Adding New Fields into an Existing Marketo-Dynamics Sync

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With the Marketo-Dynamics native integration, it’s really important to understand how adding new fields into the sync works, because it’s not always intuitive and it has an impact on your ability to use data in Marketo.

Scenario 1: You Enable the New Field to Sync to Marketo Before the Initial Sync

The second step of the sync setup is to choose which fields you want to sync from Dynamics to Marketo. If you enable a field at this point in the process, then when you do the initial sync, all existing data in that field will sync over to Marketo. The field will be kept up to date between the two systems going forward based on the rules you’ve established with field security and field update blocking.

Scenario 2: You Enable the New Field to Sync to Marketo After the Initial Sync But Before There’s Any Data in the Field

This scenario happens when you create a brand new field in Dynamics and you want to sync this to Marketo. For example, this might be the Lifecycle Status or Behavioral/Demographic Score fields that you often create specifically for your lifecycle processes. If you create the field, then go into Admin and enable the field to sync, and only then start populating the data, any changes made to the field going forward will sync over based on the regular rules.

Scenario 3: You Enable the New Field to Sync to Marketo After the Initial Sync When There’s Already Data in the Field

This scenario happens when you later decide that you need a field from Dynamics over in Marketo for marketing or sales purposes. Sometimes this happens because you didn’t do a really thorough job in your initial field selection or because your needs change later. This is where you really need to pay attention.

Data already in that field will not sync to Marketo until the data is updated for that specific lead in that specific field. To make this clearer, let’s take an example. I forget to sync over my custom Country field until after the initial sync. I have two leads – Jack and Jill. Jack does not have a Country value populated at all. Jill’s field already has United States populated. When I enable the sync for this field, both Jack and Jill will have empty Country values in Marketo. If I go in and update the Country field for Jack to United Kingdom, his record will get updated in Marketo and now Jack’s record says United Kingdom. Jill’s record is still empty in that field. If I go in to Jill’s record and I update her job title, her Country field in Marketo will still be empty. Only once I update the actual Country field on Jill’s record will that populate.

This situation obviously can present a problem for marketers. Obviously the best case would be that you thought through your field list thoroughly before you did the sync and you erred on the side of syncing over all the fields you thought you might use. But since that’s not always possible, here’s what you can do if you think you will end up in this third scenario:

  • Manipulate the data in CRM, such as:
    • Export the data from that field in CRM and then delete it in CRM. Then, enable the field in the Marketo sync and reimport the data from that field back into CRM.
    • Force a fake update to the field on all records, such as appending a . or – and then removing it after the update has synced over to Marketo.
  • Contact Marketo support to do a force resync of your CRM data.

When in doubt, you should always check with consulting or support to make sure you understand the implications of the actions you’re taking with the CRM integration. It’s much easier to change course in the beginning than go back and fix it later!

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