We will begin using Episerver as our CMS next year and we will want to use their Marketo connector. I'd love to hear anyone's thoughts on and/or experiences with the connector. We will be doing client referral calls and the typical due diligence for a systems integration like this, but I am guessing the Marketo Community users will have valuable insights to share.
Is it a reliable integration? Any specific strengths/weaknesses? Are their security issues we should be aware of? Should we anticipate spending a good amount of time between Marketo/Episerver support trying to troubleshoot sync related issues? Etc. Thank you in advance for any thoughts/experiences you are willing to share.
It's a very weak integration. We recently evaluated it at a client and came to the unanimous conclusion that it wasn't ready for prime time.
Off-the-bat it was clear that it wasn't written with any awareness of Marketo's daily API limits. That in turn means it hasn't been adequately tested. (It's not like it's hard to simulate 50K hits, for performance benchmarking alone.)
It also has only the most basic awareness of Programs.
Knowing the size of your company, I wouldn't go near this software.
Similar to Sanford's comments, I worked with this one with a client at my previous job.
I sent over some recommendations to their dev support of how they can improve it. My issue with it was that it was not scalable with an example of a simple gated content form:
Using one form block for multiple pieces of gated content did not work out properly. The plan was to have a hidden field for the content name which would be defined by the CMS user for every page that was added, this value would be submitted via the connector to Marketo and Marketo would assign the content URL and send that out to the person submitting the form.
The issue was that the connector was configured to always retrieve data from Marketo for prefilling forms. What would happen if someone was filling out a second form, the connector would overwrite the content name with the previous value from the hidden field, meaning that the new data would not be pushed to Marketo. This retrieval of data for every page visit also slowed down the site significantly. I told them they should just offer the option of (1) Defining prefill/retrieval behavior for specific form fields and (2) Giving the option of choosing Get/Post choices directly from the Epiform.
Since the connector is posting data to Marketo, there is no option of leveraging the "Fills out form" trigger or defining which page the form was filled out on without needing custom JS. Another solution they could provide is having a configurable Munchkin API call where you can push custom data through the "Visits web page" activity.
I'm not sure how far this has gotten since then (1 year ago) but if nothing has changed, I would agree with Sanford that this is not ready for prime time.
Thanks for going further into it, Erik. Those were exactly our findings and only a month ago. Those guys just don't get Marketo.
No problem, just giving my two cents on the topic
Although, to be fair I think Episerver is great overall, but in terms of their Marketo connector it does not seem like anyone has done much with it since releasing it because it simply offers basic API integration.
Thanks Erik and Sanford Whiteman. That is helpful feedback. I had been afraid this would be the case after some initial research. The main thing we'll be looking to do is leverage Marketo lead data in Episerver to personalize the site experience. It's really too bad that they don't seem to understand Marketo APIs and their daily limits. I can see how that could spiral out of control quickly.
I will still do some reference calls to see what more I can learn from others experience with the connector, but I'd be interested if either of you are aware of any workarounds or customizations Epi/Marketo customers have come up with to make the two systems play nice with one another.
The claim made by the the client's Episerver consultants was that in theory the Epi personalization database (its local SQL database, which is the only way to ensure reliability/performance) could be synced with Marketo via nightly batch.
I agree that such integration could certainly be built, but it would be a substantial development effort to transform the 2 data models to fit, and even then it couldn't (by definition) deliver personalized content based on that day's lead activity. I also don't think the consultants realized just how large a Marketo database can be.
I agree the plugin isn't ready for prime time either. I've been having problems where several times a week the Marketo settings disappear andneed to be reconfigured. This results in lost leads. I find it extremely unstable and can't believe it's even available for download.
We've found that Epi's idea of what it means to "integrate" (with SFDC as well) is sketchy at best.
It's a strangely positioned platform IMO, undoubtedly enterprise-ready in certain vectors but enterprise-ignorant in others.