Marketo really needs to institute a hard limit to the lead database size, such as exists for other features of the product like the number of engagement programs or daily API calls, for example.
First, an allegory:
In rural, northwest Oregon, where I grew up, there's a common saying which most everyone knows but is especially important there: "Good fences make good neighbors". To avoid conflicts over cows grazing or trees being logged on the wrong property, landowners make sure that property boundaries are clearly defined, preferably with a fence, and are not crossed without explicit permission from your neighbor. This is an important institution to keep neighbor relations friendly and cooperative rather than hostile - so conversations with your neighbors are about how to work together or to invite each other over for dinner, instead of suing each other for timber theft or damage caused by livestock. Good partner relationships aren't so different from good neighbor relationships.
As it stands, customers are capable of going significantly over their database size and staying there, whether it is due to miscommunication, lack of human resources to analyze and clean data, or any other reason. Although I do not believe it is Marketo's intent, the fact that a customer has been over compliance is effectively used to force customers into an upgrade, for the remainder of their contract, which they may neither need nor want, and it can be perceived as disingenuous. If Marketo had a hard limit to the lead database size, along with automatic notifications when the contracted limit is being approached (maybe at 85% or 90% of capacity) and when the cap begins being enforced, it could go a long way toward maintaining a positive business relationship with customers. Marketo would still have upsell opportunities to offer upgrades, but the customer would have the option of automatically remaining with their current contract.
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