Catching and Removing Duplicates

Level 1

Catching and Removing Duplicates



I'm noticing that in my Marketo instance there are a number of duplicates that are created. There are three sources a lead can enter our Marketo instance. An API integration to our backend data from our signup flow, a Marketo form fill, and a lead that is uploaded to Salesforce and then syncs to Marketo. There are cases where three leads are created with the same email as they entered from all three of those sources.


Does anyone have suggestions on campaigns or way to catch a duplicate and marry it to an existing lead. Additionally, does anyone have suggestions on how to properly remove duplicates that are taking up database storage currently?


Thanks in advance for any help!

Level 10 - Community Moderator

Re: Catching and Removing Duplicates

You can't "catch" a duplicate while it's in the process of being created, you can only merge it.


Limit the creation of duplicates by making sure you use the Email Address field as a lookup field wherever possible: some code using the API doesn't pay enough attention to the lookup field. And a large number of leads — the definition of "large" is up to you, of course — being created from SFDC where there already is an unsynced, Marketo-only person with the same email address signals that your MQL process needs some tuning.


Your Marketo instance will already have a System Smart List called Potential Duplicates in the Database area, and you can create your own SL of the same type.



Level 6 - Community Advisor

Re: Catching and Removing Duplicates

Hey there! Be sure to check out some of these related posts:


Your API and form sources hopefully shouldn't be creating duplicates, so SFDC is likely the culprit if you don't have any measures in place on the SFDC side to prevent duplicates. We run into duplicates most often when a person exists only in Marketo, and then the same person is created later via SFDC as a contact.


You can manually merge records together, but you should take a look at your existing processes to understand where the duplicates are coming from, and then look into solutions. We opted to go with Marketo's AutoMerge solution to scale the deduplication after we mitigated duplicates to the best of our ability internally.


To answer your question about removing duplicates, you'll have to decide what you're willing to part ways with in terms of data, but you could look for person records who are duplicates with no activity, and remove those.

Level 2

Re: Catching and Removing Duplicates

We all understand the impact that duplicate records can have on your marketing efforts, from skewed metrics to wasted resources. Here are some practical tips and best practices to conquer duplicates in Marketo, ensuring data integrity and maximizing your marketing success.

  1. Understand the Causes and Consequences of Duplicates: Duplicates can arise from various sources, such as manual data entry errors, data imports, and system integrations. These duplicates can lead to inaccurate reporting, ineffective personalization, diminished customer experiences, and wasted marketing efforts. Recognizing the consequences underscores the importance of implementing a robust duplicate management strategy.

  2. Set Up Prevention Mechanisms: Prevention is the first line of defense against duplicates. Marketo offers several native features to help you proactively prevent duplicates. Start by configuring deduplication rules based on key fields like email addresses, names, or unique identifiers. Leverage Marketo's field validation options to enforce data integrity during form submissions. Additionally, establish naming conventions and standardized data entry processes across your organization to minimize human errors.

  3. Implement Regular Data Audits: Even with preventive measures in place, duplicates can find their way into your Marketo database over time. Regular data audits are essential to identify and address these duplicates promptly. Utilize Marketo's data management functionalities to search for duplicate records based on specific criteria. Once identified, evaluate and merge the duplicate records while preserving relevant information, such as lead scores, activity history, and program membership.

  4. Leverage Marketo's Merge Functionality: Marketo simplifies the process of merging duplicate records with its built-in merge functionality. When merging records, ensure you select the most complete and up-to-date information as the primary record. This ensures that valuable data and activities associated with the duplicate record are consolidated correctly. Prioritize caution while merging, as irreversible actions can impact your data integrity.

  5. Leverage Third-Party Solutions: In addition to Marketo's native capabilities, consider leveraging third-party tools and integrations to enhance your duplicate management efforts. Several market-leading platforms, such as RingLead, M-clean, LeanData, and Openprise, offer advanced duplicate detection and merging capabilities. These solutions seamlessly integrate with Marketo, providing automated duplicate identification, merging, and ongoing monitoring to maintain data quality consistently.

Duplicate data can undermine the effectiveness of your marketing initiatives and compromise the accuracy of your reporting. However, armed with a solid understanding of duplicate causes and consequences, coupled with the right strategies, you can conquer duplicates within Marketo. By implementing prevention mechanisms, conducting regular data audits, leveraging Marketo's merge functionality, and exploring third-party solutions, you'll streamline your duplicate management process and ensure data integrity, ultimately boosting the efficiency and success of your marketing campaigns. 

Jashandeep Kaur