Marketo Connection

What: The Marketo Connection will allow field values to be retrieved from Marketo lists and stored into BlueConic profiles and vice versa. It will also allow adding BlueConic content recommendations to Marketo email messages.

About BlueConic: BlueConic is a Customer Data Platform that harnesses the data required to power the recognition of an individual at each interaction, and then synchronizes their intent across the marketing ecosystem. Click here to learn more.

Why: Marketo is already part of your marketing stack. Use this connection to use first party data from your stack to enrich information your known users, whether it was collected by BlueConic or integrated through another BlueConic connection.


Profiles in BlueConic and leads in Marketo

In BlueConic each profile is used throughout the BlueConic instance. Profile information in BlueConic is always stored directly on the per-person profile and it is this profile that will be mapped to a Marketo lead. 

Sync with the Marketo plugin

Synchronizing BlueConic profiles with Marketo list members via scheduled batch import and export is non-symmetrical. There is no clear mapping between most BlueConic properties and Marketo member fields. Instead Marketo specific information is taken and added to BlueConic to enrich the profiles. The user can specify BlueConic properties that should be added to Marketo merge fields. These fields can be used to enrich mails sent within Marketo.

Recognizing users in BlueConic and Marketo

Marketo leads are always matched by their email address. BlueConic stores an internal id for each profile, but this is not mapped to any meaningful property of the profile. To identify profiles in BlueConic as Marketo members you have to configure the connection in which BlueConic profile property the user email address is stored. This has to be an indexed property, also called Unique Identifier (see Profile Properties).

Content recommendations in Marketo emails

Take the power of the online conversation to the offline! BlueConic's powerful content recommendations engine can be used to enrich Marketo emails with recommendation snippets. For Marketo leads that are known in Blueconic the snippets will be personalized. For Marketo leads that are not known in BlueConic, generic recommendations will be used instead. Configure recommendations in Marketo, then set up the recommendations goal in the BlueConic connection.


Configuring the connection

In the side bar on the left are a number of tabs. There is a setup section and there are import and export goals. Goals can be activated or deactivated with the checkbox in front of the name. Multiple goals can be added by using the [Add goal] button at the bottom of the page and you can delete or copy goals by hovering over them and selecting the "x" respectively copy icon. 

Click on a goal to open its tab and see the configuration options for that goal. The name of the goal can be changed by editing it at the top of the goal configurations.

Setup and run

This is where you set up the authentication that will allow BlueConic to connect to the Marketo platform. Look up and enter the configuration parameters:

Client ID
Create an authentication client id in your Marketo environment and enter it here.
Client secret
Enter the client secret that was generated in the Marketo environment, as explained in the authentication link above.
Client identity url
Enter the identity url of your Marketo environment, which is found in the "Admin > Web Services" menu in the REST API section. For more information, see the authentication link above.


Save your connection.

Import goals

Import goals allow you to import data from Marketo into BlueConic. To do this, complete the steps that are outlined in the goal.

1. Select Marketo lists to import from

Select one or more Marketo lists that you want to import data from the table of lists. You can search for particular lists. Per selected list, determine whether the creation of new profiles in BlueConic is allowed. Activate the checkbox to allow the creation of a BlueConic profile when a lead is subscribed to any of the selected lists, but no matching profile could be found.

Activate the "Save the lists" checkbox if you want BlueConic to keep track of the names of the lists whose data enriched a profile, and select the profile property in which you want to keep that record.


2. Link identifiers between Marketo and BlueConic

Select the BlueConic profile property that will be used to match the email address of Marketo leads to BlueConic profiles. Typically this would be "Email Address", but you can select any other profile property (designated as unique identifier) that you would like to see matched.

3. Map Marketo data to BlueConic

Here you determine how information from MailChimp will be mapped to BlueConic profile properties. Add mapping rules by clicking [Add mapping]. Select the MailChimp field, the BlueConic profile property it should map to and select how the value should be imported: "Set" to always set the value, "Set if empty" to only set the value if the profile didn't have a value yet, "Add" to add another value to the list or "Sum" to add a numerical value to the value in the profile.

Export goals

Export goals allow you to export data from BlueConic into Marketo. To do this, complete the steps that are outlined in the goal.

1. Select a BlueConic segment to export profile data from

Select the segment that contains the profiles that are allowed to be exported. Only identifiable profiles that are part of this segment will be exported.


2. Link identifiers between BlueConic and Marketo

Select the BlueConic profile property (designated as unique identifier) that has to match the Marketo lead's email address.


If there are multiple leads in Marketo that share the same email address, only the last updated lead will be matched. All other duplicates will be ignored.

You can optionally allow the creation of a new lead (when no match can be found) in step 4. 

3. Map BlueConic data to Marketo

This is where you determine how BlueConic profile information will be mapped to Marketo. Select the type of BlueConic information from the pulldown button:

  • BlueConic profile identifier: the identifier string that uniquely identifies a BlueConic profile
  • Associated segments: either all the names of segments the profile is associated to, or click on the segment name to select "only selected segments" and pick specific segments - you can even replace the original segment name for an alternative. Add rows for all segments you want to export membership of and click "ok" to confirm.
  • BlueConic profile property: Select the profile property whose value should be exported.

On the Marketo side, pick the field that the value should be mapped to:


Add as many mapping rules as you require by clicking the [Add mapping] button.

4. Optionally create new Marketo leads

In step 2, you determined how BlueConic profiles will be matched to Marketo leads. If no match can be found, you can allow BlueConic to create a new Marketo lead by activating the checkbox in this step.


5. Assign leads to Marketo lists

Matched or created leads based of profiles in the segment can optionally be assigned to Marketo lists.

BlueConic can also be allowed to keep list membership in sync with segment membership by removing leads from Marketo lists when they are no longer in the selected BlueConic segment. Activate the checkbox if you want this.


BlueConic recommendations in Marketo emails

In order to use BlueConic recommendation in Marketo emails, configuration has to be done on the Marketo side. On a high level, this means you are going to configure:

  • a custom object to hold the BlueConic recommendation information
  • a token for use in emails to use the personalized information from the custom object

Once the Marketo configuration is done, the recommendations configuration in the BlueConic connection can be completed. A test email can be sent once both the Marketo side and the BlueConic side have been configured.

Open Marketo and follow the steps in the sections below to do the Marketo part of the setup.

Create custom object in Marketo

Personalized BlueConic recommendations will be stored in a custom object in Marketo. Here are the steps to create this custom object:

Step 1: Go to “Admin” in the menu (top right)



Step 2: In section “Data Management” open “Marketo custom objects”



Step 3: Make sure to have the “Marketo Custom Objects” tab open. Click “New custom object”.



Step 4: Create a Marketo object. Enter a display name (API name will be generated automatically). Make sure to toggle on “Show in Lead Detail”.


Step 5: Open the “Fields” tab. Click new.


Step 6: Create a "lead" field. Make sure to make no mistake, because you cannot make changes to a dedupe field afterwards.

  • Display Name: lead
  • API Name: lead
  • Data Type: link
  • Link Object: Lead
  • Link Field: Id
  • Dedupe field: YES

Click "Save" to save the field.



Step 7: Create a "trackingPixel" field.

  • Display Name: trackingPixel
  • API Name: trackingPixel
  • Data Type: string

Confirm that the Dedupe Field toggle equals “NO”. Click "Save" to save the field.


Step 8: Approve the custom object by a right click on the custom object on the right. All fields will be approved too. (Note the little icon in front of your custom object is changed from a pencil to a check)




Step 9: In BlueConic you should now be able to open the recommendation goal and select the custom object you created in step "4. Setup the recommendation". Select the custom object you just created.

The connection will detect if the lead field and tracking pixel are correct. If not, create a new custom object and make sure to do exactly as said.


Step 10: In BlueConic set how many items you want to recommend per subscriber. If, for example, you enter "3", this means every lead will receive 3 article recommendations. Also select the recommendation fields that will be involved in the Marketo recommendation token by activating their checkboxes. E.g. if you want to show the name of an article with an image, activate "Name" and "Image". 

The amount of recommendations and the fields you select have to be stored in the Marketo custom object. BlueConic will indicate which fields it needs in the custom object to satisfy of your selections. The connection will indicate the problem in the setup. Behind “Fields in Marketo" the fields that not yet have been created at the custom object are shown. These fields will have to be added to the Marketo custom object in the next step.


Step 11: Add missing fields to Marketo. Open Marketo again. Open your custom object and for each missing field, add field (tab fields) button new field.

Make sure to copy the exact name as indicated in BlueConic. Set the "Display Name" and the "API Name" to the name indicated in BlueConic. Set "Type" to string.


Step 12: If you added all missing fields, approve the object again. Go to you object in the left side menu, right mouse click, approve object. Now your object is ready. You can use this in your email campaign. Go to the next step.





Step 13: Check step "4. Setup the recommendation" of your BlueConic connection; it should no longer show any missing fields in Marketo and a green checkmark should be shown. There may be a delay before the connection picks up the changes in Marketo.


Create a token to use in email

With the custom object in place, the next thing to create in Marketo is a script token that will automatically insert personalized recommendations in an email.

Step 1: Go to your “Marketing activities”


Step 2: Go to “Active Marketing Programs” in the right side bar. Open “My Tokens” tab.



Step 3: In the right side bar, go to email script. Drag this this the token field.



Step 4: You can change the name “My Token” to any name you want. Click on

“Click to Edit” to add the token



Step 5: Collapse the custom objects by clicking the “+”. (If this does not work, save the token, close lightbox and reload the page). In the right side bar, activate the items that you will be using in your script token.


Step 6: Enter script per item.


The script defines what the recommendations will look like in the email. This is where you add the HTML. You can manually construct the HTML tags per item, or you can create a loop to automatically construct a number of items with the same HTML.

Make sure that the items you refer to in the script are activated in the right side bar.

Example per item:

    <a href="${recommendationsForEmail_cList.get(0).item1_url}">
        <img src="${recommendationsForEmail_cList.get(0).item1_image}" />
    <a href="${recommendationsForEmail_cList.get(0).item2_url}">
        <img src="${recommendationsForEmail_cList.get(0).item2_image}" />
<img src="${recommendationsForEmail_cList.get(0).trackingPixel}" alt="" width="1" height="1" />


Example of a loop:

#set($start = 1)
#set($end = 2)
#set($range = [$start..$end])

<div class=“wrapper”>
    #foreach($i in $range)
        #set ($nameKey = "item${i}_name")
        #set ($imageKey = "item${i}_image")
        #set ($urlKey = "item${i}_url")
        <a href="${recommendationsForEmail_cList.get(0)[$urlKey]}">
                <img src="${recommendationsForEmail_cList.get(0)[$imageKey]}" />
<img src="${recommendationsForEmail_cList.get(0).trackingPixel}" alt="" width="1" height="1" />


Make sure to save the script and to save the token.


Step 7: Now you can insert this token in your email.


Recommendations goals

To be able to set up the recommendations goals for BlueConic, the Marketo custom object setup above needs to be completed first.

1. Select Marketo leads for receiving recommendations


2. Link identifiers between BlueConic and Marketo

Determine what BlueConic profile property (designated as unique identifier) will be used to match the email address of a Marketo lead, in order to provide personalized recommendations. If no matching profile is found for a lead, default recommendations will be used instead.

3. Select a BlueConic collector for the recommendations

This is where you pick the content collector that will provide the recommendations.

4. Setup the recommendation

Define what elements will make up the recommendations. Start by selecting the custom object you defined in Marketo and set the number of items you want to recommend.

Note that BlueConic verifies the existence of the lead field on the custom object, as described above.

Which fields should be activated must be determined by what information you want to show in the script of the Marketo token. For example, if you want to display the name of the recommended article and its image, activate the checkboxes for "Name" and "Image".

Note that the selections above have to be stored on the custom object in Marketo. This means that for the number of items and for each field a corresponding field should be defined on the custom object. BlueConic will help you determine the field by what is displayed for "Fields in Marketo":

A red cross followed by a comma separated list of field names means those fields are still missing on the custom object in Marketo. Add the fields in Marketo so BlueConic can store the corresponding information on the custom object. Go back and forth between Marketo and BlueConic until you get a green checkmark for the "Fields in Marketo".

BlueConic also validates the creation of the tracking pixel field on the custom object, as described above.

5. Select algorithms

Select the algorithms and their weight to determine what recommendations will be shown:

6. Setup filters for the recommendations

Finally, you can limit recommendations by adding filters, e.g. by filtering out articles that have already been seen or that have already been recommended online before. You can also add filters for specific metadata to contain or not contain certain values.


Congratulations! You now have set up the recommendations on both the BlueConic and the Marketo side! Be sure to save the connection.


With Marketo and BlueConic both completely set up, make sure you have a test user profile in BlueConic that matches a Marketo lead. Disable the import and export goals, only leaving the recommendation goal you want to test active. On the "Setup and run" tab, click the [Run now] button. This should synchronize recommendation information over to Marketo. Try sending a test email to the test user and see if the resulting email matches your expectations.


The Marketo Connection is a standard plugin.