The role of marketers is continually evolving. This is especially true for those working within the Salesforce ecosystem. With the advent of advanced technologies, products, and functionalities to support — all while sticking to data-driven strategies — marketers are expected to adapt and expand their skill sets to stay competitive and relevant in the industry. 

One significant shift that I see for Marketing Cloud Engagement professionals is the need to add Data Cloud and Flows into their skill repertoire

In this blog post, we’ll explore why Marketing Cloud Engagement professionals should upgrade their skills to include Data Cloud and Flows, along with practical steps to start this learning journey.

Why upgrade your Marketing Cloud Engagement skills?

1. It’s the future for the Mothership

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re likely very aware of how much rapid growth and development Salesforce has invested in its Data Cloud product — not only are the release cycles happening much more frequently than other products. This in turn unlocks new features and integration points with other products in the ecosystem, and there’s also a version of Data Cloud being offered at $0 for Sales and Service Cloud customers and just recently announced for Marketing Cloud Customers too. 

If that’s not a sign, I’ll give you one more reason: Data Cloud is the data foundation and Flows power automation for Salesforce’s new product, Marketing Cloud Growth Edition. Marketing Cloud Growth Edition is built on Einstein 1, which has been the pipe dream for many of us Marketing Cloud Engagement fans who have dealt with wonky UX, and clunky integrations over the years. Reading between the lines, cough cough SAFE Harbor cough cough sometime in the future (likely a few years), there will be a single marketing automation application that current Marketing Cloud Account Engagement and Engagement users will want to use.

So now that I’ve convinced you (hopefully) of the WHY — let’s dive into how these tools/features can help you as a marketer.

2. Become a better marketer by offering better customer experiences  

Enhanced Targeting and Personalization

Data Cloud can enable you to take your target and personalization efforts even further when using Data Cloud with Marketing Cloud Engagement through segmentation and activation. 

Data is the lifeblood of modern marketing. By incorporating a solid understanding and foundation of data models and the Data Cloud platform into your skill set, you’ll be able to visioncast and architect how to leverage vast repositories of consumer data, enabling you to create more targeted and personalized marketing campaigns and customer experiences. 

Understanding how to leverage data effectively within Data Cloud allows you to segment your audiences more precisely, tailor your messaging, and deliver content that resonates with individual preferences and behaviors in Marketing Cloud Engagement and beyond. (you also might want to read up on Consent Management)

Seamless Automation and Optimization

For those who have no clue about Flows (no I’m not talking about the Progressive Lady), let’s give you a breakdown:  Flows allow you to build complex business automation using clicks instead of code. For Salesforce admins, Flows are your best friends because they allow you to be able to handle the majority of complex business requirements without the help of a Salesforce developer.

Flows are not currently a feature/functionality in Marketing Cloud Engagement however it accomplishes many of the same needs you’d use Automation Studio and Journey Builder for. While the need and exposure for flows in your immediate feature might be limited, getting familiar and a basic foundation will allow you to go further faster in the future.

3. Gain a Competitive Edge and Future-Proofing

Marketers who embrace emerging technologies and methodologies gain a significant advantage in a competitive landscape. By upgrading your skills to include Data Cloud and Flows, you position yourself as a forward-thinking marketer capable of leveraging cutting-edge tools to drive results. Moreover, as the marketing landscape continues to evolve, proficiency in these areas ensures that you remain adaptable and prepared for future developments in the industry.

How to start your learning journey

1. Make time for training and education

For many practitioners, finding or making the time for training and education can be hard. As the old adage goes, “Investing in yourself is the best investment you will ever make.” So, invest!  As your reward for reading through this entire article, we’ll provide you with our recommended learning path to begin upskilling in these areas.

Begin by seeking out training programs and educational resources focused on Data Cloud and Flows. Many online platforms offer courses and certifications specifically tailored to marketers looking to expand their skill sets in these areas. Look for reputable sources such as industry-leading tech companies, online learning platforms, or professional associations.

2. Be realistic

Just like most things — be realistic with your goals. As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Getting a shiny new certification might be the goal for some but doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right goal for you. Set learning goals that make sense for your current role, day-to-day responsibilities, and where you want to go in your career.

3. Look for hands-on practice and experimentation

Theory is essential, but practical experience is equally crucial. Take advantage of sandbox environments or trial versions of Data Cloud and Flows functionality. (Unlike Marketing Cloud Engagement — these do exist!) 

From experimenting with building automated workflows, setting up data streams, mapping data, and creating segments to exploring data analytics tools, and analyzing results, hands-on experience will deepen your understanding and proficiency in these areas.

4. Collaborate and Network

Engage with peers and industry professionals who are already proficient in Data Cloud and Flows. Join online communities, attend webinars, and participate in networking events to exchange knowledge, seek advice, and learn from others’ experiences. Collaborating with experts in the field can provide valuable insights and accelerate your learning process.


As marketing continues to evolve in the digital age, we see Data Cloud and Flows becoming increasingly vital for success. By upgrading your skills in these areas, you can unlock new opportunities for not only yourself but also for ultimately driving better results for your organization. Start your learning journey today:

Data Cloud Learning Path

Administer Data Cloud  (Trail)

Build Data Strategy for Data Cloud (Trail)

Enhance Data in Data Cloud  (Trail)

Explore Data Cloud (Trail)

Model Data in Data Cloud (Trail)

Create a Data Stream In Data Cloud (Project)

Prepare for your Salesforce Data Cloud Consultant Credential (Trail Mix)

Data Cloud Quick Start Guide (Trail Mix)

 Salesforce Data Cloud Product (Video)

Flows Learning Path

Salesforce Flows (Workshop)

Build Flows with Flow Builder (Trail)

Automate Your Business Processes with Salesforce Flow (Trail)

Build a Simple Flow (Project)

Flow Elements and Resources Specialist (Superbadge)

Screen Flow Specialist (Superbadge)

Screenless Flow Specialist (Superbadge)

Flow Management Specialist (Superbadge)

Original article: Evolving Your Skills as a Marketing Cloud Engagement Practitioner

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