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All Places > Champion Program > Blog > 2019 > October

Honey I Shrunk the Kids was one of my favorite movies growing up. It’s all about surviving in a new environment, while working together to solve a problem. While it can seem daunting to jump into an unfamiliar or new Marketo instance, here are 5 easy steps to start to review your new instance in an effective and efficient way.





STEP 1: Communication is Key


When you join a new company, you should get to know who you’ll be spending 40 hours a week with every week for the foreseeable future. It’s also a good way to get a lay of the land and understand everyone else’s expectations of Marketo. I like to set up 1x1s with various team members throughout the organization focusing on Marketing & Sales. Have a conversation with them, but don’t interrogate them. Try setting up a lunch with a member of your team and having a true conversation. Conversations should look like a ping pong match. Just like in ping pong you’ll want the conversation going back and forth over the net.


Sample questions to ask:

-What do you most enjoy about working on/with the marketing team?

-How have you succeeded in your role?

-What are some landmines I should avoid?


Try this: Try to ask people the same set of questions. By doing this you can identify prevalent views, and avoid being swayed by the first or the loudest person you talk to. Once you’ve gathered your data you’ll be able to plot all the pain points you’ve uncovered during your interviews and your own investigations in the instance. Listen for common pain points.



STEP 2: Plotting Pain Points

Once you've gathered your information from your Interviews you can plot all of those pain points and others that you’ve uncovered through your own findings and group them into common themes. I like to organize them by larger digestible categories such as Database, Data Management & Campaigns.ase




Lead Management

· XX% of Marketo is unmarketable
· No Test naming convention

· Lack of documentation of campaign process and tool usage

· List import process is challenging and not saleable

· Lead Source isn’t tracked




· Lack of nurture programs

· Inconsistent building process due to lack of templates

· Zero visibility in SFDC fields

· Marketo has Read Only Access to certain fields

· Lack of top of funnel reporting


STEP 3: Test your own Instance


A quick way to figure out what has been set up in your instance is to test your forms on various pages. I always start by testing the Contact Us page. First fill out the form, then check the Marketo Activity Log of the record that was tested and see what happens.

You’ll be able to see all the campaigns that have been triggered by your actions and dig deeper into them. The campaigns are linked on the right-hand side of the activity log  so you can easily jump straight to the right place in your Marketo instance to investigate.



Next go ahead and download some content. Try this with both new records that aren’t in the system and your own record that is in the system. See what happens: how does Marketo process the record? 


Try this: I always test new records in Incognito mode. This will make sure cookies aren't carried over.



STEP 4: Review Program Templates


How were programs built previously? Does the instance have a center of excellence or program templates to clone? Or is everything in the system built from scratch? You should be able to uncover the process flow from the interviews that you conducted earlier.


If your instance does have program templates, take a closer look at them. How are they set up? Do they use tokens? What do your campaign flows look like? If you are using embedded forms are you making sure you have an acquisition program? you overwriting lead source? Are you listening for any UTMs? Do all your tokens populate?


Some of these items can be caught from our earlier tests on the contact us and web content download pages.


Try this: I think of tokenized programs as Mad Libs. Do you remember that game from childhood, where you fill in blanks with certain types of words and you create a crazy story? Same concept, but real information and they’ll help you create a crazy fast program. After that you can clone one of the program templates and play mad libs with all of your predetermined values.



Did you get the result you thought you were going to get? If not rework the template, fix and test. Testing is your best friend in this situation. The goal is to be able to build a program in 15-30 minutes.


STEP 5: Quick & Dirty Tips


Tip 1: Standardized Test Records


Use a test record format to easily differentiate test records from live data. You'll be able to easily find and delete them as well. 
















Tip 2: Phone Number formatting Using Mask Input


Using the Mask Input feature in your forms will help you standardize how your data is coming in. Here’s how to use this in Marketo:

-On your form, set the phone number field type to text

-Set Mask to desired format type. For example: (999) 999-9999 

-Now when anyone fills out that form, it will appear in the format you built. 


Tip 3: “Used By” Feature

The “Used By” feature in Marketo is a hidden gem, and doesn’t always get noticed. In the summary view of an asset or field, you can easily identify where an asset or a field is used in the Marketo instance. This can be very helpful when retiring or cleaning up fields or unapproving assets, since you can’t unapproved an asset that is being used somewhere. But remember, this isn’t all encompassing. Remember if you are embedding forms on your website the used by feature will not show that the form is in use.


Moving to a new instance can be scary, but change can also be empowering. With these tips, you’ll be able to make a quick, thoughtful impact in your new company. You got this! 


If you’re just getting started with Marketo it’s easy to put folders and naming conventions in place, but even if your existing instance is a mess, you can still use these tips and tricks to get organized. You might have folders that don’t make sense or vague campaign names, but you can follow these steps to help add structure to Marketo, no matter what stage you’re at in your usage.




Start by thinking about how your business is structured and how it makes sense to group your campaigns for your folder structure. Depending on the complexity of your business, you may have only a handful of folders or 100s.


Think as granular as you can – is it by Business Unit or Department? In our case we have a few high-level folders for Central Marketing, Product Marketing, Platform Marketing, etc. and a more granular breakdown within that.


Then think by time frame to break it down even further. It makes sense for us to break the year into two key parts – Spring and Fall – since we work with higher education institutions and that’s how our campaign seasons run. Depending on your company and the amount of campaigns you’re going, it might make sense to categorize on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis.


Here is an example of one of our folders and the internal structure:


We also have two other key folders within each of these main folders:

  • Archive Folder - By breaking out the year into sections, it’ll make it easier to find your campaigns and archive them as they are completed. Click here to learn more about how to archive your folders.
  • On-Going Folder – We keep an on-going folder to separate those campaigns that are always running like website forms, landing pages and reporting.



Think about how Program Naming conventions can work with your folder structure.


First, make sure your naming conventions are easily searchable and identifiable. A Program named “Sale Campaign” probably won’t jog your memory if you have to go back and search for it. But one called “CM19F – End of Year Close Out Sale” will help you find when it was created and what it’s about.


For our naming conventions, we use the same Business Unit and Time Period from our folder name, along with the Campaign Name used when it’s submitted.


  • Example: CM19F – Back-to-School Instructor Campaign


You could also add specific codes to your naming conventions to identify certain types of emails or even exclude certain emails from your reporting:


  • “AR” for auto-responder
  • “EM” for a standard email
  • “OPER” for an operational email


If you want to have more advanced naming conventions including things like region, channel, etc. you could also use a Google Sheet or Microsoft Excel document with formulas to input your campaign values and have your Program name generated.


How are you using Folders and Naming Conventions? Share your ideas and best practices in the comments!

As a Marketing Operations Manager, you’ve probably found yourself in a situation where your CMO says “we need to do this now – make it happen”. “This” could be anything from a specific task to a more strategic initiative, often with little direction. Either way, our job as MOPs Managers is to efficiently execute these tasks that come bubbling down from our leadership and roll them out effectively.


So what does it really take from an operational perspective to roll out a strategic marketing initiative in a marketing automation tool like Marketo?


I asked some of our 2019 Marketo Champions to get their thoughts on the matter and have put together 10 examples of strategic marketing initiatives and what a Marketo Champion recommends to do about them.


Take a look and let us know what you think!


Marketing Strategy #1: Ensure Marketing & Sales alignment for passing on lead assignment/follow up.

Marketo Tip #1: Create operational programs that assign the leads that enter your system to SDRs or Sales Reps based on geography / demographic behavior, based on department / role, or even better, based on their specific request or entry source. There are hundreds of options, but pick one to start out with and build from there.

Contributor: Chloe Pott


Marketing Strategy #2: Be an inbound marketing “machine” & attract new names in a short amount of time. Be able to quickly turn around the launch of a new piece of content once it is ready for promotion.

Marketo Tip #2: Template, template, template! Template emails, template programs, template flow steps and even smart lists. Add relevant tokens to all programs and emails so that when new content is ready to be promoted, your MOPs team can roll it out the door in minimal turnaround time by simply cloning the appropriate template and editing it to fit the new initiative.

Contributor: Chloe Pott


Marketing Strategy #3: Communicate only with our most engaged leads to improve deliverability and potential blacklisting.

Marketo Tip #3: Create a “Last Activity Date” field so you can timestamp important activities, filter on interesting moments, and set up bounce management campaigns to monitor deliverability. Using these in combination will help determine who’s active and suppress anyone who’s not.

Contributor: Jenn DiMaria


Marketing Strategy #4: Only emailing people who are compliant.

Marketo Tip #4: Set up a mailability segmentation. Segmentations process faster than nested smart lists (which are used in OTHER smart lists) and help eliminate human error. Just drag in your “Mailable” segment to help save Marketo time when it processes undesirable contacts from your email blasts.

Contributor: Jenn DiMaria


Marketing Strategy #6: Target your customers with the right content and messaging.

Marketo Tip #6:  Create customer/prospect segmentations based on your business model. This effort allows you to develop dynamic content in your emails and on your landing pages to create a personalized experience for your prospects and customers.  A side benefit is that segments process more quickly than smart lists and provide a more accurate view into your contact database. Most companies that implement dynamic content and messaging see significant results and return in generating business (leads and closed-won).

Contributor: Trent Cross


Marketing Strategy #5: Track lead attribution from quarter to quarter.

Marketo Tip #5: Have a Last Touch UTM set of fields (most recent), as well as a First Touch (UTM values existing on person creation) and a Multi-Touch (concatenating history) set of fields to record information on leads who have interacted with campaigns containing UTM parameters. The Multi-Touch field will be especially important in reporting if you don’t have a 1:1 for your marketing campaigns to a Marketo Program or SFDC Campaign, but still want to see who has a field containing that value and who opened an Opportunity around that product prior to campaign launch in order to attribute revenue credit. 

Contributor: Brooke Bartos


Marketing Strategy #7: Ensure your data is accurate and clean up bad or missing data.

Marketo Tip #7:  Create and build data management smart campaign batch programs that run on a daily basis to correct, update, and include data to ensure your database has accurate values. Examples include standardizing country abbreviation, language codes, name capitalization, and many other similar items without a 3rd party tool.

Contributor: Trent Cross


Marketing Strategy #8: Track success based on campaigns

Marketo Tip #8: When setting up campaigns, ensure that you are using the correct campaign progression statuses and that you’re recording those statuses in Marketo and your CRM.  You must also make sure that your ‘success’ statuses are added too. Do you want to call someone who registers for a webinar a ‘success’ or someone who attends? Or both?  However you set it up in Marketo you need to make sure that the campaigns correspond correctly in your CRM and that the same statuses are successes too.

Contributor: Julz James

Marketing Strategy #9: Improve alignment around the sales-marketing handoff.

Marketo Tip #9: Ensure that you have spent time with Sales to find out their process and make sure that the leads you’re passing over to them are relevant to their needs. There is nothing worse than MOPs created tons of MQLs for Sales to just reject them all. Work with Sales to understand what is a good quality lead for them - they will have the best understanding of what type of leads are converting. The more in-depth the definition of an MQL from Sales, the better quality leads you can deliver.

Contributor: Julz James


Marketing Strategy #10: Drive more marketing campaigns faster across a larger marketing team.

Marketo Tip #10: Creating canned Center of Excellence (CoE) programs and reports will keep your instance clean and consistent, and it will make processes easier if there are multiple Marketo users. Create a folder or workspace for a CoE and have the most commonly created programs in that area with the proper tokens, email modules in the emails, LP variables and form fields so when it is cloned, every program is aligned the same way and executed the same way. Make sure to have that go-to point person in your organization to ask questions so all answers are consistent. This will eliminate a lot of headaches in the future and make your instance beautiful.

Contributor: Chelsea Kiko

The Marketo-Qualtrics Integration provides a great framework for sending your survey invites out of Marketo, tracking the results as custom activities in Marketo, and triggering Marketo campaigns off those responses.



Before you get started there’s some key components that need to be set-up in Marketo and Qualtrics. Follow the steps in the Marketo Integration Basic Overview to set-up the integration, create a new API user, and more.



Once the integration is set-up, you can start Sending Invites Through Marketo. By sending your survey invitations through Marketo you ensure the email observes your communication limits and all opt-out regulations are followed.


As a part of this process you can set-up personal links for your survey. This allows you to embed certain Marketo fields as Embedded Data within the personalized URL and send it behind the scenes to the Qualtrics survey. This means you no longer need to waste precious survey fields on information you already have like:


  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Company Name
  • Email Address




In addition to sending your survey with Marketo, you are also able to set-up Custom Activities in Marketo to store your survey results in Marketo. This allows for your complete survey results to get pushed into Marketo and you can trigger additional actions off the completion of the survey or a specific answer.



Think about how you can use your survey results to provide the customer with a better experience:


  • Is there something you can alert Sales or the survey owner of?
  • Is there additional information you can provide the customer?
  • Are there other ways you want to provide sales feedback based off the results?
  • How can you use the information for future campaigns?


There are three filters you can use in your Smart List:


Here are some ways you might use your survey data in Marketo:


Send Alert

Send an automated alert to Sales or the survey owner to let them know of an account that may need attention or an answer that may need specific follow-up.


Send the Customer Additional Information

Based on a customer’s response, you can send them an additional email with more information or enter them into a specific marketing campaign catered to their needs.


Add Information to Salesforce

If a customer’s response doesn’t require action, you can add an Interesting Moment to SFDC or push them to a specific Salesforce Campaign, which will allow the rep to see that someone completed the survey as a part of their activity with your campaigns.


Segment for Future Campaigns

You can use the information on the customer’s survey for future campaigns. This could be as simple as sending anyone who completed a survey a specific email or capturing the answer to a specific question to build a list of customers based on that interest.

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