Why You Should Start Including Program ID in Your Naming Convention

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Earlier this year, one of our technical consultants asked me to include the program ID in the program naming convention for one of our clients. We needed to be able to extract this from the program name for something they were doing with the API, in order to minimize API calls. I thought this was kind of silly and a bit of a pain, since we don’t know the program ID until after we’ve already named the program, so I’d have to go back and edit each program name every time. But, I agreed to do it because there was a really good reason for the tech team to have that, even though it was not useful for the operations team.

Boy, was I wrong. Having the program ID in the naming convention has been so much more helpful than I had imagined. It’s completely worth the extra few seconds to edit the program name after the program is created.

Why is that? Well, if you follow our best practices for cloning, most of your assets have extremely generic names, like Email or Registration Page. This can make it really hard to find assets in drop down lists, especially as you add more and more programs to your instance and you get more and more assets with similar names. To compound this problem, you probably repeat many of the same types of activities over and over again. Maybe you have regular demo webinars. Their program names in Marketo are probably virtually identical. It makes it very easy to accidentally select the wrong one if you are rushing or not able to see the full program name easily.


Now let’s say that you have the program ID (1130) in the naming convention for the next month’s webinar: WBN-2015-1130-July-Demo-Webinar. While you’re working on setting that up, all you need to do is type the program ID in the dropdown lists instead of the word Invitation and now you get a much narrower list of options:


Similarly, this can be very helpful when you are using Request Campaign:


This might seem like a minor thing, but if you’re in the system all day navigating thousands of programs, it ends up saving you time and headache. Give it a try and see what you think; you may like it too.