Maximizing Your Salesforce Investment: A Strategic Guide to Leveraging Salesforce’s Free Data Cloud for Enterprise Clients

by | Feb 22, 2024 | Data Cloud, Media, Salesforce

Salesforce Data Cloud:

Getting Hands-On With The Latest In CDP Innovation

Last fall, at Dreamforce 2023, Salesforce made a decision to grant customers zero-cost access to their Data Cloud solution. This offer came with some limitations, which we’ll explore further ahead in this blog post, but this was an interesting strategic decision on behalf of Salesforce to fast-track the process of getting the actual technology into their clients hands so that customers could more quickly start to see and recognize the value of this product. Salesforce Data Cloud truly opens new frontiers for businesses to evolve, through data-driven thinking, but before you or your team can jump right in, there is a lot to consider and think about, which is what this post will focus on.  

Before we dive into this discussion however, its important to note that designing and implementing tailored Salesforce environments, leveraging their new technology in this process,  is exactly what V2 Strategic Advisors has been focused on for more than eighteen years. In that time we have been hands-on with nearly every Salesforce product, and Data Cloud is no exception. Additionally, our teams have attended several key industry events this year already, and in 2024 clients are eager to discuss strategies that can help them achieve greater personalization in their sales and service marketing, and so the conversation inevitably works its way back to Data Cloud because they want to understand where to get started.

In an effort to help our audience, we thought we’d spend some time creating a short guide that aims to explain how you might get started with Data Cloud, and also share some thoughts along the way.  

Unpacking Salesforce’s Data Cloud Offering

Make no mistake; Salesforce’s complimentary Data Cloud offering for Enterprise customers extends beyond superficial corporate altruism. We believe that Salesforce intends to empower enterprise customers so that they can find greater value from their existing data assets and test drive Data Cloud’s capabilities in real-time, with real production environment data. Specifically, at the time of writing this, Enterprise customers will receive 250,000 Data Services credits, 1 TB of storage, 1 Data Cloud administrator license, and 100 internal Data Cloud user licenses. Moreover, an upgrade to Salesforce’s Unlimited Plus Edition will unlock a sizable allocation of 2,500,000 Data Services credits. Read Salesforce’s full FAQ page on this release here

Understanding Data Cloud 

First, let’s demystify Salesforce Data Cloud. Data Cloud’s primary function is to consolidate dispersed data sources into a unified environment. With native connectivty to Salesforce environments, like Sales Cloud and Service Cloud, and out-of-the-box connectors to other key third-party systems, Data Cloud offers a single version of truth around varies data sets, and unshackles transformative possibilities to uncover richer insights, enable more personalized customer experiences, and cement data-driven decisions for individual contributors and leaders alike. Fundamentally, Data Cloud transforms raw information into an intelligent strategic asset amplified by Salesforce’s analytics and AI.

While Salesforce’s new complementary Data Cloud offering is exciting, it’s essential to understand its full capabilities and limitations before diving in. For example, more technical users might find themselves somewhat restricted by the absence of certain features like their Segmentation and Activation tools, which enable essential functions that an enterprise marketing team might want to leverage to actually act on the insight that Data Cloud can help you surface. Additionally, customers may be interested in the add-on Tableau Creator licenses (mentioned in the press release), which can allow your organization to enhance their data analysis and visualization capabilities, leading to more informed strategic decision making. The combination of Salesforce’s powerful data management and integration capabilities with Tableau’s advanced analytics and visualization tools creates a potent solution for maximizing the value of data across the enterprise, but this is not something that comes with the complementary offer. To these two points, ensure you have taken the time to thoroughly review Salesforce’s FAQ section on this offer, and understand the boundaries so you can develop a well-informed strategy that works within the solution’s guardrails. 

Example Use Case For Media Company 

Consider a media company leveraging Data Cloud to optimize its on-site customer service experience. This company likely has a lot of data on their customers, and they can leverage this data to personalize the on-site user experience more to that actual individual in that site visit, which can then inform the messaging used in a chat bot interaction, thereby creating a more helpful (and memorable) customer service experience for the user. Additionally, analyzing volumes of customer interaction patterns identifies frequent issues to streamline resolutions, delighting users through prompt attention to their needs – meeting them where they are, instead of forcing all clients through the same generic set of questions that aren’t specific to their needs. This strategy, empowered by what is possible with Data Cloud, should not only amplify customer satisfaction, but can also continually help to fine-tune the back-end customer service strategy so the firm understands where there may be new painpoints, or where they need to address unanswered questions. 

Considerations For Getting Started 

Through our work with Data Cloud, and conversation with clients, below are three common challenges V2 has helped clients consider when getting ready to onboard Data Cloud. These challenges will be great for your team to consider, as they think about how and where to get started. 

Common Challenges:

Fragmented Data Landscapes: Ahead of deployment of Data Cloud, we ensure data is adequately structured, prepped, cleansed. Data Cloud’s utility skyrockets when ingesting optimized data assets. Attempting to feed poorly managed data severely restricts derived insights. We verify your foundations are set.

Unclear Use Cases: Without clearly defined use cases, Data Cloud risks becoming a shinytoy that ends up back on the shelf. We drive clients to pinpoint high-value applications aligned to strategic goals vs. getting distracted by features. Use cases give implementation momentum and purpose. 

Learning Curve: Expect a bit of a learning curve unlocking Data Cloud’s capabilities. From architects to end-users, education is imperative but time-intensive. We accelerate competency development through personalized coaching and training programs allowing faster access to ROI.

Best Practices Short List:

Through many years of data and integration-related implementations, V2 has codified a selection of best practices that might help you and your team think through your approach:

  1. Start with well-defined use cases rooted in strategic goals. Don’t get sidetracked by cool capabilities until high-value applications are productionalized.
  2. Construct executive alignment and sponsorship across impacted teams early. Data Cloud will inevitably trigger changes requiring leadership support.
  3. Make user enablement central to the program. Success hinges on change management, user adoption, and competency after standing up the technology.
  4. Insist cross-functional collaboration across IT, analytics/data, and business teams. Data Cloud solutions demand sustained partnership.
  5. Architect for scale and flexibility. Prioritize adaptable frameworks as data and requirements will assuredly evolve.

The Bigger Picture – Digital Transformation

Data Cloud adoption must be contextualized within a company’s digital transformation journey. Those successfully threading this needle, like Amazon, Netflix, Uber, or Shopify, embed data, analytics, and AI into their DNA to rapidly sense and respond to opportunities. For incumbent enterprises, the stakes could not be higher as born-digital disruptors reshape industries.

Unified data infrastructure, intelligent insights, and UX personalization represent the foundational building blocks conferring market dominance. We specialize in crystallizing digital transformation strategies featuring Data Cloud as a vital component to outcompete digitally native rivals. Contact us to explore how Data Cloud can arm your company for the age of digital disruption.

Getting Unstuck and Accelerating Your Data Cloud Strategy

Digital transformation is no longer a lofty boardroom rhetoric – it’s an urgent necessity for businesses to thrive amid the digital deluge. However, many enterprises still struggle to ground this transformation in execution. Overloaded IT departments often find themselves in a state of paralysis, simply trying to “keep the lights on” rather than driving innovation.

At V2 Strategic Advisors, our sole focus is igniting digital transformation through nuanced Salesforce cloud strategies, including Data Cloud. We understand that harnessing the full potential of Data Cloud demands significant investments in time, resources, and expertise. That’s why we’re here to help you de-risk this activation process and accelerate your time to value.

Our expertise encompasses establishing targeted use cases, optimizing your data for Data Cloud’s consumption, and designing a coherent strategic blueprint combined with flawless technical implementation. We enable ambitious businesses to actualize their digital aspirations by removing the constraints holding them back.

Building Trust Starts With A Conversation.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, under-resourced, or lacking the know-how to fully activate Data Cloud’s, yet still want to take advantage of this offer from Salesforce, then lean on our seasoned specialists to help you get started. Reach out to schedule a Data Cloud strategy workshop, where we’ll evaluate your needs and design a roadmap to transform data into an indispensable business asset. With a proven Salesforce partner like V2 Strategic Advisors, the possibilities for success with Data Cloud are truly endless.

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Brett Carneiro

Brett Carneiro


Brett Carneiro is the Director of Marketing for V2 Strategic Advisors, helping to elevate the awareness of our brand and approach within the Salesforce and Partner ecosystem. Brett also works as a Sr. Sales Engineer, helping to run product demos and discovery sessions with clients, showing teams the 'Art of the Possible', using the latest products and V2 configurations that are available to solve business problems and increase efficency and profitability. Brett has been working in the marketing and sales space for more than 15+ years and has worked on both the brand and agency side. Additonally, in 2018, Brett earned an M.B.A. in Marketing, and also holds several active Salesforce certifcations.