Using Formulas in Marketo

When it comes to formulas in Marketo, most users have doubts about how to use them and their real benefits.

Formulas can be used for several purposes, such as data cleaning, formatting, validating emails, defining segmentation, applying advanced math to campaigns, among others.

In this article I’ll provide an overview of your options for using formulas in Marketo and the possibilities from each one.

Formula Field in Marketo

Formula Field in Marketo is very limited and can’t truly apply formulas to your campaigns.

In Marketo Admin section you can create a New Custom Field with Type: Formula. This field allows you to generate values based on data from other fields. For example:

If Marketo Social Gender is Male, Value: Dear Mr. {{Lead.First Name}}

If Marketo Social Gender is Female, Value: Dear Ms. {{Lead.First Name}}

The formula field is added as a token in an email and will follow the rule you defined during setup. See how to use formula field here.

The Formula field in Marketo is simple and easy to use, however it has some downsides:

  • Very limited functionalities
  • Fields cannot be exported
  • Fields cannot be used in Smart Campaigns

Sync formulas from CRM

CRM platforms such as Salesforce, MS Dynamics and Sugar allow you to use formulas to define calculations for custom fields, validation rules and workflow logic.Salesforce, which is the most commonly used platform, provides a great range of possibilities, once formulas are similar to Excel and you can explore more complex functions. You can create formulas in Salesforce and sync them across to Marketo, in order to use these formulas in your campaigns.The main downsides of this alternative are:

  • When a value in the Formula field in Salesforce changes, it does not trigger updates in Marketo (as it does not update the System ModStamp).

This means that data is not synced automatically, which can cause issues if you have triggered actions in your Marketo campaigns based on formula fields.In order to sync data from formula fields you have to add another step, such as:     - Insert a trigger in Salesforce to update another custom field with the formula result, using the non-formula field in your Marketo campaign; or     - Use Process Builder in Salesforce to replicate the formula logic in the workflow rule.

  • Even after adding the step to sync data automatically, there will be a 5 minutes wait to have data sent from Salesforce to Marketo. If the formula is based on a value being changed in Marketo, that’s at least 10 minutes.
  • Salesforce formulas require Marketo to query Salesforce for each value separately, which can cause substantial API usage. However, it’s possible to use a tool such as DemandTools or Data Loader to minimize impact on API.

Excel Webhook for Marketo

This is a free service that allows you to use Excel formulas in your campaigns in Marketo. Because it’s a webhook, the results are instantaneous and it does not require using CRM formula and waiting for it to sync.The formulas can be applied on triggered campaigns and should follow the same pattern as Excel. Here are some examples of formulas that can be used:

  • Add score values together

={{Lead.Relative Score}}+{{Lead.Relative Urgency}}

  • Use Proper Case

=PROPER("{{lead.First Name}}”)  

  • Remove Spaces

=SUBSTITUTE("{{lead.Email Address}}"," ","")

The webhook access is available for free on Launchpoint.

I hope you found this article useful and have now a better understanding of how to use formulas in Marketo.

If you have any other relevant information or different experience with formulas, please let me know and I’ll update this post. seg?add=4481695&t=2