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The Secrets Behind Marketo and Salesforce’s Complicated Relationship

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It is no secret that the key to marketing and sales alignment is a solid technical foundation and internal understanding of how your systems will communicate. In fact, a Forbes article noted, “According to Salesforce (registration required), 67% of marketing leaders rely on marketing automation and 21% plan to implement a new marketing automation platform in the year ahead.”

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So, when you are integrating your marketing automation tool with your CRM, make sure you fully understand their relationship. When you’re setting up a CRM system like Salesforce and also have other tools, like Marketo, you need to be mindful of how those systems are going to interact with your system of truth, Salesforce, in order to best utilize all of your systems for marketing, reporting, etc.

In our recent virtual discussion, we looked at the complicated relationship between Marketo and Salesforce. Check out our top five items to be aware of with the native Marketo to Salesforce integration.

Top 5 Takeaways with Your Marketo > Salesforce Integration:

  1. Marketo can only integrate with one CRM – Once that integration has been setup, it can’t be disconnected and integrated with a different CRM (Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, SAP, etc).
  2. Need a CRM User License – In order for the integration to work, Marketo has to have a user license in Salesforce, so pretend like it’s an actual person. The Salesforce profile permissions granted to Marketo’s user determines what existing Leads and Contacts sync from Salesforce to Marketo. Only records that Marketo’s User can ‘see’ will sync to Marketo. This is important for troubleshooting and ensuring 1:1 alignment between the two databases.
  3. The Rocket Ship – Explicit sync – The record has to be explicitly pushed from Marketo into Salesforce in order for a Salesforce record to be made. This can be done using a ‘Sync to SFDC’ flow step or any of the Implied Salesforce Actions. Marketo must put that record in a rocket ship and shoot it over the wall into Salesforce. Also note, Marketo can only create Leads, not Contacts.
  4. The Ocean – Implicit sync – Once the record has rocket shipped over the wall into Salesforce, it lands in the ocean that is the implicit sync. The two systems will continue to monitor changes on the records (utilizing the systemmoddate stamp) to determine when changes need to be made in the other system.
  5. The Binocular Rule – With the out-of-the-box native connector to Salesforce, Marketo can see the following standard objects: Leads, Contacts, Accounts, Opportunities, Campaigns, and Campaign Members. Marketo can also see custom objects, but they have to align with the binocular rule: Marketo can only see custom objects with direct relationships to leads, contacts, or accounts, two levels deep. So, Marketo could see a custom objects with the following relationships:
    1. Lead > Custom Object > Custom Object
    2. Contact > Custom Object > Custom Object
    3. Account > Custom Object > Custom Object

We know that integrating your marketing automation platform with your CRM is imperative to the success of your marketing and sales relationship. Listen to our full virtual discussion recording to get more tips and tricks to expertly integrating your Marketo and Salesforce platforms. For more help, reach out to our Marketo team.

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