4 Replies Latest reply on Jul 7, 2017 3:08 PM by Grégoire Michel

    Custom Activity Best Practices

      I'm looking for best practices for using Custom Activities.

      1. When creating Custom Activity fields is it best to record only essential information in the activity or should all information gathered from our various web forms; including First Name, Last Name, Address and Contact info be included? Recording everything from the activity allows us to capture ALL the customer's information at that moment in time and would allow us, over time, to see trends in the answers and be able to weed out inaccurate information; helping us cleans our DB of bad data. However, the thought of manually auditing each customer's custom activities and manually updated the customer's official database fields (First Name Last Name, Address) seems like a daunting task (I'm not sure we could ever keep up). Writing this customer information to the DB field would eliminate the need to audit and manually update but each time a form is submitted, the DB field would overwrite the information previously in those fields (obviously).
      2. We have 3 categories of web forms; Opt-in, general inquiry, hot lead (request a quote/demo). Would you recommend creating 3 different custom activities to record and lead score differently for each category or simply create one custom activity, form submission and score based on the values submitted in the form (also passing the form type as a hidden variable with the form submission)?


      Any and all help is greatly appreciated! Happy Marketing!



        • Re: Custom Activity Best Practices
          Grégoire Michel

          HI Aaron,


          Please move this question to Products  where it belongs. The specified item was not found.  is for generic marketing questions.


          1. Please remember that each time you change a value in a lead field in Marketo, marketo logs a data value change activity that you can always use later for auditing purpose.
          2. Auditing activities is much preferable outside of Marketo, after using the API to extract the data you need. With the new bulk API, it will become even easier, at least when external vendors will start leveraging it.
          3. with regards to form fill out, I would rather recommend using Marketo forms that you can summit in the background, using the Forms 2.0 JS client API. This will log the activities you need and update the lead fields in 1 operation. Furthermore, this client API does not have some of the limitations that the REST API will have.



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            • Re: Custom Activity Best Practices

              Hello Greg,


              Thanks for the tip on where to post my question.

              1. I forgot about the data value change activity in a users Activity log. With this knowledge I believe your suggesting that the custom activity should only have fields associated to that activity and not incorporate lead fields (Like First Name, Last Name and Address). Is this a correct statement?
              2. Interesting, I'll have to look into this in greater detail.
              3. Unfortunately the forms we have on our website have many integration points with our internal systems that won't allow us to use Marketo forms (at this time). For this reason I'm curious if I should setup one activity "form submission" and score based on the values passed within the activity. OR, setup three different activities and score based on the activity itself, regardless of the information passed. I think it could turn out to be a matter of preference as either should be able to achieve the same goal. Would enjoy hearing your thoughts.


              Thanks! Aaron

                • Re: Custom Activity Best Practices
                  Sanford Whiteman

                  Custom Activities are for timeseries data that generally conforms to a known key+enum schema, i.e. not key+freeform values like First/Last Name.


                  On the flipside, if all you want to do is log an event based on some basic characteristics of a form post and you absolutely cannot use the vastly more scalable Forms JS API, I would use the Push Lead API instead of a Custom Activity.


                  If you work for a company that's serious about reliability and risk, don't use any of REST API methods in response to individual end-user activities (no matter whether you have a server in-between, you're just forwarding an ungoverned number of activities to a tightly limited service).

                  • Re: Custom Activity Best Practices
                    Grégoire Michel

                    Hi Aaron,


                    On point 3, I did not mean to replace the forms with Marketo forms, but to use the form 2.0 API to trigger a form fill out in the background when your custom forms are submitted.