Do I need Marketing Cloud Business Units?

Please note: Marketing Cloud Business Units are not available in Enterprise 1.0, Agency, or Core tenants. They are available for Enterprise 2.0 tenants. Your Salesforce Account Executive can provide pricing information beyond the list price that you can find online.

If you already have or are purchasing Salesforce Marketing Cloud, you might be wondering if you need multiple Marketing Cloud Business Units. Marketing Cloud Business Units mainly allow you to control access to information and the sharing of information. So are multiple Business Units or one Business Unit right for you? We’ll provide some considerations to help understand how Business Units impact your Marketing Cloud environment. 

4 Questions to Ask When Considering Marketing Cloud Business Units

  • How many brands within your org are planning to use Marketing Cloud?
  • How is your team organized? (e.g. different brands have different marketing teams, multiple agencies are used for departments within the company, different brands work very independently and don’t access each other’s data often, etc.)
  • How many email domains do you want to send emails from? (i.e. Disney may send emails from hello@email-cars.com, hello@email-toystory.com, etc.)
  • Are you sure you want multiple Business Units? You can go from having a single business unit to multiple business units; however, it’s more difficult to consolidate multiple business units back down to a single one, so make sure you are ready to have multiple.

If You’re Looking Into Multiple Business Units

Managing multiple Business Units has some benefits and some limitations.

Benefits of Multiple Business Units

One key benefit of having multiple business units is to keep access to information and the sharing of information organized. Multiple Business Units typically are best for companies that are planning to manage multiple brands or franchise locations within Marketing Cloud. Multiple brands/locations might be managed by different teams, so you might want to control data and information accessibility across teams. 

Another key benefit to multiple Business Units is if you want to control what email sending domain is being utilized as the main domain for the Sender Authentication Package (SAP). Let’s unpack that: With each Marketing Cloud Business Unit, you receive one SAP. An SAP is a Marketing Cloud account branding tool. SAP gives you the ability to customize links and images to match the branding for the authenticated domain you’re sending email from. SAP is a collection of products including a Private Domain with link and image wrapping, Dedicated IP, and Reply Mail Management. While these products can be purchased individually, the link and image wrapping that brands your account only come with SAP.

So if you go with multiple Business Units, you can apply a different SAP to each Business Unit – keeping your email branding separated. 

Challenges of Multiple Business Units

For smaller businesses, the cost of multiple Business Units can be challenging. Pricing can vary depending on the company so reach out to your Salesforce Account Executive to understand the costs associated with multiple Business Units. 

One key challenge to note is once you have multiple Business Units it can be difficult to consolidate back down to one business unit. Ensure that this is the correct move for your business and that you have a team in place to manage your robust Marketing Cloud environment.

If You’re Sticking to a Single Business Unit

Sticking with a single Business Unit is manageable if you want to become familiar with Marketing Cloud and you don’t have sizable data to manage across multiple Business Units. Even if you plan to manage multiple brands in one business unit, you can make it work. 

Managing multiple brands in one Business Unit requires extra customization to ensure unsubscribes are managed properly across brands. It’s necessary to create a custom preference and profile center to manage unsubscribes for individual brands. If you don’t have a team capable of web and technical development, an experienced Marketing Cloud partner can be able to assist with setting up a custom unsubscribe and profile center. You can also work with your Account Executive to purchase additional private domains for consistent branding of email sends in a single Business Unit. 

We hope this makes it clear when deciding between multiple Marketing Cloud Business Units or a single one. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions as you are going through this process.

About the author

Adrianna is a marketing consultant for Kadence Collective and Kadence Digital. She is a content creator fanatic and loves creating campaigns both paid and organic to help companies meet their goals. In her free time, she likes to explore the city of Austin, trying new restaurants, going to concerts and networking with others.