Since Marketing Cloud does not provide a quality environment, a possible workaround when using it connected to a Salesforce org (via Marketing Cloud Connect) could be to configure it as multi-org and use a business unit as Marketing Cloud quality, to be connected with the Salesforce quality org.

The documentation states a few constraints though. The most worrying stated in the public documentation is probably that Marketing Cloud business units are not data-isolated. Test data and production data are co-mingled when using a sandbox, which impacts data cleanliness and adds complexity to reporting, audience creation, etc.

An other one, that I cannot actually fully understand, is that email personalization is supported for standard fields only. Using custom fields from the Sales Cloud will require AMPScript. What are the standard field that the documentation is referring to?

More in general: do you suggest this approach to manage a quality marketing cloud environment or not given all the contraints and side effect? Thank you


1 Answer 1


This is a common thread I see among many clients: "Can I connect my sandbox/dev CRM environment using Multi-Org set up to a separate SFMC Business Unit?"

The short answer is yes, but the long answer is that it is a pain to maintain. There isn't any type of change management in SFMC, meaning no "push to production." That means essentially you'll have two separate business units (your Dev and Prod) where you need to manually maintain parity.

Automations and Journeys will have to be manually copied and even if you use Deployment Manager to copy between business units, this is still a manual effort.

Also even with test data in a separate Business Unit, those test records still end up in your All Subscribers list on your parent Business Unit level. One may argue that having a separate MID entirely for Dev use is a better solution. But, of course, that means more money thrown at Salesforce for a problem that they should have a solution for.

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