PDF download analytics and Marketo hosting pros & cons

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Level 2

PDF download analytics and Marketo hosting pros & cons

I am a fairly new Marketo customer and still pretty early in the implementation stage for three non-profit brands. When we transitioned to Marketo, we kept all of our downloadable assets (PDFs of white papers, infographics, etc.) on our website. It is a very established site with strong SEO and traffic.  However, we recently noticed a big gap in some of our PDF download metrics when looking at Google Analytics. For example, we launched a new paper this summer and saw through our email analytics in Marketo that the PDF link had been clicked on 800+ times, but our Google Analytics data shows less than 100 downloads for the same PDF url.

We're researching ways to address this and I'm hoping to get some recommendations from the community. On the table right now are completing Google Analytics fixes like adding event tracking, or moving all of our PDFs over to Marketo. As a non-profit, we have limited internal technical capacity to help, so looking for solutions that will give us more accurate analytics without major ramp up time or ongoing maintenance. 

Bottom line questions I'm hoping to answer:

1) What are the pros and cons for hosting downloadable assets on Marketo vs on an established website?

2) Do you have any recommended tricks for ensuring basic Google Analytics accurately capture clicks to PDFs that originate from a Marketo email?

     -I've read about putting a landing page ahead of each PDF that autoredirects. Has this worked for anyone?

     -We're trying a fix in analytics to exclude "Mkt_tok" from URL query parameters based on this post. Integrating Google Analytics with Marketo Has this worked for anyone?

Thank you!

9 REPLIES 9
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Level 10 - Community Moderator

Re: PDF download analytics and Marketo hosting pros & cons

Using an interstitial page that logs a GA event before redirecting to the PDF will work fine. It's redundant from Marketo's perspective, but will help sync the two analytics packages.

Excluding mkt_tok from GA to de-unique-ify Marketo's tokenized URLs is a great practice.  Courtney Grimes knows GA, as has been said, like whoa.

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Level 2

Re: PDF download analytics and Marketo hosting pros & cons

Thank you Sanford!

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Level 10 - Champion Alumni

Re: PDF download analytics and Marketo hosting pros & cons

I suspect your site is a better place for most of your PDF or other assets. There is no particular advantage to placing these on Marketo. Your site is SEOd and probably setup to serve those files faster...at least it should be.

Email and Marketo Hosted LPs should rely on *images* that reside in Marketo.

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Level 2

Re: PDF download analytics and Marketo hosting pros & cons

Thank you, Josh!

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Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: PDF download analytics and Marketo hosting pros & cons

Hi Josh,

Does Marketo not give a bit more detail around WHO downloaded/clicked on a pdf link? Would serving PDFs from Marketo not tie that download action to the contact/lead in a cleaner, more direct way?

GA would only provide traffic stats, correct? I'd like to know WHO downloaded WHAT pdf. How would that be set up in a drip/nurture to capture that activity if the pdf lived outside of Marketo?

Cam

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Level 7 - Champion

Re: PDF download analytics and Marketo hosting pros & cons

Hi, Cameron!

If you set up each piece of content in its own Program, then you can trigger a change in Program Status whenever a lead clicks on a link to download the PDF. This is what we do, as well as record it as an Interesting Moment. This can and does work on links to PDFs hosted outside Marketo. You would just Trigger off "Clicks Link on Webpage" and find your PDF in the list (as long as it's linked from the page).

You can also look into Events in Google Analytics so you can report on the number of times it has been downloaded; however, you won't be able to trace it back to "Who".

As far as in-depth analytics of trying PDF views to a lead, Marketo doesn't do this.

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Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: PDF download analytics and Marketo hosting pros & cons

Thanks Jennifer!

Question: wouldn't that create a lot of programs? Wondering how to set something like that up for white papers, infographics, etc.

Does each piece need it's own program? Or can the program status/int. moment be triggered on a clicked link?

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Level 7 - Champion

Re: PDF download analytics and Marketo hosting pros & cons

It does create a lot of Programs, but as long as you have your folders and naming conventions in order, it should be relatively organized - and well worth the effort when it comes to reporting!

I have each piece of content in its own Program with its own Trigger Campaigns to change the status. If the content gets used as part of another Program (i.e.: Google AdWords or something), I use UTM codes to Trigger different Program memberships and statuses. If that makes sense.

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Level 10 - Community Moderator

Re: PDF download analytics and Marketo hosting pros & cons

Cameron, to complement Jenn's answer, as long as you are running Munchkin (Marketo's web analytics module) on your website, it will capture all clicks -- exit clicks to other sites, clicks to downloadable assets, and internal navigation clicks to other pages you control.  I often recommend turning off click tracking for internal pages because it will speed up site navigation (though you need to plan for it).