Kai Malik

Lead Partition: Setup and Behavior

Blog Post created by Kai Malik on Aug 9, 2019

This article outlines the setup options and the expected behavior for Partitions. Please reference the official product docs for step by step instructions on how to set partitions and workspaces up.


Partition Assignment Options


  1. Partition Settings in Admin Interface:
    • Applies to:

      All NEWLY created records EXCEPT those created via CRM sync or SOAP API.

    • Where to access setting:

      Navigate to “Admin” > “Workspaces and Partitions” > you can update the settings via either the “Workspace” or the “Partitions” tab. “Workspace” tab allows you to pick primary partition and this is where you initially assign a partition to a newly created workspace.

    • How it works:

      Create all potential partitions within the “Partitions” tab. In the “Workspace” Tab, create a workspace. Enter the workspace name and description. The rest of the fields (below) define partition assignment rules.

      • All Person Partitions: clicking this allows this specific workspace to access ALL partitions that exist within your instance (even if you have new partitions coming in in the future). A good use case for this is to reference all partitions in the “Operational” workspace.
      • Person Partition Checkbox (Required): this consists of all available partitions. The partitions that you select will be accessible via the selected workspace. Note that if only one partition is selected it automatically becomes the “primary partition”. You must select at least one partition per workspace.
      • Primary Partition (Required): This specifies which primary partition a record will be associated with if the person is introduced to Marketo via an asset within this workspace. (e.g. if a record is created via form fill out, and the form lives within workspace A, the contact will be created under the partition set as “PRIMARY” for “workspace A” unless there is a smart campaign rule specifying otherwise).Note: In the workspace tab, if a workspace has access to multiple partitions, the default partition is denoted with an asterisk (*). If the workspace only has access to one partition you don’t see the asterisk.
    • How are duplicates handled?

      Consider this scenario: Record X exists in Partition A only. If you attempt to add the same email address to Partition B, the following behavior should be expected (by the source of lead creation):

      • Creation via Manual Input: A new record Y with a duplicate email will be created in Partition B. Record Y will be available for reference in all workspaces that have access to Partition B.
      • Creation via List Import: The list import will NOT create a new record with a duplicate email in Partition B UNLESS you create custom duplication rules with Marketo support.
        • Creation via Form Fill Out: If Record X fills out a form that exists within Partition B, a new Record Y with a duplicate email will NOT be created in Partition B UNLESS you create custom duplication rules for form fill outs with Marketo Support. Any smart campaign associated to the form will not run in Partition B (because the record lives in Partition A). The form fill activity will be logged for the record in Partition A.
      • Creation via REST API: If the partition name is defined within the REST API request, a new record with the same email will be created within Partition B.
      • Notes:
        • All of these scenarios do not account for any smart campaigns updating partitions (only referring to default settings) and all of the scenarios mentioned rely on the creation activity occurring in a workspace with Partition B set at Primary Partition.
        • Custom duplication rules can be requested for each source of lead creation (e.g. I can set up a rule that uses email address AND primary partition as the duplication rule for list imports only. This will allow me to create a new record Y with duplicate email in Partition B via list upload even though Record X already exists within Partition A.
          I recommend that you thoroughly vet out and understand the use case, functionality, and activity tracking for various scenarios prior to requesting a custom duplicate rule (esp. for Form Fill Outs). Remember, since this creates a NEW record with a duplicate email address, all activity associated with this record will be specific to only activity within the workspaces where the partition is made available. In the instance where both records are accessible in one workspace (e.g. operational), you have to understand and consider who the activity (emails, web, etc.) in the shared workspace is attributed.                     
  2. Assignment Rules in Admin Interface:
    • Applies to:

      ALL NEWLY created contacts or leads via CRM sync OR SOAP API.

    • Where to access setting:

      Navigate to “Admin” -> “Workspaces and Partitions” -> “Person Partitions” Tab -> Click “Assignment Rules”

    • How it works:

      The default value will be the initial partition the contact is assigned to if being synced from the CRM.

      You have the ability to add basic logic (example below) - if the add choice functionality is not sufficient for your business use case (e.g. you wish to use a combination of filters to assign to each partition) you can assign a partition via a smart campaign.

  3. Smart Campaign:
    • Applies to:

      Newly created OR existing records. (e.g. If the partition assignment logic for the CRM sync is too complex and requires a combination of filters, use this feature to update the partition from the default partition).

      Note: Smart Campaigns partition rules have the ability to overwrite rules assigned via partition settings in the admin tab. Ensure that the smart campaign logic is thoroughly tested and is required for your use case prior to setup.

    • Where to access setting:

      Set up a campaign within Operational workspace (has access to all partitions). Create a smart campaign within Marketing Activities > Within the flow, select the “Change Person Partition” flow step.

    • How it works:

      The conditional logic can be applied within the smart list of the smart campaign (you will need multiple campaigns) OR you can create bucketed smart list assets that can be referenced within the "add choice" flow step of a single smart campaign. The campaign can be triggered or set as a batch based on your business use case.


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