Unlock Synchronized Data and More in Salesforce Marketing Cloud
Unlock Synchronized Data and More in Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Unlock Synchronized Data and More in Salesforce Marketing Cloud

01/08/2024 by Katrina Donarski
Explore the nuances of synchronized data, data extensions, and the strategic use of master data extensions to streamline your marketing efforts.

In the dynamic realm of digital marketing, harnessing the full potential of customer data is key to delivering personalized and impactful campaigns. Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC) offers a powerful solution through Synchronized Data Sources, allowing seamless integration with Salesforce CRM. This blog post explores the nuances of synchronized data, data extensions, and the strategic use of master data extensions to streamline your marketing efforts.

Synchronized Data Sources: Bridging the Gap between CRM and Marketing Cloud

Synchronized Data Sources in Marketing Cloud Connect provide near real-time data flow between Salesforce CRM and Marketing Cloud. As changes occur in the CRM, Marketing Cloud captures these updates in a resulting synchronized data extension. This robust solution also empowers users with the flexibility to curate their data synchronization experience. By allowing users to selectively choose which fields from the Contact object are synchronized to Marketing Cloud, it provides a tailored and efficient data flow that aligns precisely with individual organizational needs and objectives. For example, when synchronizing the CRM Contact object data source, a refined data extension named Salesforce_Contact is created for use in Marketing Cloud. 

These data extensions serve as tables with fields representing CRM attributes. Thisempowers marketers to run queries, extract information, and send targeted campaigns. The process can be automated through Automation Studio or the Marketing Cloud API to enhance efficiency and accuracy.

Types of Data Extensions
Marketing Cloud offers three types of data extensions:
  • Standard Data Extensions: Customizable sets of fields for tailored data storage.
  • Filtered Data Extensions: Subsets or segments derived from existing data extensions.
  • Random Data Extensions: Facilitate the random selection of subscribers from a source data extension.

Furthermore, data extensions are categorized as sendable or nonsendable, each serving specific purposes in campaign execution.

Sendable Data Extensions: Designed specifically for sending emails. They allow you to store and manage subscriber data that can be used in email sends. Sendable data extensions are also used in conjunction with Email Studio for creating targeted email campaigns. They support personalization and tracking features essential for email marketing.

Non-Sendable Data Extensions: Primarily utilized for data storage and management within Marketing Cloud. They are not directly involved in email sends but can serve as a source for creating filtered or segmented sendable data extensions.

In summary, the key difference lies in the intended purpose: sendable data extensions are for managing subscriber data used in email campaigns, while non-sendable data extensions are for storing additional data that may not be directly linked to email sends. The distinction allows marketers to organize and utilize data efficiently based on its relevance to the email marketing process.

Data Filters: Simplifying Segmentation

Data filters in Marketing Cloud provide a user-friendly way to segment data extensions. These filters are a set of criteria that streamline segmentation based on subscriber attributes. A notable benefit is the ability to reuse filter definitions across multiple data extensions, enhancing scalability and consistency.

However, a limitation arises as data filters can only operate on existing data extensions within Marketing Cloud and lack the capability to combine data from diverse sources.

Bonus Tip: Marketing Cloud also allows you to import Salesforce CRM Reports which allows you to easily combine information from multiple CRM objects into one sendable Marketing Cloud Data Extension.

SQL Queries: A Technical Approach to Data Retrieval

For a more technically inclined approach, SQL Queries enable the retrieval and combination of data from multiple sources within CRM and Marketing Cloud. This flexibility comes at the cost of requiring SQL coding proficiency and being subject to a 30-minute runtime limit.

Master Data Extensions: Streamlining Complexity

Master Data Extensions serve as a centralized repository containing comprehensive contact information. By consolidating data from various CRM objects and fields, these extensions facilitate personalized content creation and dynamic campaign segmentation. This proves especially advantageous in scenarios where daily filters might become overly complex.

The benefits of Master Data Extensions extend to query efficiency and simplification of day-to-day segment generation. By breaking down complex queries into multiple steps, marketers can overcome the 30-minute Query Activity limit and enhance the overall performance of their segmentation processes.

Solving Complex Data Challenges

Marketers often face the challenge of navigating through multiple data extensions to extract specific fields. The strategic use of Master Data Extensions resolves this issue by creating a simplified view of the data model, containing only the necessary information.

Choosing Between Data Filters and SQL Queries

While data filters excel in ease of use and accessibility, SQL Queries provide a powerful tool for those with technical expertise. The choice between them depends on the specific requirements of your marketing strategy and the skill set of your team.


Salesforce Marketing Cloud's capabilities in handling synchronized data, data extensions, data filters, SQL queries, and master data extensions offer a comprehensive toolkit for marketers. By understanding the strengths and limitations of each feature, organizations can unlock the full potential of their customer data, delivering personalized and impactful campaigns in the competitive landscape of digital marketing.

If you would like to learn more about synchronized data sources, our Marketing Cloud Experts can help!  Or if you have created a master data extension, talk about it on the Salesforce Trailblazer Community or connect with us on the Arkus LinkedIn