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Hi everyone,


I noticed that the Marketo University has added new courses on the ever complex RCE and RCA modules. I went through it and it is a good update to the old docs, most of which are no longer available. Here are some of the links.



Learning RCE is easiest when you use it everyday and rely on the reports to deliver actionable information. I've learned a ton by using it the past few months, including insight into why Marketo itself is setup a certain way. Even if you do not have RCE, there are several videos, including the Setup videos which will help you understand Programs more deeply. The earlier you start using Programs properly, the more you can have reliable reports from RCE later.


**Please keep in mind that some courses may incur a fee, which may depend on your company's contract with Marketo.

This post will cover how to think about the Engagement system. I've discussed this a bit before in Discussions, but not in its entirety. This is an ideal post if you are considering Nurturing for the first time or have built one Engagement and are not satisfied with how you did the setup.


I am aware that Sirius Decisions has a slide or two for its clients which has a similar framework. It just so happens we came up with similar concepts. Here we will focus on how to do this in Marketo Engagement Nurtures.


Before you begin to build anything in Marketo, first, go through this framework. After you have this sketched out, then you can use the Content Grid and Stream-Stage framework to place content into your narrative structure. Only then can you build it in Marketo.


What this isOther thoughts

Who can enter the nurture?

When can they enter?

Which existing leads can enter (Batch)?

Which new leads can enter (Trigger)?

Schedule of entry

Criteria to enter

How often?

Goal - Good ExitWhat is the goal of this nurture? This could be to get to MQL, SQL, Opp, or just move to a more specific nurture program.What will you do when they reach the Goal?
Bad Exits

When do we stop nurturing if they do not reach a goal?

Unsubscribe from these emails.

Becomes invalid for other reasons.

Stops engaging with content after X days or Y emails or whatever.

What will you do if they do not reach the goal?
Narrative Structure

Is this going to go through the Three Stages or something else? Do you want to follow Early/Mid/Late or Attention, Interest, Desire, Action?

I believe AIDA works better for a very long run or a very short ecommerce nurture.  Tell your story in the most appropriate way for your business.


How often will you send content? Will you accelerate content as the lead moves to new streams?

(If you want variable wait times between emails, please consider using a standard Drip Nurture with Wait Steps instead of moving leads between Streams).


What do you want to track here?

Your decisions here will impact how you setup the Channel Program Statuses (yes, you can edit these or make new ones) as well as any other reports you make. I strongly urge you to consider Statuses by Entry, Good Exit, Bad Exits in addition to other metrics Marketo can offer.

#leads entered

#leads at Goal

#leads at Bad Exit

#leads by Status


Opps and Revenue Influenced?


The Flowcharts

Please begin all of this on a whiteboard and then translate it to a flowchart tool like Visio or Lucidchart. Many marketers have bright ideas about the triggers and stream transitions, but find it difficult to structure it becuse they never mapped it out. Do this.

Data and Metrics

Many marketers also forget to build in ways to track their success over time. Marketo has some cool tricks to doing this, but it requires a bit of though and a few workarounds.

  • Use statuses to track total counts - you can create any nurture channel you want and add Statuses based on Goals and Exits to know how well you are doing overall. Make sure that you add a Status Trigger campaign folder and the appropriate triggers inside the Nurture which will listen for the criteria to change the Status.
  • Use an Empty Stream for Good Exit and Bad Exits. Simply moving a lead out of the Engagement will lose all the data and email history for that lead. First, move the lead to an Empty Stream (so they stop getting emails) and adjust their Status accordingly. Then you can use the Status and Stream counts to watch the success.
  • Decide if you want to track each email as a Success Touch or just use the Good Exit Status as a Success. This matters if you rely on Revenue Cycle Explorer and Multitouch (MT) attribution. Do you want each Email getting credit for advancing the lead or just the entire nurture. Marketo suggests each email, but I don't necessarily agree.


Use Tables to Help Structure the System - Measure Twice, Build Once

Before you attempt to build this in Marketo, use a series of Tables like this to structure your plan.


StreamStream 1: EarlyStream 2: Mid Stage
CadenceTwice a month on Tuesdays at 6am PDTOnce a week on Tuesdays at 4pm PDT
ContentGeneral information about Marketing Automation and Pain PointsSolution to pain points and how some people solved it.


Then you will want to create a table to match the smart lists and campaigns to setup. Here's an example of a foldering structure I use.



This is not the end of your journey. In fact, I urge you to read a few of the great resources here on the Nation before you start your nurturing workshop. Good luck!


More Resources

One of the most frequently requested workflows is the Recurring Webinar. Quite a few Marketo clients setup recurring webinars for product demos (especially all your SaaS firms) and want to route the registration through Marketo. This makes perfect sense and it is very possible to do this.

Before you do so, please note a couple of key differences:

  • GTW and WebEx do not support recurring webinars with Marketo. Just not going to happen.
  • You need 1 Program for every single time you run the recurring webinar. It is always a 1-1 relationship. Please do not try to circumvent this. The reason is once you connect a webinar to a Program, it is very difficult to change it. The other reason is you will have bad data for your reports. All you would see is "1000 attendees" for the demo webinar---for all time. This makes no sense.
  • What Marketo does do is give you the tools to support a recurring webinar yourself.


Here's how to proceed:

Most of the time, there is a single page for registration and a list of dates the lead can sign up to. In the past, this form spit out a list to you and you registered the people with the right events.

In this How To, I assume you know the following concepts and how to use them:

  • Program
  • Event Partner Setup: Admin > Launchpoint
  • Webinar Setup
  • Connecting Event Program to Webinar and SFDC
  • Standard webinar or event registration flows
  • Forms 2.0


Use Case: Register for Standing or Recurring Webinars or Events

The standard way of handling webinars in Marketo is to create a single Webinar Program, then build or clone the related assets, and put up a single registration page - one for each webinar. Usually the lead or customer is asked to choose one of several dates to join. Yes, you still need a 1-1 match between a webinar and a Webinar Program.This can be done for Roadshows and Webinars with the same process. In this example, we will use a Webinar. Here is the basic workflow we will build.

Recurring Webinar Process

Create a Custom Field: Event Date Code

The recurring webinar system first requires you to create a custom field in Marketo. Go to Admin > Field Management > Custom Field.Add Field to Marketo

Since this field is only required in Marketo, we don’t need to worry about mapping it to SFDC.Using the Event Date CodeIn the system, we need to tell Marketo which event was selected. In the previous step, we created Event Date Code as a custom String field in Marketo. Now we can choose a code system. I like something simple like this:

Form Field Value Codes

Now, if we want to display the date on the thank you page, we will have to use the natural language as the code, e.g.: January 5, 2014. This is fine, but there could be some limitations if we try to do fancier things later on.

Field Values Dates


Central Program Setup

The next step is to setup an Operational Program to manage the central registration system. This Program will not take credit for the attribution or registration; it is just a place where the Lead can sign up. It is a central place for you to manage the recurring webinar or event.The Lead will then be passed to the correct Program Status based on the date in the field we created.There are two approaches:


  • Change Program Status for the target Program.
  • Request Campaign – request the target’s registration campaign flow.


Both systems work just fine and require the same amount of work to update for new events. I will show you both systems.


Option 1: Change Program StatusIn this system, we are listening for the Form Fill Out on the main page. We must also make sure the Event Date Code IS NOT EMPTY, or our plans will fail.

Smart List Trigger

The Flow is simple:

  • Change Program Status in the target Program based on the Event Date Code.
  • Wait 10 Minutes (for the emails to go out)
  • Reset the Event Date Code field so that if the lead shows up next time, prefill won’t mess up their next request).


Option 1: Target Webinar Program System

The next step is within each Target Program: the Confirmation Trigger will listen for the Program Status is Changed in this Program to “Registered.” If we want, we can ensure the right Event Date Code is used. This brake isn’t necessary, but it might prevent errors if someone accidentally changed the status.program-status-trigger-webinar

The flow is simply to Send the Email because we’ve already set the webinar Status to Registered.Option 2: Request CampaignAgain, in this system, we are listening for the Form Fill Out on the main page. We must also make sure the Event Date Code IS NOT EMPTY.In the main registration processor, the difference is just that we use Request Campaign to call the target Program’s registration flow.

Requested Recurring Webinar Campaign Flow

Option 2: Requested Webinar RegistrationIn the target Program, the Confirmation flow listens for the Campaign is Requested and Event Date Code. The flow then does Change Program Status and Send Email.


If you are used to having the Change Program Status within the target Webinar, then I recommend just keeping this the same in your Program Template.Either system will work!


Form SetupNow that we have a Program, we can create a Form. Add the fields you wish to have filled in, but also add the Event Date Field.Recurring Webinar Form

Landing PagesThere are two pages to create:

  1. Registration Page
  2. Thank You/Confirmation Pag

For the Thank You Page, we might want to display the Lead’s choice on the page. The only way to do that is if you chose to keep the standard Date format instead of using the date code system.Recurring Webinar Page Variations

Approvals and ActivationNow you can approve the pages and turn on the target Confirmation flows, then the Webinar Registration Processor.Completed Recurring Webinar System
Go ahead and give a whirl.


How to Update the System Each Month

Let’s say you had four recurring webinars each month. You would use these steps to update the Form and central flows.

  1. Setup the recurring webinars in GotoWebinar. These must be separate webinars.
  2. Setup the Marketo Webinar Programs and connect them to GTW. Use a Program Template here.
  3. Decide on the Event Date Code.
  4. Make sure your target Programs’ registration flows are activated.
  5. Central System: Update the Form with the new codes and dates.
  6. Central System: Approve the Page Draft
  7. Central System: Update the Webinar Registration Processor to point to the correct Programs
  8. Give it a test

That should do it! Now you have a recurring webinar system that is mostly automated.For more recurring event ideas and webinar tips, see these helpful articles:


More links:


There are quite a few threads on this topic, so please do a search if you want to know more. I owe a lot to earlier threads, but the links have disappeared.

Jessica Cross

My MQL Hack

Posted by Jessica Cross Sep 10, 2015

As the director of marketing at Fliptop I had the pleasure of being not only the primary user of predictive lead scoring for my demand gen efforts, but I also get to work closely with our engineering team to help shape the product. A couple weeks ago we brought on a new data scientist and I gave him my normal “this is B2B marketing” presentation. He asked to see inside Marketo and Salesforce to get a better understanding of how the systems are linked. I showed him where to find leads, contacts, accounts, and opportunities exist in Salesforce. He asked, “where are the MQLs”?


He had heard the term as described by SiriusDecisions many times in his interview process and imagined it was another object in Salesforce. I then set about explaining that MQL was just a state of a lead. Leads can be “Recycled” “Unqualified” or of course “Marketing Qualified”. But the truth is an MQL doesn’t really exist in Salesforce, we marketers have to build it from scratch to track how many MQLs we create and pass on to sales team.


If I try running a Salesforce report on Lead status = MQL and created date = This Month, I come up with 4 leads, which is a good thing as it means my SDRs are quickly actioning and moving their leads and moving them along in our process. I have smart campaigns set up that if a lead stays at MQL status for 24 hours their manager gets an email. Another 2 days and the CEO gets an email.  So they know to touch their MQLs


My work around to be able to track how many MQLs are created in a given time period is to add system dates stamps and assign both Leads and Contacts that reach the score threshold of “MQL” to a Salesforce campaign. This enables me to track how many I’ve created in a certain time period and build nice views, dashboards, and reports.


The way it works is this.

In your salesforce create three new fields for leads

MQL First Date – make it a date field

MQL Most Recent Date – make it a date field

MQL Counter – make it a Number(18, 0) field

It should look like this:

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 5.06.21 PM

Do the same exact thing on the contact object.

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 5.08.11 PM

Then let those fields synch over into Marketo. So that means get up, make coffee, bug your sales reps, whatever.


From here you’re going to adjust your lead lifecycle smart campaigns in Marketo to add data to these fields when a lead “MQLs.”  (Whats that? You don’t have a lifecycle smart campaign? more on this topic later)


Here is my smart list.  The smart campaign is triggered either by the first "Lead is SFDC eligible" campaign, or by a change in lead score value.  I split the syncing lead to SFDC from updating the lead status to MQL as I want the lead to get into SFDC, get assigned a lead owner through my round robin rules, and then get back into Marketo with a lead owner.  That way when I send email alerts to the reps, it goes to the specific rep.

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 5.09.54 PM

And the flow looks like this. Notice I update the lead status only if the existing status is “Open, Target, Recycle, and MQL.”  This prevents Leads that have been disqualified by sales from turning MQL again.  The "MQL First Date" field gets written once and only one, hence the condition of if the field is empty update it.  Then for "MQL Most Recent", that field can be updated over and over again.

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 5.10.21 PM

I can then run reports in SFDC on "MQL First Date" to show all leads that reached the point thereshold in a certain time frame as well as "MQL Most Recent Date" to show new and recycled leads!  The MQL counter shows how many times a lead has gone through your lifecycle flow. If the number is more than 3, that indicates a tire kicker, student, competitor, etc.


Let me know how you handle MQLs.

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