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All Places > Marketo Whisperer: Implementation Tips

Marketo's segmentation feature is a fantastic way to easily carve out your database into specific audience segments to deliver dynamic content. Rather than having multiple email versions to edit, approve and send through smart campaigns, dynamic content allows you to create one email with different versions for specific sections of content in it.

 

The drawback of using dynamic content comes into play with reporting. While a segmentation can be applied to the smart list or used as a grouping in the set up of the email performance report, this only provides a filter of the data based on the segment someone is currently assigned in the segmentation – not where the person lived when the email was delivered using the segmentation.

 

For example, let’s say you sent an email in March with dynamic content based on a segmentation for Job Title – Manager v Executive.  At the end of March someone gets a promotion (yay!). The same report you pulled in March will show discrepancies if you pull it in April.  Take a look:

 

Standard Email Performance:

Standard Email Performance.png

Email Performance grouped by Segmentation:

 

 

In March

March Segmentation Report  .png

In April

April Segmentation Report.png

 

The April report implies that the Executive version of the email was delivered when in fact it was the Manager version.

 

In most cases segmentations are created based off data that rarely changes, so this reporting discrepancy is not a big issue. But if you build segmentation rules on data that can change often – like the example above – the metrics might not be telling the right story depending on when you are analyzing the data.

 

Best practice to avoid this is to run any reports using a segmentation immediately and always refer to the results at the end of the quarter or year for any summary reporting. If this is not an option and there is an important requirement to know exactly which “version” of an email someone receives then you should (unfortunately) create multiple email assets. While it might seem inefficient, Marketo still provides ways to streamline the build process with tokens (folder and/or program level) and cloning capabilities so that you can quickly get emails out the door.

Tips for Getting the Most from a Program Performance Report

 

Customers often ask me for tips for getting the most from their program performance reports. Here is a checklist you can use to help make sure you have set-up everything correctly.

 

A Program Performance report is great for providing a summary or your programs. The information is pulled real-time from Marketo so it is always up-to-date. Metrics include number of new names acquired by the program and the number of members who achieved success.

 

Before I get to the checklist, here is refresher of the different filters and metrics available in the report. The following is a webinar example report.

 

Program Performance Report Filters:

  • Channel (e.g. Roadshow, Webinar, Web)
  • Tags (e.g. Region, Vertical)
  • Period Cost (e.g. Date of incurred costs between x and y)
  • Programs (e.g Choose a folder containing a group of programs or a specific program

 

Metrics per program:

  • Number of members
  • Number of new names
  • Number who reached success

 

Metrics if you included period costs:

  • Cost per member
  • Cost per new name

 

Metrics if you click on show program status columns when you select a specific channel to filter on in your report:

  • Number of records in the program per status

 

Here are some tips for getting the most from a program performance report.

  • Establish a good folder structure grouping together first by marketing activities (aka channel) and then by year. It will make it easier to select a group of webinars to analyze within your channel
  • Use a good program naming convention that can be easily be sorted or filtered if you export the report to excel
  • Create only the channels which are necessary to reduce confusion and accidentally using the incorrect channel
  • Create only the program statuses which are necessary
  • Make sure the analytics behavior for each channel except Operational is set to inclusive
  • Remember to set success for each program
  • Add monthly period costs to all programs so you will be able to sort by cost time frame
  • Define tags before starting to create programs. Make all tags required.
  • Try not to remove members from a program since you won’t be able to reset the program membership date
  • And most importantly, think about what you want to report on before you create your program statuses and set-up all the campaigns inside your program

 

In my next post I will share an example. Cheers!

Many Marketo users do not spend a lot of time, if any, in Salesforce.com and do not fully understand how it defines certain opportunity fields. This can be important when you’re leveraging Revenue Cycle Analytics to evaluate the impact of your marketing programs on revenue.

 

Let’s talk about the field Expected Revenue. While it is defined in our product documentation, I’m going to be really honest with you and admit that when I was a Marketo client myself learning RCA, I missed this completely. So I was stumped for some time about why Expected Revenue was so different from Revenue and where this data was coming from. Was it something the salesperson input and if so, why?

 

Just in case there’s anyone else out there in the same boat I was in once upon a time, I’m going to lay out what might be obvious to many of you:

 

Expected Revenue is a field that is automatically calculated in SFDC based on two data values:

1) The Opportunity Amount – a dollar amount (or Euro or whatever currency you’re tracking). This part is input by the salesperson and she may adjust it over time as she learns more about the opportunity – unless her organization’s sales processes require that she keep it as is

 

2) The Opportunity Probability – a percentage value. It is the likelihood that the opportunity will be won. In most cases, your SFDC instance has been set up to automatically calculate probability based on the latest Stage the opportunity is in (for example, an opportunity in the earliest stages of the sales process have a lower probability of being won than one at the later stages). However, some SFDC configurations will also allow the salesperson to override this probability calculation with their own value.

 

Expected Revenue then is automatically calculated in SFDC as Opportunity Amount * Opportunity Probability.

 

Example: An opportunity in SFDC has an Opportunity Amount of $150,000 and an Opportunity Probability of 20% (because it is only 1/5 of the way through the sales cycle). The Expected Revenue will be automatically calculated by SFDC as $30,000 (150,000 * .2).

 

As you’d expect, this Expected Revenue amount will change over time as the probability changes, the amount is revised – or both.

 

Some related advice: So since I didn’t see this in the documentation once upon a time, how did I figure out what was going on? Two things:

1) I asked our SFDC Admin what the field was and how it was calculated. Make friends with your SFDC admins – they can help you better understand what the data in SFDC is and how it works and help you troubleshoot if data just doesn't seem to make sense.

 

2) I had user access to my organization’s instance of SFDC so I spent a lot of time in there just getting familiar with, not only opportunity data, but what my sales colleagues were entering (or not entering) as data for accounts, contacts, leads, custom objects etc. Get familiar with SFDC and the sales processes that drive its configuration and use. By doing so, I was able to work with our sales operations group to make changes to SFDC that benefitted both our sales users and the data we were getting in Marketo.

One of the unsung heroes of the Analytics tab is, in my opinion, the Company Web Activity report. If your organization is B2B, this report offers some powerful utility for your sales and sales development teams by letting them know which companies have people visiting your website - companies that, perhaps, are researching for buying purposes.

 

Out of the box, the default Company Web Activity report will look at the last 7 days of activity with Known people (leads). This one is automatically great for sales people - particularly if you continue to sell to customers (you aren't offering a one-and-done product or service). You can see, of all the people you know in your database, how

many from your accounts are visiting your website - how many people, how many page views, and when the first and last activity was.

 

But I also like to offer sales teams an Anonymous Company Web Activity - Past 7 Days report. This specifically tells them which companies with people we DON'T know - i.e., not cookied leads in the database -  are on our website, with the same data above. The only thing you change in this report is going from Known leads to Anonymous leads in the setup tab. Depending on your industry, you may or may not want to filter out ISPs for those anonymous leads. Regardless, when you're looking to Anonymous leads, they are more likely to be, though certainly not exclusively, from accounts you AREN'T at. This report is often a particular favorite of sales teams.

 

I also like to further customize this one to offer an Anonymous Company Web Activity - Past 7 Days - Target Customers report. In this one, the same setup, but in the smart list, I add an "inferred company" as a filter. Here's where you can add the names of companies/accounts your sales team is particularly interested in securing for your business - it could be your "unicorn" accounts (those magical ones you desperately want to lock down!) or accounts where you know a competitor currently has their business - that's a particularly fun one, as if they're your competitor's customer, but looking around on your website? That's behavior I would want to know about as a sales person!

 

Screen Shot 2017-03-14 at 1.43.34 PM.png

I've also further customized each of these reports for some of my clients, leveraging the "inferred state region" or "inferred country" for sales teams organized by region. You just clone and customize for each region.

 

Remember, each of these reports can have subscriptions. Weekly is a pretty typical frequency, but depending on the volume of your web traffic, the length of your sales cycle and even the processes and preferences of your sales people, you might do daily instead.

 

How many of you are using the Company Web Activity report functionality - and in what other ways are you using it?

I recently encountered an issue where a webhook I was working with kept failing. The lead fields I was passing over in the webhook via tokens I knew were correct, yet the webhook continued to fail.

 

Here is part of the webhook payload:

&first_name={{lead.First Name}}&last_name={{lead.Last Name}}&country={{lead.Country}}&email={{lead.Email Address}}&parent_email={{lead.Parent’s Email}}

 

Did you spot the issue? It’s very, very subtle.

 

Okay, let me put it like this – do you see a difference between these two values?

 

lead.Parents Email

lead.Parent's Email

 

Yep, it’s that seemingly innocuous “curly” apostrophe in the first value. What Microsoft likes to call a “smart” apostrophe versus a straight one. Guess what? It’s a unique character compared with a straight quote, and one that many data systems can’t read/process. When the webhook was built, it had been built in a Word document and then copy/pasted into the webhook payload template in Marketo. And since it came from Word, Word automatically turned the apostrophe curly.

 

If you’re building webhooks, be sure to copy/paste from Notepad or a similar plain text program. Better yet? When it comes to data, apostrophes and punctuation is generally best avoided if you can.

When you decide to secure your marketo landing pages using SSL, the final step will be Marketo consulting "cutting over" the server so that all of the landing pages redirect to their SSL versions.

 

When that happens you need to worry about mixed content.

 

What is that? Good question. Mixed content is non secure content (HTTP) served within a secure page (HTTPS), and it comes in two types, "active" and "passive". Passive mixed content such as the following will generall still render (depending on browser and version, but will result (again depending on the browser) in a warning]

 

  • <img> src attribute
  • <audio> src attribute
  • <video> src attribute
  • <object> where the object performs http requests

 

Active mixed content will generally cause a larger problem with the page, such as the visual aspects not rendering (CSS)

  • <script> src attribue
  • <iFrame> src attribute
  • All uses of CSS where the CSS is a url
  • <object> (data attribute)

 

All mixed content should be addressed, but only the active content will actually break the pages.

 

The official definition of mixed content as defined by the W3C is here -->  Mixed Content

I have on occasion seen people use date filters in their segmentation smart lists. This doesn't function the way people think. Relative operators like "In Past" or "In Future" don't get recalculated constantly so people may not switch segments when you want them to.

 

When a segmentation is created using a date filter, it evaluates the people at that moment and segments them based on the current value. The segment the person is in only gets reevaluated when there is a data value change, which does not get registered unless the actual data in the field changes. Relative operations don't register this in the activity log since the actual field value isn't changing.

 

For example, imagine you built a segment with the filter "Created At in Past 30 Days". Every new lead would be put into this segment when they were first created, but they would not be moved out of it on Day 31.

 

Since you should really only be using segmentations when you want to create dynamic content, your best option in this case would probably be to add people to and remove people from static lists with a smart campaign and use the static lists in the segment definition instead, just as suggested when doing this with custom objects.

When I first started using Marketo as a client, the ability to easily create forms that could capture prospect and customer data and get it directly to my sales team via our CRM was heady stuff. We were suddenly going from a situation where users bounced around our website gathering all of our information while we gathered none from them, to one where we could gate EVERYTHING and ask EVERYTHING.

 

So, naturally, we did.

 

You can guess how that went! At Marketo, we recommend that you be strategic about your content and when you gate it. Top of Funnel (TOFU) content that builds general awareness of your brand and demonstrates your thought leadership/expertise in an area should be open to all potential prospects. In the Middle of the Funnel (MOFU), more useful content that may be proprietary to you (think RFPs, buying guides, calculators, industry reports) should be gated. And finally, at the Bottom of Funnel (BOFU), we recommend opening the content up again - this content (product comparisons, etc.) is generally most valuable to prospects who are already engaged with you and your sales team and is affirming their decisions.

 

But when it's the appropriate time and place to gate content, clients often struggle with how much prospect data to request on the form. I always boil it down to this: What's In It for Me? And I don't just mean me the prospect, but also me the marketer.

 

What's the value for the prospect? This one is fairly obvious, but hard for marketers because we can be pretty biased about the awesomeness of that tool/guide/calculator/report we're offering. Put yourself in the prospect's shoes instead and be brutally honest:

 

  • Can the prospect get this information elsewhere?

  • Are my competitors or anyone else offering something like it (and if so, are they gating it)?

  • Does this content answer a question my prospect needs to help solve their problem?

 

The more exclusive and useful the content is, the greater its value to the prospect and the more likely they are to a) fill out the form in the first place and b) fill in more fields to get it. Even subconsciously, prospects are looking at the form between them and your content and evaluating "do I think this will be worth the time to fill out and/or the release of my personal information to get?" So if the value is lower, per the above, consider either not gating it until you can make that content more valuable OR make sure your form is short and sweet.

 

But also think "What's In It for Me?" as a marketer - what's the utility and value of the data you're requesting on the form? If it's a contact request form, it makes sense to ask for a phone number. But for a buying guide or a report? You don't need that data to deliver the content the prospect is asking for, so why are you asking for it? If this is the first form your currently anonymous prospect is visiting, will they find a "phone number required" field off-putting for a guide? Probably. Do you need to know what their job title / role is in order to provide them the right version of the guide/tool etc.? Definitely ask, but consider explaining to them that's why you're asking. Transparency goes a long way with prospects when asking for data.

 

Now, eventually, as you take your prospect along your customer journey and get them to engage with more and more of your un-gated and then gated content, you will need more and more information from them in order to fully qualify them for your sales team. That's what progressive profiling is for! From form to form, you'll ask them more and more qualifying information and it will a) be easy for them because it's only a couple of questions at a time and b) make sense to them because what your'e asking should also be tracking to their customer journey (region of the world, buying timeframe, buying role, etc.) It won't feel invasive, intrusive or unnecessary to the value of the content you're offering.

Many new customers are confused as to how Marketo’s munchkin code works when it is applied on different, separate domains. They often expect to be able to automatically track behavior on multiple domains just by using the munchkin code and cooking someone once.

 

Unfortunately, (and fortunately) it doesn’t work this way. If you could set a cookie for any domain, well, you could inject your munchkin javascript to any site and set a cookie for any domain. Think of the privacy laws and security havoc this would wreak.

 

Marketo’s munchkin uses what is called first party cookies. Put simply for non-technical folks, this means that each record in your database must be cookied in each domain first before we can track their behavior.  The good news is once a record is cookied in more than one domain all their web activity is combined into the activity log of their record in Marketo.

 

As a reminder, these are the primary out of the box ways a marketer can set cookies on a domain with very little, if any, technical resources involved:

 

  • Marketo Forms – embed Marketo form(s) on the domain so that once someone fills out a form they are cookied
  • Click links in an Marketo email - send an email to your database with links that when clicked will have the record land on a page on the domain where the munchkin code has been applied. When the person clicks the link, they are cookied

 

If you have a technical resource available to you, there are other ways you can set cookies using our APIs and no Marketo forms or emails. While the two methods above require very little technical resources, you do need a lot of creativity in creating your call to actions – which is exactly what marketers do best.

In my last blog I discussed the importance of defining the scope and vision of your Marketo implementation, this installment focuses on the significance of getting attention and buy-in from executive leadership.

 

Why is executive-level support key for success?  Besides being able to break down any potential roadblocks between and within departments tasked with the Marketo implementation (e.g. IT, Marketing and Sales), executives can set the tone for the entire organization. As the proverbial captains of the ship, having top-level support can help all departments sail in the same direction. Recruit these “skippers” to champion the vision and strategy for the Marketo implementation and beyond.

 

In the article, 10 Change Management Keys to Effective Software Implementation, Samantha E. Velez writes, “When there is consistent, managerial backing at every level, the entire workforce is being driven toward the common goal of accepting and adapting to the new system. Effective leadership can sharply reduce the behavioral resistance to change, especially when dealing with new technologies.”

 

Part of your change management strategy should incorporate an Executive Leadership Plan. When formulating the plan, here are some things to consider matched to typical implementation phases:

  • Kick-off: Get the executive team together and have them describe how Marketo fits into the overarching goals, direction and strategy of your company –  then get them to communicate this company wide.  This not only gives the implementation the visibility it needs; it also helps bring clarity to the entire organization around why the changes are being made.
  • Design: Consider providing Marketo overview training to familiarize executives with Marketo features and functionality.  This forum can also facilitate conversations around scope and time frame related questions, as well as expose this group to available metrics, report types and provide a look at user roles.  When it comes to analytics, some executives like to have system access to run their own reports, while others want things delivered to them.  And, the discussion around user roles might surface new business processes that will need to be adopted. Figuring all this out early in the process helps set expectations.
  • Implementation – and beyond: Focus on providing project updates and strive for on-going organizational alignment. Consider hosting executive briefings, or providing weekly reports to keep executives apprised of project successes and challenges.  During the implementation and early project phases, more frequent meetings and reporting might be necessary, while post implementation you might scale back to quarterly updates. Whatever the meeting or reporting cadence, continue to enlist executive support when needed – be it for issue escalation, or to broadcast your awesome achievements.
  • All Phases: Create a cycle of positive reinforcement. Consider having executives single-out key adopters (both marketing and sales) and program successes. Include these updates in your internal newsletters, company intranet and social network.  Who doesn’t like to be recognized for good work? And we all know that a ‘shout out’ can go a long way when it comes to motivating a team.

 

Much of what I’ve been discussing emphasizes communication.  In an upcoming blog I’ll dig deeper into the importance of formulating an overarching project communication plan.  If scheduling quarterly meetings makes sense for your business, consider including your Marketo or partner team.  Your Account Manager, Engagement Manager, or partner will keep you abreast of the product road map. This will give needed visibility and runway, allowing you to continually evaluate your strategy and to plan for adding or shifting resources as new features, like Account Based Marketing, change or amplify your existing strategy.

 

Set your organization up for smooth sailing! Getting executive buy-in from the start puts your investment in Marketo on a long-term course for success.

Recently someone on my team asked me for a bit of help in writing some JavaScript to check and uncheck the boxes on a subscription center when someone selects the Unsubscribe from All checkbox. You would think this code would be easy to find just floating around because so many people need it, but I actually couldn't find it all that easily. Since I'm probably not the only one who needs this code, why not share it?

 

Code to Check All Subscription Boxes

Make sure you update the field names in the quotes to match the field names in your instance, beginning with 'selectAll', which is the checkbox that, when selected, should populate all of the other checkboxes. Obviously, you should also remove any rows you don't need because you have less options than this example.

 

<script>

MktoForms2.whenReady(function (form) {

document.getElementById('selectAll').onclick = function() {

  if ( this.checked ) {

document.getElementById('mktosupplychainmanagement').checked = true;

document.getElementById('mktosmallmolecules').checked = true;

document.getElementById('mktobiologics').checked = true;

document.getElementById('mktoevents').checked = true;

document.getElementById('mktocommercialproductsupply').checked = true;

document.getElementById('mktoproductdevelopment').checked = true;

document.getElementById('mktogeneralmarketingcommunications').checked = true;

document.getElementById('Unsubscribed').checked = false;

  } else {

  // Did not Globally Subscribe

  }

  }

});

</script>

 

Code to Uncheck All Subscription Boxes

 

<script>

MktoForms2.whenReady(function (form) {

document.getElementById('Unsubscribed').onclick = function() {

  if ( this.checked ) {

document.getElementById('mktosupplychainmanagement').checked = false;

document.getElementById('mktosmallmolecules').checked = false;

document.getElementById('mktobiologics').checked = false;

document.getElementById('mktoevents').checked = false;

document.getElementById('mktocommercialproductsupply').checked = false;

document.getElementById('mktoproductdevelopment').checked = false;

document.getElementById('mktogeneralmarketingcommunications').checked = false;

document.getElementById('selectAll').checked = false;

  } else {

  // Did not Globally Unsubscribe

  }

  }

});

</script>

There's no place in Marketo where you can easily see a list or report of all of your static lists. This is somewhat important when you're doing a migration from one instance to another, because you need to decide which static lists you want to reimport the members to when you move to the new instance. Here is the fastest way I've found to quickly generate a master list of all of your static lists:

 

  1. Create a smart campaign and drag Member of List filter into the smart list. Click on the + sign.
  2. Go to Add New values and select each list to move it over to the right side (You may at the bottom see "Add All" if you are lucky, but it doesn't always show up). Then copy and paste the list from the right side into your document. You’ll need to do this once per workspace.

My recent switch from the Enterprise Consulting team to the Education team has given me greater exposure to clients who are either brand new to Marketing Automation (MA), or switching from another MA, like Eloqua or Hubspot. Typically, I’m training a core group of people that have been charged with the responsibility of driving a successful new implementation; oftentimes training takes place before any type of discovery or kick-off with the professional services teams (either Enterprise or SMB) has occurred.  What I've come to realize is that, while clients are in different places along their respective MA journeys, there are some best practice topics that any organization should consider to help manage a successful implementation - as well as the ongoing successful adoption - of Marketo. These topics include:

 

  • Defining an overall scope and vision
  • Garnering executive leadership
  • Outlining ownership and internal support path
  • Devising an internal communications plan
  • Discussing users and roles
  • Managing technical system requirements
  • Ensuring data quality
  • Creating internal processes to support the platform and people
  • Motivating Users and Non-Users
  • Creating training plans

 

I’ll be dedicating the next few blogs going over these topics individually, and in this first installment let’s look at some things to consider when defining an overall scope and vision for your Marketo implementation.

 

Typically, when clients get started with a solution as robust as Marketo they are super excited and want to get up and running quickly – oftentimes with a goal of utilizing as many new feature as possible.  Lots of teams are either drawn to proving they are getting the most out of their investment quickly, or they have upper management pressuring them to show ROI as fast as possible.

 

crawl_walk_run.png

This is where you have to be realistic about how much change your organization can handle at once.  Biting off more than you can chew can lead to frustration, confusion and failure. This is why Marketo suggests a “Crawl, Walk, Run” phased approach.  By initially focusing on the core team and essential ‘must haves’ you’ll ensure success and build confidence – not only among the core implementation group, but with other departments, like sales or IT – as they see a focused and organized team executing on a realistic plan.

 

As Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” So ask yourself the following:

 

  • What people need to start using Marketo now?
    • Can you take advantage of Quick Wins to give insight into people who are just curious about the solution, but may not need to be trained straight away - if ever? This suggestion works great if you have a sandbox, but even if you don’t, pointing people to Marketo Product docs or Marketo Resources is a low cost way to give people visibility into all Marketo can do and makes sure no one feels left out.
  • What are some quick wins that can have the biggest impact?
    • This is highly subjective and depends a lot on your company’s MA maturity and experience. For MA ‘newbies’ this might include adding A/B testing and scoring, for more experience teams it might include setting up best practice program templates to enable scaling (via cloning) and extending access/insight to sales via smart lists and report subscriptions and/or Sales Insights.
  • What are my key KPIs and how am I going to report on them?
    • In addition to setting some basics reporting goals, like a lift in sign-ups, or growth of lead quantity and quality, set tactical metrics around content performance for emails including opens, clicks, unsubscribes and include web engagement metrics.
    • Ask yourself who should see reports and at what frequency.  As previously mentioned, you can set up subscriptions, but you might not want to socialize reports until meaningful data is available.
  • Do I have a defined scope for each phase of the implementation?
    • Make sure the scope matches your organizations overarching marketing strategy and goals.  Don't start rolling out Social, for instance, just because you can - ask yourself if it is part of the greater plan.
    • Set goals at 3 month intervals – for at least the first year – so you can stay focused on the present, while keeping an eye on the future.

 

Finally, plan on an enhancement life-cycle, for when you are ready to use additional features – whether purchased or those that become available in Marketo’s quarterly releases.  You can also include in this life-cycle additional requests that will inevitably come up during an implementation as more people learn all that Marketo can do. Knowing upfront that you've entered a marathon, not a sprint, may keep people more focused and patient during this key time of your implementation.

I had a Marketo client ask me recently if there was a "best practice" on whether or not to use Marketo for internal (employee) communications.  Here's what I told her: There's no best practice on whether or not you should have employees in your database other than for seed list testing but I do believe there is a best practice for how to manage them if and when they get in there.

 

There are Marketo users who strongly believe that the only people in your database should be customers and prospective customers. I know some who will go so far as to ONLY include prospects, not existing customers, viewing it very much as a MARKETING database only (customers remain in the CRM only). I also know Marketo users who proactively use our platform for internal communications as well as communicating with prospects and customers.  Depending on your organization, your markets, your data requirements and your business needs, ALL of these can be the right choices in my view.

 

But what I do encourage Marketo users to do is to plan for employees in the Marketo database and build accordingly:

  1. First, create a custom field in Marketo - something like "Is Employee"

  2. Then create a basic data management smart campaign that marks everyone with your company's email domain as "Is Employee" (for example: If email address contains "@marketo.com" change data value "Is Employee" to TRUE. You can schedule it as a recurring batch (with an "only go through the campaign once" constraint) to catch any new employees who might come in through form fillouts, imports, etc. over time

 

By taking these two steps, you now can easily filter out - or in - your employees as part of your smart lists and smart campaigns as you desire. Some clients will even use this criterion to do periodic, batch automations to delete employees from the Marketo database. It depends on your data concerns and your business use.

 

For nearly all clients, I will recommend that "Is Employee" is smart list criteria you use to remove employees from lead scoring and lead lifecycle programs and from various analytics reports. Except in a few cases, most organizations would not view employees as people they want to track for revenue modeling data and certainly don't want employees handed off to sales for followup as prospects. You can also use the "Is Employee" criteria to separate out their email performance and web page performance.

 

How about the rest of you? How do you feel about employees in the database and do you have different ways of dealing with them?

I recently worked with a B2C client on a campaign where they were targeting leads when they reached a specific mid-stage of the sales cycle with some SMS and email messaging. In their smart list,  they were triggering on Opportunity is Updated  with additional constraints around opportunity stage and the brand.

 

In reviewing their leads, they found that some leads at the appropriate opportunity stage didn't qualify for the campaign after it was turned on. As it happens, these leads had been converted to opportunities and immediately placed in the qualifying stage versus earlier stages.  Therefore, their opportunities were not UPDATED; they were in fact, Added to Opportunity. By bringing in an additional trigger (Added to Opportunity) with the appropriate constraints on stage and brand,  the two triggers - which, remember, work as "OR" statements - captured all leads once reaching the right opportunity stage.

 

I wanted to do a quick blog post on this for two reasons:

 

This is not an uncommon issue: Users sometimes forget that Opportunity is Updated excludes leads whose opportunities are first created (Added). You similarly see this with Data Value Changes - when a lead is created and their field values are populated, this first writing of data to fields doesn't count in Marketo as a "change." So I thought it useful to call this out as a reminder.

 

Perhaps more importantly, this situation highlighted how important it is to understand your sales teams' processes.  When salespeople create opportunities, do they "skip" stages (i.e., bring someone in "midway" through) and if so, why? Is this something that makes sense for your sales process and therefore should be accommodated in your Marketo build, or is this an opportunity to help sales improve their processes?

 

So when you see something like this occur in Marketo, focus not just on correcting your smart lists but also using it as an opportunity to examine your related sales and marketing processes and make sure they are working as planned.