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2 Posts authored by: Amy Goldfine Champion

As a Marketo admin, your job is to make sure your instance is running in tip-top shape, and it’s important to establish routines to keep your instance healthy. You’ll be done with your Marketo Morning before you’ve drained your coffee cup, and you’ll start your day with a quick pulse on the health of your instance and be able to identify any issues before they get out of control.

 

1. Notifications

 

The notifications tab is on the very left of your top navigation bar, and it is the place you’ll most frequently find issues. Notification types include CRM sync failures, API errors, quarterly idle trigger cleanups, and ad platform sync failures. 

 

Screenshot of Marketo Classic top navigation, with arrow pointing to Notifications tab

 

You’ll want to click into any records that had CRM sync failures, click “Activity Log” and see if  there was a successful “Sync Person Update” action. If not, correct any field validation errors, and re-sync the records with a “Sync to CRM” action. If a large number of Person records all had the same error, select all and sync all of them. Make sure to click on the “View Results” link to confirm that they all synced successfully.

 

Web services errors happen occasionally, and usually resolve themselves. But if you start seeing a pattern of the same errors in high numbers, you can contact Marketo Support and they will tell you which sync user is causing the error. 

 

Screenshot of Marketo notifications web services errors, with error codes and counts

 

Champion Tip: I keep a log of all notifications in a spreadsheet, and when I see a pattern of sync issues, I work with my CRM admin to research and fix the root of the issues.

 

2. Campaign Queue

 

The campaign queue is a bit hidden, but it’s a great way to check on the health of your instance. It gives you a quick snapshot of how the plumbing is running in your instance. To find it, click at the top of your Marketing Activities navigation bar (if you have multiple Workspaces, there is a separate queue for each). 

 

Screenshot of Marketo Classic Marketing Activities, with an arrow pointing to the Campaign Queue

 

Here you’ll see all Smart Campaigns that are running or waiting to run. It’s key to remember that your Marketo has a finite amount of processing power, so if you have too many smart campaigns all trying to run at once, they’re going to get clogged in the queue.

 

Having a full queue is not necessarily an indicator of anything going wrong—if you have just sent out a big email blast, or there is a lot of activity on your website, there will naturally be a lot of activity in Marketo. However, it’s a good idea to scrutinize the active campaigns and see if any one campaign is processing a high volume of person records and preventing other smart campaigns from running. 

 

If you want to learn more, Marketing Rockstar Guides has a detailed explainer on load balancing your campaign queue.

 

Champion Tip: If your campaign queue looks full, take a screenshot, and check it an hour later and compare.

 

3. Salesforce Sync

 

Next, I head over to the Admin section to do a quick check of three key areas of integration. First, I check on my SFDC sync. In the “Integrations” section of Admin, click on the icon for SFDC. On the top right, you’ll see a datetime stamp of when Marketo last synced with SFDC. As a reminder, SFDC sync will update any records that have changed in either platform, and the next sync will start 5 minutes after the last one has completed. If you have a lot of records updating in one platform or the other, your sync may take longer than usual. Spot checking this once a day will help give you an idea of if you have any sync issues that you should investigate.

 

4. Launchpoint

 

Launchpoint is the home for all your non-CRM integrations, whether they’re native Marketo integrations or custom API connections. Give this a quick once-over. Are there any disconnected services that are showing errors? Or is one of your services set to expire and needs to be re-authenticated?

 

5. Web Services

 

Finally, click into Web Services to keep an eye on how many API calls are being made between Marketo and all those API connections you reviewed in steps 3 and 4. You want to ensure that you’re staying well below your daily limit—if you hit your limit, Marketo won’t be able to communicate with any other systems for the rest of the day!

 

First, you’ll see your Daily Request Limit and Requests in the Last 7 Days. Requests in the last 7 days is a nice quick snapshot of a rolling 7 day period. 

 

Screenshot of Marketo API Call Information

 

If you click in to that number of requests, you’ll see a table of the number of calls made by each service over the past week. If anything looks higher or lower than expected, you know where to investigate further.

 

Screenshot of Marketo API calls over the past 7 days

 

Do you have a Marketo Morning routine? Is there anything else that you like to check regularly? Comment below!

The new year is a great time to think about adding capacity to your team, and it’s often easier to get budget to hire a consultancy than to hire in-house. Bringing in outside help is a great way to add capacity to your team, tackle complex projects, and get access to a team of experts. However, hiring consultants is no different than hiring employees—you need to find a partner that fits your team’s needs. And just like managing employees takes time, managing consultants also takes time. Here are my top 10 tips for hiring Marketo pros.

 

1. How long has the company been working in Marketo?

You want to hire a team with extensive experience in not just marketing operations but Marketo specifically. If they’ve only recently expanded into supporting Marketo, they’re not going to have the internal resources to support you on complex projects or tricky issues.

 

2. Who will be assigned to your account?

At a minimum, your consultant should be a Marketo Certified Expert several times over. If they’ve been at this for a while, expect that they have been certified as a Marketo Certified Solutions Architect. You can check their credentials at the Marketo Certified Professional Locator. Bonus points if they are a current or former Marketo Champion.

 

3. How many team members do they have that are Marketo pros?

One of the biggest advantages to using a consulting agency is that you have access to not just your assigned consultant but also their colleagues. If your assigned expert is the only Marketo pro at their company, you’re at a disadvantage because they don't have internal resources to lean on when they run into something new or tricky.

 

4. Do they build everything from scratch or import templates?

An experienced consultancy brings their own best practices to your marketing organization and your Marketo instance, including their road-tested Program Templates and common operational Programs. They can import their customizable Programs in your instance and tweak them for your needs, saving a ton of time (and billable hours) and reducing errors.

 

5. How do they structure the SOW, and do you understand it?

There’s no right or wrong way to put together a Statement of Work, but you want to make sure it works for your company’s needs—and that is has the information that your Finance team needs to approve it. Make sure to drill down into the details to understand exactly what’s included in the project so there are no surprises down the road. If they prefer to do a retainer-based SOW, it should outline priority projects with projected timelines. They should also be sending you weekly or fortnightly updates on how you’re progressing through projects and billable hours.


6. Can they pivot when needs change?

Even the most well-structured SOWs will fall by the wayside when your company’s needs shift. You want to work on projects that are going to move the needle. Ask about their flexibility to shift priorities as business needs change.

I’ve seen this kind of flexibility structured in several ways. Some companies will have very structured project-based SOWs but also a bucket of flex hours that can be added to those projects or used for ad-hoc requests. Some operate on a monthly retainer model and can quickly change gears as needed. I personally prefer the latter, but it can be harder to get approved by Finance.

 

7. How do they communicate and how responsive are they?

You need to make sure that their communication style works for you. Find out how easy it is for them to schedule meetings—if you have to wait several days to get on their calendar for an urgent issue, your progress will be slowed. Bonus points if they use Calendly or another self-service scheduling app, which reduces the dreaded email chain.

If your company relies heavily on Slack, consider getting approval to add your consultant as a Guest in your Workspace so you can have quick chats instead of long email threads.

 

8. Can they meet your security requirements?

The last thing you want is to go through the vetting process and pick a great partner only to get roadblocked by your own internal team. Work with your Information Security and Legal teams to find out what their process is for vetting third-parties and what their requirements are (background checks, encrypted computers, etc.), and make sure the partner can meet those requirements.

 

9. Do they have references for clients that are similar to your team?

Ask to talk to happy clients—and here’s the key—whose organizations are similar to yours. If they’re much larger or smaller or have different needs, you may not get a good feel for how the consultancy will work for your organization.

 

10. What is the escalation policy and out clause?

Hopefully, if you follow steps 1-9, you’ll pick a partner that’s a great fit for your business. But you should always prepare for the worst so that you can right the ship if things go astray. What’s their internal policy for escalating issues? And will they put an out clause in the contract in case you decide that they’re not a good fit for your organization?


Whether you’re looking for a team to handle your Marketo implementation, need help on specific projects, or just need some extra highly-skilled hands, hopefully these tips will give you a framework for finding a great partner for your team.

Do you have plans to add consultants to your team in the new year? Any tips or pitfalls you want to share? Comment below!

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