Change Management & Your Marketo Implementation: Define Overall Scope and Vision

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My recent switch from the Enterprise Consulting team to the Education team has given me greater exposure to clients who are either brand new to Marketing Automation (MA), or switching from another MA, like Eloqua or Hubspot. Typically, I’m training a core group of people that have been charged with the responsibility of driving a successful new implementation; oftentimes training takes place before any type of discovery or kick-off with the professional services teams (either Enterprise or SMB) has occurred.  What I've come to realize is that, while clients are in different places along their respective MA journeys, there are some best practice topics that any organization should consider to help manage a successful implementation - as well as the ongoing successful adoption - of Marketo. These topics include:

  • Defining an overall scope and vision
  • Garnering executive leadership
  • Outlining ownership and internal support path
  • Devising an internal communications plan
  • Discussing users and roles
  • Managing technical system requirements
  • Ensuring data quality
  • Creating internal processes to support the platform and people
  • Motivating Users and Non-Users
  • Creating training plans

I’ll be dedicating the next few blogs going over these topics individually, and in this first installment let’s look at some things to consider when defining an overall scope and vision for your Marketo implementation.

Typically, when clients get started with a solution as robust as Marketo they are super excited and want to get up and running quickly – oftentimes with a goal of utilizing as many new feature as possible.  Lots of teams are either drawn to proving they are getting the most out of their investment quickly, or they have upper management pressuring them to show ROI as fast as possible.


This is where you have to be realistic about how much change your organization can handle at once.  Biting off more than you can chew can lead to frustration, confusion and failure. This is why Marketo suggests a “Crawl, Walk, Run” phased approach.  By initially focusing on the core team and essential ‘must haves’ you’ll ensure success and build confidence – not only among the core implementation group, but with other departments, like sales or IT – as they see a focused and organized team executing on a realistic plan.

As Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” So ask yourself the following:

  • What people need to start using Marketo now?
    • Can you take advantage of Quick Wins to give insight into people who are just curious about the solution, but may not need to be trained straight away - if ever? This suggestion works great if you have a sandbox, but even if you don’t, pointing people to Marketo Product docs or Marketo Resources is a low cost way to give people visibility into all Marketo can do and makes sure no one feels left out.
  • What are some quick wins that can have the biggest impact?
    • This is highly subjective and depends a lot on your company’s MA maturity and experience. For MA ‘newbies’ this might include adding A/B testing and scoring, for more experience teams it might include setting up best practice program templates to enable scaling (via cloning) and extending access/insight to sales via smart lists and report subscriptions and/or Sales Insights.
  • What are my key KPIs and how am I going to report on them?
    • In addition to setting some basics reporting goals, like a lift in sign-ups, or growth of lead quantity and quality, set tactical metrics around content performance for emails including opens, clicks, unsubscribes and include web engagement metrics.
    • Ask yourself who should see reports and at what frequency.  As previously mentioned, you can set up subscriptions, but you might not want to socialize reports until meaningful data is available.
  • Do I have a defined scope for each phase of the implementation?
    • Make sure the scope matches your organizations overarching marketing strategy and goals.  Don't start rolling out Social, for instance, just because you can - ask yourself if it is part of the greater plan.
    • Set goals at 3 month intervals – for at least the first year – so you can stay focused on the present, while keeping an eye on the future.

Finally, plan on an enhancement life-cycle, for when you are ready to use additional features – whether purchased or those that become available in Marketo’s quarterly releases.  You can also include in this life-cycle additional requests that will inevitably come up during an implementation as more people learn all that Marketo can do. Knowing upfront that you've entered a marathon, not a sprint, may keep people more focused and patient during this key time of your implementation.