4 Replies Latest reply on Jul 18, 2018 1:45 PM by Raquel Babb

    Tracking Historical Data - Best Method

    Raquel Babb

      Hello,

       

      I'm wondering if anyone is using custom objects or custom activities to track transaction/purchase history? We are a financial institution and hoping other financial institutions or retail companies could share how they record buying history - or if they even pass this information to Marketo? Ideally, we'd like to have card details as well as transaction history. Is this better done through a custom object or custom activity? Lastly, does anyone know if Marketo can encrypt fields within a custom object or activity?

       

      Thanks!

        • Re: Tracking Historical Data - Best Method
          Sanford Whiteman

          Recording purchase history — or, more broadly, a purchase calendar, since records can also be dated in the future — is the primary use case for Custom Objects.

           

          Across clients we use COs to record all manner of purchase-type records: appointments, product holdings, sales quotes, and so on.

           

          You don't want to use Custom Activities for this, because [a] they can't be included in email content and [b] activities are an unfortunate combination of immutable and auto-aged (an activity that occurs cannot be programmatically made to on-occur, and on the flipside they will remove themselves after 25 months) while Objects can be modified or removed (as befits the actual life cycle of a purchase, which must be able to be reverted, transferred, cancelled, adjusted, or manually aged out).

           

          But I find your reference to "card details" here quite disconcerting. Marketo is no place for any data like that. It's not PCI DSS-compliant, and although you can turn on database-wide encryption I am not aware of any facility to encrypt individual fields (and the encryption/key rotation method wouldn't meet PCI reqs anyway). If what you actually mean is to one-way hash (permanently obfuscate) certain CO fields before writing them, that at least makes more sense — though it too is not possible — because I can't imagine why you would want anything like "card details" to enter your marketing environment.

            • Re: Tracking Historical Data - Best Method
              Raquel Babb

              Hey Sanford Whiteman,

               

              Thanks again for your response!  Marketo Support mentioned using custom activities which didn't seem correct, so I'm glad you were able to confirm that COs would be the way to go.

               

              Our thought here was to include credit card transaction information in a manner to which we can pull smart lists for marketing efforts, instead of having to import lists for select campaigns.  For instance, including transaction history would tell us if a member goes inactive and hasn't made any purchases on their card in a certain time frame, etc.  We could then automate a campaign promoting usage or even target those members specifically for a special offer.  I hope this makes sense.

               

              While I agree this isn't a place to host all that data and it may make the system run evennn slower, it is data we can use to target better.  So, instead we're thinking about just pulling in select information aggregated on the back side that flags a field based on what we're trying to see.  Detailed transaction history is just great to see because we could also see where purchases are being made, which could potentially assist us in personalizing campaigns.

               

              How are you utilizing custom objects to show historical data on purchase-type records: appointments, product holdings, sales quotes, and so on?  Or does the CO field get overwritten when there's something new to populate?

                • Re: Tracking Historical Data - Best Method
                  Sanford Whiteman

                  For instance, including transaction history would tell us if a member goes inactive and hasn't made any purchases on their card in a certain time frame, etc. We could then automate a campaign promoting usage or even target those members specifically for a special offer. I hope this makes sense.

                  OK, so you don't mean "card details" in the the identify-theftable sense but a purchase history. That's a lot better!

                   

                  Keeping purchase/quote/holding history in custom objects is a fine approach.

                   

                  Or does the CO field get overwritten when there's something new to populate?

                  Generally there's one CO for every record in a purchase database.  We detach (delete) and reattach the CO when purchases are modified (this means you will need to keep a record of the CO's marketoGUID field after insertion).

                   

                  Under high volume you would want to consolidate multiple purchases into a single CO as it is more efficient and easier on the system.  For example, keeping 10 purchases at a time in a single CO record.

                    • Re: Tracking Historical Data - Best Method
                      Raquel Babb

                      Hey Sanford Whiteman,

                       

                      Yes!  I definitely meant purchase history.  Could you elaborate further by what you mean here:

                       

                      "Generally there's one CO for every record in a purchase database.  We detach (delete) and reattach the CO when purchases are modified (this means you will need to keep a record of the CO's marketoGUID field after insertion).

                      Under high volume you would want to consolidate multiple purchases into a single CO as it is more efficient and easier on the system.  For example, keeping 10 purchases at a time in a single CO record."

                       

                      Our approach was to have a custom object for 'Credit Card Transactions' that's linked to our 'Credit Cards' custom object which houses basic data.  By adding all this data, will Marketo run even slower?

                       

                      Regards,

                       

                      Raquel