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The standard technique of Marketo de-duplication for new-records is by email address. If records already exist in the marketo with similar email address then record will be updated with new/missing information only and if email address is not found then new record will be created.


Do you know you can customize the de-dup rule in Marketo?
See, de-dup customization is only viable when you have some other unique field (like email address) tagged with your lead then only it will be useful for your business.

For example:
I am into education domain and one lead can be tagged with the college name only once then you can use college name as your secondary key for de-duplication rule


If you set up a custom de-dup rule, Marketo will match on email as primary key, and another field as a secondary key. For example, if you add college name as a secondary de-dup field then see the scenario below:

Case 1: When lead entered the database for the first time, email address was “” and college name was “XYZ”

Marketo Action - New lead is created


Case 2: Lead entered the database with same email address “” but college name is different. College name is “ABC” then de-dup rule will check primary key first that is email address {Primary key matched} then it will check secondary key, college name which is different {Secondary key mis-matched}
Marketo Action: New lead is created with same email address but different college name

Case 3: Lead entered the database with same email address and college name as case 1 but this time it’s also tagged with mobile number and home address. Marketo will match primary key and secondary key {Match perfect}
Marketo Action: Lead created with case 1 will be updated with new information


Custom de-dup rules apply to list uploads, form submissions and most API integration but It does not apply to the native CRM sync like salesforce / Microsoft dynamics. These CRM uses their own de-dup rule and that is based on CRM ID.


I hope this blog will help you to understand Marketo de-duplication rule.


Sant Rathore

What assets we are talking about?


See, there are certain assets that can be only created under any program whereas few assets can be created either in the design studio or under any program in the marketing activities and these assets are:
1. Landing page

2. Emails

3. and Forms


For landing page and emails there is no difference at all. You can create them any of the above place as per your requirement.


Now, the third one is the form. When we create any form under a program in the marketing activities and  lead will submit their details through this form, that lead will become the member of this particular program. It simply means if you are using this form in the multiple program then your reporting will be getting affected or you would need to add an extra step in each campaign to assign acquisition program.


If this form was created in the design studio then there is no harm at all because in design studio we don't have anything like program and we can call this form under any program in the marketing activities.


Please let me know if i missed anything.



Sant Rathore

Hey Everyone,


It's been almost 5 years I have been working on Marketo and what I found is most of the companies who are using Marketo don't even know the capability of this powerful tool and they end up with the result that this tool is not meeting their requirement. I know it sounds strange to you as well.


Let me give you an example:
A company which was using Marketo for last 3-4 years with this setup


~ No solid lead scoring

~ Reporting is untouched, they are not using tag, no proper channels, period cost and acquisition program

~ No lead cleanup

~ You are not using engagement programs


Are you using all these functionality? If not then start using today and after 4-5 months you will see the result.


I will be writing next blog about how to tag Acquisition Program against the old captured lead.


Thank you!
Sant Rathore