Duplicate data is a problem for many departments, especially marketing. Marketers are constantly looking for ways to be more effective and efficient, and that can include a better approach to dealing with duplicate records in their marketing automation system, such as Marketo.
Marketo recognizes this issue, and at their annual user conference, Marketo Summit, a packed room of data-driven marketers asked two seasoned Marketo Champions about duplicates. The questions lined up as Marketo Champions Elliott Lowe and Inga Romanoff worked to answer them as quickly and effectively as possible. Here’s a look at their answers to the room’s biggest questions.
Where should you attack duplicates first: Salesforce or Marketo?
Inga Romanoff: I prefer Marketo because I also get to see where the dupes originated, and their original problem. While you can apply many of the same actions in Salesforce, it’s important to look for systemic errors first. Marketo gives you more options to do so, and it’s faster to do the mass actions. However, check with your partners, Salesforce administer, or data governance person before taking action.
Elliott Lowe: There are benefits in Salesforce, such as mass updates. If we’re talking about tens of thousands of duplicate leads, it’s easier, and more efficient, to do that in Salesforce than via a Marketo smart campaign.
If you need to merge duplicates, but you don’t have an email address, what do you do?
Elliott Lowe: If one record has an email address and the other one does not, bad things will happen. You need an email address on both records, even if it’s a dummy email address, because in the merge, you’re going to specify the winner. You need that dummy email because when the merge occurs, it’s going to create a record. If you don’t have an email address, you wind up with two records and those have to be able to merge in Marketo as well as Salesforce.
How do I aggregate and map common job titles to job function and job level?
Elliott Lowe: Don’t let users enter form free titles into your database. Create a dropdown list of titles. This will make your job a lot easier. For your legacy data, use a third party tool to normalize them into a manageable set.
If a lead comes into Marketo that is already associated with an account in Salesforce, how do we make sure it doesn’t go to Sales?
Elliott Lowe: Create a related list in Salesforce that links them to the account. That way you can see the related account without having to convert them to a contact. This also enables your messaging and communications to be the same as Converted to Contacts, so you won’t have cross emails, or one offer to leads and a different offer to contacts, for example.
Inga Romanoff: You can also use a third party tool that sits between Marketo and Salesforce to check the duplicate against existing contacts and accounts.
Do you have any tips for evaluating deduplication vendors?
Inga Romanoff: The first step is to ask the vendor how they source their data, how they update it, and how frequently they update it. That’s the best way to benchmark your shortlist. It’s important to ask the right questions. For example, if you work with small businesses, and the vendor is primarily sourcing data for large companies, it might not be the right fit. If you’re a B2C company, that same vendor might be entirely useless to you.
What do you do if you’re experiencing a sync delay as a result of duplicate detection?
Elliott Lowe: It’s normal if the sync takes a few minutes. If the sync is taking 30 minutes to an hour, you want to resolve it.
Inga Romanoff: In the case of a long sync, look into the setup of your deduping app.
Elliott Lowe: Regardless of the timing, that latency is a challenge because it’s hindering the sales process. Get to the bottom of the problem by taking a few leads and seeing what’s hitting them. For instance, there may be certain fields that don’t need syncing. Your Marketo admin or support team can run a report, and identify your top syncing fields. You may discover fields that are syncing 100,000 records of data in Salesforce, and it makes no sense. Some unnecessary operational or maintenance fields in Marketo may be syncing. You can also do that with a batch instead of a trigger, which will be more efficient.
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Photo credit: Jeff Coveney