Employees in the database - is it a thing?

Level 5

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 "@marketo.com" 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?

Level 6 - Champion

Great advice! We use Marketo to send out a monthly internal newsletter.

Level 5

My company uses our Marketo instance to send out all our internal corporate communications - this comes out to about 4 to 6 programs a week. We've created a separate 'Internal' workspace for all of these programs and leads, and it works well for us. Overall, our Internal Comms teams LOVES Marketo, especially compared to our old  Eloqua instance. For lists, the Internal Comms teams has a monthly upload process (or more frequently for specific communications); since these leads are in a separate workspace, we don't have to worry about them messing up any of our marketing processes and reports.

Level 3

I'd add one heads: Initially, emails distributed through Marketo's send IPs, which we use, were blocked by our internal spam infrastructure. We had to white list the send IPs to receive our own emails.

Champion Moderator

Agreed to all, above. One big thing we make sure to do is always suppress (whether using your "Is Employee" flag or whatever smart list someone may have) these leads from your CRM. We tend to get a lot of employee traffic to our own site, be it testing or searching or whatnot, and we always want to make sure we don't sync that data to our campaigns in our CRM which potentially inflates our campaign responses. I'm all for employees in Marketo; just not Salesforce.

Level 7 - Champion

We use Marketo to communicate internal newsletter and to send them some of the same information we send Prospects and Customers so they know what people are receiving.

I personally use this information to see what my bosses / executives / important people are doing with emails. I'm in a smaller org so this may be easier for me, but it really helps to see who in leadership is consuming content.

Not applicable

Very helpful! Thanks for the tips and recommendations. Michaela Iery