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A Beginner’s Guide to Salesforce MDM

By 04.19.22
Reading time: 3 minutes

One of the most common questions that we get asked is what is MDM, and how does it fit in the Salesforce world?

MDM stands for Master Data Management. To put it simply, it means creating a single source of truth, or one master “golden record” for all versions of a record across all systems. This could be a person, an object, or place, and a CRM like Salesforce can be one point of entry for this data. 

Many of our clients manage multiple systems that feed data to and from Salesforce multiple times a day. More times than not, these systems exist separately from one another, creating data silos and disjointed views of business. When this data enters Salesforce, they can expect duplicate and inconsistent information spread across the different records coming in, all of which must be standardized. 

Creating a master record that you can trust

Data has grown more complex, and organizations need MDM when data is coming from everywhere and touching everything. Duplicate data is a widespread problem for all organizations and happens for many reasons including, but not limited to, user error, addition of other cloud apps that require data integration, and business mergers and acquisitions that create multiple instances of Salesforce within an organization. 

Imagine trying to look up customer information in Salesforce, only to find several instances of the same person. Which record is the latest? Which record can you trust? Which address is the most recent address? This is where the two worlds of MDM and Salesforce collide, and make everything right in the world. 

MDM sits on top of Salesforce, consolidating separate instances to create the Master record that serves as a trusted data point. This record can be promoted and shared across various systems by being integrated back into the associated systems, enabling end users to make better decisions, drive better analytics, KPIs, and ultimately sell more goods and services.

The benefits of using Salesforce for MDM

In today’s data-driven society, a solid MDM strategy is critical to provide a 360-degree view of your data, help your data consumers, and drive key enterprise analytics. The larger your organization grows, the more data you will generate and consume. Salesforce has evolved from a simple, standalone tool to a platform that touches every customer interaction inside your organization. 

Salesforce MDM utilizes data governance principles and relies on solid analysis, automation, and AI to identify, match, cleanse, transform, and merge your data. Once the data meets your desired quality thresholds, schemas and taxonomies are created to help maintain a high-quality master reference, the “golden record”. 

Organizations using MDM enjoy peace of mind that data throughout the enterprise is accurate, up-to-date, and consistent. They experience:

  • Improved productivity
  • Improved customer satisfaction 
  • Optimized supply chain
  • Reduced costs related to security and compliance

Data is the backbone of a digital organization, so it has to be accurate and reliable, which can be accomplished by implementing MDM. 

How does Salesforce MDM differ from CDP?

Salesforce CDP (Customer Data Platform) is the latest major product offering from Salesforce that allows companies to understand their customers better by unifying many different data sources and insights together to produce a 360-degree view. 

Once the unified profile is obtained, the customer data and insights are then highly actionable to produce segments that can be seamlessly activated into systems like Marketing Cloud to drive customer outreach, to Sales/Service Clouds to enrich contact profiles, or any other system that can leverage these powerful targeted segments.

On the other hand, MDM is used for the mastering of customer records required for strict legal or governance purposes. MDM supports very sophisticated matching capability, including “fuzzy matching”. While CDP has record matching capability, it is not for governance purposes. Instead, the recording matching typically drives marketing segments, which can be a bit more forgiving. Use MDM when you “can’t be wrong” on a master record. 

Enhance your MDM strategy with Silverline and Salesforce

As an official Salesforce MDM service provider, Silverline has the industry know-how and technical acumen to create a customized solution for your organization. We partner with various companies and can help you identify and implement the right MDM product for your business needs. Find out how our experts can help.

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