"Sync with Marketo" mysteries part 2

Level 10

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.



Hi Victor,

Read this other post: Instructions for Creating a Custom Sync Rule


Thanks a lot Greg!

That seems to be just what I was looking for

You are welcome

Level 8 - Champion Alumni

Hi Grégoire Michel​,

Regarding this:

stop the sync FROM Marketo. Unchecking the "sync with Marketo" will propagate to SFDC at next sync, and from there, the sync will stop.

The method you describe is our normal practice (to which I owe much to your posts here) and as I recall has worked correctly in the past.

However, I am troubleshooting an issue currently where the change in the field  on the Marketo side does not propagate to SFDC. The checkbox in SFDC is remaining true and then instead of just simply stopping the sync, the record stops sync but also gives a recurring error message in the activity log.

I am trying to sort out whether this is behavior I simply overlooked before or something new and unusual. Have you noticed this in popping up in any instance where you've deployed the solution?

activity log.jpg

Hi @Justin,

What is the detail of the activity ?

I have never observed this, which is weird. You should at least a last sync.


Level 8 - Champion Alumni

Grégoire Michel

Thanks for confirming. Here's a sample of the activity detail:


The message is especially weird as the sync user has access on the object and read/write permissions on the field. Waiting on support feedback...

Hi Justin,

I would use the SFDC ID provided in the screen here to look at the record in SFDC in details and check that the Marketo sync user indeed has access to it. Based on the roles and sharing rules it might happen that this specific record can no longer be accessed by Marketo, which would cause these error.


Level 8 - Champion Alumni

Thanks Greg.

Level 8 - Champion Alumni

Grégoire Michel

Just to confirm, it appears you were right Greg - there were some unusual sharing rules in place that granted the sync user view access on the record (which allowed it to sync) but blocked the ability to edit the record despite having permissions on the field itself.

I benefit from having been an SFDC admin and consultant for 17 years now