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This post it to elaborate some strategies to handle the "sync with Marketo", based on the findings we had on how this field really work ("Sync with Marketo" mysteries part 1)


If you want to prevent some leads to be sync'ed to Marketo from the early beginning

Just set the "Sync with Marketo" to False in SFDC before enabling the sync. In the initial sync process, stop at the field mapping step, ask Support to enable the filter and, when it's done, complete the sync.


If you want to progressively expand the set of contacts and leads to be sync'ed

This may be needed for a progressive roll out in large orgs.

Start with disabling ("Sync with Marketo" = False) for everything in SFDC and progressively set the "Sync with Marketo" field to True for the BU's or geographies you want to activate.


If you want to deactivate the sync on some existing and already sync'ed leads / contacts before deleting them in Marketo

From our findings, the first way you should consider to set this up is to stop the sync FROM Marketo. Unchecking the "sync with Marketo" will propagate to SFDC at next sync, and from there, the sync will stop. So the smart campaign to set up to do this is:

  • Trigger: whatever event that should cause to stop syncing
  • Flow :
    • Change data value. Attribute = "Sync with Marketo", New value=False
    • Sync to SFDC
    • Delete lead

The "sync with SFDC" flow step is not mandatory, you may just rely on the automatic sync to happen. Still, having this step in the flow enables to make sure that the sync has occurred before deleting the lead. If you do not use a "Sync to SFDC" step, insert a "wait 1 hour" instead.


If for various reasons, you do not want to use Marketo to stop the sync but you want to do it in SFDC, then use a time based workflow so that the "sync" field is not unchecked immediately. This will leave time for the other value changes to be propagated to Marketo, where you will be able to use these value changes to ultimately delete the lead, after another wait of 2 hours.

T0Lead/contact values are edited and trigger a Time based workflow for 1 hour
T0+5mnOn sync, the values are also changed in Marketo to reflect the changes from SFDC. Trigger a smart campaign to delete the lead, but start by waiting 2 hours
T0+1hEnd of the TBW. The "sync to Marketo" field is set to False
T0+1h 5mnThe sync stopsThe sync stops.
T0+2h 5mnEnd of the wait, the lead is deleted



If you want to reactivate the sync on leads/contacts that have stopped to sync

You do not have a choice here: the only place you can do this is in SFDC, even if you have not deleted it yet from Marketo.



One common question is : how do I restrain some records from flowing from SFDC to Marketo when that cannot be handled with simple Salesforce sharing rules. For instance, making sure that inactive contacts or even contacts without emails do not pack into the Marketo DB and count against the licence. The answer is often to add a "Sync with Marketo" field and use it to filter out some records.


But the devil is in the details, so we ran a comprehensive test on how the "Sync with Marketo" really works and came back with a few interesting findings.


Finding #1: the only value of the field that matters is the one from SFDC.

I had read it already from Support, but, as St Thomas, we did some testing to verify it: if the field have a value on SFDC and another one in Marketo, on a same lead / contact, the value that determines whether or not the sync will happen is the one from SFDC. So if the field is set to "True" in SFDC, it will sync, otherwise it will not, whatever the value of the field in Marketo. No escape.


Finding #2: The sync stops immediately when the "sync with Marketo" is set to False in SFDC.

When the sync is disabled, it stops immediately. Really. There is not such thing as a "last sync". This means that the last "transaction" in SFDC is completely ignored from Marketo,with all the value changes in this transaction. Even the "Sync with Marketo = False" info will not visible to Marketo.


Example: Imagine that you have an SFDC workflow that disables the sync when the contact is set to "inactive". The workflow will fire IN THE SAME TRANSACTION as the "inactive contact" setting. Then the sync will be imediately disabled, thus preventing the next sync to happen. This means that Marketo will never know that the contact is not "Inactive" (or whatever field value change you may have done editing the contact). If you had expected to use this information in Marketo, for instance to remove the lead from the Marketo DB, you will not be able to . In another post, we will detail a workaround on how to handle that, but it will take some advanced SFDC skills.


Finding #3: you can cut sync from Marketo but you can only enable it from SFDC

This is a consequence from the previous findings and from the way the sync works.


Starting from a sync'ed lead or contact, if you uncheck the "Sync with Marketo" field in Marketo, you will be in a temporary situation where the field is still "true" in SFDC and the sync continues to work (See Finding #1). On next sync, which will work, the "False" value will be pushed to SFDC, and from there, the sync will be immediately disabled. So, you can easily disable the sync from Marketo.


But you cannot re-enable it from Marketo since, as the sync is now disabled, any change in Marketo will no longer be pushed to SFDC (See Finding #1). In SFDC, the field will remain to "False", unless you edit and change it there. And as stated in Finding #1, the only value that matters is the one from SFDC.


Consequence: if you need to reestablish a sync, it can only be done in SFDC.


Similarly, if you are creating new leads from Marketo, you should rather make sure they will be marked as "sync'ed" on creation in SFDC.


Finding #4: once the sync is disabled, the account info continues to sync

That one was not anticipated, although, after a second thought, since the account is a separate object in Marketo and SFDC, it makes sense. Let's say you have a contact and an account in SFDC that sync with Marketo. Then you deactivate the sync on the contact. The sync will stop for the contact. But not for the account. So if after this, you change some account values in SFDC, they will be visible on the lead in SFDC, even on the one that does not sync. It is a little surprising to see the industry or the billing address changing on a Marketo lead that is not supposed to sync...


The good news is that it is possible to also ask for accounts to have a sync filter.


Finding #5: if you stop a sync and reactivate it later, it will resync the right lead / contact

This is another apparently obvious one, but worth saying: if you unsync a lead contact, then change your mind before it has been deleted from Marketo, no problem, just reactivate the sync FROM SFDC, and it will automatically resync all field changes that have occurred in between.



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