Four Best Practices for Onboarding New Marketo Users

Marketo Employee
Marketo Employee

If you’re exploring the idea of adding more Marketo experts to your team, you’ve probably already thought long and hard about the onboarding process. Enabling folks on how your instance is set up and how it’s leveraged for day-to-day operations can feel overwhelming, especially if it comes at an inopportune time. Maybe you’re undergoing a company reorg, or perhaps it’s the “busy season” for your industry. Or maybe you’re just not sure how you could possibly train someone new while trying to keep the lights on!


Here are four best practices you can start implementing today that will help new users get up to speed more efficiently:

#1: Leverage program templates

  • Program templates are the foundation of your Marketo instance. They include the key workflows, emails and landing pages for each type of program your team runs. These can be cloned by your users and will ensure everyone is following the same framework for all programs in your system.

💡 PRO TIP: Consider setting up program template user guides to streamline the onboarding process even more!

#2: Enforce platform governance

  • Keep your Marketo instance clean by creating and enforcing rules around platform governance. Here are a few areas to get you started:
    • Users & Roles – It’s important to know who has access to Marketo and what the roles and permissions are for your users.
    • Folder Structure – How are things organized in your instance? Streamline where someone will find programs and assets by creating a set of folders that reflect how your company organizes its marketing efforts.
    • Naming Conventions – Standardize the approach for naming programs, assets, files, and more to help keep consistency across your instance. It’s helpful to have a unique identifier in that naming convention. (Contact your CSM to learn about our program name-o-rater solution!)

💡 PRO TIP: Appoint someone on your team to monitor platform governance and to perform regular compliance checks.

#3: Host regular office hours

  • Provide ongoing support for your users by holding regular office hours. These meetings can be hosted by your Marketo admin and/or Power User(s) and should be available to anyone using the platform. Users can ask questions, learn about new features, and discuss use cases.

💡 PRO TIP: Love this idea but don’t have the bandwidth on your team? Leverage the Marketo community and join your local MUG (Marketo User Group) instead.

#4: Document everything

  • Okay, maybe not everything, but I would encourage you to try to document as much as you can – and be sure to put it somewhere that’s easy for new users to locate. This might include information about the way your instance is set up (like how the CRM sync is structured or decisions you’ve made around platform governance) or how your instance is used on a day-to-day basis (like what Channels and Tags to use or what Email Template is the most up to date).

Onboarding new team members can be a challenge, but with a little preparation and planning, you can help ensure the process goes quickly and smoothly.


Happy hiring!

⚠️ Interesting in learning more about Marketo best practices? Connect with your CSM to learn how Adobe Consulting Services can help you get the most out of your investment.

Level 9 - Community Advisor

In addition to these best practices, it is also important to:

Start with the basics: Don't try to overwhelm new users with too much information at once. Start by covering the basics of Marketo and then gradually introduce more advanced concepts.

Encourage experimentation: The best way to learn Marketo is by using it. Encourage new users to experiment with the platform and find ways to use it to achieve their marketing goals.

Use a variety of resources: In addition to formal training, provide new users with access to documentation, webinars, and other resources that they can use to learn about Marketo.

Be patient: It takes time for new users to learn a new platform. Be patient and provide them with the support they need to be successful.

Level 9 - Community Advisor + Adobe Champion

I would add - conduct training on Sandbox to allow new users to build their confidence and experience building test program, campaigns and practise list upload and creating emails.

Level 1

In addition to Documentation - Creating a Delivery Guide of sorts that walks New users through building specific programs (an Email Blast or Nurture) in order to get familiar with the process and order of operations. I've found this helpful in my own experience onboarding new users into Marketo. 

Level 2

Can programme templates be cloned between partitions? I've never had success with trying to do this

Level 10 - Community Advisor + Adobe Champion

@emilyjwalters, did you mean Workspaces (if so, the answer is yes) instead? There's an option to select the desitionation Workspace in the Clone Program dialog (see the snapshot below). Also, just to clarify, Person Paritions are for People, whereas Workspaces are for Marketing Assets/Programs.



Level 9 - Community Advisor + Adobe Champion

@cagaver  The updated JumpStart series of email is also a good resource for new users 

Level 2

This is a great list! I trained a group of people with zero Marketo experience to the point where they became Marketo Specialists in our agency. Based on my experience, I'd also add:

  • Assign a mentor/buddy to the new employee: Office hours are great, but there will often be cases where the new employee will need an answer to their question before that next meeting happens. Knowing who is assigned to answer their questions and having this clear will help the trainee feel well-supported and will limit risks that can come with an error in the system. It also helps in fostering a collaborative culture and building relationships 🙂
  • Connect the dots: An error people sometimes make when teaching Marketo is teaching each component (ex.: email builds, segmentation, program builds,...) separately without ensuring people understand the big picture and how all the different operational components of the platform work together. It's immensely helpful to take a step back and explain the flow leads go through in the system.
    • When do people start getting tracked (munchkin)?
    • How do people enter the system?
    • What flows do people go through once they enter Marketo (ex.: Lifecycle, Data Normalization, Consent Mgt, Scoring,...)?
    • What happens then? (ex.: nurture, invitations to events,...)?
    • What happens once they become MQL? How are MQLs identified in the instance?
    • ...and so on for the whole journey (what happens with customers? Are there upsell programs? etc.)

Then, you can start connecting other features together to address particular challenges (ex.: increasing conversion on forms by using progressive profiling and/or the pre-fill functionality)

  • Provide helpful resources: Point your new employee toward sources that will likely be helpful for them such as the Nation,, Marketo Product Documentation,...