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The Key Notes from Dreamforce’s Financial Services Keynote

There was a lot to takeaway from Dreamforce this year, but for advisors in the financial services industry, the Financial Services Keynote should have your full attention. If you missed it live, you can always catch a replay on Salesforce Plus here

Salesforce has been innovating in the financial services industry since launching Financial Services Cloud (FSC) as their first-ever industry cloud solution eight years ago. Just this year, Salesforce was recognized as a technology leader in The Forrester Wave™ for its, “robust marketing engine, extended developer network, exhaustive app ecosystem, and learning platform aggregate into a customer 360 platform that includes the financial services cloud for retail banking, insurance, and wealth management.” 

If you have been considering making the switch to Financial Services Cloud, here are the most important things to know.

Only 18% of customers agree that their wealth advisor anticipates their needs.

And only 25% said that they felt their advisor was invested in their financial well-being. It’s clear, if personalization is key – customers in the financial services industry are expecting more from the companies that serve them. Dreamforce speaker, Shree Reddy, SVP and Head of Consumer Banking for Pentagon Federal Credit Union, described their approach to customer experiences and personalization as, “ on-the-glass experiences (that are digital), beneath-the-glass experiences (that are operational, back of house, not automated), and above-the-glass experiences (that are life events, things that are happening).”

He emphasized the importance of considering all the experiences that your customer has, and leveraging them to draw your customers in to interact. They call this practice digital empathy, and consider it their core personalization and customer experience strategy. Does your organization have a strategy for delivering across the customer experience?

The best-in-class technology solution keeps getting better.

There’s a reason that Financial Services Cloud (FSC) is used by the top financial institutions in the world. It’s a best-in-class, highly tailored solution that helps advisors do more for their customers. With the Einstein AI enhancements announced this year, using FSC to surface important customer data and automate personalized interactions has never been easier. The keynote included many exciting product announcements, such as: 

    • 20+ Calculated Insights, out-of-the-box and connected between Financial Services Cloud and Data Cloud, providing a central view of the customer.
    • Financial Plans and advanced Goals types like:
      • Lightweight Goals (to keep track of all milestones important to your customer)
      • Complex Financial Plans for Wealth Advisors (with third-party integrations coming soon!)

What does that mean? Here’s a look at what a record might look like for a bank customer, in the enhanced Financial Services Cloud with Einstein Assistance.


One of the standout differences of Financial Service Cloud (FSC) is the Salesforce ecosystem of products that help organizations achieve personalized customer interactions at-scale. With Marketing Cloud Engagement for Financial Services Cloud, create segmented audiences and set-up emails to deploy multi-touch customer journeys across key moments and interactions.

Bank customer that just opened a checking account? Introduce them to your organization through a series of curated touch points and personalized engagements.

In addition to Marketing Cloud, Data Cloud is another tool that financial organizations are using to put their customers into a central view. With Data Cloud, harmonize data from any product, solution or legacy technology system to create a unified data profile for every customer. Did I mention, Data Cloud is currently free for up to 10,000 unified records? Read more about that here. 

The future is possible, and it’s (largely) automated, with Financial Services Cloud. Ready to get started? Shoot us a note at

Data Cloud For Dummies (like me)

At the end of each school day, I ask my 8-year-old daughter some version of “what did you learn today?” Yesterday, she flipped the script on me “what did you learn at work today?” she asked. I paused. Smiled. And then began to explain Data Cloud. About 10-seconds into my response she said, “that sounds complicated.”

Turns out, she is darn right. It is complicated. It also represents ground-breaking innovation for Marketers and therefore a critical concept for my non-technical brain to comprehend.

With my daughter, I used the relevant analog of Data Cloud to her new jewelry box. My daughter is in a jewelry phase at the moment. Jewelry she makes. Jewelry her friends make. And, jewelry she buys. The trouble is she struggles with organization. Each piece of new jewelry is worn and wantonly discarded in her room. Then, each morning, she attempts to prepare her matching outfit (jewelry and all) and begins a daily search party to find just the right color necklace, bracelets, or earrings. We recently purchased a jewelry box to help her organize her habit and simplify her morning routine. The box has a slot for each jewelry type and encourages organization by color and style. She is proud of the jewelry box, looks great every day and has an easier morning routine.Salesforce Data Cloud is the jewelry box for enterprise data.

71% of company applications are disconnected.

Because of the islands of disconnected data, Marketers spend much of their time passively building manual bridges: exporting, uploading, emailing, ingesting, matching, cleansing, and … repeating. 

Data Cloud is that bridge: one central automated cloud solution to unify, process, and harmonize data regardless of the source. And, because Data Cloud is built inside Salesforce, the platform also seamlessly connects to activation points, like CRM and Marketing Cloud. It removes the manual steps from the Customer 360 model and empowers true customer-centricity.

I am FAR from a technical expert, so was quite happy when Salesforce positioned Data Cloud as “Genie” in 2022 – it was all just magic I didn’t need to understand.

Here’s how Salesforce visualizes Data Cloud’s operation


And here’s Ira’s Data Cloud for Dummies definitions

Data Sources: these are all of the places that your brand currently collects and stores data. This includes all of those spreadsheets titled “10/4 Webinar Attendeess – DO NOT DELETE” and “2023 Users for Targeting_Final_Final_For_Real_Final”. Here’s a nuance of Data Cloud that is a hige time-saver: Zero-copy Federation. This means data from multiple sources can be combined together without any Control-C, Control-V.


Connectors: these are the technical tools you use to take data from these disparate sources and bring them into the Data Cloud environment. In most marketing use cases, the out-of-the-box connectors apply (especially the Google Sheets one). Some connectors are live streaming and others (typically from legacy siloed systems) operate on a batch process. You’ll want to keep the live and batch elements in mind when you consider your activation strategy.


Harmonizations: These are the ways you configure Data Cloud to read data from different sources. For instance, if you have three data sources that each use their own field naming conventions you likely have three things that all mean “First Name” (maybe its “Name” in one, “FName” in the second and “FN” in the third). Harmonizations allow you to properly map input data to Salesforce object types. Data Cloud’s UI for harmonization is very intuitive.


Activations: Once you’ve harmonized, you have your Customer 360 view. To generate value from all of this effort, you have to activate. You can do this in so many ways: target and personalize your Google Ads strategy based on email interaction data, increase basket size through your chatbot channel with customized recommendations informed by website browning history or nail your holiday email promotion by targeting last year’s top in-app converters. Today, the best activation points are within the Salesforce environment with additional activation-point integrations in development.


For the overachievers

Salesforce just released new Data Cloud certifications on Trailhead. If you are ready to be the SME in your organization, check them out.

And, if you are ready to give this functionality a try today, Data Cloud is now offered free! Drop us a note at and we’ll help you get started.