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Now that GDPR is in full swing and hopefully most people have recovered from the May 25th Day of reckoning, I had a lot of questions about GDPR.  So far, I’ve been sat on the outside of the whole GDPR issue and I was interested to learn more.  I've read so many blog posts, watch videos, looked at infographics etc. etc. etc. but even with all the information that is out there I still had questions, and now that GDPR is in full flow I thought now would be a good time to see how everyone has dealt with it, or what they're still dealing with and what we think is going to happen next.  The discussion starts from the very basics up to how it should be dealt with in Marketo and what responsibilities MOPS have.  On the chat we had Joe Reitz, Jenn DiMaria, Sydney Mulligan, Jessica Kao, Geoff Krajeski, Enrico de Leon


Below are the questions I asked:

  1. What exactly is GDPR and how does it affect the use of Marketo?
  2. If a company doesn’t operate in the EU do they still have to be GDPR Compliant?
  3. Is it the MOPs team responsibility?
  4. Any quick tips?
  5. I’ve seen more and more GDPR emails coming through, how much will this affect people's databases as I imagine lots of people won’t ‘opt-in’.  What’s the expected response rate?


So take a look and see what you think, I learnt a lot in 30mins, more than I've probably learnt over the past few months.

If you have anymore GDPR questions, feel free to ask and I'm sure someone will be able to help, I might even be able to help a little now!


#KreweChats Episode 14: GDPR - A Recap - YouTube


I've also got links to lots of other documents/videos/presentations/blogs etc, so if anyone wants those I'm more than happy to share below.

Attribution tools are to a marketer what a compass is to a hiker—both provide direction in your journey and guide your next steps. We’re familiar with current Marketo compasses but now Marketo has embedded a new GPS: Bizible. How does Bizible compare to the Marketo compass you’re currently using, and more importantly, how will it impact your daily operations?


Attribution Review


If you’re accustomed to tracking attribution using Marketo and Revenue Explorer, Bizible represents a significant change. In my last post, I covered the primary functions of attribution tools: capturing data, modeling data and reporting on that data. In this post, I’ll focus on each function, to illustrate the variances of the tools as well as provide common applications to emphasize the impact on your operations.


Data Capture


The scenario: You want to track what marketing initiatives are bringing people into your database (ie, “Lead Source”).


The process with Marketo: Most marketers can track an offer (ex: a content asset) in Marketo fairly easily using a combination of the form and/or landing page. However, tracking a channel is much harder, especially when it involves digital channels.

To obtain channel information in Marketo you’ll need to use UTM parameters on your landing page along with web referrer data to deduce organic channels. For example:


  • utm_medium = paid-social: channel = paid social
  • Web referrer contains “” and no UTM parameters: channel = organic search


Of course, you also need to ensure all links are tagged correctly.


Next, you need to get that data into Marketo. You might be asking, what about using hidden form fields to capture these parameters? Certainly possible, but what if people don’t fill out a form on the first page they visit?


To solve, you’ll have to implement your own tracking script to capture the data, convert it to cookies that persist as the visitor jumps from page to page, ensure all forms have hidden fields to capture UTM and referrer values and finally, pass these values to fields on the person object, which can then trigger adding the person to an appropriate tracking program. Moreover, scripts must be flawlessly written, to avoid failure in certain browsers or Marketo logic fails. Many marketing organizations use these methods very successfully, but there is, never-the-less, complexity and potential for error with this approach.


The process with Bizible: There is little configuration to start capturing data with Bizible. Since Bizible has its own tracking script, tracking is simplified, especially for digital activity.


What’s happening behind the scenes: when someone fills out a form, Bizible detects and logs the URL of the form completion page from which you would deduce the offer. Where Bizible excels is in tracking channels. Bizible automatically detects and stores the UTMs and web referrer data associated with the session, without having to set custom cookies or modify your forms. Finally, because Bizible has direct API connections with ad platforms like Adwords, Bing, and Facebook ads, it automatically pulls ad and cost detail from these platforms, without any manual tagging required on your part.


A Functional Comparison:





Munchkin tracking script captures web activity. Marketo also logs form fills and email interactions. Referrer/UTM data stored but only in activity log. Custom script required to make this data accessible at the field level.

Bizible tracking script tracks web activity and form fills as well as referrer and UTM data, which is associated with touchpoints for easy reporting. Tracks full clickstream data via Bizible Data Warehouse product, giving it the detail of a full-featured web analytics solution.


Easy to track; typically uses a combination of a form plus landing page to identify offer, which can trigger the addition of a person to the corresponding program.

Detects and logs the URL of the form completed; offer is deduced based on URL.


Harder to track, especially digital; requires custom script to convert UTM/referrer data to cookies and form management to ensure data is mapped to fields on the person record in Marketo.

Automatically detects and stores UTM parameters and web referrer data, without creating custom cookies or modifying forms. Direct API connections with ad platforms capture ad and cost data without manual tagging. Platforms currently supported: Adwords, Bing, Facebook Ads.


Data Modelling


The scenario: You’re launching a multi-faceted marketing campaign consisting of many offers (blog posts, webinars, ebooks, etc.) across numerous channels and your boss requires a report showing which channels are driving the most engagement with particular offers. In your preparations, you must also plan for the “human factor”— people who interact multiple times with a single channel.


The process with Marketo: Your set-up revolves around Marketo’s unit of attribution, the program, which represents a single marketing initiative you want to track. You can create as many programs as you like, and stages indicate the level of interaction with each program and if that interaction was successful. Programs correspond to a Salesforce campaign (if you track this in Salesforce). How do you capture the relationship between offers and channels?


Your options are less than ideal:


  1. Create separate programs for offers and channels: This allows you to capture each marketing asset and traffic source the person engages with, but there is no connection between them. Also, if someone engages with the same channel (e.g., organic Twitter) twice, you can’t track the second interaction, because a person can only be a member of a program once.

  2. Create a program for every offer + channel combo. Ex: ABC Ebook + social; ABC Ebook + paid search…and the list goes on. Prepare yourself for a mountain of work and huge task list to maintain.

    programs set up to track offer + channel data

  3. Copy UTM values to the campaign member, which also moves reporting to Salesforce (as you cannot store this additional metadata related to a specific program status in Marketo). This option gives you a more flexible model but requires extra configuration and custom code in Salesforce. Additionally, there are some challenges to tracking costs for ROI and reporting by channels with this method, as you no longer have a distinct campaign to represent the channel.

campaign member example


The process with Bizible: Bizible uses “touchpoints” (or the marketing interaction between a person, offer, and channel) as the unit of attribution and captures every web visit, form fill, and offline touchpoint, grouping them into channels or subchannels that you create. Theoretically, unlimited touchpoints are possible.


The process is straightforward as Bizible creates touchpoints automatically with little to set-up or maintain. Also nice, all interaction data, both offer and channel, are stored on the same record. As a result, there is greater flexibility in reporting options, including changing channel groupings midstream and reprocessing of all data without information loss.


The downside? You’ll have less rich metadata about offers, because the form URL isn’t as precise as the metadata associated with Marketo programs. For this reason, I recommend that you maintain offer programs in tandem in Marketo, which you would likely need anyway to send fulfillment emails, etc.


Bizible Touchpoint Example


A Functional Comparison:





Unit of attribution is the program, a single marketing initiative which corresponds conceptually to a Salesforce Campaign.

Unit of attribution is the Touchpoint, a single marketing interaction between a person, an offer, and channel, stored in a single record.


One person can be a member of many programs, but only once per program or campaign. Stages indicate the level of interaction with the program and whether that interaction was successful. Program structure can be as granular as you want, but this becomes hard to manage when tracking offer + channel combinations.

Touchpoints are unlimited; touchpoints are captured for every web visit and logged in CRM for a person’s first anonymous visit, every subsequent form fill, and for offline touchpoints when synced from a campaign, even when repeat interactions with the same offer and channel occur. Channels are assigned to touchpoints dynamically based on business rules, eliminating the need to maintain a set of pre-existing campaigns for tracking purposes.


A program can have various types of metadata to add additional dimensions, ex: region, product line, type of marketing initiative, etc. but program tags are limited to a fixed set of values, limiting their usefulness.

Touchpoint data is set based on UTM parameters, providing more flexibility to describe channels according to your prefered taxonomy. Channel and subchannels group touchpoints according to your configuration, which can be altered and data reprocessed. Metadata about offers is limited, as only the form URL is captured.


Data Reporting and Visualization


The scenario: You’ve completed your marketing campaign, and now it’s time for the fun part— reporting on the results. Your CMO is excited to see how each effort performed and eager to know which was the most profitable...


See how Data Visualization and Reporting compare on Perkuto’s website.

Note: Kudos to those who have reviewed and given me feedback on this list! Julz James Jenn DiMaria Christina Zuniga



The job of a Marketo administrator can be difficult to define. What are the primary responsibilities? What role should you play? Who should you work with?

Depending on the size of the company, the charter will vary based on the number of users, resources, and volume of campaigns and content. In a smaller organization, the Marketo admin may perform all of the responsibilities described in this post, while in larger organizations he/she will oversee and delegate responsibilities to individuals or teams. The following will cover the core areas that the Marketo admin should focus on to be effective.


Sync with CRM

The Marketo admin works alongside sales operations to ensure marketing and sales data are syncing between Marketo and the CRM.  This includes determining field mapping (which fields in Marketo sync to which fields in the CRM) and ensuring the right fields are being synced to support campaigns and reporting.  Here is the section of the product docs that covers SFDC Sync and Microsoft Dynamics Sync.


Check out:

Top 5 Marketo Fields and Enterprise Needs in CRM too
Marketo University Video: Syncing Marketo to Salesforce
Instructions for Creating a Custom Sync Rule

Resources for Learning About Marketo-Salesforce Sync



Email Deliverability

It is important that the Marketo admin oversees and/or delegates the responsibility of making sure emails are being delivered reliably. This includes incorporating SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail) into your DNS settings (this is the “official” way of letting recipients know Marketo is authorized to send emails on your behalf). In addition, it includes setting up processes to ensure invalid emails are cleansed from the system and suppressed in email sends. You should consider using email deliverability tools such as Marketo’s deliverability tool (250ok), Litmus, and/or Email on Acid. These tools come at additional cost. Here is an example of an email Litmus test, which shows how your email is rendered on different email clients, devices and browsers.


Check out:
Setup SPF and DKIM in Product Docs
Blog Post: How to Manage Your Marketo Database for Deliverability

Blog Post: Boost Your Deliverability with DMARC - By Courtney Grimes


Lead Management

The healthy management of leads is a critical component to marketing automation and business success. This includes how leads are created, tagged, appended/categorized, where they are routed, and who takes action. The Marketo administrator will be instrumental in planning and designing the lead management flow, be responsible for operationalizing it within Marketo and the CRM, and fine-tuning the process over time.


Two important components of lead management are lead scoring and lead nurturing. Lead scoring is the assigning of points to leads based on activity, demographic/firmographic attributes, and other characteristics, in order to help prioritize leads for sales. The Marketo administrator should spearhead the process of developing the lead scoring model and operationalizing and maintaining the model.


Lead nurturing is the engagement of leads through educational marketing programs that span email, web, events and sales activities to drive the leads to a sales-ready state.


Check Out:
Marketo’s Definition of Lead Management
The Definitive Guide to Lead Scoring
Video: How to Set Up a Scalable Scoring Program
The Definitive Guide to Lead Nurturing
Marketo University: Creating and Running Lead Nurturing Programs


Lead Lifecycle and Revenue Cycle Model

A key component of lead management that deserves its own section is the lead lifecycle. This is one of the pillars of revenue marketing, and refers to the process in which a lead enters the sales cycle and CRM, and how it progresses into a closed deal.


The Marketo administrator plays a key role in architecting this process and working with sales and marketing management to define each stage. While the concept of the lead lifecycle will apply across most organizations, Marketo’s proprietary “Revenue Cycle Model” helps marketers define how leads move in and out of stages as it pertains to the marketing system.


Check Out:

KreweChats Discussion on Lead Lifecycle and Revenue Cycle Model
Marketo University: Building a Lifecycle Program


Database Management and Data Governance

In tandem with sales operations and IT, the Marketo administrator is responsible for developing and implementing strategies and processes to ensure that accurate and complete data enter the marketing database(s). Data should be verified, enriched and/or appended to support ongoing campaign and reporting initiatives.


To be more specific, this includes any or all of the following: deduplication, contact data verification, list import standardization, categorization (demographic/firmographic information such as title and industry), and data cleansing.

Here’s a great resource on overall data hygiene from a past Marketo Summit.


Also Check Out:
Marketo University: Maintaining a Healthy Database
Blog Post: Deduplication: How it Works, and When It Doesn't
Blog Post: 6 Steps to Delete Bad Data - By Jeff Coveney


Reporting and Analytics

While reporting and analytics may be the focus of a specific person or team, the Marketo administrator is responsible for building processes and/or integrations to get the right data into the right reporting hands. This includes building and executing a plan for tagging and categorizing marketing efforts (such as campaigns). In addition, it’s important to establish an agreed upon timeframe (this may be periodically such as on a quarterly basis, or even in real time) and data format for the reporting handover.


Check Out:
Analytics that Matter: Recorded Session by Jessica Kao
The Definitive Guide to Marketing Analytics
Marketo University: Standard Reports in Marketo


User Management, Training, and Process Documentation

A critical piece in larger organizations, the Marketo admin needs to manage roles and permissions for all Marketo users and develop training and onboarding programs. Training programs should teach users how to use Marketo and ensure governance in campaign management, data management, and reporting best practices. This includes instance documentation (reference materials and guides on how the Marketo instance is structured), glossary of terms, and step-by-step guides, checklists, and videos.


Check out:
Product Doc: Managing User Roles and Permissions
Marketo Fu by Joe Reitz on Youtube

Blog Post: User Roles for Large Marketo Databases - By Rob Barret


Martech (Marketing Technology) Strategy

With the marketing automation platform being the system of record for most revenue marketing organizations, it’s important to have a plan for success with each additional piece of marketing technology that gets added to the tech stack. This includes determining how new technology integrates with Marketo, what data needs to be passed between the systems, proper lead source and campaign attribution, and regularly reviewing martech reports such as adoption, ROI, and competitive review.


Check out:

5 Steps to Master Your MarTech Stack by Christina Zuniga (her presentation starts on slide 27)

Blog Post: Working with Martech Vendors - Stop Doing it Wrong - By Josh Hill


I hope you have found this list useful. Have anything to add? Please leave your thoughts in the comments!

If there’s one area marketers get hung up on more often than not, it’s reporting and attribution.


Technology is an important part of the solution. But even with the right tools at hand, attribution efforts can fail for many reasons - poor/inconsistent implementation, lack of process, dirty data, and the list goes on.


Marketo recently acquired  Bizible, a leading marketing analytics and performance management software (see here for a recap of that), which fills a major gap in Marketo’s functionality. Bizible delivers robust and easy-to-use marketing attribution capabilities and I suspect will ultimately replace Marketo's RCE product (which is showing its age).


In a subsequent post, I’ll cover the unique features of Bizible, seen from a Marketo-centric perspective; but to lay some groundwork, let’s first define what exactly “attribution” is and how it works, because this term is often (mis)used in a confusing variety of ways.


Understanding Marketing Attribution


Simply stated, marketing attribution is the process of determining which of your marketing efforts is driving the outcomes you want, like revenue. As a byproduct, attribution tools also enable you to optimize marketing campaigns, resource allocations, and your marketing budget. How do they work?


Technology aside, all attribution systems essentially examine the intersection of three related datasets:

  1. Marketing Efforts: all the fantastic marketing campaigns you launched
  2. Audience Engagement: the people (prospects, customers, etc.) who engaged with your efforts
  3. Performance Outcomes: the results of your efforts. Usually, this is revenue or pipeline value but could also be a metric like MQLs.

Marketing Efforts, Performance Outcomes, and Audience Engagement

When people engage with your marketing efforts then take the desired action, such as buying your product, we attribute some of that credit back to the marketing effort with which they interacted. The attribution methodology can be simple or tremendously complex, but all are based on this underlying theme.


Understanding Attribution Tools


In order for attribution tools to tie the three datasets together in a meaningful way, three primary functions must take place:

  1. Capture data
  2. Model data
  3. Visualize and report on data

To expand further:


Data Capture

Behind the scenes, your marketing attribution tool is tracking your efforts, engagement and outcomes. Marketing efforts and outcomes are fairly easy to keep an eye on since they are commonly recorded in your marketing automation and CRM systems (e.g., programs and opportunities). Engagement tracking, however, is another story and is where many marketing departments have gaps. The biggest challenge? Marketers need to worry about tracking both channels and offers. To clarify our terms:


Channels are the marketing tactics that drive engagement: paid search campaigns, SEO, paid and organic social, trade show booths—you get the idea.

Offers are what people engage with: ebooks, white papers, videos, web forms, webinars—and the list goes on.


(These definitions are indebted to Josh Hill, who provides further insights into channels and offers in this post.)


Most companies do fairly well with tracking offers but stumble with tracking channels, and that’s not surprising. Tracking channels is significantly more difficult as it typically requires tagging your digital activities with UTM parameters, translating those parameters from website visits into cookies, and then incorporating that data into your marketing automation and CRM systems.


Even with Marketo, this process requires a fair amount of setup and skill and typically requires a skilled web developer. And unfortunately, many teams who try to track channels usually fall short—either the required configuration is not done effectively or it’s not done at all.


Data Modelling

OK—data captured...check. Now your attribution tool has to store your data in a way that allows for meaningful reporting. For marketing engagement, the simplest way to accomplish this is by adding fields to the person object in order to capture the data you want to report on—lead source is a prime example. The challenge, of course, is this is a “flat” data model, making it very difficult to capture and report on multiple interactions (and multiple dimensions of those interactions) with any sort of flexibility—the data model is simply too limited.


Let’s step our model up a notch—you could use another object to represent each of your marketing efforts and then connect people to that object when they engage with your marketing.


This is what the Marketo program (or Salesforce campaign) represents: a person is connected to the marketing initiative via a junction object. (ex: campaign member status or Marketo program status). This extension of the data model opens the door to true multi-touch attribution reporting, because you can now reflect multiple people, engaging with multiple marketing efforts, resulting in multiple outcomes. 


And while this model is quite flexible, it does have its limitations—for example, a person can only be added to a program once, but what if someone engages with the same channel multiple times? We'll address some of these limitations (and how to circumvent them) in another post.



Visualizing and Reporting on Data

An example data flow for capturing, modelling, and reporting on data in Marketo. This program structure is relatively simple but suffers from some of the limitations described above. 


Visualizing and Reporting on Data


Now we get to the fun part: the final step in the attribution process is to visualize and report on your results. This involves calculating credit for your performance outcomes (ex: opportunity revenue) and assigning it to your marketing efforts based on the marketing engagement of the people involved in that opportunity.


There are many different methodologies for calculating attribution, often called “models.” A few of the more common models include “first touch” (all credit to the very first marketing engagement),” last touch” (all credit to the most recent marketing engagement), and “even split” (credit divided equally amongst all touches.) We’ll delve deeper into these and other types of models plus why you might choose one over another in a future post.


Cross-posted from the Perkuto blog.

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