Marketo / salesforce integration needs a serious overhaul, don't you "sync"?


Marketo / salesforce integration needs a serious overhaul, don't you "sync"?

It's been a very long time since the last improvement to the Salesforce connector. Browsing the community product and Idea sections enables to see how much some improvement is needed. So I wrote this recap on all the ideas that would really make a difference and enable the Marketo / SFDC connector to widen the gap again with the competition, which has been catching up over the past 2 years.

The first item would be an increase in performance, as we just got for MS Dynamics in the Spring'16 release (Release Notes: Spring '16 - Marketo Docs - Product Docs). And this is especially true for the campaign member table that can be really huge!

This long list is also there for the reader to vote for them!

1-Setup, mapping and general features

The first areas on which some improvement is the data schema management and mapping:

  • Mapping can sometimes be done by support but is supposed to be a chargable service. And the feeling here is that Marketo is charging here for product weaknesses. In fact, the lead/account field mapping should be automated as it is for contacts: ​. Furthermore, admins should be able to unmap/remap fields from the admin interface. See ​ and
  • Have the possibility to add some fields in SFDC that will automatically map with Marketo system fields. See
  • Many SFDC standard account, contact and lead fields are not mapped by Marketo. E.G. the account "Rating" field or various address fields. And because these fields are standard in SFDC, they cannot be added as custom ones. These fields should be added to Marketo standard schema: , but also and (Thx b706ea80613200c9076fff41d5e1dc75bc5f4adf​)
  • Synchronizing a Marketo instance with SFDC long after having started to use Marketo is a very plainful process, due to the apparition of duplicate fields all over the instance. See
  • Also, it appears that the field mapping section does not refresh when new fields are created in SFDC. It should be possible to refresh the Field Mapping info: (Thx Alex Stanton)
  • When a new field is added in SFDC and Marketo, the field is left empty into Marketo unless we trigger an update of all the leads/contacts/accounts in SFDC. An option should enable to fetch the data of all records on this field and populate the new field in Marketo
  • In the admin -> SFDC sync, we can set the default values for last name and company name, to comply with SFDC minimum requirement for lead creation. This is not enough though if the SFDC instance has some other mandatory fields. In this case, it should be possible to define default values for other, custom fields
  • Lookup fields should be better supported, so that the lookup record name is automatically added to the Marketo data model: (Thx Brian Vass) and this especially true for record type fields.
  • The SFDC ID field should be read only: (Thx Christina Zuniga​) and also be usable as tokens and filter criteria: and ​ (Thx 74e2509fd4ecc4d009aedc7e577491bd1b26680c)
  • On this chapter, we should be able to also leverage the new salesforce "Shared Contact" feature (See SFDC Release Notes ) (Thx Kyle Halstvedt)
  • We would also need the opportunity products to mapped and made usable in opportunity related filters / triggers. See
  • We would also need to be able to conditionally block field updates so that SFDC info is not overwritten under certain conditions. see
  • The absence of account opportunities is seriously limiting the accuracy of attribution models and the capabilities of opportunity triggers and filters. See
  • We also should have the option to use Lightning URLs in the tasks generated as automated activities. See (Thx Christophe Boucquet )
  • We also need the connector to support the individual object in read and write mode. See

2-Custom objects

We also need some strengthening of the way custom objects are mapped and handled:

  • Currently, if a custom object is linked to both the lead and contact or lead and account objects in SFDC, mapping it in Marketo becomes a challenge as Marketo sees it as 2 objects with the same name. It should be possible to map this object with 1 Marketo object, mapped once for lead and a second time for account or contact:
  • Troubleshooting custom object sync or usage in a velocity script is a challenge, mostly because we cannot know what SFDC custom object data is really in Marketo. It should be possible to display the SFDC custom objects together with the Marketo Custom Objects in the lead detail screen:
  • Custom object sync with Marketo is one way only. It should be possible to create custom object instances in SFDC from Marketo:
  • It is currently impossible to trigger a flow from an update to a custom object, as it is possible from the opportunity object. See ,   (Thx Pierce Ujjainwalla ) and even (Thx Jose Tarzian )
  • Detecting changes to SFDC custom objects is impossible. One clean and neat solution would be to enable the sync of SFDC history tables. See

3-User object

The way the user object is handled needs a serious enhancement:

  • We need to be able to sync all User fields, including custom ones, and not just the very basic ones ​​ and of course, to get the same fields on the account owner as on the lead owner
  • One step furthers, we also need to sync all related users on the lead/contact/account ​and be able to use that information as tokens in assets and smart campaigns
  • We would also need specific tokens for teams in SFDC and specifically for account teams. See

4-SFDC Campaigns and Marketo programs

On the chapter of how Marketo programs interact and sync with SFDC campaigns, a lot has to be done:

  • When we create campaigns from Marketo, we should be able to access a complete campaign page layout, including Record types (Thx 1b1a5142f57b46a5619e4db261e2d7cb8a5dd249​) and (Thx Sara McDaniel) and we also should be able to change the campaign owner (). The sync would also include the program costs:
  • Furthermore all campaign fields should automatically be mapped as programs tokens as soon as the campaign is synchronized with a program   and ​ (Thx Sarah Herrmann)
  • Marketo should be able to leverage campaign member standard and custom fields and sync them with program member fields that could be read and also set:
  • The implicit sync that occurs when a lead is added to a sync'ed program is sometimes troublesome and a reason why users decide not to sync programs with campaigns. To better manage this, it should be possible to select which Program member statuses will trigger an implicit lead sync:
  • When the Marketo program / SFDC campaign synch has been broken because the member statuses have beed edited in SFDC, it should be possible for the admin to repair it and to force the re-creation of SFDC campaign member statuses from the program member statuses: ​and also to resync all members between a program and a campaign
  • From SFDC, we should also be able to identify if a campaign is sync’ed with a program: ​​ and offer the possibility to access the program in 1 click.
  • Also, from inside Marketo, it should be possible to filter with program are sync'ed with SFDC and which ones are not: (Thx Nora Slattery)
  • Also, we would need to have the "Acquired by" program information to sync and show up in the SFDC campaign, where we could use it for reporting: (Thx Beth Magee) and
  • When a lead fails to sync and is a member of a sync'ed program, then is later correctly sync'ed to an SFDC campaign, there is no recovery of the SFDC campaign member until the program member status of the lead is changed. This recovery should be automatic. See (Thx Amit Jain )
  • And finally, we should be able to set the lead's source campaign in SFDC

5-SFDC campaign synchronization, filtering and triggering

A few enhancements would be welcome in the way we can leverage SFDC campaigns in filters and triggers:

  • We should be able to use time information about campaign membership (Thx Nathan Allison) and we should be able to select the date at which an SFDC campaign member status has been set: (Thx Nathan Allison again )
  • We should also be able to select active/inactive SFDC campaigns in all SFDC campaign related filters/triggers:
  • When synchronizing a program with an SFDC campaign if the member statuses are different on both ends, the sync will break. This an error that is very easy to make. hence these 2 ideas: and

6-Task creation

Task / activity creation needs a serious improvement:

  • We should be able to set all standard and custom fields (Thx d094008ce4e94d6ca9fcb860e4d131ee1a96ecb8) and ​ and to use them: , including Record types.
  • We should be use tokens in task assignment ​ and, to make it really powerful, we should be able to use lookup(user) fields for task assignment
  • We need to be able to use account team members to assign a task. See

7-Lead/contact assignment

Lead assignment mechanism is by far too limited to enable to manage all the complexities of the most flexible or largest organizations. In these advanced SFDC users, at minimum, some lead assignment rules have been set up but very often some complex logic has been created, for instance to attach leads to accounts before they are converted. So:

  • We should be able to use Lookup(user) fields on leads, contacts or accounts to assign leads
  • We should also be able to use the owner to any related object (through a lookup field) to assign lead, not just lead owner or account owner:
  • We also should be able to use tokens in "sync lead to SFDC" or "Change owner" flows steps. Tokens could carry SFDC IDs or SFDC User IDs. See
  • For the organizations that have been using salesforce for a long time before implementing Marketo, there is often a whole set of lead assignment rules in production, which can be used in SFDC on lead creation and lead update. But from Marketo, we can only use them on lead creation, so we need the capability to execute SFDC LAR on lead update
  • We need to be able to leverage account teams for contact assignment See
  • In large orgs, it may happen that SFDC users are namesakes. We need a solution to differnetiate them. See
  • We need to be able better manage inactive lead owner in order to run reassignment and specific campaigns. See . Thx Jenn Pellerin
  • We should also be able to use {{my. tokens to assign persons. See
  • We would also need to be able to assign people in SFDC divisions, for larger companies using that option. See


  • The Opportunity Role is available as a constraint on opportunity filters but not on triggers. See

9-Sync management & troubleshooting

Last but not least, we really need some improvement in how we can manage the sync and troubleshoot any issue:

  • First, let's start with a nasty little bug that breaks lead merge in certain circumstances. See (Thx Kelly Korynta)
  • Then, we should be able to to set up sync filtering without calling support, just with a standardized field name, as it is possible with MS Dynamics ​​
  • When looking into an instance, being able to know whether a sync filter is set.
  • We should also be able to mark a lead so that it does not sync to CRM
  • The connector should let Marketo know when the sync is stopped for a given lead, so that we could process in Marketo the outcomes, such as deleting the lead
  • We also need to get a sync status summary, as it is available with MS Dynamics: and
  • We also need a Sync error tab
  • In order to detect the sync errors and react on them, we need the availability of a "lead was not sync with SFDC" filter & "lead is not sync’ed with SFDC" trigger, together with all the appropriate constraints so that we can know the source of the issue ​ (Thx Abby Ryan) and (Thx Dan Stevens )
  • Also, providing a last SFDC sync date/time on leads would help with troubleshooting: (Thx David Desrosiers​)
  • We need some easily accessible and meaningful sync logs:
  • The possibility to set up sync notifications on sync duration would be very helpful: (Thx Emily Kucharczyk)
  • Lead or contact deletion of sync stop should lead to revert the Marketo person to an unsync'ed one in Marketo. See

I'll probably also compile a list of improvement that we would need to see coming on Marketo Sales Insight...


Tags (1)
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Re: Marketo / salesforce connector needs a serious oberhaul, don't you "sync"?

Have you made these as ideas, you have some good ones in here.

Not applicable

Re: Marketo / salesforce connector needs a serious oberhaul, don't you "sync"?

OK, just noticed you can also vote, thanks!

Re: Marketo / salesforce connector needs a serious oberhaul, don't you "sync"?

Yes, all bulbs are ideas you can click on and vote for


Re: Marketo / salesforce connector needs a serious oberhaul, don't you "sync"?

Also note that the version of the API which Marketo uses is only v20 - Salesforce is now on v37!!!

Re: Marketo / salesforce connector needs a serious oberhaul, don't you "sync"?

Hi Neil,

Yes, you are right, and surely implementing some of these ideas will require an upgrade of the API version.


Re: Marketo / salesforce integration needs a serious overhaul, don't you "sync"?

I just ran into this within the past 24 hours (I was working off SFDC's SOAP API documentation to try to map something only to realize "oh I guess Marketo doesn't support that field yet") and it's yet another "I'd make an idea but no one would understand", so: cosigning updating the API version.

Re: Marketo / salesforce integration needs a serious overhaul, don't you "sync"?

Hi Courtney,

Upgrading the API version is not a goal by itself, but most of the ideas in this post would require an upgrade of the SFDC API version used by the Marketo connector.


Not applicable

Re: Marketo / salesforce integration needs a serious overhaul, don't you "sync"?

Hi Neil,

Just wanted to add an update to this particular comment - the Marketo Salesforce connector now supports v37 of the Salesforce API.  We are also regularly keeping an eye on new developments in the Salesforce API, and will upgrade to later versions as necessary.



Re: Marketo / salesforce integration needs a serious overhaul, don't you "sync"?

Hi Derek,

Thanks for letting us know this has been updated! While I'm genuinely excited to hear this, I do have one minor complaint--which is that if I wasn't involved with this thread, I wouldn't've known this even happened. While I realize this would make most of Marketo's user base's eyes glaze over, can we please please please get release notes when technical changes like this happen? It definitely matters to a subset of us. Heck, even just having a changelog in the developers' section would be nice.