Syncing data with Marketo

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Syncing data with Marketo

We’re looking for suggestions with regards to getting our data to Marketo and keeping it up to date. If you have experience with either of these approaches please let me know how it went, why you made the decision you did and if you would change anything now.


Approach A

We have a large custom CRM with lots of data in it. Our BI department connects to our main databases and extracts data with their business logic (outside of the CRM) to their tables. Through their ETL process they’re able to keep a mostly up to date marketing list for us to use.

From there, our process keeps a cached version of this table to compare against. If it finds new or updated data, it sends those leads in batches to Marketo.

Our webhooks then take any data received from Marketo for use in our CRM such as triggering workflows. We also pull changed records to make available for our CRM in the same fashion.

We could then define critical triggers within the CRM that push updates or new leads to Marketo without sitting in our rudimentary queue.

While we’re able to get this up and running relatively quickly, the main disadvantage to this approach is that the data may be N minutes stale which could have an impact on how effective our use of Marketo is. Additionally, the critical data that needs to be updated may grow past quite a bit which would add overhead for maintenance.

Approach B

Another way we thought of would be to setup a real time ETL process outside of our BI dept for the whole of our CRM.

As changes happen in our system, we would send through Rabbit MQ to handle internal processes such as audit tracking. Using Rabbit, our process could push out to Marketo without having to compare our BI table to a cached version.

Pulling changes and receiving webhooks would relatively remain the same approach.

The biggest disadvantage here is that it would significantly increase our development time for Marketo integration. However, this would keep our data in sync nearly instantly.

Level 10

Re: Syncing data with Marketo

Hi Michael,

I am not sure that I understand fully what you are trying to achieve, but keep in mind a few important principles:

  • Marketo API are not unlimited, so call REST endpoint in real time to process 1 record at a time all along the day might quickly exhaust your API quota (which is usually by default 50000 per day, but it is possible to order some more from Marketo)
  • Most (but not all) of the REST API endpoints are able to process batches of records (up to 300 per call) and this is a better use of your API quota to use them that way
  • Marketo owns connectors for or MS Dynamics run only once very five minutes and not in real time. I am still waiting a marketing use case where this frequency is not good enough, but you might be in a specific situation that would require a more frequent update
  • Marketo webhooks are very flexible but quite slow and not adequate to handle large volumes of data in batchs. Furthermore, in Marketo, tey cannot be called from a batch campaign, only from a triggered one
  • You can also use the forms 2.0 API and call the /save endpoint though an HTTP call. It enables to post or update lead records, up to 30 records per minute, 43000 a day.