Issue with duplicates between Salesforce and Marketo

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Issue with duplicates between Salesforce and Marketo

Context: in order to sync a lead from Marketo to SFDC, it's quite straight forward with a simple 'sync to Salesforce rule'. For Salesforce to Marketo, we control who syncs down (due to database limits). We do this by using a field called 'Marketing Verified' - only if this is checked, will a lead or contact sync down to Marketo. 

We're having a few issues with duplicates which I am hoping someone might be able to recommend a work around for. 

First scenario:

 

  1. Created a lead and a contact in SF, did not check Marketing Verified. So lead and contact did not sync to Marketo as expected. 
  2. Created/imported the same lead and contact in Marketo (same email address) – with Marketing Verified checked but did not push over to Salesforce. 
  3. Checked marketing verified email (true) on lead and contact records in Salesforce - so they synced to Marketo.
  4. Result: 2 x same lead records (same email) in Marketo (1 in SF) & 2 x same contact records (same email) in Marketo, and not connected to each other. 1 of each record in Salesforce as we did not sync original Marketo lead to Salesforce.

Why is Marketo not recognising that those leads/contacts already exist in Marketo? Does anyone have any work arounds/tools they know would stop this from happening?

 

Second scenario:

  1. Created a lead and a contact in SF, did not check Marketing Verified.
  2. Created/imported the same lead and contact in Marketo (same email address) – with Marketing Verified checked
  3. Created a rule to synch to Salesforce
  4. Result: contact and lead did not sync as the SF duplicate rule kicked in. See below for error message. Not sure what the message even means for the lead error:

Error.PNG

Can anyone shed any light on either of these instances and how we might be able to avoid? This is particularly important when importing event leads who may already be in either system. Also thinking about deletions in Marketo which could then be recreated, and generally when people forget to check Marketing Verified Email as true. It doesn't seem to be an issue when Marketing Verified is checked in both cases - they sync as they should and do not duplicate. 

Thanks in advance.

2 REPLIES 2
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Level 10 - Community Moderator

Re: Issue with duplicates between Salesforce and Marketo

Both of these are expected behavior, Carly.

The key (pun intended) thing to remember is Email Address is not a primary key in Marketo. This is easily proven by just inserting a couple of leads in the Marketo UI with the same address.

Yes, Email Address is a pre-insertion lookup field that's used by some of the methods of inserting leads into Marketo, but by no means all. The SFDC sync does not lookup incoming Contact/Lead records by Email Address before inserting... nor should it, because there are many situations in which such a merge would break your database.

While there are some half-cooked workarounds for the situation you describe, I think recommending any of those is getting away from the main problem: you're trying to have 2 master databases, and that just isn't sustainable. You must design your processes as tightly as possible to either (a) have people created only on the side nominated as the master, or at worst (b) ensure that a person may not be created on one side if it already exists on the other (a multi-master setup, if you will, but with coordination between the 2).

Re: Issue with duplicates between Salesforce and Marketo

Thanks Sanford! 

What you're saying does make sense with regard to the email address not being a primary key. Option (a) just won't be feasible, because clearly we will always want to have leads flowing in from forms, but also sales people should be able to create contacts and sometimes leads, too. Do you have any examples of how this has worked for others in practice? Assume the rules wouldn't differ between a lead, and a contact? I.e. if we could control just lead creation from Marketo (master in this instance), then contact creation only in Salesforce?!  

If we were to explore option (b), do you have any examples of the typical steps we'd need to take or what others have done before? Struggling to envisage how we'd get this working in practice.

Thanks in advance.