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Another one to file under More tricky than it seems. As Marketo users MS and JI note in these posts, when a lead doesn't click any of the available options for a form field, the form sends an empty string value to the server, and such a response is considered a no-op — that is, the existing value on the lead will be preserved.


(By the way, when it comes to checkboxes and radio buttons, standard HTML forms do not post anything at all not even the field name, let alone an empty string value in such cases. So we're starting off on a proprietary foot here. As I've mentioned in other posts, though Forms 2.0 uses standard HTML inputs, there's much more going on under the hood.)


So take a form like this:



If submitted as-is, neither Product Interest nor Other Interest will be updated in Marketo.


Read the full post on TEKNKL :: Blog →

Marketo user SS asked a good question about datatypes in webhook responses. Referring to the documentation provided by a 3rd-party lead enrichment service, she notes:


Because all of the custom fields created for the webhook must be string-type fields, I cannot use logic for their 'number of employees' data such as "if value is between x and y"…


Luckily for SS, the vendor docs are off-base. In fact, if a Marketo webhook returns a numeric string (that is, a JSON-encoded string value that starts with one or more numbers) you can safely map that property to a numeric field.

Read the full post on TEKNKL :: Blog →

Dear Marketing Nation Community Members,


It is with extreme joy (and a bit of sadness) that I introduce you to your new community manager, Janet Dulsky! I have accepted a new opportunity so will be passing the Nation baton to her effective December 15th. She has been with Marketo for over a year and has been a key player across the marketing organization doing projects like building and executing the digital strategy for the new Marketo corporate site that launched at the beginning of the year, driving sponsorships for Summit 2017 with our fabulous partners, and creating the Marketo Central booth experience for Summit 2016.


Recently over the past few months she has been working closely with me to gather community research about how to improve the customer experience. She has tremendous passion for Marketo, our customers, and the amazing Nation that you all make up. I couldn’t be happier to transition this responsibility to her, and I encourage you to welcome her in the comments below!


I also wanted to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for making my job at Marketo an extreme source of pride for me. I feel fortunate to have been ‘the face’ of the Marketing Nation Community for five years, and although it is time for me to set sail and challenge myself in a new adventure, I will always bleed purple, and Marketo will always have a very special place in my heart. And…I’ll still be a member of the Nation, so I look forward to hopefully seeing you at Summit 2017!


Also, be on the lookout for some exciting changes coming to the community over the next year. If you haven’t already, please help shape the Nation by filling out this short survey. Janet will be taking your feedback and using it to re-think how Marketo uses the Nation at the forefront of everything we do. Because, after all, our customers and partners are what we do it all for.

Huge thanks, and please keep in touch!



Liz Oseguera

My recent switch from the Enterprise Consulting team to the Education team has given me greater exposure to clients who are either brand new to Marketing Automation (MA), or switching from another MA, like Eloqua or Hubspot. Typically, I’m training a core group of people that have been charged with the responsibility of driving a successful new implementation; oftentimes training takes place before any type of discovery or kick-off with the professional services teams (either Enterprise or SMB) has occurred.  What I've come to realize is that, while clients are in different places along their respective MA journeys, there are some best practice topics that any organization should consider to help manage a successful implementation - as well as the ongoing successful adoption - of Marketo. These topics include:


  • Defining an overall scope and vision
  • Garnering executive leadership
  • Outlining ownership and internal support path
  • Devising an internal communications plan
  • Discussing users and roles
  • Managing technical system requirements
  • Ensuring data quality
  • Creating internal processes to support the platform and people
  • Motivating Users and Non-Users
  • Creating training plans


I’ll be dedicating the next few blogs going over these topics individually, and in this first installment let’s look at some things to consider when defining an overall scope and vision for your Marketo implementation.


Typically, when clients get started with a solution as robust as Marketo they are super excited and want to get up and running quickly – oftentimes with a goal of utilizing as many new feature as possible.  Lots of teams are either drawn to proving they are getting the most out of their investment quickly, or they have upper management pressuring them to show ROI as fast as possible.



This is where you have to be realistic about how much change your organization can handle at once.  Biting off more than you can chew can lead to frustration, confusion and failure. This is why Marketo suggests a “Crawl, Walk, Run” phased approach.  By initially focusing on the core team and essential ‘must haves’ you’ll ensure success and build confidence – not only among the core implementation group, but with other departments, like sales or IT – as they see a focused and organized team executing on a realistic plan.


As Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” So ask yourself the following:


  • What people need to start using Marketo now?
    • Can you take advantage of Quick Wins to give insight into people who are just curious about the solution, but may not need to be trained straight away - if ever? This suggestion works great if you have a sandbox, but even if you don’t, pointing people to Marketo Product docs or Marketo Resources is a low cost way to give people visibility into all Marketo can do and makes sure no one feels left out.
  • What are some quick wins that can have the biggest impact?
    • This is highly subjective and depends a lot on your company’s MA maturity and experience. For MA ‘newbies’ this might include adding A/B testing and scoring, for more experience teams it might include setting up best practice program templates to enable scaling (via cloning) and extending access/insight to sales via smart lists and report subscriptions and/or Sales Insights.
  • What are my key KPIs and how am I going to report on them?
    • In addition to setting some basics reporting goals, like a lift in sign-ups, or growth of lead quantity and quality, set tactical metrics around content performance for emails including opens, clicks, unsubscribes and include web engagement metrics.
    • Ask yourself who should see reports and at what frequency.  As previously mentioned, you can set up subscriptions, but you might not want to socialize reports until meaningful data is available.
  • Do I have a defined scope for each phase of the implementation?
    • Make sure the scope matches your organizations overarching marketing strategy and goals.  Don't start rolling out Social, for instance, just because you can - ask yourself if it is part of the greater plan.
    • Set goals at 3 month intervals – for at least the first year – so you can stay focused on the present, while keeping an eye on the future.


Finally, plan on an enhancement life-cycle, for when you are ready to use additional features – whether purchased or those that become available in Marketo’s quarterly releases.  You can also include in this life-cycle additional requests that will inevitably come up during an implementation as more people learn all that Marketo can do. Knowing upfront that you've entered a marathon, not a sprint, may keep people more focused and patient during this key time of your implementation.

The holidays can be a stressful time for some marketing teams tasked with running the company’s holiday gifting programs. Many businesses consider the holidays a vital opportunity to recognize and thank employees, customers and partners with gifts and rewards. But managing holiday gifting programs is not for the faint at heart! There are recipient lists to be made. There are addresses to be collected. And then there is the race against time to get gifts selected, purchased and mailed before looming deadlines for mail delivery. All of this planning, managing and tracking can put a lot of undue strain on your team members who may be already stretched with their regular responsibilities in the final quarter of the year.


So this year, consider a dramatically faster, easier and more efficient way to spread the holiday cheer – with e-gifts. E-gifts like e-gift cards and Hulu Subscription are now available from a variety of top retailers and services. With their instant electronic delivery, global reach and easy customization, e-gifts have taken business gifting to a new level. In fact, according to a 2016 Incentive Magazine survey, more than 67% companies plan to use e-gifts like gift cards to thank customers.


Here are the 6 reasons you will love sending e-gifts this holiday season:


1. Abundant Choice and Value

You no longer have to settle for sending mundane gifts like cookies or trinkets of questionable value. Thoughtful and exciting e-gift cards are available in virtually every category including the perennial holiday favorites - shopping, dining, music and entertainment.  And it is possible to buy e-gift cards such as Panera and iTunes for as little as $5. With so much choice and flexibility there is an e-gift out there that can match every recipient preference and sender budget.


2. Instant, electronic delivery

Marketers love that they can deliver holiday gifts right to their recipients instantly via email. Electronic delivery means that there is less room for error compared to snail mail. And you no longer have to worry about delivery lead times and mailing deadlines. E-gifts are guaranteed to arrive on time for the holidays, every time.


3. Global reach

With the every expanding global economy, many businesses must find a way to thank employees, customers and partners around the world. Sending physical gifts can be prohibitive due to delivery charges. In addition, address errors causes delivery delays and embarrassments. E-gifts like international gift cards or virtual Visa prepaid cards do not suffer from these costs and issues. You can gift an gift card to an employee in London with the same ease and speed as sending an gift card to an employee in Chicago.


4. Tailor the gifting experience

Pierre Corneille once said, “The manner of giving is worth more than the gift.” E-gift delivery can be personalized to create a memorable gifting experience by adding your business's branding and messages.


5. Integrate into marketing systems

If you use marketing automation systems Marketo e-gifts can be integrated into your marketing flow. This allows you to take advantage of your marketing systems customer segmentation, email templates and campaign processes.


6. Gift claim tracking

E-gifts can be tracked every step of the way to their intended recipient. The occasional delivery errors due incorrect or outdated email addresses can be detected and immediately corrected. Delivery monitoring gives you the peace of mind that your gifts have been delivered and claimed by recipients.


It is easy to see why so many businesses find e-gifts more suitable for their needs than physical gifts. Now that you know why e-gifts are a great leap forward in business gifting, it’s time to consider upgrading your holiday gifting program.


Happy gifting!

I had a Marketo client ask me recently if there was a "best practice" on whether or not to use Marketo for internal (employee) communications.  Here's what I told her: There's no best practice on whether or not you should have employees in your database other than for seed list testing but I do believe there is a best practice for how to manage them if and when they get in there.


There are Marketo users who strongly believe that the only people in your database should be customers and prospective customers. I know some who will go so far as to ONLY include prospects, not existing customers, viewing it very much as a MARKETING database only (customers remain in the CRM only). I also know Marketo users who proactively use our platform for internal communications as well as communicating with prospects and customers.  Depending on your organization, your markets, your data requirements and your business needs, ALL of these can be the right choices in my view.


But what I do encourage Marketo users to do is to plan for employees in the Marketo database and build accordingly:

  1. First, create a custom field in Marketo - something like "Is Employee"

  2. Then create a basic data management smart campaign that marks everyone with your company's email domain as "Is Employee" (for example: If email address contains "" change data value "Is Employee" to TRUE. You can schedule it as a recurring batch (with an "only go through the campaign once" constraint) to catch any new employees who might come in through form fillouts, imports, etc. over time


By taking these two steps, you now can easily filter out - or in - your employees as part of your smart lists and smart campaigns as you desire. Some clients will even use this criterion to do periodic, batch automations to delete employees from the Marketo database. It depends on your data concerns and your business use.


For nearly all clients, I will recommend that "Is Employee" is smart list criteria you use to remove employees from lead scoring and lead lifecycle programs and from various analytics reports. Except in a few cases, most organizations would not view employees as people they want to track for revenue modeling data and certainly don't want employees handed off to sales for followup as prospects. You can also use the "Is Employee" criteria to separate out their email performance and web page performance.


How about the rest of you? How do you feel about employees in the database and do you have different ways of dealing with them?

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