Best Practices for Determining which Fields to Sync with Marketo

Marketo Employee
Marketo Employee

Determining which Lead/Contact/Account Object fields to Sync with Marketo

One of the most important items in the SFDC integration set-up process is determining which SFDC fields to sync with Marketo for the Lead, Contact and Account objects. Syncing a field means that the SFDC field will automatically be created in Marketo during the integration process. There will be an automatic mapping of the Marketo created fields with SFDC fields. You can view SFDC field mappings in Marketo if you have access to the Marketo Admin area.



I recommend syncing only the fields you need for target marketing, form fill outs and list imports. It’s easy to sync new fields at a later time, but much harder to remove/hide synced fields that you don’t use. I have seen many customers sync hundreds of fields and then spend a ton of hours trying to clean up the chaos. As you review the fields for each object, ask yourself what will the field be used for and do really need it.



SFDC Field Sync Best Practices

Make sure the field label and API names match so they will automatically be mapped together when they are created in Marketo. You can re-map fields during the integration set-up but the process is confusing and it is much easier to do it in SFDC. If the field is on multiple objects, also check the mapping in SFDC.


If you are syncing a picklist field I recommend updating the values before you sync it and verifying that the values are the same if the field is on two objects.


Make fields read only if you absolutely need to protect the data integrity. Otherwise use block field updates to allow Marketo to edit a field if the field value is empty. Without field blocking, the updated information in Marketo would then sync to Salesforce and overwrite the data.


Enable Salesforce history tracking to see data value changes.


Read this article if you are thinking about syncing formula fields.


If you are creating a new SFDC field remember to name your field so it is easy to understand the purpose of the field. Think carefully about the naming convention and whether you want to it to be grouped with other fields based on the name since Marketo shows fields in alphabetical order.


Try to sync as few fields as possible to reduce confusion and decrease the chance of using the incorrect field. Always ask yourself what is the purpose of the field.


Never rename a SFDC field in SFDC or Marketo since the API name can’t be edited. If you rename a field in SFDC nothing will change in Marketo. If you change the API name a new field will sync to Marketo.


To create a score field in SFDC, create an integer field. and when it appears in Marketo, change the field type to Score. The field will not appear in the Change Score flow step unless the field type is Score.


If you can’t remember what the field is for then hide it and create a new one. It is not possible for your Marketo admin to delete a field. You can add additional fields at any time.


Finally, I recommend creating a field data dictionary to document which SFDC and Marketo fields you will be syncing. The dictionary should list how each field will be used and whether the field will be blocked from updates. At any time you can export a list of all the fields in Marketo (Marketo only, Marketo System and Synced from SFDC).


Note: If you sync a field later which contains values you will need your SFDC admin to update the last modified date/system mod stamp for all the records which have a value. Marketo does not automatically pull in the values for newly synced fields.


Additional resources for learning about the Marketo integration with SFDC.

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