Using accumulating fields – Improve your Marketo Data Management

In this article, we would like to discuss a problem we have encountered several times over the past few years. It involves storing information within Marketo fields (or any other marketing automation platform).

 

The Issue

It is required to store data in a field and sync it with Salesforce. The data in the field is updated all the time by different sources. The historical information is valuable and needs to be visible both in Marketo and Salesforce.

For example, a “comment” field, which is used in a Marketo form (so the lead can write their comments) as well as in Salesforce (for the salesperson to write their comments); in this case, anytime someone updates the field, the old value is overwritten, and all previous data is lost.

 

Please note that if you are using the same field for your internal information and for collecting information from a form, you have to make sure it is not marked as pre-filled in the form setup, as it can cause a bit of an embarrassment if the lead sees what you wrote about them).

 

The solution

1. Create a custom field in Salesforce and make sure it syncs with Marketo. Name it as “historical” (in our example: “historical_comments”).

2. Create the following logic:

- If the historical field is empty – copy the data from a temp comments field into it.

- If the historical field is not empty – add the data from the temp comments field to the historical field.

- In both cases delete the data from the temp comments field.

3. Pay attention to the following:

- Use tokens in order to copy the data, you can use the system date and time token to monitor the changes.

- The text area field in Marketo can contain up to 32K characters, be aware that even that it’s a lot of space, it can reach that limit someday.

 

Here are a couple of screenshots to make the process clear:


 
Using accumulating fields – Improve your Marketo Data Management
 Smart List - Data Value Changes
 
Using accumulating fields – Improve your Marketo Data Management
Flow - Change Data Value
 

We are here for any questions.