Salesforce Marketing Cloud Integration Capabilities: The Mini Guide

Automation Studio, Journey Builder, Content Personalisation, CDP, Mobile Messaging and more.

Dave Norris
Geek Culture


In my previous post we discussed the interconnected pieces that make up the Salesforce Platform and summarised the APIs and capabilities.

In this post we’ll double click on Marketing Cloud to look at its integration capabilities in more depth.

Marketing Cloud APIs and key integration capabilities

Automation Studio

Automation Studio is a Marketing Cloud application used to execute multi-step marketing and data management activities on an immediate, triggered, or scheduled basis.

There are three starting sources:

API Initiated — Use API initiated to start, update or pause an automation programmatically.

Scheduled — Use a schedule to start the automation when you want the data and messaging actions that the automation performs to occur at specific intervals.

File Drop — Use file drop if the automation is prompted to begin when a file is dropped into a designated Enhanced FTP folder

Automation Studio has activity steps and a declarative canvas where multi-step activities can be added and linked together. Activities include, importing data into a data extension, sending emails, transferring data to an FTP site, filtering a dataset and most importantly for integration scripting.

The scripting activity contains Server-Side JavaScript (SSJS) and executes as part of your automation studio process. For integration purposes SSJS can be used to initiate HTTPGet and HTTPPost to retrieve content from a specified URL. This lets developers inject dynamic content stored outside of Marketing Cloud into downstream activities such as importing that dynamic data into a data extension that can be used to drive personalised content.

Triggered Journeys

Journey builder harnesses all of your customer data based on attributes stored in data extensions, browsing behaviours and purchase history to build personalised, timely messaging. It provides a framework for communicating, nurturing and building loyalty.

But there are many use cases you will need to communicate with your customers, not based on an ongoing nurturing journey but based on events happening outside of Marketing Cloud. These would include, notifications, confirmations, service alerts and transactional based activity. The REST API provides a way to initiate a journey for customers based on an API call initiated by external events. As an example, for service outages, a message can be sent by your integration middleware to the Journey Builder API to send an email and text customers that are impacted.

Content Personalisation

Retrieving HTML content in real-time is made possible using HTTP functions within Server Side JavaScript.

There are 2 commonly used options shown on this slide.

Option 1: An automation studio job can be kicked-off on demand with an API call. An activity step within automation studio can be used to script an HTTP call to an external endpoint. When the HTML response is returned it can be put into a Data Extension that in turn can be used in content blocks when an email is sent.

Option 2 is to create the script directly in the content block and inject the HTML response as the email is sent.

Mobile Messaging

Mobile Studio allows marketers to reach customers on any device by personalising mobile messaging with SMS marketing, push notifications and group messages.

MobileConnect allows you to send high-quality, relevant, and timely messages to any subscribers that have a mobile phone that supports SMS or MMS.

Mobile Studio also provides a MobilePush SDK that integrates native mobile push notification capabilities and provides integration with low-energy beacon devices. This unlocks the capability to create geofenced messaged that automatically send coupons or promotions to your customers when they enter of exit a targeted area. Beacons allow even closer proximity messages — within feet — to draw attention to specific offers.

Customer Data Platform

Salesforce CDP allows you to consume data in any application using high-scale query and profile APIs, provision resolved customer data across Salesforce to connect Clouds. Use built-in connectors to publish data to messaging, advertising and personalisation endpoints. CDP delivers data ingestion and activation at scale not just for Salesforce endpoints, but the broader ecosystem through MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform.

We can then map this ingested data to a Cloud Information Model (CIM) — a capability helps marketers master known and unknown customer resolution and map data into a single information model. At the heart of the system is customer resolution for advanced matching. The system will also provision a global party ID (persistent profile) that maps multiple child identities to a main “parent” profile.

At the heart of Salesforce CDP is the segmentation engine, which enables business users the ability to query all of the data in the system, create granular segments of customers, and understand their composition.

Google Analytics

With the strategic partnership between Google Analytics 360 and Marketing Cloud you benefit from an integration that brings web analytics and other channels like email and mobile together.

You can quickly setup custom link tracking for all of your emails using an intuitive editor to tie together behaviours across your website and measure how your emails and the content in them lead to downstream conversions.

Within Journey Builder you can access the Journey Analytics dashboard where you can see goal measurement, ecommerce metrics, site usage and even content statistics alongside email performance native to Marketing Cloud.

You can trigger a customer journey in Marketing Cloud using audiences built in Analytics 360

You can use data-driven attribution in Analytics 360 to see how email and mobile contribute to revenue increases.

WhatsApp Integration

With this integration, you can benefit from the complete power of the Marketing Cloud platform. Use Contact Builder to manage your audience. Use Content Builder for content generation, preview, and personalisation. Use Journey Builder to send your customers messages as part of a customer journey.

You can send two types of WhatsApp messages: Template and Session.

Template messages are transactional. Some examples of template messages include: Shipment notifications, Order confirmations, Booking or event reminders, Abandoned cart reminders.

Session messages are responses to user-initiated conversations. When a user sends a message to your WhatsApp channel, you can respond to them without using a template


Integration capabilities in Marketing Cloud are focused on APIs to interact with lists of prospects and capabilities to personalise content being sent to subscribers. These capabilities allow developers to create bespoke marketing experiences with the least friction possible.



Dave Norris
Geek Culture

Developer Advocate @ Salesforce || Interested in solving unique challenges using different cloud service providers || All opinions are mine.