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4 Posts authored by: Meghana Rao Employee

A majority of customers find their consultants to be their most valuable resource during their Marketo onboarding. However, we also know your time with them is limited. Check out the following advice - most of it sourced from Marketo consultants themselves - on how to optimize your onboarding experience right from the get go.

 

What are some of the pitfalls I should look out for during onboarding?

  • Users that don’t look at Marketo learning resources or take Marketo-recommended trainings before working with their consultant will often end up spending valuable consulting hours trying to understand basic Marketo concepts. Take some time to check out the Marketo University free trainings, Marketo University Online, or purchase the Marketo Core Concepts course.
  • Start thinking long-term about content you’ll be using for your Marketo programs. Which type of email and landing page assets will you need? Are you producing creative assets from scratch or repurposing content from previous marketing campaigns? Creating those Marketo program may seem far away now, but waiting on creative assets can often be an unforeseen bottleneck.
  • Build out your Marketo documentation as you set your instance up instead of trying to document it all after your implementation. This makes the task of recording your Marketo admin choices much easier and helps you make informed decisions throughout your implementation.
  • Because Marketo often pulls in data from a CRM (and sometimes pushes out to it, too), data quality can have a huge impact on your Marketo implementation. If you have the time and resources available, clean up your data before integrating with Marketo.
  • Many companies don't have clearly defined, consistent processes to manage lead handoffs between marketing, telemarketing and sales. If they do, they often only have them for prospects, and not for existing customers that research additional products. Take the time to connect with other teams and map these strategies out while you’re building in Marketo to ensure you will get the most out of your use of the platform.
  • Be sure to involve your leadership in the implementation right from the start. Leaders that are hands-off won’t always understand the capabilities of Marketo, whereas leaders who are involved and invested in Marketo can help set you up for long-term success.


How do I make the most of my consulting hours?

  • Be sure to complete the recommended Marketo trainings before getting started with your consultant. That way, you can spend your time working through your implementation and not on Marketo basics.
  • Submit support tickets on your own - it’s good practice, plus you won’t be using your consulting hours for this.
  • Make sure you’ve contacted the teams that need to get involved early. You don’t want to get on a call with your consultant and be waiting on a deliverable from IT or Sales Ops because they didn’t know they had a role in onboarding Marketo.
  • Set some time aside to do a bit of learning on your own each week. Check out the Marketo Product Docs and Marketo University videos.


Where should I go if I need help during my onboarding?

  • Ask your consultant for instance-specific questions.
    • Note: Asking your consultant for help outside of your regular meetings will generally eat into your consulting hours
  • Submit a Support ticket on the Marketing Nation Community.
  • Check out the:
    • Marketo Product Docs - how-to guides on Marketo features
    • Marketing Nation Community - open forum with blog posts, product discussions, Q&A with fellow users, and the Support portal
    • Support Office Hours - available to customers with the appropriate Marketo Launch Pack; regularly scheduled time to bring your questions to Marketo consultants
      • Note: These are only available to customers who have purchased a Marketo Launch Pack. You must register before each session in order to attend these office hours.
    • Partner Blogs - our extensive partner ecosystem is a huge asset for Marketo users. Search through Marketo Partners’ sites and blogs for additional tips
    • Peer Content - sometimes typing out your question in Google will bring up some awesome content from other Marketo users!

 

 

A huge thank you to the Marketo Professional Services Consulting team for sharing their knowledge and advice with customers!

 

While there's no perfect recipe for success for your Marketo implementation, most Marketo users can agree on two things that'll make the process a whole lot smoother:

1. Plan ahead of time: It's always a good idea to keep a plan or timeline around your implementation so you can make sure you're hitting your goals and pulling together the resources you'll need well in advance. Remember that implementation is an ongoing process and building some flexibility into your plans will help you stay realistic about your plan.

2. Get your leadership involved: Leadership buy-in and support is a huge differentiator for long-term Marketo success. Keeping your internal stakeholders aware of your goals and up to date on your onboarding process will make sure they feel invested in the process and in Marketo. Whether you're scheduling regular meetings with them or sending out an update email each week, maintaining regular contact will make sure they're on the same page as you and will help them manage their expectations around your organization's Marketo onboarding.

 

Check out the attached resources to help you get started:

1. Onboarding Milestones Template: Use this template to outline some specific milestones during your onboarding and identify the teams and resources you'll need to engage before you go live.

2. Internal Communications Guide and Template: Once you have your milestones laid out, use this guide to draft regular updates to your key stakeholders.

 

Have a couple tips or implementation advice of your own? Help your peers out and share them in the comments below!

“Imagine you win the lottery today and quit your job tomorrow. Would someone be able to step right in and take over your Marketo instance?” This is the mindset Tori Forte, Marketo consultant extraordinaire, recommends as you’re thinking about documenting your Marketo instance. In fact, good documentation can be nearly as important as the actual implementation itself. Keeping track of changes and decisions you’ve made during your instance setup can help you:

  • More easily train additional users in a scalable way
  • Build more efficiently in Marketo long-term
  • Maintain the health and hygiene of your instance moving forward
  • Make the transition process much smoother for a new Marketo admin if your team experiences any turnover


There are a couple different types of documentation you can produce. A governance guide outlines your instance setup in detail with topics such as program/folder structures, communication limits, and more. This would be a living document that users would turn to in order to identify your specific best practices and governing standards for your Marketo instance, and would mainly be for your Marketo admin or main user. In addition to a governance guide, your team may need supplemental enablement documents or training materials to help them get up to speed with Marketo. These could include exercises to practice working with the platform, quizzes to pass before being granted access, or a list of what your users are allowed to do in Marketo. These would be aimed at all Marketo users in your organization.
Whether you’re putting together a full blown governance guide or are simply documenting the key aspects of your setup to start, writing down the decisions you make during onboarding will help you and your team be successful with Marketo.

Getting Started on Your Documentation

Having trouble getting started on your guide? Tori suggests first focusing on the most important aspect of your Marketo documentation: your Admin Setup. “Make sure you’re writing down all of your behind-the-scenes decisions so if anyone needs to take over your Marketo instance, they’ll be able to understand how and why your instance was set up the way it is.” It’s crucial, Tori points out, that you “don’t just document what was built, but why it was built that way.” This helps a future admin (or even future you) avoid repeating decisions that didn’t work out or wasting time going down dead ends.

 

Another recommendation from Tori to establish the success of your documentation is to “ensure every rule you make has an owner to enforce it down the line. Lack of enforcement makes writing those rules moot.” Check in with your team and put a process in place to make sure this documentation will continue to adapt and stay relevant, as well as stay top of mind for your users.

Tips and Tricks

Whether you’re documenting a new/existing instance or creating training resources for your organization’s Marketo users, consider these tips from one of our resident Marketo experts, Kylie Peters:

  • Over-document, over-communicate, over-test! If it feels like you’re doing enough, you might not be doing enough.” You never know what might be useful to you or your team in the future, so be sure to add in details and keep other teams in the loop!
  • Be ‘new-hire-minded’. Write the documentation for someone who’s never used this technology before.” Once you become familiar with Marketo it can be easy to take a lot of background knowledge for granted. Make sure you’re creating your enablement and governance documentation with the most basic user in mind. Consider including some definitions and best practices directly into your training documentation if they’ll help new users get up to speed.
  • People have different ways of processing and understanding information so it helps to use a combination of written points, pictures, videos, and hands-on exercises in your trainings.” Instead of just writing a block of text to send out to your team, include some interactive content or a couple different formats within your enablement documentation and training.
  • Run the documentation by someone who’s never seen Marketo before and ask them if they have any questions.” Not sure if your governance and enablement documentation is clear? Ask someone who’s never used Marketo to take a look and see if they can follow your trainings. This will give you a good fresh perspective on what you’ve put together and how you can improve it.
  • “It’s important to remember that training documents are very different based on your needs and your instance.” Unlike governance guides, which should be as comprehensive as possible, enablement documents should be produced based on your organization’s need. Keep in mind that what might be important to document in detail for one instance or one user could be less relevant for others. You should know your instance and users best, so create your training documentation accordingly.



Marketo Documentation Sample Topics

Use these topics to guide your initial Marketo governance documentation plan. It may help to take it slow and start with a few topics that are important to your particular instance, then expand from there.

 

  • What is Marketo and what are its purposes for our organization
  • Purpose of this Documentation
  • Process to Maintain/Make Changes to Governance Guide
  • Administrative Set Up
    • Instance(s)
    • Workspaces and Partitions
    • User Roles and Responsibilities
    • Smart Campaign/Email/Program Settings
    • Communication Limits
    • Security
    • Channels
    • Tags
  • Data Structure
    • Field Structure
  • Operational Programs
  • Building In Marketo Instance
    • Center of Excellence (COE)
    • Folder Structure
    • Naming Conventions
    • Program Organization
    • Templates
    • Standardized Processes
    • Checklists
    • Segmentations
    • Archiving
    • Subscription Center
  • CRM Integration
    • How does the sync work
    • Campaign Sync
    • Data Dictionary
  • Other Integrations
  • GDPR & Compliance

 

Check out an example of Channel Documentation here.

 

Start documenting your instance today! Be sure to involve your whole team - whether that’s just you or a team of 10 - and revisit these docs every month to keep it up to date as your use of your Marketo instance grows.

 

To regularly receive content to help you through your Marketo onboarding and implementation, sign up for the Marketo Jumpstart series.

Smart list? Engagement programs? Clones? As a new Marketo user it can feel like working in Marketo is not just about learning how to use a platform, but learning how to speak a different language. If you're trying to understand all the terms and concepts you're running into, check out this Glossary of Marketo Terms! Let us know what your favorite Marketo phrase is by posting in the comments below.

 

If you see something that's missing or needs updating, let us know at cx@marketo.com. Happy learning!

 

To regularly receive content to help you through your Marketo onboarding and implementation, sign up for the Marketo Jumpstart series.

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