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11 Posts authored by: Jeff Coveney

Do you have lots of bad data living in Marketo? Is your Marketo rep nagging you to upgrade because your Marketo database is over the limit? A hot tub is not really too useful in the middle of the desert and neither is bad data in your database.

 

Bad data is bad news. Not only does it clog your database and hike up your costs and software subscriptions; it makes your marketing efforts ineffective.

 

In this post, I'll cover strategy and execution tips to help you get the dirt out of your data and to develop a six-step best practice data retention policy called the "Gold Nugget Data Methodology."

 

Gold Nugget Data Methodology

How do you systematically reduce the bad data in your systems? The Gold Nugget Data Methodology.

 

  sixstepdatagoldnuggetpolicy

The Gold Nugget Data Methodology is quite literally like panning for gold; leads pass through different filters, slowly sifting out the dirt while leaving shiny nuggets of clean data remaining at the end. I've seen this process reduce database sizes by 10-40% to help boost performance while driving down software costs.

 

Part strategy, part execution, the Gold Nugget Methodology is a long-term strategy--it’s a comprehensive approach to database cleansing. Don’t think this is an overnight process (Although, there are a few quick wins in the process).

 

At each step, you’ll identify the criteria to review and define processes for performing the purging tasks. Once you have your custom Gold Nugget plan in place, you can confidently maintain your database throughout the year.

 

Note that these steps do not have to come in the exact order. However, they tend to get harder the further down the path that you go.

 

For the strategy and policy behind the the Gold Nugget process, read Gold Nugget Data Policy. As always, make sure to document your policies to share with others.

 

Let's dig in.

 

Give this Stuff a Home: A Data Cleanup Program

You are going to be doing a lot of data work so avoid using lists in the Lead Database--keeping your lists there will result in a lot of toggling back and forth between the Marketing Activities and Lead Database sections of Marketo.

Tip: Create a global data clean-up program that houses all of the data campaigns and lists. This will streamline ongoing management as all your cleanup campaigns will live in one place.

In the below screenshot, you'll notice that Smartlists live separately from the cleanup campaigns themselves. This process makes it easier to spot check potential records to delete.

DataRenetionProgram

 

Step 1 - Get Rid of Duplicates

Duplicates are great with babies but not with your database. Marketo is not the ideal tool for removing duplicates but Marketo does provide a great way to easily assess duplicates. The first step is to identify the duplicates by performing a quick assessment.

Duplicate Records

In your Master Data Retention program, create a Smartlist that identifies multiple records that share the same email address. You won't get all the complex logic to identify duplicates with different email addresses but this list will provide a quick snapshot. Once you get the count, dig into the data to see where the data might be coming from.

 

To perform the actual deduplication at scale, you'll need a third-party service like Marketo Easymerge or a piece of software like DupeBlocker or RingLead . Make sure to read Josh Hill's Deduping Leads in Marketo for other deduplication considerations.

sixstepdatagoldnuggetpolicy-step2

 

 

DataRenetionDupSmartlist

 

How Often

  1. Perform a one-time deduplication to start.
  2. Run an ongoing service to reduce duplicates
  3. Rinse and repeat #1 every 3 to 6 months to catch duplicates that get through your ongoing service.

 

Other Resources

Best Practices for Managing Possible Duplicate Leads

De-Duplication Tools? Not Cloudingo or Ringlead

Deduping- How to Clean Up Your Lead Database.pdf

 

Step 2 - Eliminate People without Email Addresses

sixstepdatagoldnuggetpolicy-step2

Marketo records without email addresses are virtually useless as they can't be mailed. They also increase the possibility for future duplicates. This step eliminates these records systematically once you have the strategy set.

Policy Example: Any Lead record without an email address is deleted after 30 days from both Salesforce and Marketo. Contact records are deleted from Marketo but not Salesforce.

Considerations

  • Treat Lead and Contact Records differently? If using Salesforce, Lead records can generally be deleted since they are not marketable and don’t have revenue associated with them. Contacts require a bit more analysis. For example, an accounts payable Contact record might have an address for billing but not an email address. You probably don’t want to delete those folks.
  • Reporting history is lost or not available. If you have a trade show list that doesn’t have email addresses, implementing this policy will delete that intelligence. Of course, I’d argue to push your trade show vendor for email addresses but that is an argument for another day.
  • Leads can creep back into Marketo by default. If you delete out of Marketo but keep in Salesforce, set a flag in Salesforce so these records don’t flow back to Marketo unless an email address becomes available.
  • Delete in Salesforce? Marketo? Both? The reason you may keep records in Salesforce but delete them in Marketo is to reduce risk of deleting records that are important to Sales but not to Marketing. For example, you probably don't want to delete a record that a Sales representative is actively calling even though it contains only an phone number.
Yes, Sales should always include an email address when entering a new record and Oscar presenters should always read the right results---"should" doesn't always happen.

 

Other Salesforce /Marketo Sync ConsiderationsMarketo and Salesforce: To Sync or Not to Sync DataRetentionNoEmail2

How Often

  1. Perform a one-time delete to start.
  2. Rinse and repeat monthly in either an automated or manual process.

 

Step 3 - Purge Recently Deleted Salesforce Records

sixstepdatagoldnuggetpolicy-step3

By default, records that are deleted in Salesforce are NOT deleted in Marketo. As a quick win, setup a campaign that runs regularly that clears out your deleted Salesforce records in Marketo.

DataRetentionDeletedinSalesforce

 

How Often

  1. Perform a one-time delete to start.
  2. Rinse and repeat weekly with an automated batch campaign. I'd recommend to keeping it weekly or monthly as a backup process just in case some deletions happen in Salesforce that you want to get back.

 

Step 4. Delete the Disqualified

sixstepdatagoldnuggetpolicy-step4

This step seems easy but it’s not. If Sales or Marketing has disqualified a record, it might be time to delete it. I say “might” because sometimes a Sales representative disqualifies a record when it should really be recycled. Or, it’s possible that your Disqualified lead lifecycle process is not quite ready for prime time.

Do you trust Disqualified data inputted by Sales reps? If the answer is "No," you'll need to work on a consistent lead lifecycle process with your Sales team.

This step involves identifying Disqualified records and deleting them. Of course, you need to have a consistent process in place to make sure your Disqualified records are actually bad. A process where a Sales rep says a record is bad when it's really not will lead to good data getting deleted.

Recommendation: Get conservative here. If you don't know, wait until the Inactivity step 6 to delete.

DataRetentionDisqualified1

 

How Often

  1. Perform a one-time delete to start. You’ll want to develop some custom criteria so you aren’t deleting Recycled leads miscategorized as Disqualified.
  2. Rinse and repeat quarterly/yearly once you have the Sales process down. Run deletions based on Disqualified Reasons. For example, a Spam record might get deleted more frequently than a No Current Budget record.

 

Other Resources

Deleting leads from Marketo that have already been deleted from SFDC

 

Step 5.  Remove the Bounces

sixstepdatagoldnuggetpolicy-step5

 

If someone has bounced email, these should be easy candidates to delete, right? It’s not so simple. You might want to keep these around to maintain some reporting intelligence. You might also want to mail a few last times to mine data from those returned emails through services such as SiftRock and LeadGnome (Yes, these capabilities exist). Additionally, you might have a bounce that indicates a spam bounce rather than a no longer there bounce so you need to be careful to distinguish between the two.

 

How Often

  1. Perform a one-time delete to start based on Email Invalid is TRUE if someone has an email address. There are another couple of pieces of criteria to customize.
  2. Rinse and repeat quarterly/yearly once you have defined your retention duration.

 

Other Resources

Email Bounce Codes

Managing a Large List of Hard Bounces

 

#6 Delete the Inactive – The Big Sweep

sixstepdatagoldnuggetinactive-step6

How long should someone live in your database without activity before you delete? If you set you other five filters as conservative, this inactive criteria can serves as the final sweep. We’ve seen companies use very complex criteria to define this last step since its the end of the line for some data.

  • 15 months of inactivity
  • Salesforce Leads only
  • No active opportunities
  • Not part of a certain lifecycle stage
  • And more

 

Tip: Marketo limits inactivity filters to 90 days. Create a custom Last Marketo Activity Date that populates every time a link is clicked, page is visited, etc. Use that date in future to determine inactivity.

 

Other Considerations

  • Send a Wake the Dead email before deleting with a few Wake the Dead emails.

Wake the Dead Example Copy. “Hey, we love you but is it time to say goodbye? If you want to keep receiving great content, click here, Or we’ll remove you from our database.”

 

How Often

  1. Perform a one-time delete to start once you nail down the criteria
  2. Rinse and repeat quarterly.

 

Some Bonus Tips

  • Before you delete, gain intel from those bounced with one last email. Sign up for an Email Mining service like LeadGnome of SiftRock. The trial will cost you zero and it takes 15 minutes to setup.

emailmining

  • Pass on delete intelligence to Salesforce for records you are deleting from Marketo only. Before you delete from Marketo, just add a comment to the comments field or log an activity in Salesforce (Example: Record was deleted in Marketo because there is no valid email address). This will prevent the future “why didn’t this person receive an email?”

Personnotes

 

Wrap-up

Keeping bad data around is not a strategy for long-term success. The Gold Nugget Data Strategy is a methodology that brings clarity to your data retention policies.

 

Once adopted, expect to see a database reduction of 10-40%+ which will boost your performance and decrease your data costs. Good luck mining.

 

Have any tips to add? Make sure to comment below.

 

Need any help? Give me a shout.

Did you know that there are over 7,000 words written on the Marketo-to-Salesforce Sync changes in the Marketo Community? That's equivalent to 24 double space pages.

 

Marketo's Mike Reynolds and team has done an amazing job with the details but I'll try to simplify what you need to do.  If you want to keep your Marketo-to-Salesforce sync working like it always has and avoid a few pitfalls, just follow these below three steps.

 

Rock on Bon Jovi. What are these Changes All About?

Atripo.jpg

Marketo recently announced a change to the Marketo-to-Salesforce integration.  Like an iPhone not fully syncing to the cloud, some intelligence will be lost if certain actions aren’t taken.

 

Do you like hair band music? What if Apple announced that it was dropping sync support for 16 of the top 80s/90s bands--these bands would no longer sync across your devices but every other band would. That means you wouldn't be able to rock it out with songs from Bon Jovi, Aerosmith and others.

 

You might say "Who the heck cares?" or you might want to keep these bands syncing.

 

What's happening with the upcoming Marketo-to-Salesforce sync change is very similar. In this example, your fields are the bands and only a select 16 fields/bands are affected. You may care about some, all or none of the affected fields. All other fields sync like they always have.

 

Mike Reynolds, Jenn Dimaria , and I presented on the topic last month so feel to check out a 20 minute webinar that covers much of the content in this article.....3 Tips to Streamline the Marketo-Salesforce Sync Changes [On Demand Webinar].

mostbands.jpg

 

OK, What's Really Happening?

The new Salesforce changes affect select Marketo fields. These original 16 fields were installed as part of the Marketo AppExchange installation (Marketo Lead Management plugin). If you do nothing, the impact is that there will no longer be sync support for those specific fields and intel will no longer pass from Marketo to Salesforce for these 16 fields This change is occurring January 31, 2017.

 

 

Three Steps to Rollout

Although setup is straightforward, there are a number of things to consider before making changes to your instance. Why? Because every business operates differently. For example, you may or may not even be using some of the fields that have changed.

 

Step 1: Assess which Intelligence is Affected

This is not a game of monopoly. Please do not skip Go and jump to Step 2. With a simple question, you can avoid some future headaches.

 

The Question: Are you using any of these fields in Salesforce in the following?

  • Workflows
  • Views
  • Reports
  • Triggers
  • Calculated Fields

With the exception of the views, in most cases, the answer is no. The original Lead Score is the one used most. If any fields are in use, you will need to replace them with the new fields once they are created as part of Step 3.

SFfields.jpg

Example of impact:

  • If using Lead Score to trigger a Salesforce rule, that rule will no longer trigger.
  • If displaying Lead Score in lead queue views, that value will no longer update.

 

Step 2: Create Replacement Fields in Salesforce

Tell your Salesforce Admin to do these two things:

  1. Create these replacement fields with the EXACT name.
  2. Make sure to map on the Lead and Contact record.

 

Simple instructions, right? I can't tell you how many times I've seen fields not get mapped properly or get created with an incorrect character.

 

Follow the above process and Marketo will magically remap these new Salesforce fields to the proper Marketo field.

fieldssf.jpg

Download field Names (PDF)

 

Step 3: Confirm and Adjust

As the last step, confirm that Marketo's magic remapping worked in the Admin section. There will be a notification in Marketo that the backfill is complete.

 

Then go into Salesforce and look at a recently created lead to make sure the new Salesforce fields are populating with data.

 

As mentioned in Step 1, adjust Salesforce views, reports and workflows as needed.

AdminSalesforce.jpg

 

Gotchas

There aren't many but here are a few things that could complicate your changes.

  • NOT checking to see if fields are in use in Salesforce (Skipping Step 1). The impact is workflows, etc. won’t work anymore.
  • Not mapping the fields in Salesforce and/or creating with read/write access.
  • Deploying during a busy time (especially large orgs).
  • Doing Nothing. Just understand that your data will be out of sync.

 

Of course, when in doubt, contact Marketo Support.

 

Summary - Don't Let Your Sync Live on a Prayer

Congratulations, you are now back up and running keeping your intelligence in sync.

 

And for you Bon Jovi fans, your data sync will no longer be Livin on a Prayer.

Bon Jovi - Livin' On A Prayer - YouTube

 

External

FAQ w Mike Reyonds | Tips to Streamline the Marketo-Salesforce Sync Changes [On Demand Webinar]

 

Community Resources

How do you maintain the intelligence of a field like Comments or Description that keeps getting overwrittten?

 

For example, let’s say you get in this new trade show list with a Comments field filled values like “Hot lead at Miami event, has budget and wants demo.” Later on, one of those folks fills out your Contact Us form with a Comments value of “I spoke w your rep Ken at the show and need pricing.”

 

The problem is that every time the Comments field is populated, it overwrites the previous value, thus losing intelligence for the Sales team. In other instances, these values are maintained in different fields causing an ongoing data management nightmare.

CommentsDemo.jpg

The Solution---Merge the Data. To summarize, this solution involves creating a field that temporarily stores the latest comments information. Every time that value is updated, it will prepend the Comments field with the new data.

 

The end result is a Comments field that is continually updated while maintaining historic intelligence. This process allows Sales and Marketing to easily view ongoing comments from multiple marketing initiatives.

 

Let’s Dive in with a 4-Step Process

Follow this approach for concatenating the Comments field.

 

Step 1 - Standardize on a single field for comments collection across forms, imports etc. Use Description, Comments or whatever other field syncs between your Marketo and your Salesforce Lead/Contact objects. I’ve seen different companies use all kinds of varying fields to collect data like comments or descriptions. As a recommendation, choose one and standardize.

 

Step 2 - Create a matching field called something like Comments Temp. Feel free to make this a Marketo only field as its only purpose is to temporarily capture the latest comments.

 

Step 3. Leverage all the new Comments Temp field across all appropriate forms. Also, when you get in data from trade shows, make sure to use the Comments Temp field upon import for the appropriate field. You do NOT want to use the standard Comments field as you will overwrite that data. Commentsa.jpg

 

Step 4. Create a data updating campaign that makes all the magic happen.

 

When: The campaign fires upon any of the updates you made in step 3--for example, when a new lead is created and the Comments Temp field is populated. It also fires when there is a change in value to the Comments Temp field.

CommentsSmartList.jpg

 

The Flow: This is the special sauce that leverages tokens to populate the values the way you want. In this example, the current date and Comments Temp values will get prepended to existing value in the Comments field.

CommentsSmartFlow.jpg

 

You may also elect to nullify the value in the Comments Temp after 20 or so minutes in the event you use that field for alerts or other workflows.

The Final Product - Ongoing Intelligence

This Comments field will grow with ongoing intelligence every time the Comments Temp field is updated.  The process will keep a running history of your intelligence for your Sales team to view. Let's look at the below examples.

 

CommentsSalesforce.jpg

 

The Comments field is populated on 10/1/2016 when the lead is created from a trade show import.[/caption]

CommentsSalesforce1.jpg

Here, the Comments field is prepended with new information after the person fills out a Contact Us form. The previous intelligence is maintained instead of overwritten.

 

Other Alternatives to Field Merging

An acceptable alternative is to log an Interesting Moment using the Comments Temp values. The issue here is the interesting moment might be too long to read in Salesforce. However, you might want to try that out.

 

An unrecommended approach is to create comment fields for various marketing initiatives (EventA Comments, EvalRequest Comments, etc.). This strategy doesn’t scale too well and creates extra fields to manage. Salesforce Administrators generally put marketers who want too many fields in the doghouse so I recommend avoiding this process if possible.

 

How are you Merging Data?

 

I hope you've seen the power of concatenating data to keep an ongoing record of your Comments field--it's also pretty easy to set up. Concatenating provides a lot of flexibility for marketers to enhance intelligence. The above is just one of many examples. I’d love to hear how others are experiencing success with this method. Please share below in the Comments.

 

A few other examples we've seen leveraging the data merging method.

  • Bring together the latest activity and date: Latest Activity = {{lead.lead source details}} on {{system.date}}
    • Example: Google Web Referral on January 12, 2017
  • Enrich the Lead Source with UTM values: Lead Source = {{lead.utm_source}} via {{lead.utm_medium}} for {{lead.utm_content}}
    • Example: Search engine via CPC for Spring Sale
  • Create Name: Full Name = {{lead.firstname}} {{lead.lastname}}
    • Example: Jon Scott
  • Enrich Lead Source Details with Referral info = Web via {{lead.original referer}}

More information in the Marketo docs.

A similar version is posted on the RevEngine Insider blog.

It seems like forever ago since the first Marketo Summit when we were all crammed into the Hilton in San Francisco. Fast forward a few years and over 6,000 of us are expected to attend the Marketo Summit in Las Vegas.

 

No event excites me more because I get to learn from what I feel are the best marketers in the world. If something creative is being done, this is where you are going to learn about it. Whether it's at lunch, in an elevator or in a cab, don't miss an opportunity to learn. Sometimes, it's a 1-minute conversation that can bring clarity to something you have been trying to figure out for months.

 

Session-wise, there are over 100 sessions covering all kinds of topics--it's hard to decide which ones to attend. Even if you are superman (or woman) and attend every session possible, you can only attend a maximum of eleven sessions—less than 10% of sessions offered. The key to success--you must plan in advance. Here are a few tips (and tools) to help make your Summit more productive.

 

Which Sessions to Attend? Three-Step Approach

The Marketo Summit is a fantastic opportunity to meet many like-minded marketing professionals and learn new things. If you come out of the event with three actionable items that you can implement within the next three months, you are a winner.

 

There are so many great sessions at the Marketo Summit, it can be very overwhelming. Honestly, it's like going to a great restaurant, you really can't pick a bad session. Don’t worry, Marketo is recording them all so you can catch up on the ones you missed.

 

For my planning, I take a three step approach. Maybe yours is different but planning in advance is key.

  1. I may be a little biased but I start with the twelve Marketo Champion sessions where Marketo’s top users show off top tips and tricks. I’ll probably get to 3 or 4 sessions. See the Twelve Marketo Champion Sessions.
  2. I then fill in most of the remaining slots with a few priority topics. For example, I am really interested in learning about new complementary technologies, ABM, scalable instances and analytics. I'll find a mix of sessions that match to those topics.
  3. We are in Vegas so I will work in a wild card and attend some random session to learn something new that I didn't expect.

 

Three Tools to Make You Successful

 

Get the Mobile App

To make the most of your experience, download the official Marketo Summit 2016 mobile app. Just go to the AppStore or Google Play to download. Want to learn about the App's tips and tricks, Marketo Champion Joe Reitz does an awesome job walking through the app developed by DoubleDutch. Read Joe's full article here.

 

Download DoubleDutch

 

Download Summit Cheat Sheet

We all love our phones but they have a tendency to go dead after a morning's worth of heavy web use. This printable resource will help you pick the sessions that make the most sense for you. Great for printing out as a backup as a quick reference or if your phone goes dead.

Download (XLS)

 

Check out the Ultimate Unofficial Guide

For tips on everything from which parties to attend to how to save a few $$, check out the more detailed Unofficial Guide to Marketo Summit 2016.

 

Have a safe flight and see you in Las Vegas.

Every company wants more marketing qualified prospects feeding the Sales team. However, a funny thing can happen with organizations that leverage Salesforce–A Lead can get converted into a Contact and never get seen again, almost like George Clooney in Gravity.

MQLLostSpace20151209_space_Abby_icon_20.jpg

The end result is significant lead leakage and wasted investment as these Contacts can fall out of the funnel. Luckily, Marketo treats these two objects as one to help this process.

Does your company convert Leads into Contacts without adding them to an Opportunity? If so, what are you doing to make sure these prospects are not lost in space? In this post, I’ll cover some of the top lifecycle issues many companies face around this situation and what you can do to bring your prospects back to earth.

Salesforce: Lead vs Contact

SalesforceLEadsandContacts.jpg

The Contact and Lead terminology within Salesforce can be a bit tricky. Remember that Salesforce was founded way back in 1999 back when Napster was founded–heck, we couldn’t figure out the MP3 process, never mind a closed loop marketing and sales system. In Salesforce, a Lead is someone who needs to be worked–a Contact is someone who is known and belongs to an Account (Which may or may not have an Opportunity).  The issue is Salesforce treats Leads and Contacts differently, which poses all kinds of tracking and lead flow process issues.

Marketo doesn't care about different objects. A Lead in Marketo can be either a Lead in Salesforce or a Contact in Salesforce. There is a flag that you can use to determine the difference. This is why companies can easily report across Leads and Contacts in Marketo.

Confused yet? The relationship between them all is kind of like the old Abbott & Costello Who’s on First routine.

For a full explanation, see Salesforce MVP Shell Black’s in-depth white board breakout.

Your Lifecycle: Where Contacts Get Lost

B2BSalesFunnelSalesforceContacts.jpg

Are Your Contacts a Permanent Detour?

The typical situation looks something like this. A person from a major brand like Disney fills out a Marketo form for an eBook and becomes a Lead. The Business Development Representative (BDR) sees that hot activity and then adds that person to the Disney Account as a Contact. This allows the appropriate Account Executive (AE) to manage it accordingly. This process sounds good in theory but it can cause a whole host of issues.

The big disconnect here is that the Contact has no associated Opportunity in Salesforce. Because Marketing tends to measure Leads while Sales tends to measure Opportunities, a Contact without an Opportunity can fall out of vision and that’s not a good thing. Don’t think these numbers are significant? I’ve seen 30% or more Contacts that don’t have Opportunities.

A Few Examples of Lost Contacts

  • Lack of Follow-Up: AEs aren’t BDRs. I’ve seen it time and time again like a broken record. A Lead gets converted to a Contact and gets assigned to a BDR. BDRs are supposed to call the person X times but because the person is part of an existing account, the BDR reassigns it to an AE. Because many companies only have service level agreements and Marketo alerts trigger for Leads, the prospect falls off the radar as it’s technically a Contact.
  • Poor Nurture Communications. Often a new Lead drops into a Marketo nurture track for email communications. What happens if a new Contact is added? Or if a Lead is converted to a Contact? Will this person receive any communications at all? Will the person receive a generic email communication even though it belongs to an Account? For example, shouldn’t a person from a top Account like Disney receive a different communication?
  • Lost in System. Let’s say your company hosts an awesome webinar with 500 attendees? 100 Leads hit a lead score threshold and your Marketo lifecycle model passes the person over to the BDR team. What happens to the Contacts that are sitting in the system that were already passed to AEs? Because the Contacts are sitting outside the process, many times they don’t receive any followup. That’s a huge opportunity lost.
  • Where’s the Upsell? Big companies tend to work on a departmental/divisional level. For example, a person from Disney Interactive most likely doesn’t know what’s going on at Disney Consumer Products. If none of the above are handled properly, that upsell/cross-sell opportunity could get lost.
  • Salesforce Doesn’t Make it Easy. Salesforce has all kinds of lead queue views that help Sales manage Leads. Contacts are a whole other ballgame and must be managed separately via reports using standard Salesforce processes. Marketo simplifies some of these insights by offering reports that let you see Lead and Contact activity in one report. However, if Sales doesn't work Contacts appropriately, those Contacts will stick out in Marketo as a reflection of poor process.

Stop the Leaking Funnel

So where do you turn? Let’s dive into a few approaches that can help reduce those Contacts leaking out of your funnel.

Develop a Unified Salesforce Lead & Contact Model

LeadandContactModel.jpg

Technically, Leads and Contacts are different but this approach treats them the same.

This approach uses a single field that ties both Leads and Contacts together. Let’s call it the Lifecycle field. For companies that work Leads and Contacts in parallel, this process gives more flexibility and better management.

 

Here, reps and marketing focus on the Lifecycle field to manage prospects through the funnel, ignoring whether or not the person is a Lead or a Contact. Only Contacts can have a Won or Opportunity stage. For example, if a Lead with a Lifecycle status field value of “Sales Accepted” is converted to a Contact, it will still maintain its Lifecycle status value. This will allow the rep to work that Contact just like a Lead.

 

From a Marketo perspective, the lifecycle is simplified. Marketing can deliver content and run reports against the Lifecycle status in Marketo because those statuses will be consistent across Leads and Contacts. It really doesn’t matter if the person is a Lead or a Contact because the Marketo Lifecycle status treats the person the same. For organizations leveraging the RCA modeler, they can leverage this single field as a trigger for moving people from one stage to another.

Benefits Include:

  • Complete Visibility of Leads and Contacts. Because EVERYONE is now accounted for, fewer prospects will leak out of the funnel. For example, allowing Contacts to hit MQL enables the Sales team to get visibility into their success. Marketers can run MQL reports in Marketo that reflect MQLs sitting as Leads or Contacts. Otherwise they can get lost in the system.
  • Better Experience. Marketing can now have more control over what happens to a person during their lifecycle journey from a nurturing perspective.
  • Not a Permanent Detour. Prospects don’t get stuck in the Contact graveyard. They can recycle back to Sales just like a Lead would.
  • More Cross-sell and Upsell opportunities. Having Contacts MQL and Recycle might uncover completely new opportunities within the same account.
  • Account Building. Let’s say Disney has 100 Contacts in your system. If any of those take action, each will MQL as a Contact individually.

Some Caveats

The approach still doesn’t fix Saleforce’s lack of management for Lead and Contact processes. Companies must develop strong processes for both Lead AND Contact management in order for consistent data to flow to Marketo.

Additionally, reporting across Leads and Contacts in Salesforce is no easy task unless you have some custom built, cross object reporting. Thankfully, Marketo provides insights into the Unified Salesforce Lead & Contact model by letting companies report on Leads and Contacts holistically.

Marketo not enough? Path to Scale’s Performance model from reports combines lifecycle information of Leads, Contacts and Opportunities in a single Salesforce dashboard.  It was developed by Grant Grigorian to fill the reporting gaps that can exist in Marketo and Salesforce.

 

pathtoscale.jpg

Path to Scale Salesforce Dashboard combines intelligence from Leads, Contacts and Opportunities.

Account-Based Marketing Approach

Related to the Unified Salesforce Lead & Contact Model, Leads and Contacts are always related to some company. However, only Contacts are tied to Accounts in Salesforce. This can cause lead routing issues and lack of email personalization.

I’ll save this subject for another post but know that several companies such as Lean Data,Engagio, Ringlead and others are developing solutions to address some of these challenges with an account-based approach.

Where to Start-The Verdict

There are many shades of grey when it comes to managing Contacts and Leads. A Unified Lead and Contact approach works in many cases but not all. After deciding if the approach works for your organization, that will result in a big process change.

On the Marketo side, you'll need to update your lifecycle campaigns, scoring programs and more to reflect the change if you go that route.

Which approach works best for your organization? What do you think?

A similar version of this post was originally published on RevEngineInsider.

 

There are many Marketo best practices but landing pages and forms tend to have the most variance when rolled out by customers. It’s like a top 40 playlist of all your friends---everyone has about the same songs but there are always differences, For example, GNR always makes it onto mine even though they haven’t had a hit in 25 years.

 

Should you use Marketo hosted pages or your own internally posted pages? What about forms? Let’s dive into many of the pros and cons of the various models to see which model fits your business best.

 

Make sure to read to the bottom to check out the landing page comparison grid.

 

I’ve seen every combination and there is no “right” answer as the choice depends on your own needs. Before we get started, there are a lot of smart people doing some amazing things to get around limitations of various models. I’m sure I’m missing some solutions so please share your best practices in the comments section.

 

First off, What is a Marketo Hosted Landing Page?

I won't go into details on this subject, but to simplify, these are pages and forms that are hosted on the Marketo servers that leverage Marketo functionality to collect data on your leads. Think of these as stand-alone capabilities. If you didn't have a website, you could use Marketo to collect all of your data and host all of your landing pages.

 

The big trade off question to ask. Do you want massive design flexibility or do you want to sacrifice a little bit of that design for ease of deployment, streamlined management and additional functionality?

 

1) Marketo Hosted Pages with Marketo Hosted Forms

The Perfect World solution

 

This is the default recommendation that we make to clients. By far, this method is the easiest to get up and running and maintain while enabling the organization to leverage full Marketo functionality. I love when companies go this route as I know they’ll have repeatable pages that look great, are easy to clone and leverage personalization.

 

With this model, the big benefit is there is no need for IT, development or creative to get involved on an ongoing basis. This significantly cuts down the time of developing new campaigns. I can’t stress this last point enough as I’ve seen the pains some organizations face when working projects internally.

 

The Example

Below illustrates a Marketo landing page leveraging Marketo functionality and a template designed by third party provider Knak. Some notes:

  • This template is easy to design and easy to manage requiring no IT involvement.
  • The page is dynamic meaning that it differs based on the person visiting it.  As you can see, it’s very targeted towards moms in a certain geography (As opposed to grandfathers in the Northeast).
  • The page is prepopulated with the person’s information to save the lead time.
  • The form leverages progressive profiling to deepen the relationship with the lead.
  • Social features enable the form to get filled out faster by leveraging the lead’s social profile.

 

MarketoLandingPagesExample.gif

 

Some quotes from the community…..


“One of the benefits of using Marketo landing pages is that they are easy for someone on the marketing team to put together without waiting for our engineers to put together a new page or form.” Wintha Kelati

 

“I tend to favor Marketo landing pages so I can easily close the loop on reporting and take advantage of test groups.” Jenn DiMaria

 

“Very easy to deploy -- tokenize and clone in programs to launch new pages in minutes.” Justin Norris

 

“In general, always host in Marketo, easy for marketers to go in and fix.” Josh Hill

 

“One major drawback is since these pages aren't connected to your company website, it won't add any SEO benefit to your company website.” Wintha Kelati

 

“As a con, extra maintenance overhead to keep LP templates up to date with your main website look and feel” Justin Norris

 

Benefits

 

  • Easy to use, massive efficiency gains.

    • No IT involvement.

  • Full Marketo support.

    • Social form fill to make it easier for people to sign in.

    • Progressive profiling enables deeper levels of questions as a prospect engages.

    • Social sharing built into pages.

      • Easier to share.

      • Easier to track.

  • Autotracking - A person’s anonymous activity is automatically captured and tied to the known lead.

  • Data Feeds into Marketo directly.

  • Advanced Capabilities.

    • Dynamic content, program tokens and more.

Drawbacks

These may or may not be drawbacks for your organization but are worth consideration

  • Not exact look and feel of main website
  • Maintained through a CMS other than your main website.
  • Not as much design flexibility as your own site.
  • Loss of SEO on main site (Although this point is debatable).

2) Your Own Website Pages/CMS with Marketo Hosted Forms

Second Recommendation
In this scenario, you’d take the embed code and add the code to wherever you want a form to live on your site.
The big difference between this option and hosted Marketo pages is lost efficiency (in most cases) and loss of some advanced Marketo functionality. However, some organizations find that tradeoff acceptable to keep the pages within the main website framework.


The bigger your company, the more likely you are to choose this option due to the branding element. Also, with more decision makers in the process, other departments may not recognize the value of the Marketo hosted option. As a side note, this is why I’m writing this article as we have several clients trying to communicate the pros/cons across their organization.

 

Some quotes from the community…..


“A benefit is the landing pages are always consistent with the look and feel of your other site content.” Justin Norris

 

“I would go for external pages with embedded forms because of the ability to align styles/layouts/changes/etc. across the enterprise.” Sanford Whiteman

 

“We use Marketo landing pages for all of our events (registration page, confirmation page, etc.) and any misc. pages that may be needed quickly and may not necessarily fit within our websites' structure.  But for everything else, we use our main CMS (Sitecore) to present a common/consistent user experience across our website.” Dan Stevens

 

"It really just depends on the need for that page.  One off content pieces sit with Marketo for us, established products, etc sit on our internal CMS." Lauren Beth

Benefits

  • A look that is exactly like the main website.

  • Changes are maintained through website CMS.

  • Most Marketo features are supported.

Drawbacks

  • Can’t take advantage of some of the advanced Marketo features.

  • Not as streamlined as Marketo-hosted pages.

  • Varying levels of reliance on IT and/or creative team on an ongoing basis.

3) Something Else

I’ve seen a lot of “something else” when it comes to pages and forms. If you go the something else route, just expect to do some custom coding and development. And, add a lot of time to your campaign workflows as there is long-term efficiency impact.


You might go this route if you want data to feed into some other system first and then feed into Marketo. Or, maybe you want to duel post into Marketo and the other system.
I usually see these types of implementations not work well because the marketers don’t know what to ask for and the developers are doing what the marketer asks. Basically, you are redeveloping the wheel that Marketo already created via the first two options.


I’d try to avoid this process if possible unless your organization understands the full pros/cons of the various options.

Benefits

  • Custom

Drawbacks

  • Bring on the Advil for ongoing issues.

  • Lack of scale.

The Grid

Let’s break it all out in grid format.

  • Bold = Desired choice
  • No Bold = Depends on needs

 

Marketo Pages w Marketo Forms

Your Own Pages with Marketo Forms

Something Custom

Management

Easy to Clone - Replicate pages for easier management

Yes

Dependent on website CMS like Sitecore (This may be the preference)

No

Self-contained Pages for Streamlined Management - Fewer cooks in the kitchen. No need for IT, Design, webmaster, etc

Yes

No

No

Enterprise Scale - Align styles and changes across all website and landing pages

No - Pages are one offs and can create ongoing maintenance issues (Generally)

Yes

??

Automatic Form Data feeds into Marketo.

Yes

Yes

Custom

Design Tool

Marketo

(easy/standard)

Website CMS (flexible)

??

Look and Feel

Landing page templates designed for conversion

Same exact user experience as your website

??

Access to Best Practice Responsive Landing Page Templates

Yes - Limited options available via Marketo collection. More available via Knak, a third party provider which I highly recommend (Developed by Marketo Champ Pierce Ujjainwalla)

Depends on CMS

??

Built in Page Conversion Report - Gain insights into how pages are converting.

Yes

No

??

Acquisition Program Reporting - Auto assign the lead’s first form fill out to the proper acquisition program (Like Eval Download).

Yes (automatic)

Yes (With an extra campaign)

??

Standard Marketo Features

Progressive profiling enables deeper levels of questions as a prospect engages.

Yes

Maybe (See comments)

No

Auto Cookie Tracking - A person’s anonymous activity is automatically captured via a cookie and tied to the known lead.

Yes

Yes

No, extra coding required

Parameter Support - Ability to track URL values for reporting

Yes

Yes (may require a little Java code)

??

Social Form Fill - Use social signons to complete form for faster form fills

Yes

Yes

No

Social Sharing Built into Pages

  • Easier to share

  • Easier to track

Yes

No, not integrated, have to use third party sharing apps. On the plus side, some of these apps may have more functionality.

Prefill - Reduce effort for the person who fills out a form by prefilling any known data.

Yes

Maybe/No

??

Advance Marketo Features

Personalization Tokens - e.g. Welcome Ken on landing page.

Yes

No

No

Program Tokens - e.g. Page heading populates across autoresponders, landing page, thank you page. A big efficiency gain.

Yes

No

No

Dynamic Content - e.g. Photo of a young Mom for a mother segment vs photo of a grandmother for an older woman.

Yes

No (Dependent on CMS)

??

Snippets / Additional Calls-to-Action - e.g. Suggested Content

Yes

No (But website CMS is likely to have this ability

??

A/B Testing - Test which creative works best.

Yes

No / Dependent on CMS

??

 

Notes: Some of the “No” might be able to be overcome with some java code development or third party app.

The Skinny

 

When making this analysis, organizations tend to get different answers from different parts of the organization--it can be a political ownership issue or an “I can do that” issue. My recommendation is to let the marketing team drive the decision with input from others.

 

If you want full Marketo functionality while streamlining landing page development, option one should be strongly considered.

 

If you want something that looks absolutely perfect and in sync with your website, consider option 2. Just be aware you need to develop processes and be reliant on others within your organization. Translation: This step equals longer time to develop programs.

 

You could also go hybrid and use both Marketo Hosted pages (for standalone asset offers) AND internally hosted pages (for evergreen pages like Contact Us). We’ve had several clients go this route.

 

What did I miss? Please share your best (and Worst) practices below? Good luck. 

Resources

Check out these great resources around the Marketo Community as well as a few external sources.

 

Community

Marketo landing pages versus web site landing pages? Community Discussion started by Erica Sanchez

Marketo Landing Pages vs Internally Hosted Pages, Community Discussion started by Joseph Hogya

Getting Started With Guided Landing Pages, Jordan Lund

Landing pages and SEO - marketo vs. our website. Community Discussion started by Laura Florek

Landing Pages: Unbounce or Marketo? Pros and cons s? Community Discussion started by Joel Mounsey

 

External

Marketo Responsive Landing Pages, Josh Hill, Marketing Rockstar Guides

Are Your Landing Pages Built for Mobile?, Jeff Coveney, RevEngine Insider

SEO for Marketo Landing Pages, Josh Hill, Marketing Rockstar Guides

Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years is filled with gift giving and family which we all love. It’s also filled with hangovers, crazy mall drivers and tons of “overdue lead” alerts.

 

I can’t help you with hangovers and mall parking but I can give you a few tips to stop those unpleasant alerts from hitting during your holiday dinner.

 

Alerts are Important—Just not on Holidays

Unless you are Santa, alerts generally should be suspended for certain times of the year.  You don’t want your VP of Sales getting a notification while opening presents that his BDR hasn’t call a lead from two days ago. Examples of alerts companies use to help make sure they move through the lead lifecycle:

 

  • Overdue MQLs. These alerts usually hit reps and their managers after a certain amount of time if the lead is not reviewed.
  • Leads Not Called. If a rep puts the lead into an Attempting Contact stage but fails to log an activity, this alert can trigger.
  • Stagnant Leads. Here, leads are sitting in a certain stage for too long which can trigger notifications to management.

 

Do Marketo Do That Automatically?

Marketo does not support suspending communications during holiday periods without manual intervention. Unlike the post office, there is no Vacation Hold capability

If you think Marketo should have a Holiday wait step, vote it up here.

 

Your Elf to the Help

Think of this method as the master switch to your lead alert system. Yes, you could get more accurate but here are a few quick and easy ways to make sure alerts don’t go out.

 

Option 1. Turn off the Alert

Go into the alert campaign and disable it before the holidays and reenable it after the holidays. If you have a simple flow step that only sends the single alert, this might be your best bet.

 

This method can get tricky if other flow steps like Sync to Salesforce, Increase lead Score, etc are part of the campaign. Additionally, people may already live in the flow step from a few days ago meaning alerts would still fire after deactivation.

 

Deactivate.jpg

 

Option 2. Create a Vacation Removal Campaign

For many companies, #1 won’t work because their alert system has multiple flow steps. In this case, create a campaign that removes members daily. This allows you to keep the original alert system in place but ensures the alerts never get sent during the holiday time period.

 

Follow the steps below to prevent those alerts from happening.

 

VacationHold-e1450753333730.jpg

 

A few notes:

  • This process only works if you send overdue alerts at least 24 hours after a triggered event occurs. Otherwise, you’ll need to figure out a different solution.
  • Alerts don’t ever get sent. This campaign totally removes the person from the alert campaign (as opposed to suspending the alert). I’d recommend creating a special Smartlist right after the holidays to capture leads the Sales team has not caught up on.
  • Let Sales know. As a marketer, you’ll score a few points with the Sales team by reducing stress around the alerts.

 

Summary

May your holidays be filled with joy—not with alerts in your Inbox. Hopefully these steps will assist you with this process. If you have any great ideas that help other readers, please make sure to comment below.

Marrying Salesforce information and Marketo activity is crucial to the overall health of your Marketing and Sales efforts. Having Marketo out of sync with Salesforce is like watching a bad wedding dancer try to bust a move.

 

Today, I'll cover some of the common Marketo-to-Salesforce technical pitfalls that companies can experience.

There are many reasons for the systems to go out of sync and below are a few.  I'm sure I'm missing some so please add yours to the comments.

1) Expired Password

2) Incorrect Field Permissions

3) Field Not Visible

4) Required Dependent Fields Like Disqualified Reason

5) Fields Not Mapped Properly to Marketo

6) Not Enough Data to Sync to Salesforce

7) Marketo-to-Salesforce Sync Happening Too Fast

8) Custom Third Party Apps

 

1) Expired Password

Setting password policies at a corporate level helps the overall security of the organization. Most organizations use this best practice and expire their Salesforce passwords. When enabled, Salesforce defaults this setting to 90 days.

 

However, if your Marketo user has a password that expires, you have to remember to change the password every 90 or so days--that's a manual mistake waiting to happen. This usually happens when your Salesforce administrator adds the Marketo user to an existing profile. If you don't change the password, Marketo and Salesforce will suddenly stop syncing when the password expires.

 

You have a few choices to help manage this situation. Go the easy route and make sure the Marketo user associated with your Marketo account has a password that is set to never expire. Or, if your organization requires a big sign-off process before adjusting anything permission-based in Salesforce, you may need to go manual--set up a calendar reminder to change your password in Marketo every 90 days.

Marketo Creds
Update your Marketo credentials manually every 90 days if you have to go the manual route.

Tip: When setting up the profile in Salesforce, make sure to check the Password Never Expires box.

 

Salesforce password never expires

 

Other important note: If your Marketo-to-Salesforce sync does go down, any leads created during that period will need to be manually synced from Marketo to Salesforce. Create a Marketo campaign to identify leads created while the sync was down. Then run them through your normal Sync to SF Campaign process.

 

Marketo Community Articles

 

Other Articles

 

2) Incorrect Field Permissions

In order for data to sync back and forth, make sure field level permissions are set properly for fields.  Field examples include: First Name, Last Name, Favorite Color and other similar fields you want to stay in sync. If you have the Salesforce field permissions set to Read only, any updates made in Marketo will be blocked by Salesforce, resulting in data being out of sync.  Worse, that updated value in Marketo will get overwritten with the Salesforce value the next time the record syncs.

 

Tip: If your Salesforce instance defaults to Read only when creating new fields, make sure to adjust the field to Write.

 

On another note, don't worry about important Account and Opportunity fields like Opportunity Amount--Marketo is set up to only allow a one way sync to protect companies from mistakenly wiping out vital financial information

 

Marketo Community Articles

3) Field Not Visible

You can't sync what you can't see.

 

This is a very common oversight Salesforce Administrators can make when setting up fields. With this issue, the Admin might create the field in Salesforce but forget to check the Visible check box to make it available to Marketo.

Tip: Make sure to check the Visible checkbox in Salesforce when creating the field
SFfieldpermissins

 

Marketo Community Articles

4) Required Dependent Fields Like Disqualified Reason

You are most likely using dependent fields in Salesforce. If one of those fields is required, you will experience sync issues if you try to update data in Marketo.

 

Let's translate to plain English. For example, if your reps choose Disqualified as a Lead Status, they most likely receive a dependent choice that requires them to choose a reason. This makes perfect sense on the Salesforce side.

 

Salesforce Reason for Disqualify

 

The issue happens on the Marketo side when you try to mass Disqualify people or auto disqualify leads. If you only update the Lead Status field and forget to update the Reason for Disqual field, Salesforce will kick back a sync error because a value is required in the dependent field. I have made this oversight numerous times when updating data so learn for my mistakes. The good news is the solution is pretty simple. When making updates on the Marketo side, update the dependent field first (Reason for Disqual) and then the controlling field (Lead Status).

 

Tip: This is an example of a Marketo campaign that removes competitors from the lead lifecycle when a lead is created. Make sure there are two flow steps with the Reason for Disqual coming first.
Reason for Disqualify Marketo Flow Step

5) Fields Not Mapped Properly to Marketo

This issue is like a broken record if you don't provide specific instruction to your Salesforce Administrator when creating fields in Salesforce. Here, fields are sometimes created on the Lead object but not on the Contact object. Or, both are created but not mapped. Or the field is a picklist rather than a date field.

 

When you ask your Salesforce Administrator to create a new field in Salesforce, just use the below language which I've probably written dozens of times. And always double-check that the fields map over properly to Marketo by going to the Field Management choice in the Marketo Admin and choosing the field in question.

Marketo Field Mapping
Here, we see that the Inquiry Date field maps to both the Lead and Contact records as desired.
Tip: Make sure the Contact and Lead Records in Salesforce are mapped to one another--and that those fields are visible to the Marketo user.

Sample Text to Write to your Salesforce Admin

Dear Salesforce Admin Rockstar:

 

Marketing is working on a project which requires a new Salesforce field. Can you please create a field called Favorite Color?

  1. Make sure to create the field on both the Contact and Lead objects.
  2. Make sure they are mapped to one another.
  3. The fields need to be visible to the Marketo user with proper write permissions.
  4. The field type should be fill in info here (Add any specifics around field type like Date, Text, Picklist, etc). For the FavoriteColor, example…..The field type should be a picklist with Red, Blue and Green as choices and NULL as the default.

 

Thanks so much. Please let me know when this is complete so I can check the availability of the fields in Marketo.If you need any guidance, check out these Marketo Field Sync Instructions.

Thanks

 

 

 

Marketo Community Articles

6) Not Enough Data to Sync to Salesforce

Depending on your Salesforce settings, you might require the four fields to allow Marketo to sync to Salesforce (First Name, Last Name, Email Address, Company Name).  If your forms just ask for First Name and Email address, that will cause a Salesforce sync error. One could argue that you want to hold off on the sync until you have more data but we'll save that debate for another day.

 

So what do you do if you want to sync data to Salesforce without having all the required data? You could use a data appending tool like NetProspexZoomInfo or ReachForce to append that data before the sync. However, not everyone has the budget for a third party application. If not, use Marketo's sync options to populate default Last Name and Company Name fields. As leads turn into MQLs, reps can adjust the data further downstream.

Tip: Populate Last Name and Company with default values to enable leads with limited data to sync to Salesforce after creation.Salesforce sync defaults

Marketo Community Articles

7) Marketo-to-Salesforce Sync Happening Too Fast

Marketo is a great new-lead processor that scores, normalizes and segments leads before they hit Salesforce. This allows Salesforce to properly route the lead based on the processing done by Marketo. Most companies have several Marketo processing campaigns that run in the first few minutes after a lead is created.

 

What happens when the lead syncs to Salesforce before all of the processing happens? This can happen if you use Programs to sync up with your Salesforce Campaigns. Sometimes leads sync BEFORE the processing campaigns do their thing. The end result is some leads are misassigned and some leads sync that shouldn't. This is a known behavior with Marketo so just be aware that some straggler leads my end up in Salesforce prior to scoring, etc.

 

I'd recommend setting up some error checking Smartlists to catch these are part of your overall error checking process. Here are a few examples from Anna Bruning: Put Down the Pepto: Reduce Marketing Automation Stress. I recently logged an idea on this subject so feel free to vote it up if you are experiencing similar issues.

 

Marketo Community Articles

 

8) Custom Third Party Apps

Sometimes third party apps show data in Salesforce but that data isn't available to Marketo. Time and time again, I hear from clients that, "We see the field in Salesforce...why isn't it available in Marketo?"

 

In reality, the field looks like it's a regular field but it's just referencing data that exists in some other system. The data doesn't actually live in Salesforce so there is no way to get access to it. There is no solution here besides education.

Overall Salesforce Check

Want to check if your Salesforce sync is working? Just go into the Marketo admin and click on the Salesforce integration choice. Your sync status will appear in the upper right.

Salesforce Sync Check

Conclusion

The Marketo-to-Salesforce sync capabilities offer massive power to organizations that have both systems. We could probably write a book on all the considerations around data syncs between the two but we'll keep it to 1,600 words for now. I'm sure I'm missing some so please add yours to the comments.)

 

Additional Resources

Marketo Community Articles

OrderDollarphotoclub_50793964_700.jpg

Are the names of your programs all over the place? Are you constantly trying to find programs but forget what you called them? A poor marketing naming convention strategy is kind of like stuffing tons of random stuff in your junk drawer–eventually things are going to get messy. If your company is using naming conventions like “Tradeshow LA, Feb 2015,” it might be time to reevaluate your strategy.

 

Naming inconsistencies reduce reporting effectiveness, cause marketing inefficiencies and reduce marketing automaton power.

 

Today, I’ll dive into some steps you can take to get your Marketo instance back on track. You must be super diligent to follow the same process EVERY time.

 

The Trouble with Naming Inconsistencies

Let’s first look at where things tend to go wrong.

 

Multiple Users

Sometimes, multiple marketers within your organization name things differently. For example, maybe Joe named last year’s annual event “Joe’s Texas Event 2015″ while Karen named this year’s “Trade show-Dec-Dallas?” This kind of naming will drive you nuts when it comes time for analysis. Once you develop the strategy, make sure your team becomes naming ninjas—otherwise, centralize program naming with your marketing ops group.

 

Different Formats

Forget about analysis for second. What about trying to find these marketing activities in the Marketo? Was it named “trade show” or “event?” Is the event in a month-letter format (Oct) or month-digit format (10). Lastly, marketers lose flexibility to trigger different activities based on the name.

 

A Few Inconsistent Examples

  • Event_Oct_2015_Europe
  • Trade show, November 1, 2015
  • John’s tradeshow-Speaking 2014-10
  • Tradeshow NYC, 2015
  • Minn Executive Conference, 10/1/2015

 

Why is Naming Important?

I’ll get to the actual naming convention strategy later in the article but here are a few reasons to consider adopting a consistent naming process.

1) Gain Better Reporting Insights

Consistent program names make analysis and comparison easier. For the spreadsheet whizzes, consistent naming enables advanced filtering to gain custom insights.

 

BEFORE: Example without a strong naming convention

Comparing different Marketo programs like website and events is difficult as marketing activities are blended together. When you add in other channels, analysis can quickly get out of hand quickly.

 

AFTER: Example with a naming convention

When you have a naming convention, you can easily distinguish between marketing activities and compare results. Answer questions like:

  • How did our events perform vs our roadshows?
  • Which website assets are being downloaded most?

Answering these questions with the previous model will give you a headache when you are trying to compare hundreds of programs.

 

0EM50000000SUUu.jpg

2) Streamline Marketo Management

No need to get frustrated trying to figure out if the program is called “Tradeshow” or “Trade Show.” Use a naming convention to cut down management time by easily finding and sorting assets.

 

0EM50000000SUUk.jpg

 

3) Build More Powerful Programs

When names are standardized, marketers gain the flexibility to build more powerful global programs by leveraging the consistent naming. A few trigger examples:

  • If a lead clicks a link in a program starting with “NUR-Early,” then transition the lead to the mid-stage nurturing track.
  • If a lead reaches success in a program that includes “-WP,” also add the lead to the Whitepaper Asset program.
  • If a lead’s Last Lead Source contains “-Trial,” boost the lead’s score by +75 points.

 

Action for You - Adopt a Naming Convention

The below convention is one of several you can adopt within your organization for program level naming. These conventions enable organizations to quickly search for similar assets, programs, etc. while allowing for users to sort programs chronologically.

 

Once you settle on a convention, start to change the names of your existing programs to reflect the new naming. Obviously, make sure the name change doesn't affect any existing campaigns.

The Program Convention………….

[Abbreviated Program Type]-[4-digit Year]-[2-digit Month]-[2-digit date]-[Program Description]-[Location or Content Type]

 

Optional for larger organization is to add the program manager’s initials at the end. You can also add other items like target audience and Marketo program ID if applicable.

Examples:

WB-2015-10-15-The-ABCs-of-Marketing
A webinar in October on The ABCs of Marketing

 

WS-2015-10-Best-Practices-WP
Best Practices Whitepaper published on the website on Oct 23, 2015. Note that the day of month is not included as that level of granularity is probably not needed for a content asset. Of course, if you want it, add it in.

 

RS-2015-12-10-Get-Productive-Dallas
Roadshow in Dallas in December 2015

 

OA-2015-Q4-Tech-Target
An online advertising campaign for capturing leads in Q4, 2015. If you budget advertising on a quarterly basis, you could elect to change the month format (10) to a quarterly format (Q4). If you go this route, ensure all OA programs leverage this naming.

Do I Need the Dashes?

Dashes are optional but I like to use them in conventions. Or, use underscores.

 

Why? The first reason is improved searchability. It’s a lot easier (and more accurate) to type “CS-” within Marketo and find all your case studies. A pure “CS” search would pull up other assets like “The ABCs of Marketing.”

 

Advanced. The second reason is to build consistency with your lead source strategy if you are using URL parameters to populate Lead Source data. This assumes you are using similar names for your Lead Source Strategy which I presented at a recent Summit. See recording.  When these values are also used as part of URL parameters that feed Lead Source data into the system, a dash or underscore is needed--blank spaces in links can sometimes wreak havoc.

 

            Example: info.yourcompanyname.com/landingpage.html/?ls= WS-2015-10-Best-Practices-WP

What's up with this Funky Date Format?

Get your brain thinking a little differently.

 

Americans like to use the 12-22-2014 format while Europeans like to use the 22-12-2014 format. So why use this 2014-12-22 format? One word–sorting. By using the 2014-12-22 format, all of your programs will automatically put themselves in chronological order with no extra work by you.

 

On a totally different note, I've started using this date format for pics I take with my camera as it helps me sort through the thousands of pics I take over time.

 

Don’t Let Your Names Spiral out of Control

To summarize, make sure to choose a naming convention that meets your organization’s goals. The biggest piece of advice I can give—be consistent.

 

I’d love to hear what conventions you are using so please feel free to comment. What are you finding successful in your organization?

 

Other Resources

 

A special shout out to Josh Hill, Elliott Lowe, Kristen Malkovich, Dory Viscogliosi , Michelle Tiziani, Nicole M and others  who have provided a ton of tips on this subject within the Marketo community.

 

A few articles:

 

Why You Should Start Including Program ID in Your Naming Convention Kristen Carmean gives reasons why to also include the Marketo ID.

Organizing Marketo Database: Naming convention

Naming Conventions - Sync to SFDC campaign

Re: What are your best practices to insure consistency in usage and naming

 

 

Many of you have seen Marketo's Liz Courter's name around the Community. Liz is Marketo's Senior Customer Community Manager and is a rockstar when it comes to her passion for building an enaged audience. And now she has Scott Wilder by her side preaching the word of the Community.

 

I got a chance at the past Marketo Summit to sit down with Liz to ask her how she turns customers into fans. She also shares three tips for any companies looking to get started with their own Community.

 

Oh yeah, stick around until the end to see which band Liz would rather have at her wedding: Abba or Journey.

 

 

Elizabeth Oseguera

When you deposit a check at the bank, a teller stamps your check as it gets deposited (OK, I am assuming you actually go to a bank). The teller’s job is to stamp the check to ensure it gets deposited and tracked properly.

 


DateDollarollarphotoclub_61959548_200px.jpgIn the Marketo world, date stamping is essential for tracking the progress of important actions like lifecycle status changes. By default, you can’t rely on Marketo to track the dates when things happen. Sure, you can use filters like last 7 days but that doesn’t help your organization when you want to expose those insights within your CRM.

 

In this article, I’ll cover why it’s important to use date stamping and walk through some simple steps to get you started.

 

Leverage Date Stamping to Gain Insight into Your Lead Lifecycle

The goal of a lead funnel is to bring leads through the funnel quickly and efficiently to maximize revenue.

 

It’s a pretty easy concept to grasp but streamlined funnel management is one the top challenges organizations face today. According to the CMO Council, only 30% of CMOs have a clear process or program to make marketing and sales alignment a priority. Date stamping helps organizations put order to their lifecycle process chaos.

 

Why Date Stamp

 

Knowing the dates of your leads’ lifecycle events is key to gaining insight into your funnel process. If there is one tip to take away, date stamp everything related to your funnel. You know all the important dates in your life like your mom’s birthday and anniversary (hopefully). You should know when a lead hits an important milestone.

 

Ideal for Marketing

Date stamping offers marketers the ability to find aging leads that are stuck in the system and develop campaigns to move leads through the funnel.

 

You don’t eat stale bread–treat your leads the same way. By date stamping, organizations can see if leads are stagnating by running reports like below.

 

stagnatingleadsexample.jpg

 

Sales Intelligence

From a Sales perspective, lifecycle dates offer intelligence into the age of a lead. For example, Sales Management can create Salesforce.com lead queues based on the MQL Date equaling greater than two days.

 

Advanced Analysis

Dates also provide organizations with the ability to perform advanced analytics and cohort analysis. These reports also help organizations find operational gaps to ensure that Sales follows up with leads on a timely basis.

 

- How many SQLs were created last month?

- How many of last month’s MQLs converted to Opportunities?

- Last year, what was the conversion rates of each of our lead sources?

- Are leads stagnating in a certain stage?

 

Three Marketo Steps to Get Started

OK, enough strategy. Let’s dive into how to make this work.

 

The key to measuring success is to begin date stamping when the lead moves from one stage to another. I’ve seen that stamping occur on either the CRM side or on the Marketo side. Personally, I like to see the stamping occur on the automation side so it can tie into other lifecycle workflows. Plus, it provides the marketing ops team with the control so it doesn’t have to rely in Sales Ops.

 

1. Create date fields.

Create a Date formatted field for every status you want to track. If using Salesforce, make sure to map the fields on the lead and contact level. If you want to get granular, use the Date-Time format.

       Example: MQL Date, SQL Date, Won Date, etc.

 

2. Create separate lifecycle campaigns.

These campaigns listen for the status change.

       Example: If status becomes Open, then populate MQL Date with the current date.

marketolifecyledates.jpg

3. Time stamp the appropriate field using the date token.

If you haven’t used a date token before, welcome to the world of system tokens. The simple rule….when the lead status changes, use that data change as a trigger.

 

In the flow, populate the stage’s date with today’s date using the system token {{system.date}}. Don’t overwrite the existing date if a date already exists. These lifecycle dates should be treated as a first touch just like going through a turn style at a sporting event. If you want to get more complex, create a second set of overwritable date fields.

 

datestampflowmarketo.jpg

 

Fast Tracked Leads

One last thing to consider is how to deal with leads that skip stages and fast track through the lifecycle. For example, if John becomes an MQL and then jumps to an Opportunity after a Sales call, he will have skipped the stages in between.

 

There are numerous ways to handle fast tracked leads. The high level answer–like a daisy chain, give credit (date stamp) to all the stages in between at the time they are skipped.

 

Summary

Understanding when leads move from one stage to another is essential to gaining insight into the success of your lead lifecycle model.

 

Good luck with your stamping.