I was just told by support, "For custom fields, the values from the winning lead will take precedence over the losing lead's values - even if the winning lead's value is currently null. This behavior is expected and there is not currently a plan for us to change that."
I suggest that when the winning value has a custom field value of null and the losing value is populated, Marketo should retain the populated field data instead of purposefully decreasing the data quality of our database by nulling out the data.
I'm sure there are some fields where a blank value is the better value, but in the vast majority of cases a populated field is better than an empty one.
In the meantime, there is one absolute rule when merging fields: create a backup first
Wow. That's really unexpected behavior. Surprised that this is how it was designed.
The default behavior must not be changed, as it would be a colossal backward compatibility break.
Can see adding the option to merge case-by-case and field-by-field. But there are just as many problems going in the other direction. Until we have a notion of field groups which always move together, someone will always lose. I shudder at what we would have lost had blank fields blindly taken a value from source fields without regard for context.
Yes, there would absolutely need to be conditions. This is especially true for source fields.
Great advice. When I've used RingLead in the past, I made sure to keep an export so I could fix some not-so-ideal data populations. We now use LeanData for Routing and they also have an incoming merge feature that we're using so it's more systematic. They probably have records of the old data. I'll have to look into it, but this creates a lot more work for sure.
I was just about to create a new discussion around this until I came across this idea. We currently have a duplicate issue on our hands that we're in the process of cleaning up. Many of the "losing" leads in Marketo contain a wealth of valuable data - specifically some of our history fields (interesting moments, web pages visited, etc.). We too learned the hard way that these values are being reset to null after the merge. Sanford Whiteman are you aware of an existing idea that speaks to resolving this issue - similar to your "field groups" suggestion?
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