Person Accounts Best Practices?

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Person Accounts Best Practices?

Anyone have any success with bringing over Person Accounts from Salesforce into Marketo? There are a bunch of B2C leads that will be brought over to Marketo for nurturing with the hope they'll turn into B2B.

BTW, I may need some offline help on this so email me if you have some experience in this area.

At a high level, what was the impact on your system? What issues did you have? How did it work with your lead lifecycle? scoring? etc.

Some of the many detailed questions.....

  • What about email address? Is that different than the regular email address? What happens when emails are sent?
  • How abut deduping when importing?
  • Does it matter which field you use for Smartlists and Triggers? Or must we always use both fields in Smartlists (eye color P = brown OR eye color C = brown)?
  • What happens with fields like Company, Industry, etc when an existing person account fills out a form? Create a new lead? Append to the Person account? If append, what happens to the new data?
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Level 9 - Champion Alumni

Re: Person Accounts Best Practices?

Hey Jeff,  I've been using person accounts exclusively for the last year.  Prior to that I was using business accounts exclusively, but they can both exist together. A person account is sort of a virtual entity that establishes a 1:1 relationship between the Contact record and the Account record. 

If the person account option is enabled in SFDC and you convert a Lead that doesn't have a value in the Company field, the prompts are a little different, but SFDC still creates a Contact and Account records.  However, these appear as a single person account record under the Account tab with both an Account ID and a Contact ID and either can be used to select the person account. The person account also has both Account fields and Contact fields, The Account Name will be a concatenation of the First Name and Last Name, which also appear on the Account record as standard fields. 

The most important thing to remember with person accounts is to create the custom fields on the Contact record  with the same name as the same field in the Lead record just like you do with business accounts.  This will ensure that both the Lead and Contact fields will be mapped to the same field name in Marketo (e.g. Eye Color).  In addition, a corresponding custom field will be automatically added to the Account record with the same field name, but a slightly different API name that ends with '__pc' rather than '__c'.  This will create a new field in Marketo that you should hide. Although the Account and Contact share some standard fields (First Name, Last Name, Home Phone, Mobile, Title, Email Opt Out, etc.) You'll want to use the one mapped to the Contact record.  SFDC will copy any changes to the corresponding field in the Account record and vice versa.

Salesforce online help has several good documents about person accounts including Person Account Behaviors (

I'll message you my email address if you'd like more info.

Level 1

Re: Person Accounts Best Practices?

Hi Elliot, I came across your post while looking for a best practices for syncing with Person-Accounts. We found the Contact custom fields (with a '__c') were showing up as read only in Marketo. The Account fields (with a '__pc') however, are writable but are not available in forms. As a result, we have a weird setup where we have the Contact custom fields on the form, we use a flow to copy their value to the Account custom fields and then it's the Account custom fields that sync with SFDC. I was curious to know if you encountered a similar visibility issue with the Contact fields and if you implemented a better solution than we did.