What a Year: 2020 Lessons from Marketo Champions Q&A Follow Up

Marketo Employee
Marketo Employee

As a follow up from the What a Year: Lessons Learned from 2020 Marketo Champions webinar on December 3, 2020 featuring @enrico_deleon2 , @ChristinaZuniga , and @Jenny_Robertso7 , answers to questions that we couldn't get to during the Q&A section are located here. If you have further questions, feel free to post them in the comments section. You can watch the recording and other resources discussed in the webinar here. 


Questions Answers
What are new benchmarks for email performance metrics? What does a successful program look like now compared to pre-covid?

JR: I've ready that open rates and overall email engagement increased in the early covid days, but I don't know if that is still the case.

EDL: Not that clicks are much to go on, but in my experience, I've monitored clicks to determine how pervasive phantom-clicks have become during this pandemic. I don't know if there is much credence to this, but I don't think there are new benchmarks (at least native to Marketo), just trends when compared to benchmarks in previous years. I'm happy when I don't see a steady increase in unsubs. But my benchmark for email will always be emails as it contributes to desired behaviors (consumption of asset x, or registration in virtual event y, etc.).

Any recommendations for online Marketo training courses or resources? EDL: Not in any particular order, but Marketo Docs (make sure you understand the expected function of a product feature first), Community (search for terms like certification study group, blog topics, etc.), and of course, Marketo University.

JR: I'd just add - MUGs sometimes do MCE training if you watch out for it!
How did you adjust your in-person event platform to be virtual? CZ: If you have an in person platform and are interested in converting it to a virtual platform I'd focus on how you use event check in vs uploads and make a good process for marking people properly. I'd review your event statuses vs. Marketo statuses to see if you'd do anything differently (my platform did not have a 'no show' status so I repurposed another status to make this work), I'd go over the event templates to see how you can alter the emails, thank you page and registration page to align with virtual events (vs. ones with a physical location – removing location, finding ways to add in a link to your webinar platform, etc.), and review your scoring model to make sure leads drop when you want them to!
How do you keep your list fresh? EDL: Treat it like your public facemask. Wash and wash often. 🙂 Seriously, be vigilant about your data integrity. Review your database on a scheduled, periodic basis. Keep that data clean!

JR: Don't be afraid to purge! Don't trash your database with bad list uploads/purchases. Occasionally run email validations - get rid of those records that are invalid or could be spam traps. Also, follow a best-practice email compliance strategy so that the records in your database that want to be emailed are getting emails!
Can you share a time when you've used an Agile approach to tackling a large project - such as a designing a new nurture program or re-imagining lead scoring? JR: We've done several large-scale implementations, and an agile approach is very important because it both helps you deliver things faster, and also helps make sure the collaborative effort takes into account all aspects of the project and allows it to evolve. Where we can, we break it into iterations and sprints. For example, we may want to integrate a large-scale digital transformation that involves a complete lead management/scoring/lifecycle overhaul, a perpetual and dynamic nurture, a personalized and connected web experience, etc. Each of those parts have dependencies on each other, and if you want to do it all at once you'll spend a lot of time waiting on other pieces to move certain parts forward. That kind of transformation would take a lot of time - a lot of waiting for stakeholders that want to see results. We break that down into chunks to see what minimum viable pieces can launch sooner/faster to drive immediate impact now, and then work in the fuller picture and entire project later. For example, for an example large-scale project first we'll overhaul accelerator forms and lead management/RCM/scoring to improve conversions, funnel tracking, and data management improving KPI visibility. The second iteration we overhaul progressive forms, web personalization, and fulfillment nurture to ramp up funnel movement. The third iteration we launch the perpetual, automated nurture. Lastly a fourth iteration adds in a dynamic, automated eNewsletter. Each iteration has one or more sprints, and after that - optimization sprints!
Now, taking that down a level to one example: a new nurture program (we'll assume it's a big one with a lot of emails). A nurture program consists of picking, and sometimes developing, which content should be included. It involves email and landing page copy and development. It involves Visio flows to determine how the program should operate (not to mention segmentations). You don't first pick and write the content, then write the copy, then develop the emails/LPs, then build the nurture program - that would take forever! Maybe first you build a nurture track for 1 persona, then you add on other tracks for other personas. Maybe first you build most of the emails, and the stragglers get added in later. Depending on your company and needs, the nurture development could be broken down into smaller chunks to get something live faster, with the full vision live later.

A two sentence answer if that is all you need – I have done this several times, and I start by breaking the project down into pieces: What can be delivered sooner/faster to provide immediate value and/or lift, and do that first. Then add in the rest in sprints/iterations to accomplish the larger, longer-term goal.
What has been your experience with distributed model in Marketo as opposed to having a single operations team manage all campaigns? CZ: There are pros and cons with each option, if you're considering each I would review:
1) team resources - a centralized team may have a lot of execution requests which takes away from strategic planning and infrastructure projects
2) support - if you have users in the tool, you need strong admins to support them in training, QA, templatizing, keeping the instance clean because people often don't follow conventions and troubleshooting
3) user resources - are people interested in building their own programs? You can build a decentralized model but if other groups refuse to use your system your plan won't get off the ground

JR: Such a hard question to answer! Each has pros and cons (too many cooks in the kitchen or not enough workers on the line). Have to look at your team structures, employee skill sets, and overall org to figure out which approach is right.
What new Marketo functionality are you excited to use next year? JR: I already started using it this year, but I'm really looking forward to getting as comfortable in the new UI as I was in the old one!
How have you utilized Marketo integrations with Social (LinkedIn or Facebook)? Any tips or tricks? CZ: For Lead Gen Forms, I recommend that you create a template or main form in each platform and clone from there which will help you to always use the right fields you've mapped in Launchpoint, especially for hidden fields. You can't reference a form until someone has filled it out, so create a new form on the platform, fill it out as a test, wait for it to come to Marketo in history and then you can reference in smart campaigns.
Is there a roadmap of upcoming features to Marketo? Is there any way users of the tool can collaborate to add their requests to the roadmap? JR: Users can post and vote on ideas in the community! . You can track the releases and release schedule here (but it doesn't tell you what is coming).