A Tour of Salesforce Marketing Cloud - dummies

A Tour of Salesforce Marketing Cloud

By Chester Bullock, Mark Pollard

The Salesforce Marketing Cloud dashboard is the first thing you see when you log in to your Marketing Cloud account. From the dashboard you can access the following:

  • The dashboard tools, which are available to every Marketing Cloud account. Links to the dashboard tools appear in the toolbar.
  • The apps, which are available in your Marketing Cloud account if you licensed them. Links to the apps appear in the app switcher. The app switcher is visible when you first log in to your Marketing Cloud account. It disappears when you choose a tool or an app. You can get back to it at any time by hovering your mouse pointer over the Salesforce Marketing Cloud icon on the left side of the toolbar.
Salesforce Marketing Cloud dashboard
On the dashboard, tools and apps are a click away.

Dashboard components

The Salesforce Marketing Cloud dashboard comprises the following two elements:

The toolbar, which remains at the top of the screen no matter where you go within Marketing Cloud

The canvas (the large area below the toolbar), which changes as you move through Marketing Cloud to show you the app or tool you select from the toolbar


The toolbar is a dark gray bar near the top of the screen.

It contains the following elements:

  • Salesforce Marketing Cloud logo: Use the logo to return to the dashboard and also to access the app switcher. Click to return to the dashboard; pause your mouse pointer on this logo to see the app switcher.

    The app switcher is too powerful and important to squeeze everything about it into a single bullet.

  • Dashboard tools: The dashboard tools are Calendar, Pulse, Campaigns, and Playbooks.
  • Feedback button: Use this button to display a form for sending feedback about Salesforce Marketing Cloud, such as ideas for new features, to the product team.

    This form is not the place to report support issues. Because the form goes to the product team instead of the support team, submitting a support request here just creates delays. Instead, use the Salesforce Help & Training link.

  • Account menu: After the Feedback button you see the account menu, which is the name of your account or business unit followed by a down arrow. Clicking this menu displays a list of all the business units to which you have access.
    • User menu: At the far right of the toolbar is the user menu, which is your username with a down arrow. Clicking your name shows the following options:
    • Cloud Preferences takes you to a screen where you can edit information about your own user.
    • Hide Tips turns off the light bulb icons that appear on the screen. Pause your mouse pointer on the icon to see a helpful tip about the feature that the icon is near. If you click Hide Tips, this menu option changes to Show Tips, which you can click to turn the tips back on.
    • Marketing Cloud Help opens a new browser tab and takes you to the online help for Marketing Cloud.
    • Salesforce Help & Training opens a new browser tab with the online help for all of Salesforce, not just Marketing Cloud.
    • Trust opens a new tab with a web page that shows real-time data about any incidents that have caused the application to become unavailable.
    • Logout logs you out of your Marketing Cloud account and returns you to the login screen.


By default, the canvas contains a view of the activities you’ve scheduled for the week in the calendar tool. It also displays an overview of the status of your campaigns. Once you select a dashboard tool or app, the canvas changes to display what you chose.

Getting help with Marketing Cloud

Salesforce Marketing Cloud offers at least four different paths you can follow to get help:

  • Check out the online help. The online help is available from the user menu on the toolbar.
  • Read the contextual tips. A light bulb icon appears on the screen when helpful information is available about a particular feature. Hover your mouse pointer over the icon to see the tip. You can turn these tips on and off from the user menu on the toolbar.
  • Submit a case to support. You can call or fill out an online form to contact Marketing Cloud support. You might have received special instructions about how to contact support, but general instructions are available in several places, such as on the Marketing Cloud website, in the Marketing Cloud online documentation, and from the online community.
  • Visit the online community. Marketing Cloud has a well-established user community with both in-person user groups and online forums. The user community is a great resource for learning insider tips, getting fresh ideas, and benchmarking your own online marketing successes. Like the support form, links to the online community are available in multiple places, such as on the Marketing Cloud website.

The user menu on the dashboard is a good place to start when you need help.

Accessing business units

Depending on how your company and your Salesforce Marketing Cloud account are set up, your account might have multiple business units. A business unit is like a sub-account of your main parent account. For example, you might have multiple business units when

  • Multiple departments in your company each use Marketing Cloud
  • Sister companies owned by the same parent company each use Marketing Cloud
  • Different locations of a retail corporation each use Marketing Cloud

When you log in to a particular business unit, you see only the content that is relevant for that business unit. By having a sub-account, users don’t have to wade through the material for the entire account. Meanwhile, the parent account can still make shared content available to all business units and aggregate statistics.

The permissions assigned to your user account determine which business units you can access while you are logged in to Marketing Cloud. If your user account has permission to access more than one business unit, you change business units using the account menu on the toolbar.

Account menu Salesforce Marketing Cloud
All your business units appear in your account menu.

Use the following steps to change business units:

  1. From the toolbar, hover your mouse pointer over your account name.
    The account name is to the right of the Feedback button. A list of business units you can access appears.
  2. Click the business unit you want to access.
    The system logs you in and displays the dashboard for that business unit.