Data Hygiene: Supercharge Your Marketo + Salesforce Databases

Data is the fuel that drives your organization forward, guiding nearly every critical business decision you make. Your company’s data needs to be accurate, organized, and reliable.

For marketing and sales teams, this means emphasizing data hygiene strategies and best practices that keep your Marketo and Salesforce databases free from dirty data, which includes:

👉 Duplicates

👉 Typos

👉 Outdated information

👉 Incomplete entries

👉 Prospects that don’t align with your target persona

While many leadership teams understand this, the data hygiene strategies they employ are often insufficient or poorly enforced. And nothing is more damaging to campaign ROI than dirty data.

 

Dirty data risks

A database with bad data runs the risk of campaigns going to the wrong people and will leave sales reps chasing prospects who are no longer relevant to your offers.

 

“A marketer’s job becomes more challenging when you have to explain why customer relationships are strained.”

 

This is also a surefire way to hinder your sender’s reputation when those offers are inevitably marked as spam by incorrect recipients.

As a marketer, your job becomes much more challenging when you have to explain to leadership why customer relationships are strained, and campaign performance is dropping.

 

Data management pain points

If you want to harness the full power that Marketo and Salesforce can offer your business, it’s essential to maintain a clean database. But this is easier said than done.

We see so many marketers constantly struggling to effectively manage their data within these systems, which aggravates common pain points such as:

1. Duplicate Information

When your Marketo instance is filled with duplicate records, your customer data becomes inaccurate and unreliable.

And, if you can’t trust your data, you lose your ability to make important decisions that impact campaign effectiveness.

Not to mention, duplicates directly translate to avoidable expenses, as Marketo charges based on record totals. For companies with a significant inflow of data coming in, cleaning and correcting duplicates by hand will plummet overall team productivity as well.

 

2. Complex Workflows & 3rd Party Apps

Since Marketo lacks out-of-the-box data normalization or clean up flows, many companies must resort to complex workflows and 3rd party apps to automate this process – neither of which is ideal.

These data normalization workflows in Marketo are difficult to set up and typically involve very slow flow steps that stifle momentum and productivity for teams.

And 3rd party apps that merge duplicates can get very expensive, normally costing upwards of $4,000 per year on a subscription basis.

 

Data hygiene management

To combat all of these issues, we’ve designed an all-in-one solution for Marketo-Salesforce customers that:

👉 Cleans existing Marketo data

👉 Prevents future bad data, and

👉 Offers a customizable Salesforce dashboard for real-time data quality status.

With this solution, you get a comprehensive set of features previously unavailable to our customer base:

 
➡️ Merge Marketo Duplicates: Identify and merge duplicate information in Marketo for improved data integrity and accuracy. This will streamline data management processes and boost data-driven decision-making confidence.

 
➡️ Streamline Data Normalization: Effortlessly update standard database fields for each record, including:

  • country
  • country phone code, and
  • website information.

This will reduce reliance on third-party apps and eliminate the need for complex, tedious flow steps in Marketo – allowing marketers to maintain a clean and reliable database for better targeting, segmentation, and personalization.

 
➡️ Customizable Salesforce Dashboard: A customizable Salesforce dashboard will provide real-time visibility into data quality.

The dashboard empowers users, allowing them to proactively monitor and improve data accuracy, completeness, and consistency – leading to more effective campaigns and decision-making.

 
➡️ Cost Savings: Since Marketo charges by the number of records in a database, eliminating duplicates will help companies save money.

In addition, companies will cut out recurring costs incurred by third-party apps, and improve the overall effectiveness of their campaigns.

 

“Dirty data can stifle productivity, strain customer relationships, and reduce campaign ROI.”

 

It’s clear that dirty data can stifle productivity, strain customer relationships, and reduce campaign ROI. And the currently available solutions for maintaining a clean Marketo and Salesforce database come with technical headaches, slowdowns, and recurring expenses.

The Data Hygiene Management Package is a direct response to these challenges, offering marketers the option to:

✅ Streamline data normalization

✅ Merge duplicate records

✅ Access real-time data quality status

All while removing reliance on third-party apps and slow flow steps in Marketo.

Learn more about how you can implement it into your current system here.

Can Marketo & Dynamics be Excellent to Each Other – With Vertify?

As far as marketing automation platforms (MAPs) and customer relationship managers (CRMs) go, Adobe Marketo Engage and Microsoft Dynamics 365 are incredibly popular and powerful tools that many marketers will have in their tech stack.

If you want to get the most out of these tools, however, effectively integrating them to eliminate data discrepancies is crucial.

Unfortunately, for many companies, this can be quite a challenge.

So in this Technically Speaking, we’ll explore your options for integrating these tools – and why we believe Vertify is your best bet for achieving Marketo-Dynamics solidarity.

The majority of this article pulls from a webinar we recently did with the Vertify team that you can watch here: Can Marketo & Dynamics be Excellent to Each Other – With Vertify?

Let’s get into it!

pink line separator

What are your Marketo-Dynamics integration options?

Marketo’s native sync has a few things going for it. As a native solution, implementation is smooth and you’ll have full access to Marketo’s tech support.

But when it comes to lighter ongoing maintenance as well as deeper functionality and customizability, there are plenty of other integration options out there that can replace it.

Essentially, there are four directions you can go:

  1. Marketo native sync
  2. Third-party integration tool
  3. Vertify
  4. A hybrid approach.

We’ve outlined the higher-level pros and cons for each option in the chart below.

tech support on sync issues for dynamics-marketo

Many third-party sync tool options have the potential to provide increased flexibility, functionality, and stability if properly configured. The downside, however, is that you are taking on full ownership of the tool.

This means you can’t rely on Marketo support to troubleshoot sync issues. Instead, you’ll have to work with support staff from the third-party company who developed the tool (if they offer support at all) or assign a power user on your team to maintain and fine-tune the connector by themselves.

The other more obvious disadvantage is that these third-party tools inevitably come with an added subscription cost.

Before diving deeper into Vertify below, the other alternative is a hybrid approach. For example, one configuration we’ve seen is to use native sync for leads, contacts, opportunities, and accounts, but use a custom API to transfer program member and status data from Marketo to Dynamics.

While select power users may be tempted to go down this road, developing custom solutions is a complex process that often requires coding expertise and will take valuable time away from higher-impact, revenue-generating activities.

 

Vertify may be the better solution for you.

Which brings us to Vertify: a platform with the unique ability to unify customer data across multiple revenue apps including Microsoft Dynamics and Adobe Marketo Engage – Vertify is actually Adobe’s preferred integration partner.

Unlike other third-party integration tools, Vertify shares several of the same benefits that user’s get with Marketo’s native sync:

1. Vertify is easy to implement – they streamline the implementation process by providing quick-start templates with pre-built object and field mappings based on best practice standards.

2. Vertify requires no code to set up or maintain – its interface has drag-and-drop functionality so users can easily modify parameters without technical expertise.

3. Vertify provides dedicated technical support to users on demand.

Unlike Marketo’s native sync, however, Vertify offers enhanced functionality and customizability options, which we’ll dive into below.

 

Sync error identification and alerting

With Marketo’s native sync, you’re required to build custom campaign email alerts – which essentially renders the notifications and sync error tabs useless. The options and parameters you can use to set up these triggered alerts are quite limited as well. For example, native sync is unable to trigger an alert on a field update failure.

Vertify, however, can be configured to notify you both in the platform itself and via email of any failure of any data movement. Written with user-friendly wording, these notifications will not only tell you what the problem is but also how to fix it and which records have been affected. In this regard, Vertify can be used as a data diagnostics and cleanliness tool as well.

 

Sync error resolution

Another major pain point that Marketo native sync users face is how error resolution is handled: Native sync will only retry “field updates” when a complete sync failure is restored and won’t retry “Lead Create,” “Task Create,” or “Change Owner” operations at all.

Vertify, however, has the ability to automatically retry attempts whenever any data movement failure occurs – and will do so during the next scheduled sync.

This is a game-changing feature where Vertify starts to pay for itself. Many organizations will find that Vertify’s annual subscription will cost them far less than the countless hours it takes to deal with this issue by hand.

 

Lookup fields functionality

dynamics marketo lookup fields functionality

If you’re using the Marketo native sync, these cryptic ID values probably look familiar.

Through Vertify, Marketo is able to see actual plain English instead of these ID values when it comes to Dynamic lookup fields. This means that marketers aren’t required to use “mirror image” workflows to populate fields in Dynamics.

Through a feature called Translation Tables in Vertify, you can easily and automatically convert the Dynamics ID values into their friendly names for Marketo, and vice versa.

 

Simplified lead lifecycle tracking

Identifying a lead-to-contact qualification in a Marketo-Dynamics environment can be very challenging: Because when a lead becomes a contact in Dynamics, Marketo incorrectly thinks that an entirely new contact is being created rather than an existing lead becoming a contact.

The “New Person” duplicate will then exist in Marketo until the next sync cycle occurs, during which Marketo will merge the original record with the new record. This causes a slew of issues, including Marketo scores being combined and inflated as shown in the table below.

Simplified Lead Lifecycle Tracking

Vertify has a unique “Merge Rules” feature that can prevent this lifecycle issue from occurring altogether.

And the way it works is remarkably simple.

Since Marketo uses email as a unique identifier for records, you can set up a Vertify merge rule that prevents duplicate record creation if the email already exists in your database.

It is essentially impossible for your CRM to create duplicates in Marketo as long as this rule is correctly configured:

merge rule for SFR contact MKR leadrecord

 

Alleviating Dynamics’ bandwidth limitations

Regular users of the Marketo native sync also know that sync scheduling is restricted to a fixed frequency of once every five minutes for all entities.

Vertify, on the other hand, offers much more customization on this front: Allowing scheduled syncs to occur as often as every one minute or as infrequent as once per day, week, or even month. Users can even configure sync frequency by individual entity – such as leads every one minute, contacts every ten minutes, and opportunities every fifteen minutes, for example.

Access to more detailed and specific sync scheduling options allows users to work more efficiently within Dynamics’ bandwidth limitations.

For example, Dynamics allows up to a maximum of 10,000 lead records to be updated per sync. If your Marketo instance wants to update 50,000 lead records, it would take 25 minutes using native sync (syncing 10,000 every 5 minutes).

If we set up Vertify to sync to occur every minute, however, we reduce this time to just 5 minutes (syncing 10,000 every 1 minute).

 

Update related custom entity fields directly in Dynamics

Oftentimes, companies will have custom entities (such as checkboxes on a preference form) they want to connect to their leads or contacts for added categorization, filtering, and so on.

With the native sync, Marketo is unable to update any of those additional custom entities and can only integrate with “Leads”, “Contacts”, “Accounts”, and “Opportunities”.

The workaround for this is to use a trigger field on leads and contacts that initiates a Dynamics workflow that will update those custom entity fields. Vertify’s sync, however, completely cuts out the need for trigger fields and Dynamics workflows (which can fail) and syncs those custom entity fields directly.

No need to get your technical team involved to set up, maintain, and troubleshoot workflows.

native marketo sync vs vertify sync

Tying it all together

With all of these benefits and features in mind, the true value of Vertify becomes clear when we look at tangible results.

We had the opportunity to view several case studies with actual data from real Vertify customers, and the numbers represent the long-term value that can be expected:

  • Increased lead efficiency by 10% per year. In this context, lead efficiency refers to the percentage of net new leads entering Marketo that successfully make it to the CRM without error.
  • Reduction in manual lead management efforts by 65% per year, which equals out to 520 hours per year in productivity gained. This ties back to our previous point on Vertify’s ability to automatically retry attempts whenever any data movement failure occurs. Hundreds of hours spent in “firefighting” mode to cleanup issues manually will be saved – giving you more time to spend on higher-impact, creative tasks.
  • Improved lead conversion rate by 17% per year. This was the average increase in lead-to-SQL conversion across Vertify’s customer data as regular users of the platform.
  • The average payback period for Vertify is 3 months. An analysis determined that it would take between 2 and 3 months for Vertify to pay for itself in productivity and revenue gains.

When we tie all of these benefits together, it becomes clear that Vertify is currently the best option available for the majority of Marketo-Dynamics users looking for superior integration.

And for those who are interested, our live session with the Vertify team covers deeper questions such as:

  1. How does Vertify maintain data hygiene and quality, especially with sensitive data in the finance or medical industry?
  2. How long does it take to get a new integration set up?
  3. How does Vertify’s subscription model work? Is it based on the number of records in the database like Marketo, with extra features billed as “add-ons?”

If you need help setting up any of these tools, or have other questions about Marketo-Dynamics integration options, reach out to us!

What Do Marketo’s Upcoming URL Changes Mean for You?

About two years ago, Adobe Marketo Engage changed its URL structure for images and file assets, landing pages, and forms. Most of you probably did something about this in 2021, but for anyone who still hasn’t, the old URL structure will be deprecated on August 1st, 2023.

In other words, any references using the legacy URL structure will break very soon. So let’s take a closer look at who will be impacted, the specific changes that are coming, and what you need to do about it.

 

Who will be impacted?

Anyone who meets the following criteria will be directly affected on August 1st:

1) Your Marketo instance was provisioned before 2021.

To put it simply, if you started using Marketo before 2021, there is a good chance you have web pages and forms that are using the legacy URLs. Marketo has also stated that all form embed codes prior to October 2020 used the legacy URL structure. Anyone who implemented their instance during or after 2021 can likely stop reading at this point.

2) You do not have a CNAME configured in Marketo.

If you’ve determined that your Marketo instance was provisioned before 2021, the next step is to verify whether or not you’ve configured a CNAME. For anyone who doesn’t know what a CNAME is, it stands for “Canonical Name.” Think of it as a unique, branded alias for landing page links, form links, or file links that are associated with your domain.

For example, our domain is www.revenuepulse.com. If we had a landing page for blog posts that was properly configured to use a custom CNAME, it might look something like www.blog.revenuepulse.com. In this case, the “blog” portion of that hypothetical URL is the CNAME.

3) You do not have an SSL secured instance of Marketo.

When it comes to Marketo landing pages in particular, it’s important to ensure you have SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) enabled. If you’re unfamiliar with SSL, it’s essentially a security protocol that allows your website host to validate whether or not a subdomain is your owned property. Keep in mind that SSL is not included in your Marketo subscription by default. Users must proactively add it to their instance as a paid add-on, and it will take 48 hours to activate once ordered. If you didn’t know this, there is a chance your landing pages are not SSL compliant – which will also affect other Marketo forms embedded anywhere else on your site.

So if you have a Marketo instance that was provisioned before 2021 AND you have not configured a CNAME or secured your pages with SSL, these URL changes will impact you – below are the details of what they will look like.

 

What is changing?

If you haven’t configured a CNAME, Marketo will automatically update all of your links with an assigned CNAME based on your Munchkin ID. This means that any references to old URLs will result in 404 page errors, broken files, and forms that fail to load – all of which will happen on August 1st.

Images & Files

Any images and/or file assets created before 2021 that have their URLs hardcoded into Marketo landing pages without a configured CNAME will have their URLs changed to include a unique hostname – breaking the old URL. Marketo has provided this example for what these link changes will look like:

Legacy: http://na-sj01.marketo.com/rs/123-ABC-456/images/cuteKitten.png
Current: http://123-ABC-456.mktoweb.com/rs/123-ABC-456/images/cuteKitten.png

Landing Pages

The same applies to Marketo landing pages themselves. Any page that hasn’t been configured to use a custom CNAME will have its URL updated to include a unique path name, as shown in a similar example below:

Legacy: http://na-sj01.marketo.com/lp/123-ABC-456/unsubscribePage.html
Current: http://123-ABC-456.mktoweb.com/lp/123-ABC-456/unsubscribePage.html

Forms

When it comes to embedded forms, there are a few extra things to consider. Marketo embedded forms will break not only on landing pages without a configured CNAME but also on landing pages that aren’t secured by SSL. Here is an example of the embedded code changes from Marketo’s release notes:

Legacy:
marketo form legacy URL structure

Current:
Marketo URL current structure

 

What should you do about it?

To avoid a slew of broken pages, forms, and files, we recommend you follow these steps (which we’ve compiled directly from the Marketo Engage release):

1) Start by configuring a CNAME for your landing page URLs if you haven’t already. Marketo has an excellent guide on how to do that here.

2) Next, secure your landing pages with SSL – which you can learn how to do here.

3) Once you have SSL-secured landing pages with configured CNAME URLs, you must replace old embedded form code with the new link structure.

We want to draw your attention to this step in particular, as this will be something we think many organizations will overlook. An audit of your landing pages will be required to identify exactly where all your Marketo embedded forms exist. From there, your IT team (or whoever is in charge of website maintenance) can go in and update all of the embedded form code.

4) The final step would be auditing existing Design Studio references that are using the old URL structure. Since Marketo’s landing page editor automatically formats embedded images and forms to be compatible, this applies more so to existing hardcoded references on non-Marketo pages.

While these changes are certainly important, we don’t want to incite panic.

onsider this more of a reminder for anyone who forgot about Marketo’s initial announcement back in 2021. If you want to learn more about the URL changes, you can read the Marketo Engage release directly here.

And if you need help implementing these changes, reach out to us!