We are considering consolidating 2 separate Marketing Cloud accounts into one and starting to use Business Units. The two proposed teams have completely separate business processes and data requirements. There should be no sharing of contact lists or data extension.

Could anyone comment on the pros and cons of using business units ? Also what would be "firewalled" between both teams vs. what is not possible to "firewall". This will help them make the decision on whether they should stay in their separate account or move to one Account with multiple business units.


2 Answers 2


Business can are particularly useful seperating your SFMC org either by Geography or Business Lines. In addition , marketing cloud does not come with a test environment and to "kind of " recreate this, you need an extra business unit.


  1. You can determine which business units each your users have permission to seperate business units in the "Admin" section, which work well for your use case.
  2. You can seperate customer data between different business units, which sometimes is a regulatory requirement.
  3. You can control user access


  1. With the exception of shared contents and data extensions, manually copying shared process between business units is not an easier task. You would have to either do this manually (which can be tedious) or via the API (not beginner level stuff - great people have failed)
  2. When you have to work with Salesforce.com, you would have to enable Multi-org within your instance, which breaks profile personalization. Then you are at the mercy of the 15 mins polling time.
  • Thanks Data_kid, what do you mean by breaking multi-org breaking profile personalization ?
    – Paul
    Aug 7, 2017 at 14:10
  • It means you can't use the profile attributes form profile management to personalise your marketing efforts anymore. You have to use data from data extensions/ marketing cloud connect
    – 0xsegfault
    Aug 7, 2017 at 14:38
  • @Data_Kid can you elaborate on that? I am about to go multi-org and need to be sure I can put all our connections back in place after the switch. Currently our profile attributes are mapped to our Sales Cloud, so I don't think we are 'technically' using profile management right? I'd just need to relink the attributes after support makes the switch? Apr 29, 2018 at 11:36

I would like to add a little bit to the previous answer. The way BU works, is that we have a top level BU. This is often referred to as the Parent BU. Nothing can be added above it. So this is advisable to consider this an Admin BU and refrain from building campaigns etc in this one.

So in your case, you could create two child BU's under the parent BU. This will keep your BU structure flexible. You can change the hierarchy under the parent one at any given time.

You would need at least 3 BU's including the one that comes with a Pro or Corp edition of Marketing Cloud. The Enterprise Edition includes 5 BU's.

Speaking of data, given the way Marketing Cloud handles subscriber data, ALL subscribers that are added to what we call the All Sub list, will be visible in the parent BU.

So you mentioned that the two teams work separately and data should be kept separate from the two teams, thats fine in the Child BU's, but if you are the admin, you will have access to all subscribers as part of the All Sub list.

The advantages of working this way, is that you as the admin, can use the calendar feature on the admin level and get an overview of all the Child BU's campaigns etc.

There are other numerous advantages to this model, but I hope at least you got a bit more info in order to make an informed decision.

  • Thanks Usdane, this is helpful and clarifies a few points. For the hierarchy of BUs, I understand that we can have many levels.. E.g. Parent -> Child -> Child (3rd level)... does the 3rd level inherit any access from their parent at the 2nd level ? Are there any functional impacts from the hierarchy structure other than the fact that the top level BU cannot have a parent.
    – Paul
    Sep 8, 2017 at 14:34

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