What Does it Mean to be a Marketo Administrator? [Resources Included]

Level 10 - Champion Alumni
Level 10 - Champion Alumni

Note: Kudos to those who have reviewed and given me feedback on this list! Juli JamesJenn DiMariaChristina Zuniga


The job of a Marketo administrator can be difficult to define. What are the primary responsibilities? What role should you play? Who should you work with?

Depending on the size of the company, the charter will vary based on the number of users, resources, and volume of campaigns and content. In a smaller organization, the Marketo admin may perform all of the responsibilities described in this post, while in larger organizations he/she will oversee and delegate responsibilities to individuals or teams. The following will cover the core areas that the Marketo admin should focus on to be effective.

Sync with CRM

The Marketo admin works alongside sales operations to ensure marketing and sales data are syncing between Marketo and the CRM.  This includes determining field mapping (which fields in Marketo sync to which fields in the CRM) and ensuring the right fields are being synced to support campaigns and reporting.  Here is the section of the product docs that covers SFDC Sync and Microsoft Dynamics Sync.

Check out:

Top 5 Marketo Fields and Enterprise Needs in CRM too
Marketo University Video: Syncing Marketo to Salesforce
Instructions for Creating a Custom Sync Rule

Resources for Learning About Marketo-Salesforce Sync

Email Deliverability

It is important that the Marketo admin oversees and/or delegates the responsibility of making sure emails are being delivered reliably. This includes incorporating SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail) into your DNS settings (this is the “official” way of letting recipients know Marketo is authorized to send emails on your behalf). In addition, it includes setting up processes to ensure invalid emails are cleansed from the system and suppressed in email sends. You should consider using email deliverability tools such as Marketo’s deliverability tool (250ok), Litmus, and/or Email on Acid. These tools come at additional cost. Here is an example of an email Litmus test, which shows how your email is rendered on different email clients, devices and browsers.

Check out:
Setup SPF and DKIM in Product Docs
Blog Post: How to Manage Your Marketo Database for Deliverability

Blog Post: Boost Your Deliverability with DMARC - By Courtney Grimes

Lead Management

The healthy management of leads is a critical component to marketing automation and business success. This includes how leads are created, tagged, appended/categorized, where they are routed, and who takes action. The Marketo administrator will be instrumental in planning and designing the lead management flow, be responsible for operationalizing it within Marketo and the CRM, and fine-tuning the process over time.

Two important components of lead management are lead scoring and lead nurturing. Lead scoring is the assigning of points to leads based on activity, demographic/firmographic attributes, and other characteristics, in order to help prioritize leads for sales. The Marketo administrator should spearhead the process of developing the lead scoring model and operationalizing and maintaining the model.

Lead nurturing is the engagement of leads through educational marketing programs that span email, web, events and sales activities to drive the leads to a sales-ready state.

Check Out:
Marketo’s Definition of Lead Management
The Definitive Guide to Lead Scoring
Video: How to Set Up a Scalable Scoring Program
The Definitive Guide to Lead Nurturing
Marketo University: Creating and Running Lead Nurturing Programs

Lead Lifecycle and Revenue Cycle Model

A key component of lead management that deserves its own section is the lead lifecycle. This is one of the pillars of revenue marketing, and refers to the process in which a lead enters the sales cycle and CRM, and how it progresses into a closed deal.

The Marketo administrator plays a key role in architecting this process and working with sales and marketing management to define each stage. While the concept of the lead lifecycle will apply across most organizations, Marketo’s proprietary “Revenue Cycle Model” helps marketers define how leads move in and out of stages as it pertains to the marketing system.

Check Out:

KreweChats Discussion on Lead Lifecycle and Revenue Cycle Model
Marketo University: Building a Lifecycle Program

Database Management and Data Governance

In tandem with sales operations and IT, the Marketo administrator is responsible for developing and implementing strategies and processes to ensure that accurate and complete data enter the marketing database(s). Data should be verified, enriched and/or appended to support ongoing campaign and reporting initiatives.

To be more specific, this includes any or all of the following: deduplication, contact data verification, list import standardization, categorization (demographic/firmographic information such as title and industry), and data cleansing.

Here’s a great resource on overall data hygiene from a past Marketo Summit.

Also Check Out:
Marketo University: Maintaining a Healthy Database
Blog Post: Deduplication: How it Works, and When It Doesn't
Blog Post: 6 Steps to Delete Bad Data - By Jeff Coveney

Reporting and Analytics

While reporting and analytics may be the focus of a specific person or team, the Marketo administrator is responsible for building processes and/or integrations to get the right data into the right reporting hands. This includes building and executing a plan for tagging and categorizing marketing efforts (such as campaigns). In addition, it’s important to establish an agreed upon timeframe (this may be periodically such as on a quarterly basis, or even in real time) and data format for the reporting handover.

Check Out:
Analytics that Matter: Recorded Session by Jessica Kao
The Definitive Guide to Marketing Analytics
Marketo University: Standard Reports in Marketo

User Management, Training, and Process Documentation

A critical piece in larger organizations, the Marketo admin needs to manage roles and permissions for all Marketo users and develop training and onboarding programs. Training programs should teach users how to use Marketo and ensure governance in campaign management, data management, and reporting best practices. This includes instance documentation (reference materials and guides on how the Marketo instance is structured), glossary of terms, and step-by-step guides, checklists, and videos.

Check out:
Product Doc: Managing User Roles and Permissions
Marketo Fu by Joe Reitz on Youtube

Blog Post: User Roles for Large Marketo Databases - By Rob Barret

Martech (Marketing Technology) Strategy

With the marketing automation platform being the system of record for most revenue marketing organizations, it’s important to have a plan for success with each additional piece of marketing technology that gets added to the tech stack. This includes determining how new technology integrates with Marketo, what data needs to be passed between the systems, proper lead source and campaign attribution, and regularly reviewing martech reports such as adoption, ROI, and competitive review.

Check out:

5 Steps to Master Your MarTech Stack by Christina Zuniga (her presentation starts on slide 27)

Blog Post: Working with Martech Vendors - Stop Doing it Wrong - By Josh Hill

I hope you have found this list useful. Have anything to add? Please leave your thoughts in the comments!