Programs: Operational or not Operational?

Level 5

Programs: Operational or not Operational?

Hey Marketo Community,

What criteria do you use to decide whether a program is "operational" or not? I know there isn't a right or wrong answer but I'd like to see the thought process of other marketers when making this decision. An example that comes to mind are Tech Support/Customer Service forms.

Any comments are appreciated, thanks!

Level 10 - Champion Alumni

Re: Programs: Operational or not Operational?


We use operational program channels for efforts that are not directly related to marketing. For example, we have a few forms for our clients to complete and those responses are directed to our client success team so we house those under an operational channel. Another example are our data management programs where we monitor and cleanse the database, we also keep those under an operational program channel.

Not applicable

Re: Programs: Operational or not Operational?

I have also used operational programs for an email send for address updates or tax information changes. I do not want to measure the results, link to a SFDC Campaign or have their actions trigger other programs so I keep the program operational. For the case of operational forms as Devraj Grewal​ mentions, I use a naming convention which automatically keeps those form fills from global programs such as Interesting Moments, Lead Scoring, etc.

Level 9 - Champion Alumni

Re: Programs: Operational or not Operational?

I would say any program that does not influence opportunities as your company perceives influence. If you don't care to show how the program affected/affects revenue, operational programs are the best way to suppress this "noise" from your RCA or RCE reports.

Level 6

Re: Programs: Operational or not Operational?

Hi Lucho - we use operational emails primarily for emails related to webinar registration, downloading content, requesting a demo, etc. Basically anything that requires some sort of follow-up, a pdf download or registration. Also on occasion for our product downtime, but we've gone away from that and announce downtime using product alerts.  We've found those emails to be of extremely low value/little engagement and it's not worth the time to put together or the annoyance it may cause our clients.

Level 3

Re: Programs: Operational or not Operational?

Hi Lucho
We use operational programs/emails by asking these qualifying questions:
1. Does the email/program contain non-marketing messages only?    
2. Does the email/program contain information that informs the lead regarding a status e.g. Account Information?    
3. Would the inclusion of the email/program in Analytics skew the true marketing reporting?

If the answer to all 3 is YES then the program should be operational. This minimises the risk of communicating sales/promo messages to leads who do not want this information and prevents 'noise' in the reports.

These operational emails can be very valuable in certain circumstances - particularly if you have an organisation or client who has a large number of existing customers who need to have information communicated outside of marketing messages on a regular basis.