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Marketo Engage

All Marketo Engage Filters Are Not Created Equally

Technology Background

When looking at a recipe, we want the directions to layout the steps concisely as one works through the process. Marketo Engage is no different. As an operator, we want names of features and functions to be intuitive. Yet, Marketo’s Smart List filters aren’t always cut-and-dry. In this post, I am going to walk through the difference between the two filters: “Has Custom Object” and “Was Added to Custom Object”. Given the name, one would think that if the constraints and conditions are the same on each filter, the Smart List would populate the same results. However, this is not the case.

“Has Custom Object” vs. “Was Added to Custom Object”

Marketo’s “Has Custom Object” filter looks at the object’s field values in the current state. This means that the Smart List could generate a different number of records or completely different records based on when the report is refreshed. It could change minute-to-minute, hour-to-hour, which is central to how Marketo Engage Smart Lists are supposed to function. Members of the Smart List can be added or removed based on the field’s values changing over time.

Comparatively Marketo’s “Was Added to Custom Object” filters look at what those fields and constraint’s values were at the given time that the object was added to the record. Therefore, this should not change over time in terms of people being removed, only added. This is because the Smart List filter is looking for the value in the fields at the specific time of entry, not whether they have been updated or not.

Is there a right or wrong filter to use? The answer is no, but it is important to understand what information or data you, as the operator, are trying to gather. There are two filters that offer distinct ways to slice and dice the data but confusing them can lead to inaccurate results.

All in all, it is important to set definitions, criteria, and use cases that align with all operators, stakeholders, and executives. This will ensure the data is accurate, reliable, and tells the same story across the board.

Personally, I think data is fun, but it can also send you down a deep rabbit hole, consuming hours of time you do not have. When you are working to compile reports, curate an audience, or develop simple segmentation, make sure you are confident in the filters you are choosing.

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Tristin Izzo

Tristin Izzo is a Lead Consultant specializing in Marketing Automation platforms. She is an Adobe Certified Master – Marketo Engage (formerly Marketo Certified Solutions Architect) certified in HubSpot Marketing Software. Tristin has over 5 years of experience in the marketing operations world and has worked across 10+ industries ranging from education, gaming, rentals, and retail. Tristin enjoys working with her clients to get from point A to point B most efficiently and effectively while diving into the tools and technology to understand how they all connect.

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