​How to Prevent Duplicates in Marketo

April 15, 2015 RingLead Inc

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 an automated approach to dealing with duplicate records in their marketing automation and/or CRM.

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There’s always the option of hiring an intern or entry-level marketing person to watch the Leads coming into the system, check for duplicates and merge records when necessary. However, a process like this is inefficient and subject to human error, so why even waste your time considering it?

Marketo Offers Basic Duplicate Prevention

Marketo prevents duplicates based on exact-match email, which is not sufficient when dealing with businesses that may have multiple points of contact (eg. a champion, decision maker and finance contact may all enter the system as separate Leads) who all use varied email addresses (eg. bob@ringlead.com and robert.wiley@ringlead.com). However, there is a way to allow advanced duplicate prevention applications integrate seamlessly with Marketo to prevent duplicates in both Salesforce and Marketo.

Before we jump into the solution, let’s review how the problem manifests itself in your CRM and Marketo.

How Duplicates are Created in Your CRM and Marketo

Relying on Marketo’s standard deduplication functionality, which matches duplicates based on exact-match email address, has the potential to allow many duplicate Leads/Contacts into both systems. Today’s marketing landscape includes multiple data entry points which are tied to various prospect touch points, including whitepaper downloads, free trial pages, contest entry forms, and more.

The Problems with Duplicates in Marketo

If you’re a marketer, you’re likely experiencing the consequences and negative impact of duplicates, such as inaccurate reports, the inability to segment correctly, lead scoring issues, and more. Here’s a look at some of the biggest challenges with bad data.

Inaccurate Lead Scoring

In the example above, the Lead Scoring points that are associated with a whitepaper download would be associated with a new lead, joe.prospect2@gmail.com. Those Lead Scoring points should have been associated with the original record in the system, joe@ABCompany.com. This will equate to hot leads being left behind in Marketo and not being distributed to your sales reps for follow up.

Decreased Open Rates

Using the same scenario as before, you will be sending emails (via drip nurturing campaigns, one-time email blasts, etc.) to both of these records, joe@ABCompany.com and joe.prospect2@gmail.com. It’s likely that an email open will register with only one of these records since Joe Prospect will probably only open one of the emails and delete the others.

Increased Cost of Marketo

A key component of your Marketo license is based on the size of your database; in other words, duplicates are piling up in your Marketo database and costing you money, as you’re paying for the same record multiple times.

How a Duplicate Prevention Integration Works

The criteria used to find a matching Contact, Lead or Account is part of a complex heuristic pattern matching process. First, the integration partner, such as RingLead, attempts to find an exact email match or unique ID (Salesforce ID or custom field). If no match is found, RingLead builds a confidence level based upon many fields including, but not limited to:

  • First name
  • Last name
  • Company name
  • Address
  • Phone
  • Email domain
  • Website

As you can see, this is a much deeper analysis compared to exact-match email. Once the confidence level reaches the point where there is no doubt it is a match, RingLead considers the record a match, and ensures that there is no mismatch. If RingLead cannot verify that any Contact, Lead or Account is a match, RingLead will create a new Lead. Changes can be made to the matching criteria.

Learn even more with the free ebook below.


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