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This week’s Champion Spotlight isBrittany Stover. Let’s get to know Brittany a little bit better!




Company: Des-Case Corporation

Title: International Marketing Operations Analyst

Location: Nashville, TN

Hometown: Nashville, TN


What was your first job? HRIS Administrator


How and when did you get started with Marketo? What was your first role and initial reaction to the platform?  When I started working for Des-Case, we were currently in conversations with Marketo. I was hired to run digital marketing and my sole job was to integrate Marketo into our digital fold. My first reaction was..."this is like the maze from Harry Potter... so many different ways and variations for development".


What is your favorite thing to do in Marketo and why? Geek out over analytics.


Through out your Marketo career, what are you most proud of?  I am most proud of taking our company from an analog mindset to being emerged into the digital spectrum. Everything we do hinges on Marketo and I helped develop all of our nurturing funnels for the various product channels we support. Once that was complete, we have now started creating international regional driven nurture funnels which is pretty cool!


What piece of advice would you give to someone who is just starting a career with Marketo?  Learn, ask questions, make mistakes, and repeat.  There is so much to learn in this space and it's not going away. Also, be hungry! There is something to be said for those who are driven and it's contagious.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Harry Potter, Super Heros, and Star Wars... Not necessarily in that order


What is one goal you would like to achieve in your lifetime? Qualify for the Boston Marathon


Have any questions for Brittany? Ask them below!


Connect with Brittany:


Are your engagement rates worth writing home about?


If you answered “no,” then maybe it’s time to take a deeper dive into why your prospects are overlooking the content you worked so hard to create. Personalized emails return 6x more revenue per email than non-personalized emails. Imagine what will happen to your marketing when you take that personalization to the next level!


Here at PFL, we like to use our nurture stream audience as guinea pigs for engagement rate testing. Our latest initiative revolves around harnessing behavioral data to deliver relevant content at just the right time. The strategy: Content Binge Tracks. When leads visit our website, watch webinars, and attend tradeshow sessions, they leave valuable behavioral data about their topical interests.


Consider John Doe. Last month, John attended our webinar that focused on Demand Generation. A few days later, he read two of our Demand Gen blog posts, and then downloaded the eBook referenced in the second post. Clearly, John is interested in Demand Gen. Why not let him binge on Demand Gen content?


Our game plan:

  1. Determine the most common categories our leads are interested in
    1. Account-Based Marketing
    2. Demand Gen
    3. Lead Gen
    4. Social Media Marketing
    5. Etc

If you are in B2C, think along the lines of your product offerings. Are you a kitchen appliance distributor? Maybe your categories include Refrigerators, Ovens, Small Kitchen Appliances, etc. You get the idea.

  1. Create a set of emails, direct mail pieces (and if we’re feeling extra ambitious, RTP) for each of those categories
  2. Create new nurture streams for each of these categories in your Engagement Program
  3. Put those emails and direct mail pieces in the corresponding nurture stream, and VOILA!

Here’s how to set it up:

  1. To determine categories with the highest engagement, we started by talking to our SDR team to see which categories they thought would provide the most value

OPTIONAL: if you have more time, do a website audit (or at least a blog page audit) to see which categories have the highest engagement rates

  1. Go into your Engagement Program you typically use to market new leads. Add a new stream for each category

  1. In your Engagement Program, add your new content to each corresponding stream
  2. Set up your nurture stream transition rules to capture leads who exhibit behavior indicating they are interested in the designated topic. For example, here’s how we do it for our Demand Gen binge track:

  1. But you still want to deliver educational content when they exhaust the binge track, so set up smart campaigns that transition leads back to your generic stream once the binge track content is exhausted. This is our campaign, and it runs weekly (after each cast):



And that’s it! You’re officially a data-driven marketer.

This week’s Champion Spotlight is Juli James. Let’s get to know Juli a little bit better!




Company: St. Edwards University

Title: Assistant Professor

Location: Austin, TX

Hometown: Cardiff, Wales


What was your first job? Electronics Engineer


How and when did you get started with Marketo? What was your first role and initial reaction to the platform? I first found out about Marketing Automation and Marketo when I was studying my PhD as I was looking into innovative technologies for hi-tech companies to use to market successfully.  I didn't actually get hands on with Marketo for another year, but when I did I instantly fell in love with what it could do, all the cool automation things it could do. It seemed pretty complex to start with, but once you get the hang of it you can get more in-depth and complex than you can imagine.


What is your favorite thing to do in Marketo and why? Personally, I love playing around with the program templates.  I love making everyone’s job easier so if I can build out best practice program templates and save time for all users then I will.  I also love playing with the reports and seeing how well programs are performing.


Through our your Marketo career, what are you most proud of? I'm probably most proud of being able to speak at Marketo Summit about my career and how I got to where I am today.  Its been a long windy journey, but I'm happy with where I have got to as a 3x Marketo Champion and Certified Expert.


What piece of advice would you give to someone who is just starting a career with Marketo? Watch as many videos and trainings as possible.  There is some great stuff out there by various experienced users (Josh Hill, Sandford Whiteman and of course The MindHive).

If someone gave you $5 million tomorrow, what would you do?
I would pay off all mine and my families debts and then buy a few houses and cars and probably change to a part-time job so I can travel and enjoy life.


If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would it be? This is an easy one....Cadbury's Dairy Milk Chocolate - but only if it comes from the UK.


Have any questions for Juli? Ask them below!


Connect with Juli:


Sometimes, you need a static list to behave like a smart list. Static lists I think get forgotten. They are fantastic tools that I think more Marketo users should leverage.


In this quick post I'm going to outline how you can use a batch smart campaign, smart list, to make a regular static list update on a regular cadence. This technique is useful when syncing lists to third party advertisers such as MediaMath, AdRoll, or even LinkedIn.


First step is to make a smart list with exact criteria you want. Whatever tickles your fancy.  In this screenshoot I have a smart list that contains all the people in Nurture status, meaning they are at the top of my lead lifecycle.



Second step: I built a static list with the very same name as the smart list. I only did this so I could easily see which items paired up with each other.  This static list becomes the recipient of new additions to the smart list. I ran single flow action to take everyone that was on the smart list and add them over to the list.  That's why we have 204,485 people to start on the static list (your list size will be different than mine ).


Screenshot of the static list:




Step three is to make a SMART CAMPAIGN that links the smart list with the list.  In the smart list of the smart campaign I'm using the advanced logic option to say: IF you are a member of the static list BUT NOT in the smart list, OR, You are a member of the static list BUT NOT on the smart list.  This is a big tricky but the logic is looking for:


#1 people that should be on the static list but are not

#2 people that are on the static list and should now be removed


This is what the smart list logic looks like on the smart campaign:




Then in the flow, we are going to ADD the people that should be there, and REMOVE the people that should no longer be on the list.


The first flow step says to add people to the static list if they are a member of the smart list.


Then I wait 3 minutes (I do this just as a security check on - I think this may be redundant)


Then the second flow step says if you are not on the smart list, remove them from the static list.




Then I set up the cadence to run every single night to keep the static list up to date. This is what our run history looks like.




Make sense? Is this useful to anyone??

Our first engagement program took four months to set up. It was our first big accomplishment after implementing Marketo, and believe me, we celebrated! It had one stream made up of seven emails that went out Wednesday mornings at 9am. We immediately saw a huge lift in engagement which, at the time, meant the same lift in the number of MQL alerts passed to sales.


Fast forward two years: we now have 9 active engagement programs through which leads and contacts are funneled based on a combination of persona and lifecycle status. These engagement programs each have multiple streams that further personalize content based on behavioral triggers and predictive data. We’ve seen continuous growth and are super excited about the results!


Here’s the problem: we haven’t had the resources to develop new content as rapidly as we are learning to personalize what we deliver. As you probably know, this is a growing problem in the world of automation. Until our most recent addition to our content team, we had to make huge efforts to stretch our content as far as it would go without sacrificing personalized, relevant messaging.


So what did we do?


Our Senior Content Developer sums it up perfectly: “we found the lowest-hanging fruit that people actually want to eat.” For us, it was nurture. We created a new stream within each engagement program and called it the “Exhausted Content” stream. Every time we add an email to one of the other streams within the program, we clone it into the same program and add the clone to the Exhausted Content stream. Give it a new subject line and exclude everyone who opened it before, and boom! 60% lift in nurture engagement.


How to set it up

They say a picture is worth a thousand words (always wished that would fly in college).


Schedule this campaign to run based on the cadence of your nurture cast.



How easy is that!



Looking for other ways to make your nurture programs more robust? Check out these fan faves:

This week’s Champion Spotlight is Adele Miller. Let’s get to know Adele a little bit better!




Company: Dynatrace

Title: Marketing Systems Manager

Location: Manchester, UK

Hometown: Whaley Bridge, High Peak UK


What was your first job?

Potwasher at the local pub! In Marketing, I started as a Marketing Assistant at AppSense. I got the job straight out of Uni, and had to actually take time off to Graduate!


How and when did you get started with Marketo? What was your first role and initial reaction to the platform?

In December 2011, a new addition to our Senior Management Team bought Marketo after previously using it at his former US based Company. We had an intensive one week introduction course with the amazing Patsy, and after that the system was handed over to me to get some campaigns set up.

It really was a baptism of fire! We had gone from manually exporting contacts from our SF instance, sending them to an external company who devised our HTML emails and sent them on our behalf - to building everything ourselves. My first role was to tentatively get us up and running, which I did by building our intro session knowledge using the University and Community. Before I knew it we had a great instance integrated into our SF, with SOP's, multiple trained users and a great lifecycle and scoring model for our company.


What is your favorite thing to do in Marketo and why?

I am a massive data geek so I actually just love taking time out to get some clean up done! Data standardization campaigns, merging duplicates and updating misaligned picklist values to ensure our SF sync is running smoothly is just something I really enjoy.

Outside of the clean up I really love taking on new API integrations - we have a lot here at Dynatrace and seeing those first data sets coming in automatically is really exciting.


Through our your Marketo career, what are you most proud of?

The first time I achieve Marketo Certified status. I first achieved this in 2013 at my first Summit and it really made me feel like I was on the right track with Marketo! It was a real turning point in my confidence with the system and pushed me forward to try even more new features out.


What piece of advice would you give to someone who is just starting a career with Marketo?

Give yourself time - There are so many different things you can achieve with Marketo that no day is the same or boring.

Giving yourself time to learn new skills through official Marketo Training or the University & Community is a great way to achieve a firm base of core skills on which to build upon. They always say Rome wasn't built in a day!


What is your most prized possession?

I'll have to cheat a little here as it has to be my two gorgeous dogs. I have a Cavachon called Carrie and a Bichon Frise called Lola and frequently flood my Instragram and Whatsapp messages with pictures of them. They are just so cute! I spoil them like mad as well - a proper crazy dog lady!


How did you get your name?

My Dad actually gave it to me. Back in the day, it was an uncommon name and he met a girlfriend of a friend who was called Adele. He always liked & remembered the name so when I came along I became Adele.

My Older Sister Janine was named in the same way! However my little Sister Siobhan was named after Siobhan Fahey from Bananarama!


If you could have any animal as a pet in the world, what would it be and why?

A Penguin!! I am absolutely obsessed with all things Penguin. Most gifts I receive from people are Penguin related, and if I ever visit the zoo I never want to see anything else apart from the Pennguins. My poor dog was even dressed as a penguin as a puppy much to her annoyance! I would call it Percy, or Penelope if its a girl....not that I have thought about it of course


Have any questions for Adele? Ask them below!


Connect with Adele:


This week’s Champion Spotlight is Chris Saporito. Let’s get to know Chris a little bit better!


Chris Saporito.jpg

Company: Paycor

Job Title: Senior Marketing Automation Analyst

Location: Cincinnati, OH

Hometown: Franklin, OH


What was your first job?

Sales Associate at Sears


How and when did you get started with Marketo? What was your first role and initial reaction to the platform?

I started using HubSpot as a co-op during college in 2013 and developed a passion for marketing automation. After graduating I had a product marketing role and using automation was only a small piece of my responsibility. A local role opened up at my current company and a friend reached out to see if I would be interested. The role was a marketing automation specialist doing 100% marketing automation with Marketo. I started that role in 2015 and spent the first 30 days learning what Marketo was all about. The more that I use Marketo the more I realize how awesome it is that you can know so much about the platform but still have so much more to learn. There's always a best practice to implement or something new to learn and that's probably my favorite part about using Marketo.


What is your favorite thing to do in Marketo and why?

My favorite thing to do in Marketo is to learn about things I'm unfamiliar with. One of the coolest parts of using Marketo is that you learn something new all the time. If a project comes across my desk that I'm unsure how to do I enjoy checking the Community and reaching out to Marketo-peeps to school me up. It's a great way to learn all aspects of Marketo and really get hands on experience. Can't be scared of it, you've got to jump right in


Through your Marketo career, what are you most proud of?

I think I'm most proud of the overhaul that I did to our email sender reputation. We were very much batch and blast which was hurting our delivery rates. At one point we were averaging somewhere around 80% for our emails. With some digging in the community and strategic help from a Marketo deliverability expert (S/O to Carmi!) we're now delivering at around 98%. It was a great way for me to learn more about how email actually works and how to build and maintain a good sender reputation.


What piece of advice would you give to someone who is just starting a career with Marketo?

Jump right in. I was familiar with Marketing Automation before using Marketo but by no means an expert. When I was onboarding I was able to do some side-by-sides and it was very beneficial. Other than that just start looking through the Community to see what other's are asking for help troubleshooting and then look at the answers from all of the smart people! I pick up so much knowledge doing that so when a problem comes up I either know how to fix it or I know where to find the answer or who to ask. You don't have to be an expert at everything Marketo, you just have to look in the right places and talk to the right people. The Community is so welcoming and generous with their Marketo knowledge.


If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would it be?

This is a tough question, I have a go-to trifecta of food/restaurants that I usually go with. Chipotle, Pizza and Cincinnati (Skyline) chili. I think that I could eat these every day and be perfectly happy. For those of you who don't know what Cincinnati chili is, it's typically in the form of a 3-way with spaghetti, chili and topped with finely shredded cheese or a coney which is a hot dog with chili and shredded cheese on top. Don't judge, it's amazing.


Your house is burning down, what do you grab first?

My two dogs, Chips and Mia. Chips is a 4-year old english bulldog and Mia is a 2 year old yellow lab.

Connect with Chris:

Have any questions for Chris? Ask them below!

This week’s Champion Spotlight is Erik Heldebro. Let’s get to know Erik a little bit better!




Company: Bambuser

Title: Head of Marketing Ops and Demand Gen

Location: Stockholm

Hometown: Montreal


What was your first job?

Subway Employee when I was 14


How and when did you get started with Marketo? What was your first role and initial reaction to the platform?

I first got introduced to Marketo when I started as a Digital Marketer at a large Nordic company about 4 years ago. My initial reaction was overwhelmed by all the moving parts but on the other hand a huge curiosity on what we could achieve with Marketo, figuring that it offers a ton of new possibilities.


What is your favorite thing to do in Marketo and why?

It sounds pretty boring but I would have to say data management. Marketo offers a smorgasbord (some Swedish) of customization with: custom fields, segmentations, flow step choices, smart lists, API integrations, tokens, custom objects.

You can set up some pretty intelligent processes with a little data management to apply to however you want to communicate with leads on a personal level.


Through our your Marketo career, what are you most proud of?

Well, of course becoming a Marketo Champ (+ quite a few certifications)

Aside from that it would probably be switching from my first job using Marketo over to an agency. I've had a huge experience working with different clients to solve their challenges with the pressure of proving results, which Marketo is great at. It let me focus a huge amount of time into the platform.


What piece of advice would you give to someone who is just starting a career with Marketo?

What worked best for me is being curious on how to do new things.

Working repetitively on things you know well can get boring. It's worth to:

1) Explore the product docs if there's something you're unsure about

2) Searching for or asking specific questions in the community - there's a lot of skilled people ready to help

3) If you think you know how something works, test the process and check the results. Testing features you aren't familiar with could give you some new ideas to apply to your overall strategy.

Also if you are somewhat technical it wouldn't hurt to learn basic html, css and js - It will help you loads in Marketo.


What did you want to be when you grew up?

I always wanted to be an architect. I always appreciate the work that goes into the design and construction of a building, whether if it's brand new or hundreds of years old.


What is your hidden talent?

Languages, I currently speak four and find it quite easy to understand or learn new ones. One of the reasons it went fast to learn to code on my own.


Connect with Erik:


Have any questions for Erik? Ask them below!

This week’s Champion Spotlight is Kara Pietrykowski Let’s get to know Kara a little bit better!




Company: Oliver Hume

Title: Marketing Automation Manager

Location: Melbourne, Australia

Hometown: Melbourne, Australia


What was your first job?

Supermarket Checkout


How and when did you get started with Marketo? What was your first role and initial reaction to the platform?

In 2013 I was working for Nintex and we decided to introduce a new CRM and Marketing Automation tool to scale our business and take our marketing/sales efforts to the next level. I was the Marketing Operations Manager and it was my role to evaluate Marketing automation tools and then I was the marketing lead on the implementation of Marketo alongside Salesforce. I have worked daily with Marketo ever since!


What is your favorite thing to do in Marketo and why?

To create actionable reporting on campaigns and enable data-driven marketing decisions to be made.


Through our your Marketo career, what are you most proud of?

I was accepted as a Marketo Champion in January 2017. It is an honour to have been recognised. It’s a good opportunity to be able to  have my marketing skills represented. The best thing is the access to preview upcoming product features and being able to give exclusive feedback. To be able to understand what’s coming up is a great benefit and also feel I have the opportunity to share my  opinion on being on the ground in Australia/APAC.


What piece of advice would you give to someone who is just starting a career with Marketo?

The main thing is to utilize the community, there’s a wealth of knowledge in there in term of the discussions and products. It’s very likely, that people have encountered the question you already have and the Marketo Champions are constantly sharing their experiences so you learn how others are using the product.


If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

Turkey is on my travel list and has been for a long while now!


If you could have any animal as a pet in the world, what would it be and why?

Cavoodle (also known as Cavapoo) Dog


Have any questions for Kara? Ask them below!


Connect with Kara:

This week's Champion Spotlight is Adam Vavrek. Let's get to know Adam a little bit better!


Adam Vavrek


Company: Skyword

Title: Director, Marketing Operations

Location: Boston, MA

Hometown: Midland, TX


What was your first job?

Abercrombie & Fitch


How and when did you get started with Marketo ? What was your first role and initial reaction to the platform?

I first started to use Marketo as the Sales and Marketing Operations Manager at Skyword in 2013. At first, I was a bit intimidated because I didn't know where to start. But after seeing other MAPs, I appreciate how intuitive and easy-to-use the platform is.


What is your favorite thing to do in Marketo and why?

My favorite thing to do in Marketo is pull the Opportunity Influence Analyzer Report to show marketing contributions for a won deal.


Through your Marketo career, what are you most proud of?

Building various campaigns to qualify leads within our company database.


What piece of advice would you give to someone who is just starting a career with Marketo?

Spend a good amount of time in the help section and reading articles in the Community. Connect with other Marketo users - they'll be a valuable resource as you become more familiar with Marketo.


If someone gave you $5 million tomorrow, what would you do?

I would travel the world and invite friends to come along with me. There are many countries I'd like to visit and many places I have yet to see.


How did you get your name?

Adam has always been my mom's favorite name. I have a twin brother named Zac and my parents liked the idea of naming us A - Z


Have any questions for Adam? Ask them below!


Connect with Adam:

We are starting the Champion Spotlights! We announced our newest Champion class last month, and now it's time to get to know all our Champions a little bit better. Want to learn more about Christina Zuniga? Check out her Q&A below.


Christina Zuniga


What was your first job?

My mom's assistant - she does services invoicing at a tech company. I photocopied and filed expense reports for her. She paid me in Taco Bell, which was my favorite food as a kid.


If someone gave you $5 million tomorrow, what would you do?

My first thought was I'd finally be able to afford a house in Santa Barbara! I'd take the money and go on the best scuba diving vacation ever, probably in Fiji. I'd Princess dive (which is the dive operation takes care of all of your gear, it's amazing).


How and when did you get started with Marketo? What was your first role and initial reaction to the platform?

I had been using Aprimo for 8 years going from user to admin for a global company and wanted more hands on experience with campaigns. I became a Marketing Specialist at a company that had Marketo, but I didn't realize that others in my role did not use it directly.


I befriended the Marketo admins and they showed me tons of cool stuff; Marketo is a totally different experience than other platforms. At that point, I was hooked. I owe a lot to that group - even though my role wasn't expected to use Marketo, they gave me advice, showed me how their programs worked, and let me get some hands on learning. That's when I knew I didn't want to move further away from Marketing Automation."


What is your favorite thing to do in Marketo and why?

I have to pick just one? Setting up complex smart lists and flow steps, I love the logic of it and making everything work. Setting up lead lifecycle was a lot of work, but a ton of fun!


What piece of advice would you give to someone who is just starting a career with Marketo?

Find a mentor who knows the platform well. I had one who was (and is!) fantastic with Marketo. They can help you learn, give you awesome advice and answer your questions when things aren't going the way you expected them to.


Have any questions for Christina? Ask them below!


Follow Christina on:


Meet the new class of Champions 2017.


Where we are from?


  • California is top of the list with 6 Champions.
  • Ohio is big in Marketing Automation too with 4 champions.
  • 3 Canadians and 2 Australians (including myself) are happy to be part of this list.
  • In Europe, we have one champion in the United Kingdom, 1 Champion in the Netherlands, 1 in France.
  • Other 14 cities in the United States are the home of our 2017 Marketo Champions.



Champion's Name
LinkedIn Profile
Adam VavrekBoston, MA
Ande KempfSt Louis, MO
Andy VarshneyaSan Francisco, CA
Brittany StoverNashville, TN
Carly Wirkus Carly WirkusMinneapolis, MN
Chelsea KikoCleveland, OH
Chris SaporitoCincinnati, OH
Christina ZunigaSanta Barbara, CA /external-link.jspa?
Corey BethelColumbus, OH
Courtney GrimesPhiladelphia, PA
Courtney McAraPortland, OR

Dan Stevens

Cleveland, OH

Geoff Krajeski

Woodbury, CT

Iryna Zhuravel

San Diego, CA

Jackie Potts

Laurel, NEN/A

Jason Hamilton

Ottawa, ON, Canada

Jenn DiMaria

Lehigh Valley, PA

Jenna Molby


Joe Reitz

Seattle, WA

Juli James

Austin, TX

Justin Norris

Toronto, ON, Canada

Karina Guerra

Sydney, Australia

Keith Nyberg

Cupertino, CA

Maarten Westdorp


Mark Farnell

United Kingdom

Paul Wilson

Denver, CON/A

Rajesh Talele

San Francisco, CA

Suzanne Kushner

San Francisco, CAN/A

Sydney Mulligan

Raleigh, NC

Hicham Mohamed Tabbak

Lyon, FR

Taylor Enfinger

Atlanta, GAN/A

Veronica Holmes

Sydney, Australia






As per Katie Pope's announcement:

Champions are Marketo's most advanced customers who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in the Marketo Community and at Marketo events, are Marketo Certified Experts, are avid contributors in the social world, and are loyal advocates of the Marketo brand. If you are interested in learning more and applying, read our Requirements & Benefits of the Champion Programand join the Champions: The Marketo Elite group. We look forward to seeing your application in the future.

So, your campaign failed. You’ve invested weeks, even months into this exciting new venture and you don’t know why you aren’t seeing the results you expected. It happens to the best of us. Don’t let it get you down, because this is a great opportunity to learn and make your future efforts insanely successful! But how do you answer the question that’s been keeping you up at night all week?


What went wrong?


In the world of marketing ops, so many things can go wrong that it can be overwhelming to keep track of it all. First, it’s important to figure out whether it was a strategy problem or trouble in execution. After conversing with a number of my peers, we’ve discovered a number of commonalities that led to disappointing campaigns.


The Audience Was All Wrong

Image result for audience wrong gif

Key Indicators: Not a single person you contacted was a decision-maker; you don’t have pipeline associated with your campaign; you didn’t hit your SQL goal; sales was unhappy with the leads


Tips for next time: Loop in sales when selecting your audience. Tools like predictive scoring can help prioritize your leads and companies, but your SDRs know the top qualifiers better than anyone. If they have bandwidth, ask them to skim the list ahead of time and provide feedback. Chances are they’d rather DQ someone on a spreadsheet than after making countless phone calls.


The Stuff You Sent Wasn’t Engaging

Image result for bored gif

Key Indicators: Lack of engagement; you didn’t hit your MQL goal


Tips for next time: Test test test! Focus on A/B testing the following factors based on the corresponding indicators.


A/B Test This

Low Email Open Rate

Subject Lines, Time of Day/Day of Week

Low Click-through-Rate

CTA Wording, CTA Placement, Messaging

High Bounce Rate

Messaging, Landing Pages, Form Lengths

Engagement drops off early on

Frequency of outreach, multiple channels


You Had Bad Data

Image result for bad data gif

Key Indicators: High bounce rate; holes in your data; physical mailer returns; too many “I don’t work here anymore” automatic replies


Tips for next time: This is a great opportunity to leverage SDRs, Sales Ops, or a really good intern. Before sending out emails, mailers, ads, or any other piece of carefully-crafted marketing content (especially to high-potential accounts), give the list a human touch. A data provider is a great place to start, but if someone’s LinkedIn profile says they live in Denver and the address provided is in New York, you’ll know something’s off. Seriously. The list is key.


There Were Errors

Image result for typo gif

Key Indicators: Typos; lack of populated data in a personalized email; etc


Tips for next time: As marketers, we’re always in a rush to drive more pipeline and demonstrate outstanding ROI. Mistakes happen. Luckily, as your team grows there will be more opportunity to add fresh eyes to everything. Utilize your awesome teammates to carefully review your emails, make sure all the links go to the right places, and check your Marketo setup for those easy-to-miss details.


Lack of Communication between Sales and Marketing

Image result for not talking gif

Key Indicators: Confusion in sales about how and when to follow up; tracking progress is difficult


Tips for next time: Hold a rollout meeting before introducing new initiatives. Include information about the messaging, audience, and end goals for the campaign. Sales will likely provide helpful insight during these meetings as well, so it’s a win-win!


The Timing Was All Off

Image result for messy gif

Key Indicators: Touchpoints landed out of order; leads were confused about sales outreach


Tips for next time: Integrate anything you can with Marketo and/or your integrated CRM. Time banner ads according to lead status; set up RTP to deliver messaging consistent with the campaign for your audience; send direct mail pieces that have the same look and feel as your emails, and coordinate your emails with the delivery of those pieces. If your systems can talk to each other, you’ll have better control over orchestration and sales will be able to follow up at just the right time.


You Don’t Know How the Campaign Performed

Image result for confusion gif

Key Indicators: You can’t tie your campaign back to opportunities; you can’t compare the results of the campaign against your initial KPIs


Tips for next time: Before you begin, make sure you know your KPIs and end goals. Once you have those, set up your Marketo program ahead of time to track them. Leveraging program channel tags can play a huge part in this!




We’ve answered the question, “what went wrong?” But focusing on our failures won’t get your department any new pipeline, and it certainly won’t help morale! Now that we’ve made it this far, it’s time to shift gears and ask the increasingly-important question, “what went right?”


Sometimes, it takes a long time to see results. In Q1 of last year, we initiated a new program that involved multiple channels and coordination with sales. It was a huge investment and took months of planning. After a few months, the campaign was put on hold due to minimal engagement and disappointing results.


Last week, I was playing around in RCE and realized that the campaign had influenced three of our largest recent opportunities, resulting in over 2000% ROI! What a great way to start a Monday. So even if your program completely fails, don’t fret. You never know what kind of unexpected payoff you might have in the future!


One thing I have noticed when creating a more complicated nurture in Marketo, you have to be creative to make things work the way you want them to and the great part about Marketo is that you have a whole arsenal of features available.


This hack works with a lot of use cases, but the specific way I got to making it was when a client wanted a specific nurture for free trials for licenses from their website that would be sending on specific days of the trial.


variable cadence.png


I've seen a lot of questions about variable cadence on the community. I was overjoyed seeing Marketo's announcement of this feature (screenshot above from summit slides) on the Summit this year. There is still some time remaining until that so I figured I will share this method. This has been tested for a few months and is proven to work given the right setup.


I will also share some learnings from setting up this a few different ways which I would strongly not recommend .


Example of 30 day product trial nurture with fixed days for sendouts


If you're looking to nurture leads who signed up for a product trial during a fixed amount of time for the trial, you would probably want to deliver some content on specific days of the trial to try to convert/activate them on milestones. Multiple products will be tougher to nurture as managing dynamic content in one stream can become a lot of work.


Main asset setup



Using similar naming conventions for different products, it allows you to globally maintain sendouts, making it easier if you want to add new streams or make changes on the days you want to cast.


Stream setup



Adding one stream per product and emails for each in the same order will allow for maintaining your casts from the same place. This is of course if you want to be sending the same amount of content and on the same frequency for your products.


Setting stream cadence



In order for the setup to work, casts should be set to recur every day at the same time, in this example 10 am. The space between the days for casts will be maintained by scheduled batch campaigns.


Another point to note before continuing, this can be applied on normal nurturing streams with longer spaces (let's say 2-3 weeks) where you want new leads in nurture to receive content immediately instead of waiting 2-3 weeks if they just missed the last cast. In this type of situation where you don't want to send out on numbered days, you can just choose the weekdays for when to cast, e.g. Tue, Wed, Thu with the same weekly repeating cadence.


Entry to nurture and Custom Object


Smart List

Added to Trial.png


In the example above, a Custom Object has been added for Trials and the trigger for entry to Stream 1 is being added to a trial for Product 1. This works great if you have an external database that confirms a new trial and is scheduled to import daily at a specific time to Marketo.





Once the lead qualifies for the flow, they will be added to the appropriate stream (in this case Product 1).


This is also a great time to send out a welcome to trial email directly. If you're using a Custom Object for the trial you can add information from it by using Velocity Scripting with $TriggerObject values, more on there here:


After that:

  1. Cadence is paused (should be sent on the third day)
  2. Wait step for 2 days
  3. Cadence is resumed to Normal to send out the first email in the stream (-Day3-)


Smart Campaigns for managing cadence


Smart List

Smart Campaign-SL.png


Here is an example of the first batch campaign applying for the first email sent on Day 3, looking almost identical for all days, you set up the first one and then clone and adjust from there.


Filters explained:

  1. Only applies to members of this engagement program
  2. Was Sent (Not delivered*) an email that contains the naming convention (-Day3-) for this email in the past 2 hours (explained next in Schedule)


*The positive aspect of using filters is that there is a sent choice as opposed to triggers that only have "Is Delivered", this is important because if you would use the was delivered option you risk sending your emails daily.





Once a lead qualifies for the flow, their cadence will be paused for a fixed amount of time.


Flow steps explained:

  1. Pause the cadence for the Engagement Program (will not receive casts)
  2. Wait for a fixed amount of time - The time between Day 3 and Day 8 will be 5 days, so taking away a few hours from that will place the person on the cast of their 8th day.
  3. Once the wait is over, cadence is resumed.





Every batch campaign for maintaining cadence will be scheduled to recur daily at the same time. In this case, every cast is scheduled for 10 am and the batch campaigns run at 11 am (after). The Smart Lists specify the email (e.g. -Day3-) delivered in the past 2 hours, so this will ensure the right batch campaign runs.


Repeating setup for all Smart Campaigns


Once the first campaign is set up you can clone it and:

  1. Adjust the name of the Day of the email (ensure to use contains)
  2. Adjust the wait time, so for Day 8 (Next cast is Day 14) it would be 5 days 12 hours to land on the next cast.


Changing streams after nurture is done or lead has purchased



When the nurture is done on the last day, leads can be added to a separate stream without cadence. The main reason for this is that with daily casts setup and no more content to send, you will get a lot of notifications in your Marketo top menu. Also it is better knowing that those inside of a stream are currently in the middle of a trial.


When a lead purchases a paid version of your product you can set up a trigger to pause trial nurturing, add them to the purchased stream (ensure Success Program Status is set up) and send a welcome email or whatever you choose.


Survey after trial


One great use case for globally managing your trials is sending a general survey to request information on what the lead thought about the trial. I have configured custom Marketo based surveys with a rating scale of 0 - 5 composed of Image links to the same Marketo landing page with URL parameters for tracking response on the email click and then asking a couple general questions (picklist it) regarding the product.


If you configure the entry campaign with a Change Data Value flowstep to update the product name, you can personalize one email with tokens.


Necessary Quality Management


To keep quality you will need the following:

  • Bounce management (Soft/Hard): If there is bad email quality, make sure to create Smart Campaigns for removing leads from the stream. You could create an empty inactive stream for Invalid Emails.
  • Communication Limits: If your communication limits are strict and leads are receiving other emails during the nurture you will need to take this into account since it could possibly change the time of delivery.
  • Make sure to test the nurture and double (or triple ) check your smart campaigns. When you're configuring a lot of smart campaigns too quick and don't let the system save before moving on, you may keep the same value twice.
  • Unsubscribed Leads: If you have a subscription center or custom unsubscribe you need to take this into account for removing the leads from nurture and most likely having an Unsubscribed Stream / Status. You can use trigger tokens for changing the data value on a custom field that writes the name of the email asset that triggered the unsubscribe to get information on where you should optimize.
  • Take into account use cases of someone doing a trial for two products and ensure you can manage moving them to the new product trial stream if they've already run through one.


Other use cases


As mentioned above, this does not need to be a fixed day nurture for a trial. You can use this method when you have a 2-3 week nurture where you want to include leads every week so they don't have to wait too long if they have missed the latest cast (they're all run at the same time). So if you were to name all your nurturing emails like NUR-01-, NUR-02-, ..., you can set a weekly cast on a weekday but set a wait step for 2-3 weeks with cadence paused, and of course Schedule set to run every time.


Lessons Learned


From previous experience I have tried a couple different methods that don't work so well and have come up with this custom solution to get a scalable workaround. Some of the things I tried which did not work so well in the past years:


  • Setting this up without an Engagement Program and a whole lot of Smart Campaigns: This becomes very tedious work as using Smart Campaigns will not prevent leads from receiving the same email twice. If you need to make a change in even one Smart Campaign you will need to run batches to remove those who are in wait steps from the flow and manage everyone manually, which I could say is not so much fun.
  • Setting up an Engagement program for one product and using one stream per day: This was a similar setup to the one given here, it worked for the most part but was just a pain to maintain and resulted in a lot of notifications


As always if you want to know more feel free to ask and I'd be happy to help. Also if anyone has anything to add here, do it!


For more tips and tricks, feel free to check out

This year was my 5th Summit and I'm always envious of people that manage to pick the best sessions to attend.  The good news is that everything is recorded. The hard part is finding the time after we come back to dedicate to listening to the recordings.  For our last Marketo User Group meeting here in Silicon Valley, I listened to the top 8 sessions and summarized them for our local group as determined by attendance and rating.  Attached is the slide deck for your enjoyment.  Here's a brief summary of each of these sessions, who would benefit, key takeaways, etc.  Feel free to use the slide deck to present internally or help justify next year's trip to Summit. 


Session 1

7 Human behavior Hacks that Increase Engagement and Response

Nancy Harhut

Audience:  Marketing Practitioners

This session really gets into the human behavioral science realm of marketing.  It gave really great ideas on things to try for optimization on conversion rates, A/B testing, response to emails and landing pages.  If you want to geek out about what works for your audience and the science behind how people respond to digital assets, then this is a great talk to listen to.  


Session 2: 

Analytics that Matter: The Right Reports For Every Step of the Buyer's Journey

Jessica Kao

Audience:  Marketing Execs, Marketing Practitioners

We have so much data at our finger tips that too often we can get stuck in analysis paralysis.  There are so many reports that we can generate, which ones do I even start with? The fundamental principles that should guide what reports to be looking at for each stage of the funnel and how to prioritize.  Here's a hint:  Reports should lead to an action.  For those that want to get a handle around attribution and how Marketo calculates it, what it all means, and what questions are answered by First Touch and Multi-touch, this is the talk for you.  Think that reporting is out of reach because your instance isn't ready?  There are some quick wins that are covered about what you can do immediately to understand what is happening in your instance today. 



Session 3:

Look Sharp! Data Visualization for Marketing Ninjas

Martin Kihn

Audience:  Anyone who needs to make a dashboard of reports

At some point, we all have to make a dashboard of reports whether it's in SFDC, your CRM, Marketo, in PPT, etc.  But we never really think about there might be a method other than slapping a whole bunch of charts and graphs.  Usually its the last thing on our mind.  This was the first time I had heard a talk about  choosing different graphs or charts for displaying different types of data.  It makes complete sense that data visualization is in a way story telling and some thought should be invested into how we tell the story and not just what we are showing. 


Session 4:

Shake the Funk! The Data Behind Deliverability & How to Stay Clean

Jacob Hansen, Matt Rushing

Audience:  Marketing Ops, Keeper of the Marketo database


If you send out emails and care about email deliverability (which you should), then this talk is worth your while.  It goes into explaining what contributes to your sender reputation, how you monitor it, what you should do, and some basic technical concepts explained at a level for even the non techies. 


Session 5:

How to Build a Killer Content Marketing Strategy

Amanda Todorovich

Audience:  Content Marketers, anyone producing content that feels like they are staring up at an impossible mountain

The speaker was Content Marketing Institute Marketer of the Year 2016.  It's a great success story from Cleveland Clinic about their journey.  Prepare to be inspired.


Session 6:

Creating and Managing a Lead Lifecycle in Marketo That Will Make Your Sales Team Happy

Steve Susina

Audience:  Owner of the Lead Lifecycle, Marketing Operations, Marketing Practioner

This is the perfect how to, recipe/protocol on how to go about building your life cycle.  Just as important to actually building it in Marketo, is also involving the stake holders like sales, what meetings to have, what issues need to be discussed and agreed upon to ensure success as well as how to avoid the common pitfalls.  If you are wanting to build out a lead life cycle in your organization, than this is on your must watch list. 


Session 7:

Be the Exception! How Brilliant Marketers Get Bigger Results by Doing it Their Way

Jay Acunzo

Audience:  Anyone looking to be inspired

It's talks like this one is why I love summit.  I always walk away inspired.  Its a high energy talk that keeps you engaged the whole time about how to not be ordinary.  So, if you are staring out the window stuck at work on a sunny summer day, give this a listen.  It might perk you right up. 


Session 8:

Forrester Reveals the 7 Key Steps to Customer-Obsessed B2B Marketing

Lori Wizdo

Audience:  Marketing Executives, Marketing Practitioners

At first, I thought this was going to be about Customer Marketing, ie marketing to people that were already customers.  In actuality, it's about marketing to both prospects and customers but putting the customer persona, ie the person you are trying to sell to first.  Perhaps I was the only one that made that mistake and now I have admitted to all of you.  I hope you don't think any less of me.    Anyway, this is one of those talks that makes  you think, question how you are doing things now and how to fundamentally change the way you are marketing.  You have to wield enough power in your organization to actually make these cultural or mindset changes.  Or if you are a marketing practitioner its great food for thought for later on down the road when you are running the show. 


Bonus Session:

How to Maximize your Value – Results from the 2017 Marketo Compensation Survey

Jason Seeba and Inga Romanoff

Every year they put together the Marketo Compensation Survey and review the results at Summit.  Once this is out, I will post it here for everyone.  This is a must have if you are using Marketo, which presumably you are if you have made it this far down the post.  People have used this to negotiate their salary for new jobs, or to help justify yearly raises.  We talked about this at our last Marketo User Group.  Here in Silicon Valley, we've seen an uptick in folks renegotiating their salary every year rather than just being subjected to whatever meager raise.  One of these reasons is that if you've got Marketo skills, you can find another job pretty easily that's willing to pay more so keeping Marketo talent around becomes challenging, especially where we are. 


Were there any Summit talks that you found inspiring or helpful? 


The slide deck also includes the new changes for MCE, new product announcements, and snap shots of the compensation survey.