3 Replies Latest reply on Jan 31, 2013 11:10 AM by 18246

    Determining active vs. inactive accounts

      Hi Marketo community,

      Here's my dilemma - I've got generally three to eight leads/contacts per Salesforce account, and I want to determine if the account is active. By that, I mean if any one of the leads connected to the account is interacting with our service, the account should be considered active. If nobody is interacting with the service, it's inactive, and should be nurtured to.

      I had this all figured out and set up - each morning at 2AM I'd run a campaign where anyone who hadn't been on our website or our web service in the past 45 days was flipped - at the account level - to 'inactive'. Fifteen minutes later, a second campaign ran that flipped anyone who had been on the site/service to 'active.' Then the 'inactive' program wouldn't affect anyone whose 'active account' field had been changed in the past 30 days, ensuring that it wasn't going bananas every night flipping every lead back and forth.

      Well, this worked great, except - unbeknowst to me - Marketo can't sync account-level changes to SFDC. Bugger. It works great in Marketo, but is worthless as it's not actually impacting the accounts. Marketo has warned me that, yes I can turn on account syncing, but they discourage it as the results are often considered to be 'catastrophic' (their word).

      So a few questions for the community:

      1 - Have you ever turned on Marketo-to-SFDC account-level syncing? Was it catastrophic? If so, how?

      2 - Have you ever run across this particular use case and, if so, have you a solution?
        • Re: Determining active vs. inactive accounts
          We turned on account-level syncing and then turned it back off. I suppose catastrophe is a possibility, though that's not what happened to us. You need a STRONG understanding of the Marketo sync and full knowledge of every field on your accounts and their integration to other systems before you even consider doing this.

          In our case, we had an incident where a client list import from our support system affected client ID numbers in SalesForce because the two systems didn't match perfectly. It was easily resolved, but enough for us to decide it wasn't worth giving the Marketo user that kind of power. Chances are you can build SalesForce workflow rules to accomplish anything you need at the account level.

          I find it curious that you use an account-level activity designation to determine whether or not to nurture contacts. Nurturing is the most personalized tool in our tool belt. If the secretary is visiting my Website but the President hasn't been there in weeks, I'd still want to be nurturing the President.
          • Re: Determining active vs. inactive accounts
            I certainly agree with Delinda's thought that nurturing is personal and has less to do with the Account than getting the right people to say "yes" to whatever it is you are trying to help with.

            That being said you might find it more helpful to run this in SFDC and use the Contact level Active checkbox or a Contact Status picklist as a better indicator of who is engaged. You could then have SFDC manage the Account level activity with maybe a High/Med/Low Account Status field that SFDC can use based on the % of Contacts Active within the Account.

            Also use the Company Web Activity report to help gauge overall firm activity.
            • Re: Determining active vs. inactive accounts
              Thanks for the answers. I ended up turning on account-level syncing and blocked a handful of fields from updating.

              I should specify, whether an account is active or not is not a basis for nurturing, but we have specific nurturing campaigns for, for example, accounts that still have end-users but nobody maintaining the service. Those accounts get nurtured to differently.