Salesforce and Marketo: 3 Key Areas for Successful Integration

Salesforce and Marketo: 3 Key Areas for Successful Integration

Written by Whitni Freeman

December 12, 2018

Note: This is part one in a series on Marketo-Salesforce integrations.

Back when I was dating, I had a list of ideal features and qualities that I hoped to find in a someday spouse. Personality traits, family values, life experience…those sorts of things. This list helped me think a little more intentionally about who I ended up with and gave me an ideal to pursue.

When you were back window-shopping the marketing automation platform tools, you probably had a similar list. Instead of personality traits, you probably considered price point, and instead of family values, you more likely thought of technical capabilities.

If you’re like many modern marketers, the ability of your marketing automation platform to talk to your CRM was probably (hopefully!) high on that list – and maybe even one of the reasons you ended up with Marketo.

The Marketo-Salesforce integration is one of the most attractive and useful qualities of the Marketo platform tool. Built as a native integration, the bidirectional and controllable sync of the two platforms equips marketing, sales and many others that play a role in the customer journey to work from a shared set of information.

Marketo and Salesforce together help you understand the digital body language of a lead and how it relates to the demographic and firmographic data. Together, they can help you take action on the analytics that result from the marriage of the two systems. The integration is key in marketing and sales alignment, in transforming marketing into a profit center and in empowering marketing to do smarter initiatives.

A Marketo-Salesforce integration is by no means a set it and forget it kind of deal.

While it doesn’t need a lot of ongoing maintenance, it’s definitely something that you’ll need to tend to over time. Sync errors occur, but both tools also continue to improve in their functionality, and your marketing maturity will hopefully only increase, so you’ll want to keep a good pulse on the state of the systems. There’s also a lot of neat “bonus” type things you can utilize your integration to do, like advanced lead lifecycle reporting and triggering off different Salesforce data points.

In this blog series, I’m going to seek to help you get the most out of your integration – from figuring out how and what to configure, to troubleshooting, to maximizing your investment.

This series will cover the following:

Setting up your Salesforce/Marketo integration involves a hefty amount of planning. You need to consider how the databases are going to align, profiles and hierarchy, lead assignment roles and ownership, and the source of truth when it comes to data points. Read more about setting up your Marketo-Salesforce integration.


Optimizing your Salesforce/Marketo integration is one of the most important tasks to complete after setting up your instance. You should not have a “set it and forget it” mentality when it comes to your integration. We’ll show you how to keep your Salesforce campaigns active and how to set their dates, how to customize activities and utilize tokens, how to use Salesforce reporting based on Marketo activity, how to use Marketo Sales Insight and much more.

Read how to optimize your Marketo-Salesforce integration.


We never like it when it when it happens, but trouble happens to the best of us. In this article, we’ll talk you through some of the most common errors that occur with Salesforce/Marketo integrations, including the dreaded bad picklist error (the most common error message). We’ll also tell you how to investigate a sync error.

Read how to troubleshoot your Marketo-Salesforce connection.

My hope is that you’ll fall in love with your integration and get more out of both Marketo and Salesforce. After all, you’re married now. It’s time to make it work!

You May Also Like…