Marketo recognizes duplicates as two or more person records that share the same email address.
So, if someone is filling out a form online and they utilize the same email address as someone else, we'll call them Sharon, all of their information (besides the email address) is going to update Sharon's record.
This can become an issue during situations, for example, where you're utilizing a kiosk for form fills such as at a trade show. Instead of adding dozens of new leads to your database, you'll end up getting just the one (and it will be the final person that filled out that form.)
Therefore, it is important to utilize a different kind of strategy for getting that contact info into your Marketo persons database, and with the information in this article, you'll be armed and ready to guide your lead sourcing strategy to effectively maintain a strong viable and valuable database of person records in Marketo.
There's a great article here, about the implications of duplicates in Marketo.
At this point, we know that Marketo will deduplicate person records based on email address. This occurs when leads come into Marketo organically. What do I mean by 'organically?' I mean to say that they aren't coming in from an outside source such as your CRM.
CRM records from Microsoft Dynamics and from Salesforce, that are duplicates of one another, will remain as separate records when they come into Marketo. That is, they are treated as expected behavior. Marketo says "oh, they have them as duplicates in their CRM, so I'll leave these as duplicates here too."
This can lead to some issues when utilizing the records in Marketo. This is because everything in Marketo revolves around the person record. In fact, it may be the most important thing to remember. If you take nothing else from this article, make sure you remember: Everything in Marketo revolves around the Person record.
Now, you may need duplicate records for situations where you're working on sales pipelines, or managing tickets, etc. in your CRM, but you may not want to have duplicates specifically for your marketing efforts. For example (and it's a rudimentary example, I know, but just to get the point across) if a set of duplicates qualifies for an email send campaign, you don't want to end up sending multiple emails to the same email address, for one marketing effort.
Purposeful dupes came in from CRM, but they're getting updated "organically" in Marketo. What happens?!?
So, this can be a tricky situation because you synced several records from CRM into Marketo but your business relies on some Marketo forms where your customers can submit info and update their records, specifically in Marketo. Uh oh! Only one of the duplicates is getting updated, which one will it be??
Two things will affect WHICH of the duplicate records gets updated here.
Most recently updated
Without any regards to cookies, so guest-computer terminals, incognito browsers, or covert spies using untraceable, err, cookies: we're going to see the most recently updated record take the new information from the form, when that person enters the same email address for those duplicates. This will usually mean that even though a few records come in during the same sync from CRM, one of them is going to be technically more recent than the other, and that one will be updated with new information from the Marketo form.
When cookies are involved, the above is NOT the case. Let's say someone (we'll call him Mark Etto) enters your database and then updates some of his info via a form. Let's go through the steps below so we don't get lost.
You've sold things to a person named Mark Etto and his records are in Salesforce.
You want to market more to Mark Etto, so you sync your CRM with Marketo. Mark's records come in as duplicates, records 1 and 2.
Mark then fills out one of your Marketo forms.
Since record 2 was most recently updated, Mark's form fill is going to update record two.
One of your colleagues THEN changes the country value on RECORD 1, so NOT the record Mark updated himself via form-fill.
Mark THEN fills out the form again, he wants to add some info.
RECORD 2 will STILL be the one that Mark's form submission updates, because it has been COOKIE'ED to his browser. EVEN THOUGH it was not technically the most-recently updated record in your Marketo database.
Phew! Simple, right?! : )
How to Find Duplicates
With all this being said, ideally, you may not want to have many, if any, duplicates in your Marketo database. But you've already linked your CRM and you didn't realize there were just so many duplicates until just now. You ask yourself:
How do I find all the duplicates?
How do take care of them?
The good news is that it's not too hard to find the duplicates that are already in your Marketo database.
You can find duplicates using a smart list.
Go to the Marketing Activities Area
Go to your Smart List
Find the Duplicate Fields filter and drag it over to your smart list criteria
Then, to find what I call true-duplicate records (based on Email) select Email as the field option.
This list will now populate with the duplicate records, based on email, that are in your Marketo database.
How to Manage Duplicates
One by one
1. Select any two person records
2. Go up to "Person Actions," located above the table
3. Select "Merge People." Note: This option will only be available if multiple person records are selected. Else, it will be grayed out.
If you have duplicates that you want to merge you can do so manually on a per-record basis in the UI.
This is a great way to merge records here and there if you notice one are two duplicates that come in every now and then. However, for large databases this is not ideal, and can become very cumbersome to handle.
We have a solution to handle this.
AutoMerge is a solution provided by Technical Consulting at Marketo that can be set up to merge a batch of duplicates that currently exist in your Marketo database, and can continue running on an ongoing basis to merge duplicates as they come into your database from your CRM.
AutoMerge takes away the tedious task of having to maintain a clean database of person records by automating the process altogether.
It's a one-time setup that will continue running in the background to ensure you don't end up with junk duplicates going forward.
It will allow you to define duplicates based on fields and criteria that you choose during the setup process. You can use email + another field, or a completely different field altogether. Note: this pertains to deduplicating records in your system, Marketo will still deduplicate based on email address for records that come organically into Marketo.
How do I get AutoMerge for my Marketo instance?
Ask your CSM for more details, and to see if AutoMerge is the right solution for you.