I might have a different use case than previously discussed, but I could be wrong. I am not merging instances anywhere. I have ONE SFDC instance that contains the devil (Purposeful dups!!). We're an agency and we sometimes service clients under OUR SFDC instance. Personas could overlap (and they do), hence the purposeful dups. We isolate them using Record Types. Each client, however, will have a separate Marketo instance.
Question is, if we carefully craft SFDC profiles to access ONLY appropriate Record Types, would that be sufficient for us or is there more to it? I am not as operationally savvy in SFDC as I am in Marketo.
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Certainly you can have separate User Profiles that can only see one type of record. I think the challenge here is that you would need some way to manage multiple SFDCs with one Marketo or vice versa. This sort of setup isn't out of the box and is discouraged. You would need API to help do this since Marketo is 1-1 per SFDC org.
Could you be a bit more specific about why you want to do it this way? I think that having your customer's data inside your firm's own SFDC is a very risky thing to do, for dozens of reasons.
I am forced to do it this way for a bunch of reasons too, like dialer setup/cost and SFDC cost. I truly hate the way it is currently built too. It requires so much work and maintenance. I inherited this setup and the problem is that everyone (employees and clients) got used to it.
Do you mind explaining a little bit what you mean when you said I "need API to help do this"?
I'm not sure how you've set it up now, but you would have to connect the non main Marketo instances to SFDC via an API or other database.
There are some other threads on these issues if you do a search. I think one a month ago discussed this issue more. Sorry, I haven't really done this one myself so I can't help more.
As others have noted, it is certainly possible (but no advised) to connect 1 Marketo instance to multiple SFDC instances but it does become tricky if you are not sending information to an ESB or API endpoint via Webhooks etc so you know where to route decisions etc.
MSI connects dynamically to Marketo when you are looking to a record in SFDC. and there is no possibility to connect MSI in SFDC to connect to various Marketo instances based on which record you are looking at in SFDC.
The key will be how you set up the rights in SFDC. You will have to adopt a private model by default for all key objects (leads, accounts, contacts, campaign, opportunities) and you will also probably need to set up the roles of the various Marketo users in SFDC so that they access clearly each one a separate silo of the SFDC database.