Custom Objects for Preference Center Opt-Ins?

Level 1

Custom Objects for Preference Center Opt-Ins?

Hello! I'm hoping someone can help me with this. I'm building a preference center, which will contain 4-5 content categories that a contact can opt-in to. It would be nice to have a section in the customer info section dedicated to these preferences - content categories that a contact is subscribed to, the date they subscribed to each content category, and the date they unsubscribed to a content category. I've poked around on this subject in this forum, but get thrown off when I see things like "intermediate gateway" and API calls. Would custom objects be the right idea, or can someone point me in the right direction? 


Level 10 - Community Moderator

Re: Custom Objects for Preference Center Opt-Ins?

Marketo Custom Objects are a fabulous choice for storing preferences. Relative to simple flat fields, they more closely match business needs.


For example, they can store:

  • the datetime someone toggled a preference on or off
  • cadence/temporary pause/sub-interests for each type of mailing
  • which app managed the preference (bulk load vs. external API vs. CRM vs. user self-service Preference Center)
  • the UTMs present when they managed their prefs

However! While Marketo COs can be used in Smart Lists, viewed in the Marketo Person Detail screen, and included in email content, they cannot be added, updated, or deleted by  flow steps nor by Marketo form submissions. Nor can they be included in landing page content — there are no corresponding {{lead.tokens}}.


All management of COs is done via API calls. That’s why we refer to API gateways, because you need a layer that reads a person’s COs from Marketo* for use in your form and writes back changes accordingly. The API gateway lives in a public or private cloud, not in Marketo itself. While it’s not particularly complex, you do need to be/have a developer for this part.



* The person’s COs need not be read from Marketo on the fly. Instead, the gateway might sync all COs with Marketo every say, 5 minutes, for higher speed. This isn’t necessary unless you have high volume; you may be able to read/write straight through to Marketo each time.

Level 10 - Community Advisor

Re: Custom Objects for Preference Center Opt-Ins?

@ameliamarie ,

you can do a LOT of what @SanfordWhiteman has referred to using the amazing and vastly useful FlowBoost (, or various other platforms that would let you (via the Marketo API) do CRUD operations on custom objects.


I'd echo Sanford's sentiment - it's an incredibly elegant way to go.







Level 10 - Community Moderator

Re: Custom Objects for Preference Center Opt-Ins?

Thanks for the FlowBoost shout @Jo_Pitts1!


Tbh though, for end-to-end stuff like this I’d build a dedicated API orchestrator service... a Subcomandante Marketos if you will.