A Marketing Automation Expert Answers Your Biggest Questions About Duplicates

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A Marketing Automation Expert Answers Your Biggest Questions About Duplicates


In a recent webinar, Inga answered marketers’ burning questions about bad data in Marketo, including what causes it and how to get fix it. Here is a look at this insightful Q&A session.

If an organization’s data is especially dirty, where do you recommend they start to clean it up?

Inga Romanoff: Excellent question. In Marketo, you can create audit smart lists, which look for things like records without an email address or duplicates. This enables you to pinpoint issues and research sources of bad data. Oftentimes there may be a reoccurring cause of dupes, and a report with these leads can help you seek out trends and the irregularities. For instance, perhaps you have a web form that’s been around for years that feeds directly into your CRM and creates duplicate records. Evaluate your data, audit systems and data input sources, and look for systemic issues.

Once you’ve identified the duplicates, what is that next step?

Inga Romanoff: If you are going through a merging process, determine the master record which will retain the data when the merge is complete. If you have thousands of duplicates, I recommend talking to an expert, such as RingLead or Marketo. Using helpful tools, you have the opportunity to mass merge by establishing master record rules, versus manually updating one by one.

Ensure that your clean up results are sustainable. Begin to track your duplicate creation and react immediately. Create a hierarchy of data values (more trustworthy vs. less) and be careful with merging and deletions. Employ a tool to help you with ongoing data quality process, such as
Data Cleanse by RingLead.

What type of lead generation data capture should marketers use to avoid dupes?

Inga Romanoff: Marketing automation is rather new, so there is a varied approach. Some utilize web forms, web-to-lead Salesforce forms, Marketo forms, or a combination. Certainly to ensure best in class data quality and data deduplication, I highly recommend utilizing Marketo forms – native or embedded. This approach allows for automatic lead deduplication based on the email address, easy campaign attribution, and includes additional IP address based data tracking, which is especially useful for B2B marketers.

Marketo forms give you a lot of out-of-the-box deduplication, partners and tools that provide data cleanliness, as well as additional tracking.

If a merge happens in Marketo, how does that affect the possible duplicate in Salesforce, if your instances are synced?

Inga Romanoff: The merge in Marketo will force the same records to be merged in Salesforce as well. Beware of cross-object merges with Leads and Contcts and make sure you understand your specific CRM instance rules. The same data loss that you will experience in Marketo will happen in Salesforce too, so make sure that you’re not losing any data through merge process.

What are some general tips on how you should be keeping an eye out for duplicates?

Inga Romanoff: It’s a process that requires you to think through your data. Have a planned approach where you know your data sources and systems involved, how duplicates are resolved, and how you control new data inputs. Try new technology to automate, organize and control duplicates. Become a data quality champion in your organization, work closely with and train your counterparts in sales, customer service, etc., so that everyone is aware of the data on a regular basis.

Talk about bad data beyond duplicates. How do you keep your data fresh and up to date?

Inga Romanoff: 75 phone numbers change every 30 minutes, people are constantly changing jobs, emails are being created and becoming defunct, etc. In other words, data is changing very quickly, and this will continue to accelerate. If you have the process controls, reports, and alerts set up, you will always have your finger on the pulse.

We appreciate Inga’s time to answer these big data quality questions.