If you’re finding that your Marketo instance has slowed down or simply doesn’t feel as spry as it once did, there’s no time like the present to do a bit of spring cleaning. Dumping dead data and tweaking other settings is the best way to give your marketing automation platform a fresh start, allowing it to perform at its best for you year-round.

Follow these tips provided by Elliot Lowe, Head of Marketing Tech & MOPS at data operations platform Ringlead and Perkuto’s own Solutions Architect Lindsay Khan on the best ways to improve your data quality so your MOPS can work more smoothly.

Axe records with no email address or invalid email addresses

Quick: what Marketo actions can you take on a record that has no email address associated with it? That’s right—nothing. The first step in getting your Marketo data in tip-top shape starts with creating a smart list to identify records without an email address or an invalid email address and purge them. Marketo can’t do anything with them—it can’t tie their page visits to any Marketo record, nor can you contact them.

But what if you decide you need to leave them in your CRM for sales purposes–because they have a phone number? That isn’t a problem. Just leverage a custom sync filter to control the flow of records between systems—but be careful, as there are caveats and specific naming conventions to which you must adhere.

Click here if they’re no longer employed there

When a person has left a company, sometimes the company server may respond back with an SMTP code that Marketo understands and can process automatically, but other times your sales team will receive one of those “John Smith is no longer employed by XYZ Organization.” For the latter situation, it’s important that your sales team has a place to capture this information so they can share it with your marketing team. Taking care of this is easy.

  • Create a checkbox field in your CRM that says “No longer at the company” so your sales rep can simply click to check the box when they discover that Martina in marketing has moved on.
  • Set one of your CRM Lead/Contact Status picklist field values to “Left Company”

Either way accomplishes the same thing—the point is to give your sales team an easy way to let you (and your Marketo instance) know of the change so that you can identify these records and remove them from your CRM and Marketo when appropriate.

Think twice before merging records

Marketo gets its data from so many sources, so it’s understandable that you’ll end up with duplicate records on occasion. But it’s important that you think twice before merging your records or you may end up accidentally deleting valuable information. Here are some specific things to look for as you’re sizing up your duplicates and deciding how to proceed.

  • Presence of a complex primary key: Some duplicates in Marketo are intentional and intended to be maintained that way. The presence of a complex primary key means that you are not de-duping records based on email alone, you are using email address plus an additional field (or fields) to identify duplicates. Keep this in mind when determining your true duplicates.
  • Conflict rules and compliance fields: It’s worth noting that conflict rules will only show you areas where you have a data conflict; it will not show areas where one record has an empty value and the other record has a value in that same field. If you have compliance information such as opt-in fields, opt-in sources, timestamps and more, you’ll want to review to ensure that it isn’t inadvertently being overwritten by merging records.
  • Smart campaign edits: Oops—did you mean to send those emails as part of your merge? Probably not. But if you aren’t careful, merging your Marketo records may be enough to trigger old or previously delivered emails to be sent again. Avoid this by adding a constraint to your smart campaign trigger(s) that the reason cannot contain merge—this will prevent any merge activities from accidentally triggering unwanted emails, unnecessary score increases, or unintentional data value changes caused by triggered campaigns and their flow steps. Grab an export from Campaign Inspector inside of Marketing Activities within Marketo in order to identify active triggered campaigns and evaluate their flow steps.

A deep dive into the tips

Want to learn more? These are just a few of the many topics that were covered during the webinar “Dumping Dead Data & Other Spring Cleaning for Marketo,” available now on-demand. Elliot and Lindsay also created a 41-point checklist you can use to audit your own database.