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7 Key Takeaways on Salesforce Genie

How the new customer data platform unlocks true hyper-personalization

Dreamforce’s 2022 Salesforce Genie keynote revealed that 73 percent of customers expect brands to understand their unique needs—yet more than half say they’re treated like a number. The inability to personalize your customer's experience means your brand is not meeting customer expectations. With a Salesforce-certified partner and Genie’s integration, you can deliver magical customer experiences seamlessly and in real time across all lines of business. Here's how Salesforce’s enhanced customer data platform (CDP), Genie, gets it done. 

Luke Pond
Technical Director at Astound Commerce

Using public cloud infrastructure, Salesforce has built a new data lake architecture that can be scaled in capacity and performance to “real-time” levels. This is the technology underlying the Salesforce CDP product, which has been available since 2021. The Genie announcement is how Salesforce is positioning the forward-looking vision that its technology roadmap is  massively expanding to build new capabilities. These capabilities were formerly out of reach when customer data was stored either in its legacy transactional database or in the purpose-built data lakes from its multiple Einstein acquisitions. 

Our interpretation of Genie is that it’s a way to talk about what you can build when you have access to that scalable data lake technology, and your business has committed to using it as the data storage platform for customer intelligence. So let’s examine some of the specific announcements that have just come out from Salesforce through this lens.

Built-in predictive analytics for customer churn and lifetime value. We were happy to see this demo, which is a very straightforward use case of applying a predictive model to sales transaction data you have stored in the Genie data lake to calculate standard business metrics. Get ready to see new Einstein functionality like this announced from Salesforce all the time, because the Genie data lake provides a standardized schema for storing the big data required as the input for machine learning algorithms. 

Genie data spaces. The Salesforce CDP previously lacked the capabilities to provide different layers of access to data in the Genie data lake. Obviously, Salesforce will need to build out a flexible role-based permission system to satisfy corporate security requirements.

Snowflake integration. Salesforce acknowledges that many businesses have already invested in building a data warehouse, and says that Salesforce products can take an embrace-and-extend strategy to use the Genie data lake side by side with an existing data warehouse as part of a unified whole. If this can really enable queries that join data models across two systems with no copying, we will be very excited to use it.

Amazon Sagemaker integration. Likewise, many businesses have an existing investment in predictive modeling, and their data scientists don’t want to start using a new tool. Therefore, Salesforce announces that the Genie data lake can serve as a data source for its modeling activities in an external tool and a target for the resulting predictions and classifications. This is great because eliminating the need to move a copy of the data into the analysis tool makes progress toward the goal of real-time.

Tableau connector. This feature is already available for the CDP and provides a big incentive to adopt Tableau as your tool of choice for building reports and dashboards if you are already committed to using the Genie data lake. Using the native connector, Genie data can be effortlessly consumed within Tableau as a data source.

Genie data prep recipes and transforms. This is the completion of a long-awaited CDP roadmap item that further solidifies its ETL (extract-transform-load) capabilities to simplify bringing external data into the Genie data lake.

Real-time everything. One interpretation here, to bring the “real-time” marketing talk down to earth, is that Salesforce engineers are continually learning how to improve the overall performance of the Genie data lake and its APIs. Prior to the Genie announcement, the primary way to act on customer engagement signals in real time was to adopt the Marketing Cloud Personalization platform, but we now see that improving turnaround times for batch processing jobs and ensuring high performance for intake APIs will be a major development goal for the Salesforce CDP in upcoming releases.

Our Salesforce-certified Genie experts are ready to help you unlock the power of your customer data and realize the benefits Genie will deliver. With more than 20 years of experience architecting data flows within the Salesforce ecosystem, Astound is ready to help you integrate Genie into your current architecture to deliver a true Customer 360 view. Get in touch today to learn more, and check out our new Launch360 suite of Salesforce accelerators.

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