Universal Key to Marketo Success: Governance and Ongoing Training

Marketo Employee
Marketo Employee

Every team supporting a Marketo Engage instance is different – some are managed by a Marketing Operations team, some by a Demand Gen team… some have a centralized model where all control is managed by a core team, some have a decentralized or even agency-based model where many groups work independently within a Marketo Engage Instance. Some have 5 Marketo Users, some have 200. Regardless of your team structure, there is one item that is a universal key to long term success: structured training and governance.


Now, if you’re an Admin of a Marketo instance you may be saying, you’re just adding another thing to my already overflowing plate. If you’re in that boat, take a step back and think about what is causing most of your work. Likely it’s because you’re being asked for consistent, frequent reporting that is too detailed to pull automatically, thus adding extra tasks into your day. Or you have people working in your instance that are “going rogue” and building trigger campaigns, creating backlogs in your instance, or worst, sending to email addresses that are spamtraps.


That, among many other reasons is why it is so important to have training and governance for your instance. If you do it right, it will free up your time to work on the things you actually want to spend time on: implementing strategic, value-adding activities as opposed to putting out fires and troubleshooting unexpected ad hoc requests. Now, training and governance isn’t a silver bullet to solving all your instance’s challenges and removing these latter items from your plate, but it is the base for working toward that change.


Below you’ll find a training framework that covers both initial training for those of you that are new to Marketo Engage and ongoing training if you have been on Team Purple for a while. Because every team and instance is unique, approach the framework below as a starting point for your team’s needs.



Initial Training Plan

  • Role-Based Training: Conduct role-based training that has exercises users need to complete successfully prior to getting access to Marketo Engage. *Note – I know this isn’t doable for some team structures; if you’re in that boat try and find ways to hold users accountable to the responsibilities covered in their Marketo user role. Below is a sample of role based training for Admins (those who manage your entire instance), Power Users (those who have a strong understanding of your business and Marketo, and have the permissions to activate/schedule campaigns), and Marketing Users (those who may be newer to your business or Marketo, with a core responsibility of building programs, emails, lists, etc. but will not have permissions to activate/schedule campaigns).
    • Admin Training ensures all Admins (1) have the right level of access; (2) understand what their functions and responsibilities are; and (3) have a clear understanding of the functionality of the Admin section of your instance, how your instance is configured and why it’s configured that way.
      • Ex: What are all your company’s integrations within Marketo Engage? What are key operational programs and why were they implemented?
    • Power User Training ensures all Power Users (1) have the right level of access; (2) understand what their functions and responsibilities are; and (3) have a clear understanding of the governance, policies and best practices of working in your instance.
    • Marketing User Training ensures all Marketing Users (1) have the right level of access; (2) understand what their functions and responsibilities are; and (3) have a clear understanding of the governance, policies and best practices of working in your instance.
      • Ex: Using Master Programs to ensure efficient program builds; the correct way to populate the footer of all emails, etc.
    • Stakeholder Training (typically the shortest training – only an hour or two) – the goal of this is to ensure people outside the platform understand what your Marketo Engage instance can do to ensure that there is buy-in at the top level of your organization.
      • Example Topics:
        • An understanding of Marketo Engage Product Capabilities - what can you do with Marketo Engage; what can't you do
        • Discuss desired or current state integrations, both LaunchPoint and Custom, and how they impact your use of Marketo Engage
        • Where are you today and where do you want to be in the future from a Marketing Automation perspective? How do we close that gap to get us to future state?
        • Steps to execute a Program in your Marketo Engage: The goal of this topic is to show leadership the time and effort needed, which helps them understand turnaround time and process.
      • Office Hours: Host “Office Hours” as a follow-up to training, until the team is comfortable working in the new governance/structure (typically biweekly; 3-5 weeks).

Ongoing Training

  • Continued Office Hours: If needed, continue to have Office Hours at a slower cadence (such as weekly or bi-weekly). There should be no agenda for Office Hours – the Admin(s) host the meeting and Marketo users bring any questions they have. 
  • Monthly Internal MUG Meetings: These are run by the Admins and have a formal agenda which highlights any changes to the instance, new Marketo Engage product releases by Adobe, any changes to governance / policies within the instance. This can also be a knowledge sharing session on best practices/success stories for the team to learn from.
  • Quarterly role-based training: These are run by Admins and remind users of their responsibilities, and any key updates about their role.


Now, as an Admin of an instance that seems like a ton of training (and of course, you need to create the governance and documentation to support each session) but depending on the size of your Marketing User group, it’s often worth the time investment. If you’re looking for a quick starting point, I’d start with hosting the Monthly Internal MUG Meetings.