The documentation from SFMC leads one to believe that mapping a profile attribute to a Salesforce field on lead or contact is a breeze. I'm also assuming that if this value changes in MC that, based on the mapping, it would update in SF. Our MC and SF orgs are connected and talking to each other. Here's what I've done so far:

  • Set Account, Contact, Lead, User, and Marketing Promotion (required) sync from SF to MC
  • Created a simple data extension (Test_Lead_Data_Extension)
  • Created a query to populate the fields in the previous from Lead_Salesforce
  • Performed a send
  • Validated a subscriber record was created in All Subscribers for my lead record
  • Created a field in Salesforce: MarketingCloud_Marketing_Lead_Type (text)
  • Created an attribute of the same specs in Profile Management in MC and mapped to the newly created field in Salesforce

I have tried updating this Subscriber Attribute in the standard profile center and from the All Subscribers UI. The change in value does not pass to Salesforce and it should.

I've also tried making this attribute required. Am I missing a step?



You are experiencing the pains of an outdated and fairly broken system. This applies to the Profile Center in general, but it does not fair any better when used with Marketing Cloud Connect. I too experienced this pain: Managing Field Mapping with Salesforce Data Extensions?

The reason your data is not being updated in Sales Cloud, despite correctly setting up the field mapping, is because you are sending to subscribers that reside on Data Extensions. Even if your Data Extension is in the Salesforce Data Extensions folder, the system does not recognize you as a proper Salesforce subscriber. You can confirm this by looking at the 'Add Method' for these subscribers - 'SalesforceSubscriber' is the one you want, but all Data Extension sends lead to 'Custom Object' subscribers.

The only way to enable field mapping in the profile center is to send emails to subscribers on Reports / Campaigns. Going a step further, the first send to that subscriber must be to a Report or Campaign. You can actually then proceed to send to those same subscribers on Data Extensions afterwards and field mapping will work, because they are forever designated as a Salesforce Subscriber. If your first send is not to a Report / Campaign, all future sends will not use field mapping in relation to the Profile Center.

It seems as though Salesforce's generally recommendation is to build a custom profile / subscription center, as oppose to fixing these issues. It does make you wonder if at some point they will do an overhaul - but I haven't heard a peep. So until then, custom work is recommended or find a way to work around these limitations.

  • This is spot on the problem. Would it be possible to have an automation update the Add Method to be 'SalesforceSubscriber'? Jul 7 '17 at 2:42
  • From what I remember checking back then, this isn't possible with imports or APIs :/ Jul 7 '17 at 19:08
  • Confirming this is still broken in 2021! For the Sync SF >> MC you'd have to run a 4-step automation: 1. Query the Synced DEs; 2.Extract Data from the result DE in step-1 to the SafeHouse 3.Move the data to the sFTP; 4. Import to AllSubscribers
    – LimeWeb
    Mar 27 '21 at 22:01

To update data from a Marketing Cloud Data Extension to Salesforce, you would have to use AMP script, as explained here: Update Single Salesforce Object

An alternative may be to use journey builder with Salesforce Activities, if that fits into your scenario, which allows for updating Contact records in Salesforce

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