Choosing Between Custom Fields, Custom Objects, and Custom Activities

Anonymous
Not applicable

I've been keeping a chart of differences between custom fields, custom objects, and custom activities to help my customers choose the right place to store data. Not all of the functionality is immediately obvious but it can have a big impact down the line.

Custom Field (person)

Custom Object

Custom Activity

Can be used to personalize email

X

X

Can be used to personalize mobile

X

Can be used to segment/target/trigger off value upon insertion

X

X

X

Can be used to segment/target off current values

X

X

Can be used to trigger off changes to an attribute

X

X (Since 2017)

Can be 1:N with a person

X

X

Can be aggregated over time period (frequency)

X

Can be created by a Marketo admin

X

X

X

Can be added (individual entries) via SOAP API

X

X

Can be added (individual entries) via REST API

X

X

X

Can be programmatically updated and deleted (individual entries)

X

X

Can utilize text attributes (>255 char)

X

X

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11 Comments
Anonymous
Not applicable

So is your chart saying we will be able to trigger off custom object in 2017? is that Q1 of 2017?

Hi Kristen Carmean,

What do you mean by "Can be programmatically updated and deleted (individual entries)" ?

-Greg

Anonymous
Not applicable

It's just in reference to being able to use the API to update and delete them.

Anonymous
Not applicable

I didn't personally make that edit to the blog. But what I know is that this functionality went into beta in the September release and is available only to customers using the Orion platform, so you need to request it via support. I imagine the person who made that edit (Kenneth Elkington​ or John Mattos (W)​ are my best guesses) knows that this is going into GA in 2017, but they will need to confirm.

Level 8 - Champion Alumni

The news about updates to custom objects being able to trigger smart campaigns is huge. I have avoided using COs due to this limitation and also had to devise some really absurd work-arounds.


John Mattos (W)Kenny Elkington​ -

Can you offer any more information on the expected timeline and functionality?

Importantly, do you know if the trigger will be available only for Marketo custom objects or also for those synched from Salesforce?

Many thanks.

Marketo Employee

Arjun Nair​ is better equipped to answer this than I am.

Hi Kristen,

This is really huge news, indeed!

-Greg

Thx a lot. Bookmarked, as it will be a useful one

Hi Arjun Nair,

Can you tell us a little more about this?

And BTW, when will Orion be rolled out to the London Pod?

-Greg

Level 5 - Champion

I know this is an old string Kristen Carmean​ - but I am looking for a way to APPEND data to a custom field, activity or object. I.e. I am tracking leads registering and attending webchats. Is there a way for my lead's field to say...

registered for webchat 0213; registered for webchat 0256; registered for webchat 9866; etc. to see a running list of activities a lead has done?? or would you suggest just building out several fields?