP (customer data platform) growth looking like (and will you be left behind by competitors)? We’ll aim to answer these questions (and more!) in this guide.
Salesforce Genie: What’s the Big Deal?
For Salesforce partners, there’s a particular curiosity: Can my consulting practice benefit from upskilling on Genie? How can we benefit from the opportunity that Genie presents? (Admit it, you want a slice of the ‘Genie’ pie!)
The CDP market is crowded, with 161 CDP vendors globally, according to the CDP Institute (at the time of writing).
In fact, ask people: “What does CDP mean to you?”, and you’d get different answers.
There are multiple ways that Salesforce Genie differentiates itself from the typical CDP:
- Target use cases: Genie spans the whole Salesforce platform (Customer 360). Data is collated from all data sources your organization has, and can be used to drive any action, interaction, or insight across sales, service, marketing, commerce, MuleSoft, Tableau, and more.
- Segment activation: It’s not just about the segmentation. Activation is crucial – as in, activating personalized engagement across marketing, sales, service, commerce, etc. – in a way that’s efficient.
- Underlying architecture: Genie has a direct link with all Salesforce Customer 360 products, sending data into multiple “cloud” products.
- Hyperforce: This amount of data processing requires a strong architecture, which is why Genie is supported by Hyperforce. Hyperforce is Salesforce’s name for public cloud infrastructure – the likes of Amazon, Alibaba, and others.
- Zero-copy architecture: Genie can directly access data stored in data lakes (and vice-versa) without moving or duplicating data. In other words, data can be fetched on-demand without having to store it all somewhere on the Salesforce platform.
- Bring Your Own AI: SageMaker, Amazon’s cloud machine learning platform, can be used directly with Salesforce’s AI engine, Einstein – for example, to use models built in SageMaker with Einstein Prediction Builder or Einstein Discovery.
- MuleSoft and Tableau integrations.
Opportunities for Businesses
Genie spans the whole Salesforce platform (Customer 360). Data is collated from all data sources your organization has, and can be used to drive any action, interaction, or insight across sales, service, marketing, commerce, MuleSoft, Tableau, and more.
Here’s a quick run-down:
- Sales Cloud Genie: Sales reps can see the full context of the customer, including their key details, next best action, best time to contact, and engagement feed. All in one screen, updated in real-time from many data sources behind the scenes, that’s the beauty of having the Sales Console connected to Salesforce Genie.
- Service Cloud Genie: Contact Center Genie is your command center for everything about the customer. Within the Service Console, view the customer’s interactions, real-time purchases, key details, and the predicted next best action agents should take, served up by Einstein.
- Marketing Cloud Genie: Genie takes Salesforce CDP’s capabilities, and extends the benefits right across the “Customer 360” (i.e. Salesforce’s product portfolio). That’s the data unification, identity resolution, and activation that Salesforce CDP customers have already been taking advantage of.
- Commerce Cloud Genie: Genie feeds shopping behavior immediately into your command center (within the Sales or Service Consoles). View everything about the customer in one screen – customer’s interactions, real-time purchases, key details, and the predicted next best action, served up by Einstein.
- MuleSoft + Genie: MuleSoft connects data from any system, technology, or device into Salesforce Genie to power the entire Salesforce Customer 360 platform. There are native connectors and Salesforce AppExchange offerings to aid your integration efforts.
- Tableau + Genie gives Salesforce users data from more sources, faster. This results in more ways to visualize data, and you’ll gain insights that would have otherwise been hidden among masses of datasets.
- Dashboards come out-of-the-box for you to get value faster, e.g. identity resolution dashboards that will show you how profiles are being pieced together. There’s no need to perform ETL (extract, transform, load). Genie feeds data to Tableau in one click. Should you need to, you can view raw SQL.
- Finally, data exploration just got a whole lot more powerful – all to answer the burning questions you have about your data.
Genie + Tableau + Slack is a powerful trio – taking visualizations and pushing them to users (via Slack), from where users can take action on Salesforce data. This aims to close cross-team silos.
As you can see, Genie goes end-to-end – from connecting data sources, preparing, harmonizing, and unifying data, to enabling you to analyze and run predictions, and then act on those insights and predictions right across your tech stack.
- Connect: Data flows in at hyper-scale. Genie can handle hundreds of thousands of requests per second. This can either be batched, or streamed (real-time ingestion).
- Prepare: Data prep recipes give users a visual interface to transform data. Partition data with data spaces so that only the authorized users access their respective data sets, versus all data across the enterprise. This was an addition Salesforce pushed forward based on customer feedback – it’s geared towards organizations that manage multiple brands, regions, etc. Overall, this reduces risk and enables organizations to keep in line with regulations (currently in pilot, expected to go GA early in 2023).
- Harmonize: Aligns data with the data schema you wish. Records that represent individuals are a good example, named “Contact” in Salesforce, “Subscriber” in Marketing Cloud, and “Profile” in Commerce Cloud. Harmonization gives you one, consistent view of that data. Customer graphs are templates Salesforce provide to make the process easier (there are 50+ available).
- Unify: Identity resolution sorts through data, and uses matching rules to create one profile per individual (or organization).
- Analyze and predict: Gain insights from AI and business intelligence (BI) tools.
- Act: Take action on insights across the Salesforce platform (e.g. trigger flows, marketing journeys), and beyond (e.g. AdTech campaigns).
Watch the Genie Keynote from Dreamforce ‘22 for a visual explanation of this framework.
Genie Use Cases
While no organization’s implementation of a CDP will be the same (different sized teams, skill-sets, variable data volumes and data complexities), here’s how some organizations are using Genie to their advantage:
Around a year in the working, Salesforce have made huge progress with their own CDP implementation.
- 1.2B records processed into the development environment of CDP; 600M into the production instance
- 48 data streams connected
- 160M unique profiles
Salesforce said that profile unification takes over one billion records and ‘compresses’ them into 160 million profiles. While ‘compress’ is the correct term, they prefer to refer to it as ‘expansion’, as for each profile, there is now six to eight times more data about an individual, gathered across all channels.
InterBanco, an insurance, digital banking, loans and financial services provider, uses calculated insights to drive engagement among consumers and organizations. They’ve realized 35x better engagement outcomes, and 20x ROI on their Genie investment.
Ford are actioning insights from vehicle telematics data in real-time. The volume of signals that could be sent from your vehicle is high. Genie applies rules to identify signals and propose the next best action, such as Marketing Cloud Journey Builder.
What also makes Ford a great use case is the approach to the implementation. They had clear objectives: drive near real-time personalization based on vehicle telematics, apply intelligence, and drive automation and personalization across the selected channels.
Opportunities for Salesforce Partners
As we mentioned, the CDP market is crowded with 161 CDP vendors globally. Salesforce Genie, with its differentiators, has a large total addressable market (TAM).
In the graph below, the total addressable market for CDP (green) proves there’s untapped potential for Genie (and other CDPs) to reach organizations that won’t already have made a reasonable investment into the technology. Genie’s market share projections (blue) show a possible 21% market share in the next few years (up from 18-19% currently).
CDP-adjacent services are the services partners can provide their customers to implement, adopt, and maximize CDP. The graph (orange area) puts this ‘gold mine’ opportunity for partners into perspective – a great gap between organizations purchasing CDP and maximizing the technology to its full potential that partners will be essential to close.
Salesforce aims to become a $50B revenue organization in 2025. They’ve been advocating that these lofty goals will only be possible with support from experts (consulting partners). They estimate that 500K experts will be required – essentially doubling the current consulting ecosystem.
Here’s what Salesforce partners do, and the tactical opportunities on offer, when it comes to CDP projects:
- Forming the strategy (the desired outcomes): CDP is a big investment, and partners are skilled to ‘phase out’ implementation projects, and use the initial phases delivered to prove success, and therefore, build momentum.
- Implementation: Getting the data into the right format, securely – industry-specific plays, creating data models to help your customers get up and running faster.
- Extensibility: Opportunities to build on top of the platform with the extensibility and the packaging capabilities. There are Genie Data Kits that provide ‘extensible points’ for partners to hook in their own solutions.
- Education: Partners will play a big role in education – explaining the potential of CDP, and setting expectations on what an implementation will require from the client’s side. They will bring clarity to the options available in the ever-growing CDP market.
Let’s zoom in on implementation, the biggest tactical play for partners. Successful CDP implementation has many moving parts, and successful partners will:
- Spend a large portion of the project time on data organization, governance, and security.
- Determine the customer’s desired outcomes, and phase the roll-out accordingly (prove success, and build momentum).
- With the incremental success, identify and evaluate more use cases to solve (especially when additional types of data are offered up by the organization).
- Address industry-specific use cases using their experience. Salesforce are keen to co-create these use cases with partners.
- Data exploration and business intelligence – how to enable organizations on these capabilities. There’s an opportunity to create services around this, leveraging any existing machine learning practices to ‘bring them into the Genie fold’.
Genie Resources for Salesforce Partners
- Genie Pocket guide: For any consultants interested in learning about Genie, with assets and videos, and demos.
- CDP curriculum: How do you get started with Genie? The answer is CDP! Start by building CDP skills in your consultancy. There’s the Partner Learning Camp ten-course curriculum, including hands-on exercises that lead consultants through an implementation from start to finish.
- CDP accreditation: Available to Salesforce partners, this exam will test CDP knowledge, in depth (there are approx. 900 CDP accredited professionals).
- 30-day trial of Genie: There are additional trial orgs on their way, so try to grab one, as there’s a limited supply.
Salesforce Genie – what’s the big deal? Well, the projections for Genie are impressive – and are enough for both customer organizations and consulting partners to sit up and pay attention. From what we can see currently, Genie will provide a competitive edge to organizations on both sides of the table. The road ahead will be long and winding, but one that will (hopefully) pay off.