How to Define the Perfect Smart List Using Filter Operators

December 12, 2014 Gina Gregory

String Fields

Smart Lists are probably the single most important thing to learn in Marketo. They are extremely powerful and flexible. Their sole purpose is to define a group of people. Knowing how to use Marketo Smart List Filters and their Operators will ensure you target the right group of people.

An Operator is part of the Smart List that lets you get specific, narrowing down a group with clearly defined criteria. It lets you describe a filter or trigger in straight-forward language.

The available operators are different depending on the type of field you are using. This article will cover smart list string fields, its operators and how to use them to get exactly what you need.

A String field supports up to 255 characters and stores them all on a single line. A few examples of string fields are:

  • Name Fields
  • Email address
  • City
  • Company Name
  • Job Title
  • Industry
  • Acquisition Program Name
  • Lead Source
  • Clicked on Web Page

String Field Operators

All string field filters have the following operators to help you define your smart list criteria:

Operator:

Definition:

Is Exact match (not case sensitive)
Is not Anything EXCEPT exact match
Starts with First letters of string match
Contains Any letters together in the string match
Not contains No letters together in the string match (opposite of contains)
Is empty No value (NULL)
Is not empty Records with ANY value

 

When to use Operators

Knowing what operator to use to get the group of people you want is imperative. Operators directly impact smart list results. If you’re not careful, the wrong operator will include incorrect leads or exclude vital leads in your smart list.

Below is a table to help you decide which string field operator to use, when to use it and an example of the results:

Operator:

When to use:

Example Results with Job Title Field:

 Is Use when you need only exact criteria. Is “Manager” will return leads only with this title.Leads with titles such as “Senior Manager”, “Marketing Manager” or “managing” will be excluded from results.
Is not Use when you need to exclude specific criteria. Is not “Manager” will return leads who do not have this exact match. Leads with titles such as “Senior Manager”, “Marketing Manager” or “managing” will be included in results.
Starts with Use when you want a group of people who have similar first letters in a string field. Best used in fields that don’t have a lot of variation. Starts with “Marketing” will return leads who have this in the first letters of their job title. Leads with titles such as “Marketing Director” and “Marketing Associate” will be included.“Chief Marketing Officer” and “Director of Marketing” will be excluded.
Contains Use when you need a group of people who have similar letters anywhere in a string field. Contains “marketing” will return leads who have this anywhere in their job title. Leads with titles such as “Marketing Director”, “Marketing Associate”, “Chief Marketing Officer” and “Director of Marketing” will all be included.
Not contains The opposite of Contains. Use this when you need to exclude a specific criterion. Not Contains “Accounting” will return ALL leads that do not have this in their job title.
Is empty Returns only leads who have an empty (NULL) value for this field. Is Empty will return only leads who do not have a job title listed on their account.
Is not empty The opposite of “is empty”. Returns all leads who have any value in this field. Is not Empty will return ALL leads who have a value listed.

Still having trouble with your smart list results? Contact us for assistance with a custom solution.

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