Nurture Diagram.png

Choosing Your Pilot Program(s)

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               If choosing which Marketo Automation platform is not overwhelming enough, choosing which Pilot Program(s) you will launch first can definitely push you over the edge. Often times customers get tunnel vision on ensuring their instance is setup perfectly with appropriate tags, channels, LaunchPoint integrations, and a clean CRM sync. This can lead to them forgetting how to fully evaluate all the choices they made during their implementation.


                It’s a difficult pill to swallow telling customers they may not be able to fully report on any results until six months to one year after install. One way to expedite this timeline and see results much sooner is selecting a strong barrage of Pilot Programs. The selection of your Pilot Programs not only needs to be across multiple program types (e.g. Nurture, Email Send, and Event) but also across different customer schemas.

                Utilizing different Program Types will help flag any gaps in tags, channels, or naming conventions. It also helps the Marketo users to be more familiar with the many different ways Marketo can track and communicate with leads. Different customer schemas react different to nurture content, event invitations, or time-sensitive material. Marketo is great at personally reaching out to each lead in a channel that best suits them.

I suggest starting out with three Pilot Programs which we will review below:

Email Send -

An Email Send Program Type is a great first step at generating leads by sending a batch email in hopes of capturing activity for potential customers. I suggest to using an Email Send to prospects to create an interaction benchmark for non-customers. It has a great reporting interface built right into the program allowing the user to see results immediately after he or she sends out the first communication.

Engagement Program –

                A Nurture Program is more complex but once setup can continually nurture your leads from prospect to customer for an indefinite amount of time with little to no user involvement. I suggest setting up one generic stream sending out general, soft-touch product related content. In addition to the one generic stream, set up a stream for each product family your company offers. When a lead clicks on a product-specific link, move the lead to the appropriate product stream. When they have exhausted the product stream’s content, cycle them back to stream 1. They will automatically resume back to their previous position the stream before the move.

You should leverage content programs within each stream. Having content programs instead of an email directly within a stream will allow Opportunity attribution down to the email asset level (e.g. showing you ROI at the individual email level).

Here’s a diagram illustrating an example Prospecting Nurture program:

Nurture Diagram.png


Event Program-

                One of the most successful programs for attribution is the Event Program. If your company uses WebEx or GoToWebinar, I suggest integrating with Marketo for an easy membership list transfer. Whether the event be a tradeshow, roadshow, webinar, or customer dinner—ensure you have statuses and the appropriate smart campaigns setup to track them through the different stages. Too many times customers just upload the final attendee list with a success status directly into the Program instead of uploading the list of invitees and updating accordingly.

                If you have access to the overall Tradeshow attendee list, load it into the program and set the Acquisition Program to help with tracking and reporting (remember, for Opportunity attribution to a Program you need either a Program Success or Acquisition Program).

                I recommend using these three program types across prospects (Email Send), customers (Email Send or Nurture), and partner (Event) schemas. If you don’t have those different schemas, still feel free to mix it up across different categories of leads to gather benchmark data.

Don’t forget to check the Program > Setup tab to populate Program Cost and ensure all available tags are selected. Also make sure you have smart campaigns updating the appropriate statuses for click, unsubscribed, invited, etc.