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Salesforce’s multi-org connector is the integration package between a Marketing Cloud account and more than one Salesforce CRM org.  This is an ideal option for integration provided your scenario meets certain qualifications. The goal of this post is to help you understand how the multi-org connector works and whether it could be a good fit for your organization.

What is the multi-org connector?

Marketing Cloud Connect offers two options for integrating Marketing Cloud and Salesforce. The “single-org connector” integrates Marketing Cloud with one Salesforce org. The “multi-org connector” enables integration with multiple Salesforce orgs. The multi-org connector is only an option if you’re using (or plan to use) multiple business units within Marketing Cloud. No matter what, a single Marketing Cloud business unit can only connect to a single Salesforce org. 

Basic Qualifications

As noted above, you would only consider the multi-org connector if you have a Marketing Cloud account with business units (or if you plan to add business units in the future).  If you have a single Marketing Cloud account with no business units – and no plans to add additional business units - stop here (unless you’re studying up for your next Marketing Cloud trivia challenge.)

If you have business units, or if you plan to in the future, welcome to considerations #2a and #2b : Do you have more than one production-level Salesforce org in your universe?  Do you have and regularly use a Salesforce sandbox org?  If you answered ‘yes’ to either of these, the multi-org connector may be a good option. Keep reading.

Take a look at the diagram below to see what a multi-org environment might look like.

Multi-Org Connector Diagram

 

The boxes can be arranged any number of ways, but the result is the same.  Four Salesforce orgs integrated with four different Marketing Cloud business units all living under one Marketing Cloud instance.  Simply put, if you have more than one Salesforce org (including sandboxes) and you have Marketing Cloud business units, the multi-org connector makes the most sense.

If you have multiple business units and multiple Salesforce orgs, you can still technically use the single-org connector to connect your business units to only one of the SF orgs. However, you wouldn't be able to take full advantage of the Marketing Cloud platform and you may be creating extra work if you’re using complex journeys.

If you have multiple business units but only a single Salesforce org, the case for using the multi-org connector becomes a little narrower, but there still is a case to be made. We'll save that for a future blog post, but if you're facing that decision now, contact us. We can help walk you through the issues.

If the multi-org connector makes sense for you so far, it’s time to start listing out the specific pros and cons.  We’ve started a list of each below:

Pros of the Multi-org Connector:
  1. Connect each of your Marketing Cloud business units to a different Salesforce org.
  2. Expand the use of Marketing Cloud to your entire organization instead of just a few select groups. Note that even if some business unites aren't using Salesforce, they can still use Marketing Cloud for email sending and benefit from shared brand assets, templates, training and support.
  3. Connect a business unit to a Salesforce sandbox environment and create the closest thing you can get to a Marketing Cloud sandbox at the present time.
  4. Get direct access to synchronized data instead of having to build SQL queries and a data extension sharing strategy.
Cons of the Multi-org Connector (and why they're not a big deal)
  1. Requires a custom subscription center. This isn't 100% true, but if you care about your brand and your subscriber's experience you should be doing it anyway. So yes, you need to build a custom subscription center and that's a good thing..
  2. May increase your Contact count more than you intended. If you connect multiple orgs and synchronize Salesforce objects with Marketing Cloud, your Contact counts will go up. You can mitigate this with a solid syncing strategy., which you need anyway! 
  3. Requires a Marketing Cloud integration user and a Salesforce integration user in each business unit/org combo.  The benefits of using Marketing Cloud across your organization and connecting it to Salesforce should easily outweigh the cost of these additional user licenses. You'll likely be able to eliminate any other email platforms and will save on training, administration and support by using one consistent platform.
  4. You can’t “go back”.  You’ll likely hear someone say that you cannot go back to the single org connector if you implement multi-org.   I can neither confirm nor deny this one, but why would you want to?  Even in a single org environment the multi-org connector works as it should.

We've created a simple decision tree to help simplify the process of deciding whether the multi-org connector is right for you.

Multi-org Connector Decision Tree

If you're still unsure about the multi-org connector or you need help getting started with Marketing Cloud, KELL Partners can help. Our dedicated Marketing Cloud team has been helping clients go farther and faster with Marketing Cloud for a decade. Contact us today!