Enriching data in Marketo vs. Salesforce


So, you just got a data enrichment tool/vendor. You’re excited about all the new opportunities you have to benefit from data enrichment. But then the vendor gives you two options, you can integrate their data into Marketo or Salesforce and you are not sure which is best. This comes up a lot, so here are our 2 cents.

Since you can always sync between Marketo and Salesforce, the real question is where should you enrich the data first. After many experiences trying it both ways, we’ve settled on it: for the majority of environments, you should enrich your data in Marketo first. And it all comes down to timing and the Marketo & SFDC sync. Here’s why.

There are many reasons why the sync between Marketo and SFDC can be delayed, so minimizing the number of times they have to sync before other logic can trigger is very useful. If most of your leads are created in Marketo (forms, API, lists etc) enriching in Marketo provides the opportunity for subsequent processes (that often also live in Marketo) to run before the sync to SFDC takes place.

The alternative, enriching in SFDC, requires multiple sync cycles for the enriched data to influence the lifecycle and scoring logic. In times of excessive sync demand this can drastically slow down your lead flow, frustrating sales as they wait for the leads to be ready for follow up.

The graphic below illustrates how the syncing is consolidated when enriching data in Marketo first:

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Here are some more details about the different aspects that are affected by where you enrich your data first:

Lead scoring

Having the data available for demographic scoring before a lead hits SFDC is useful because it ensures the lead data is as complete as possible and therefore ready for scoring, which then can trigger MQL logic before syncing to SFDC. So if you use demographic scoring as part of MQL logic a lead can MQL much quicker than the multi-sync process needed if you enrich in SFDC.

Lead routing

Similar to scoring, if you are using Marketo for lead routing and you have the data enriched in Marketo (for example routing by geo and enriching the location information) you'll have it available for your routing rules immediately; saving you time and getting leads to your sales reps faster. Even if you have your routing rules in SFDC, having the data available immediately when the record is created in SFDC allows your routing rules to trigger immediately.


In many cases, nurtures, trigger-based emails, and dynamic content require correct ownership to be assigned or a demographic attribute to be available immediately after a lead is created. Data enrichment in Marketo will allow your data processing to run in time so your campaigns are not delayed.

Sync Delays

Related to all of the above. The sync between Marketo and SFDC is temperamental and can become overloaded easily. A big update in SFDC or a list import can delay the sync minutes or even hours. Lowering the number of times you need to sync between the two systems for all your processes to work can be a lifesaver in times of high sync demand. Most things that lower the burden on the sync are generally worth it as sync issues often set off a chain reaction of other marketing automation fires you'll need to address.

We hope this explanation will help you implement your data enrichment tool in a way that will integrate smoothly into your current marketing ops. Feel free to reach out with any questions!

MarTechCharlie Saunders