13 Replies Latest reply on Dec 13, 2016 3:44 PM by eb64ed49e89167991eec1822340c4c82f1dc7b68

    Marketo Integration with Sugar CRM

      Hi Guys,


      First post on the community so please be nice


      Our organization is going through a massive change at the moment with lots of new pieces of technology coming on board such as Percolate and Sugar CRM. The later of the two is the one that I need some help and reassurance on. There is some differences of opinions between our IT and Marketing Automation agencies which is causing me to not fully understand what is best for our business and how Marketo and Sugar CRM will work together.


      Has anyone integrated Sugar CRM with Marketo before and wouldn't mind helping out a little by answering a couple of questions?

      Our IT company that we use and who is managing the integration have suggested that in the future we won't keep any records of leads in Marketo and instead they will be kept in the CRM and only pass through lead info to Marketo when we want to run a campaign or send an email out. So my questions are -

      1. Is it best practice to keep records in Marketo as well as the CRM or just pass leads back from the CRM to Marketo when you need to run a campaign?
        1. If the answer is to keep reocrds in both then by only keeping them in CRM what if any impact would it have on nurture / scoring campaigns? Our IT company seems to just think we use Marketo for simple batch and send campaigns when in reality it is the complete opposite.
      2. When a lead is created in the CRM should it automatically be passed through to Marketo?


      Hope the above makes sense - please let me know if I need to go into more detail.


      Thanks for your help!




        • Re: Marketo Integration with Sugar CRM
          Sanford Whiteman

          First post on the community so please be nice

          I'll definitely be nice... to you, that is.


          1. Is it best practice to keep records in Marketo as well as the CRM



          Hire a new integrator if your current firm doesn't understand what Marketo is for. Sounds like you're in for a world of hurt with these guys. This is no place for a generalist IT firm.

            • Re: Marketo Integration with Sugar CRM

              Thanks for your quick reply!

              Just so I can go back to both companies and sound like I know what I am talking about - what impact would it have if we only stored leads in the CRM and not Marketo?


              Do you know of any integrations that have done what our company is proposing and then had issues? I am just trying to build a case.


              Thanks again!

                • Re: Marketo Integration with Sugar CRM
                  Justin Norris

                  Gareth Lowndes


                  Hey Gareth,


                  The reason to keep all lead records in Marketo is that Marketo is your marketing system of record, just as Sugar will be your sales system of record. It would be really unusual and I would say absurd to not keep permanent lead records in Marketo.


                  First, because it would be an operational nightmare to sync records over to Marketo to perform some campaign then to delete them all again. The level of effort would be ridiculous and there would be no gain. You might as well use MailChimp.


                  Second, all your rich history of activity data, web tracking, program attribution, etc. would be lost. You would be sacrificing your ability to do intelligent targeting, segmentation, attribution...you'd be taking all the automation out of marketing automation! 


                  I agree with Sanford that you are getting some very potentially damaging advice.


                  In terms of integrating Sugar and Marketo - I strongly suggest you don't reinvent the wheel and build a custom integration. There are a number of established integration platforms that will suit your needs: http://launchpoint.marketo.com/platforms/integration


                  Bedrock Data and MUV Data are two reputable vendors.



                  Justin Norris | Perkuto

                  2 of 2 people found this helpful
                    • Re: Marketo Integration with Sugar CRM

                      Hey Justin,


                      Thanks for replying and for the advise.

                      It is inline with what our MA agency is saying but I just needed more comments from 3rd parties so that I can build a case to present.

                      It is good to hear that I was right in my thinking around ensuring that we keep records in Marketo as well as the CRM.
                      I am going through the process of figuring out what fields should be synced with Marketo and what is not needed - there's also some differences of opinions around what fields should and shouldn't be included in the sync.

                        • Re: Marketo Integration with Sugar CRM

                          Another question for you - hope you don't mind.


                          Our IT company is also thinking that they will now possible just consider holding 'actively engaged' records in Marketo - is this ok? I would think that all records should be kept in Marketo regardless of if they are actively engaged or not.




                            • Re: Marketo Integration with Sugar CRM
                              Sanford Whiteman

                              This too is ominous. Marketo is in part an engagement engine, and I doubt they understand enough about this to really know what they're saying.


                              That said, every marketing group should decide on a period of inactivity beyond which people you're still able to market to are classified as lost and can be completely purged. This period flexes depending on activity history, persona, and observed lifecycle, but it's rarely less than a year and in my experience commonly starts at 2 years (2 years is, for example, the inactivity timeout of a Marketo tracking cookie). But that's for Marketing to decide (or to fight out with Sales ), not IT.


                              Overall, I don't get such a push against keeping leads in Marketo -- except perhaps for the cost standpoint, which I assume isn't the issue.  I'm an IT guy from way back (check my posts and you'll see I keep my techie's slant on just about everything) yet I never would've had the nerve, before I knew anything about MA myself, to push back like this. Weird. And they're not even saying "just use MailChimp" so it's even weirder.

                              1 of 1 people found this helpful
                        • Re: Marketo Integration with Sugar CRM
                          Sanford Whiteman

                          Honestly only storing leads in the CRM isn't something Marketo users even understand because "disappearing" Marketo leads just aren't a thing. (Maybe they've been using SnapChat too much?)


                          If what they're proposing is adding static lists of leads temporarily in order to send mail, then deleting the leads, there's no reason to use Marketo for that.  Like you said, they seem to not understand that Marketo is weakest at simple bulk email and strongest in all other ways (nurtures, engagements, program success management, tracking content distribution, web activity, etc.).


                          I've never met anyone who has used Marketo solely as a repository for quickly-disappearing leads. That absence of evidence doesn't prove it wouldn't work... but it's easy to prove it wouldn't be worth the $ even if it did.


                          P.S. I see that Justin has posted while I've been writing. Listen to him! He has seen a bunch more clients than I have (though I think I have weirder ones, and even they don't do this ).

                          2 of 3 people found this helpful
                            • Re: Marketo Integration with Sugar CRM

                              I am not sure if what they are proposing is adding static lists of leads temporarily - I had a meeting to day with them and when they raised pushing leads from Sugar every time we wanted to send an email I asked the question 'After we send an email where would the lead go?' they could not answer the question.


                              I also said it makes no sense to have a new lead generation via marketing campaigns then pass it through to Sugar and then it be deleted... I am working on building a case so the more people that tell me that the 2 databases should be synced the better.

                        • Re: Marketo Integration with Sugar CRM
                          Zak Pines

                          Gareth, to reiterate what Sanford and Justin have said here, it sounds like the partner you are engaged with is "missing the point" when it comes to how to best leverage Marketo.


                          I have a lot of experience setting customers up to be successful with Marketo and Sugar in unison - if you'd like to chat directly about it to bring in a "third party voice" to your discussions just let me know - I'm Zak[at]BedrockData.com


                          And thanks Justin for the Bedrock Data mention, we can help with Marketo-Sugar integrations and increasingly customers are looking for a third party platform to make the connection more robust than the native connector offered by Sugar in the past.

                          3 of 3 people found this helpful
                          • Re: Marketo Integration with Sugar CRM
                            Neil Wright



                            This kind of response from CRM/IT people is not unusual - most of them simply do not understand what a marketing automation platform is for. Having separate databases in 2 systems and trying to keep them sync'd by using rules will only lead to headaches. It would be interesting to understand exactly why your consultants want to keep the records excluded from Marketo; are they worried about cost, syncing overhead (can be mitigated), governance (again can be mitigated by restricting edit/delete privileges to the CRM) ?


                            One potential route is to explain that Marketo and a CRM are one system in reality, they just do different things with the same data.



                            2 of 2 people found this helpful
                            • Re: Marketo Integration with Sugar CRM
                              Zak Pines

                              Hi Gareth - Were you able to get on the same page with the IT consultants.  As an FYI I wrote this today highlighting common scenarios for the Bedrock Data connector for Marketo and SugarCRM.

                              Five ways Bedrock Data provides a better Marketo-SugarCRM connector

                              Best Regards,


                              1 of 1 people found this helpful