Enhance Programs by allowing anonymous leads

Enhance Programs by allowing anonymous leads

This is necessary, for example, to measure effectiveness of online lead generation activity.

Say you run an online ad to attract new visitors to your website.  Say it costs $100 per month and you want to track how many clicks it generates, and attribute future sales to the ad.  Sounds just like a Program?  The standard setup even has a status called "Online Advertising > Clicked". 

New visitors, however, can never get to this state, because Marketo rejects anonymous leads being added to Programs.

Even if your lead goes on to place an order, since they're not in the program, the sale isn't attributed correctly.

Marketo tracks anonymous leads by placing cookies on their browsers so it can monitor repeat visits, etc.  Let's allow anonymous leads within Programs, then we can see within Marketo which of our ads are worth the money.
14 Comments
Anonymous
Not applicable
I am frustrated by this constraint as well.  I have a Website Visitor Program intended to track anonymous and known visits to our website by updating the progression status of the new Website Visit channel I created (i.e. Anonymous or Known).  The Program has two child smart campaigns that update the progression statuses depending on whether the "Is Anonymous" field is True or False and both campaigns have members and display results in the Membership Trend and Members by Week graphs.  Unfortunately, the Program only has members with a "Known" progression status, because with Anonymous leads the Change Status in Progression flow action has the error "Cannot add an anonymous lead to a program".

Until Marketo addresses this, you may be able to get some attribution by filtering on membership in a smart campaign and/or by fitering on the Original Referrer field using the unique URL / querystring in your online ad.
Anonymous
Not applicable
Yes! Agreed.. cannot understand why anonymous leads aren't allowed in the first place - seems like such a bizzare decision. Particularly when you have a 'clicked link' status in the online advertising channel as Richard said. I think someone might have been drinking when they designed that functionality...
Anonymous
Not applicable
This is driving us nuts. There are all sorts of ungated Content consumption activities for new website visitors we want to track with Programs, but the exclusion of allowing anonymous Leads to be added as Program members makes it impossible.

Please Marketo, lift this restriction ASAP!
Anonymous
Not applicable
BTW: a patchwork solution that will at least help with later stage statistics (like Opp/Rev Program attribution) would be to create another Smart Campaign that listens for new lead creation and has a filter for the past trigger action (like Clicked Link), which of course will be available once the cookie is connected during the new lead creation.

So for us, if we want to track in a Program that someone had consumed a piece of content like a video by clicking on a link, we can have a trigger that listens for the click but it won't be able to add as a Program Member if it's anonymous. However after they watch the video, if they then fill out a form, the aforementioned Smart Campaign will also add them to the Program related to the video at that point.

I realize this isn't perfect because the date/time information will be wrong, and it's lacks the tracking of other action items early on and skews numbers. However, it will help close the gap for those ever important "Success" Stages.
Another big thumbs up for this feature.

We ought to be able to capture meaningful "signals" of any sort in the anonymous profile, as they can be useful down the line for any number of reasons. 

This limitation seems like nothing but a bad design decision -- especially when an Online Advertising program can have a campaign that triggers on a click through for an ad or a landing page visit.

I hope it can be addressed.
Anonymous
Not applicable
I want this feature !
Anonymous
Not applicable
Can I suggest that this is merged with idea https://community.marketo.com/marketoideadetail?id=08750000000Hf9hAAC
Anonymous
Not applicable
This strikes me as an intentional decision to limit processing costs.  What percentage of your database is anonymous?  
Anonymous
Not applicable
Hi Steven.  Interesting idea.
 
Fewer than 20% of my leads are anonymous. I clean 'em out periodically (Marketo have stated that they will begin to do this automatically anyway) and to have many non-anonymous leads acquired from various sources.
 
Assumptions end users make about the processing and storage costs incurred by Marketo are always going to be assumptions, nothing more.  I happen to think it wouldn't be technically difficult or expensive - Marketo already stores lots of data on anonymous leads, including their entire web history - it has to look them up by cross referencing string data in a cookie (_mkto_trk).  A simple cross-join table between lead_id and program_status_id would represent a tiny amount of storage and be very efficient to index and query. However, as I say, this is all pure speculation.
 
What seems relevant is that we spend money on online advertising to try and get new visitors in.  We spend money on Marketo to help us track our marketing (amongst other functions).  It's failing us here.
 
I really wish Marketo would make this seemingly obvious enhancement.  It significantly decreases the value of Programs for us.
Anonymous
Not applicable
We are a new customer and have just implemented a bit of a work around for this - but its pretty annoying this is not a core feature of Marketo.

What we are doing is when someone clicks on say an Adwords Ad we use a unique code that becomes part of the Referrer. We then have a Smart Campaign that is triggered by that code - and we update a custom field "original ad campaign". I tried adding the anonymous lead to the program - but that fails as described in this thread.

Later when the user/visitor registers - we have a centrealized SmartCampaign that syncs them to SalesForce. In that campaign we check to see if there is a value in "original ad campaign"  and then add the Lead as a member of the original program. 

Pretty silly that this is not part of standard Marketo functionality - I would think anyone doing external lead gen would need this capability.

OTOH - its nice that we can implment this using pretty standard Marketo functionality.