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Get Rid of Duplicate Contacts in Marketo

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We see this often with clients using Marketo — while it is a great marketing automation solution, chances are that you have a lot of duplicate contact records in your Marketo customer data set.

Here is what happens — you load an initial customer list into Marketo, and over time as you add new customer records to that list, Marketo may fail to check for duplicate email addresses, and instead of records getting updated or merged, you get multiple records with same email address.

And this is costly — if you are paying by the number of contacts managed within Marketo, you pay multiple times for the same person — and you also incur the infamous customer wrath of receiving multiple campaign emails from you.

How do you fix this? Hire us, of course 🙂

But seriously, we have done this enough times for customers, and now we are contemplating providing this as an automated service for Marketo customers. Our simple fix process is as follows:

  • Working with our partner company Empathy Logic, we maintain a transient customer data store for data consolidation and cleansing — which includes de-duplication and householding
  • We have connectors built to Marketo’s platform so upon your security authorization, we can pull in all your customer data from Marketo to our platform and run our de-duplication routines to flag all the duplicate records.
  • We then send the list of fixed records to Marketo platform so all the duplicates are removed from your customer data set

The time to apply this fix depends on the size of your customer data set, and speed of Marketo’s record update process – we find that it is faster to update the entire customer data set rather than making batch fixes.

We are also curious to learn if this has happened to you. and what solution approaches you have found to be effective. Would love to hear from Marketo folks as well as to what are some best practices to avoid duplicates in the first place.

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