What is Salesforce Genie and how is it different from Salesforce CDP?

What is Salesforce Genie and how is it different from Salesforce CDP?

The power of data cannot be denied. From personalizing information to suit a user’s specific interests to cross-selling products/services based on their recent purchases, data has completely revolutionized industries across genres. However, collecting appropriate data seems like a tough nut to crack. And even if you manage to do so, streamlining all your data sources to one for a single view of a customer is utmost essential. But what if we tell you there is a tool that can store real-time data across channels, systems and streams at a massive scale and extend it right into your internal and external product portfolio? Well, this is what Salesforce Genie (formerly known as Marketing Cloud Customer Data Platform or Salesforce CDP) does. 

Said to be the biggest innovation amongst all Salesforce products, Salesforce Genie unifies user information across applications into one, marries it right into its array of Salesforce Customer 360 platform products, and helps organizations deliver seamless customer experiences across channels. 

Here we explore the brimming potential of Salesforce CDP (aka Genie) and why organizations must leverage it to achieve hyperscale personalization. We also discuss the nested potential of tools like Salesforce Einstein for AI, Flow for Automation, Mulesoft for seamless third-party integrations, and Tableau for deeper customer insights. 

What is Salesforce Customer Data Platform (CDP)? 

While Salesforce Genie has achieved massive likes by Salesforce implementation partners and enterprises alike, it is important to note that this platform evolved from the very famous Salesforce product, Salesforce Customer Data Platform. So before you dive into Genie, it is important to understand the foundation on which its predecessor, Salesforce CDP was built. 

Please Note: Salesforce Marketing Cloud Customer Data Platform (aka Salesforce CDP) has not retired. It is still alive and kicking. And so is Salesforce Genie. Also, both these platforms are very different from each other and we will be covering that in our further segments. 

Salesforce Genie

Formerly known as Salesforce Marketing Cloud Customer Data Platform (CDP), this tool was one of the fastest organically-grown Salesforce products. Akin to other CDPs, Salesforce Customer Data Platform builds a single source of truth for a user’s profile across touchpoints. This one attribute is shared between Salesforce Genie and CDP. The following are the key attributes of Salesforce CDP data model:

  • Creating unified profiles of a person via fuzzy matching and advanced data linking across channels. 
  • Bring together data across channels, tools, and streams to one dashboard via data ingestion and Salesforce Mulesoft APIs 
  • Leverage this 360-degree data about a customer to develop targeted interactions and personalized experiences
  • Bring together your marketing, sales, service, and commerce teams to act on real-time customer data

A brief insight into Salesforce Customer Data Platform features 

Much of what Salesforce Genie does is built on top of the profitable features of Salesforce CDP. So, it only makes sense to understand these Salesforce CDP (and now Salesforce Genie) features, which are:

  1. Data Ingestion: Salesforce CDP matches a data record to a person to create a single entry. It gathers information from multiple sources, compares it to an already existing person record and that simply makes up its data library. This can include data across Salesforce CRM, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Salesforce Sales Cloud, Salesforce Service Cloud, and other BI tools, lead scoring tools and data platforms. 
  2. Identity Resolution: This feature is how organizations prevent creating duplicate entries or many versions of a customer. Instead, identity resolution allows you to stitch these disparate identities together to create a single customer profile. For example, in one system you might have a user’s name and email address while in another you might store their financial information. Salesforce CDP’s identity resolution merges them into one. 
  3. Data Processing: Salesforce CDP improves data existing across multiple systems via code to create one person entry in one information. While this might seem like a simple task, for brands that have multiple apps or solutions and store different amounts of data into each one, it becomes a complicated task to manage user interests. Data processing aims to solve that for you. 
  4. Audience Segmentation: Typical to what this phrase means, Salesforce CDP allows you to segment audiences based on various attributes to create personalized cross-selling and upselling opportunities. 
  5. Data Syndication & Synchronization: When you create a single customer view, you want to use this data across relevant platforms for nurturing or conversion. This process of sending out data from the Salesforce CDP data model to other platforms for further steps  is called data activation. When an audience whose data has been sent out is activated, they can further be nurtured to boost sales. 

Introducing Salesforce Genie: The data-first platform

Salesforce Genie

Salesforce introduced its new data platform solution, Genie in Dreamforce 2022. But what was the need for it? As it is widely known that much of the Salesforce Customer 360 is constructed through acquisitions of different platforms, which has resulted in a profound siloed environment across many of its own suite of applications. Genie serves as a common layer between all these tools, especially CRM, marketing, and services and delivers a unified customer view at great speed and scale. 

Consider this example. A customer has been looking for a clothing item (let’s say jeans) and have added the same to their cart. However, they have also visited your available coupons page. And now, you’re getting an inbound call from a number that matches with this customer’s record. Now, stitching all this information to one in a jiffy is imperative for a customer agent to begin the conversation with, “We see jeans in your cart and you’re exploring how to use your coupons for the same. Would you like some assistance with that?” Such a unified customer information view opens up immense opportunities for personalization and a precise use case for Salesforce Genie. 

That said, Salesforce Genie does take a lot of Salesforce CDP data model capabilities such as data activation, data unification, and identity resolution, but this platform is way beyond a simple customer data platform. 

  • It spans across the whole of the Salesforce Customer 360 platforms and can be used to drive insights across Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Commerce Cloud, Mulesoft, Slack, Tableau, and more. 
  • It spans across no-code (Lightning controls for Service Cloud, integration with Marketing Cloud), low-code ( Mulesoft webhooks, APIs) and pro-code (SQL access for Tableau, zero copy file access for Snowflake).
  • It is built like a data lake to allow for real-time structured and unstructured data (a major upgrade from Salesforce CDP that allowed data access via transactional databases). 

Salesforce Genie vs Salesforce CDP: Key differences 

By now, you’re fairly aware of how Salesforce CDP and Salesforce Genie differ from each other. However, from the business point of view, the following are some differences between these two platforms. 

Attribute Salesforce Genie Salesforce Customer Data Platform 
Target Use CasesThe entire Salesforce Customer 360 product suite can implement Salesforce Genie to get data in real-time, implement actions across sales, service, Mulesoft, commerce, marketing, Tableau, Slack and so on. This is where there is Commerce Cloud Genie, Sales Cloud Genie, Service Cloud Genie, Slack Genie, and others. Available only to marketing automation platforms such as Salesforce Marketing Cloud to perform audience segmentation, run campaigns across channels, or implement Einstein tools for personalized experiences. Salesforce CDP follows the audience segmentation + data activation protocols. 
Key Features Salesforce Genie allows for data unification and identity resolution. It allows for a varied set of capabilities like for Salesforce users to receive user information, trigger Flow automaton, identify the best next steps via Einstein AI, perform deep analytics with Tableau, and so on. Salesforce CDP provides for data unification, identity resolution, data activation, enhanced segmentation and segment activation. It allows you to build complex audience segments easily, inject them to Journey Builder, and activate personalized engagement. 
Underlying Architecture Salesforce Genie works well with all Salesforce Customer 360 products and can send data to multiple cloud products simultaneouslySalesforce CDP data model directly links to the Salesforce Marketing Cloud product suite. For seamless connectivity with other clouds, custom integrations are required
Flow Automation Provides real-time flow automationDoes not provide real-time flow automation
Einstein AI Provides real-time Einstein AI for data analytics Does not provide real-time Einstein AI for data analytics 
Hyperforce Salesforce Genie is supported by the Hyperforce platform, a public cloud infrastructure that allows you to protect and secure user data and ensure that it fulfills all regulatory compliances and ethical standards Salesforce Customer 360 audiences (or Salesforce CDP) although is live on Hyperforce in US and Germany, it doesn’t fully support Hyperforce
Zero copy architecture Provides zero copy file-based open data access for AWS SageMaker or Snowflake, meaning users can access Salesforce data  on-demand securely in these tools and vice-overa without copying or duplicating data into SalesforceDoes not support zero-copy architecture, meaning Salesforce CDP, when syncing data to records, duplicates it into Salesforce
Bring Your Own AI Salesforce Genie’s partnership with Amazon SageMaker empowers users to bring Salesforce data to SageMaker, use it to create data-based machine learning models, and once done, move it back to Salesforce where Einstein AI can leverage it to harness actionable insights and custom strategies. Salesforce Customer Data Platform does not support the bring your own AI capabilities.
Integrations with Mulesoft and TableauAlthough much information is not provided on how Salesforce Genie will allow for integration with Mulesoft and Tableau, but it for sure with happen with either same or improved functionality level and faster speedSalesforce CDP offers integrations with both Salesforce Mulesoft (facilitating a secure connection between external apps and data sources) and Tableau (for deep data analytics and enriched insights)

The science behind Salesforce Genie: How it functions 

When Salesforce Genie is integrated to your Salesforce Customer 360 platform, it allows you to store data across internal and external Salesforce tools in real-time and process it milliseconds across all connected systems. Plus, Salesforce Genie comes forth with inbuilt connectors that can easily gather data from channels, tools, and streams whether it is a mobile app, web portal, or APIs. With Mulesoft integrated to your Salesforce CRM, you can also bring legacy and historical data from data lakes to Salesforce. Currently, the platform also offers the following capabilities:

Salesforce Genie
  1. Salesforce Flow: Salesforce Genie is developed using Salesforce metadata, to allow data across tools and channels to be accessed by Salesforce Customer 360. As Salesforce Genie processes data in real-time, Salesforce Flow will use the data to trigger actions and responses automatically across the Salesforce Customer 360 platform. 
  2. Salesforce Einstein AI: By leveraging a real-time complete view of a user’s data via Genie, Salesforce Einstein AI can help deliver personalized experiences based on a user’s evolving buying behavior, and enhance the overall sales and conversions. 
  3. Genie Hyperscale Data Platform: The powerful Hyperscale Data Platform empowers Salesforce Genie to access data across data sources and data lakes via in-built connectors, match it with Salesforce, and hence offer superior customer experiences across channels. 
  4. Hyperforce: This is a public cloud infrastructure from Salesforce that provides data storage, security, privacy, and maintains regulatory compliances. With in-built data ethics features, Salesforce Hyperforce safeguards data and related threats. 

Getting started with Salesforce Genie or Salesforce CDP data model

While Salesforce Genie offers futuristic data capabilities that no other tool in the market promises yet, organizations still leverage Salesforce Customer Data Platform depending on their business needs. As a certified Salesforce Partner, we can help you evaluate whether your needs are more suited to Salesforce Genie or Salesforce CDP and ultimately help you implement any of the two platforms. We have been following all the advancements in Salesforce Genie very closely and can help you leverage the tool to its fullest. Connect with our Salesforce Genie trailblazers to know more about the tool and its implementation. 

Know more about Salesforce Genie from certified trailblazers. 



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