Segmentation & List Building Best Practices?

Level 8

Segmentation & List Building Best Practices?

Hi all,

I separated this question into (2) pieces (A. Segmentations & B. List Building) since I think they relate:

A.) Segmentations

We're trying to identify fields we'd need to build out our future segmentations. The existing content makes it clear that segmentations are meant to be simple, with the qualification for each segment involving only the most basic information. Listed below are some example groupings used to define segmentations:

1. Business Unit (BU A, BU B, etc.) - likely boolean fields?

2. Product Interest (Product A, Product B, etc.) - likely boolean fields?

3. Region/Territory (Ex: North America) - combining Canada and USA?

4. Lead/Status type (prospect, client, competitor, etc.) - likely tied to the sales funnel/lead life-cycle?

Please feel free to post any articles/past discussions that pertain to building out segmentations, but I'm also curious to know what other Marketo users have done to define and build out their segmentations (and what that looks like in their instance) as well.

B.) List Building:

The marketing ops team is collaborating with the sales ops team to identify criteria they use to build distribution lists, with the goal being to replicate this set of criteria in the Marketo database (and build a segmentation off of). However, the product information is not baked in with the data architecture (sync) that exists today, so was concerned we'd need to manually refresh product field values (via list imports) on a monthly basis.

Anyway, I was also wondering what the list build process looks like for other Marketo users, and what set of criteria you use to build a distribution list within Marketo.

I appreciate your help,


Tom Kerlin
Level 10

Re: Segmentation & List Building Best Practices?

Hi Tom,

1/ Segmentations are much faster to use in smart campaigns targets and enforce the implicit rules that a lead can only be in one segment at a time. for these reasons, they should have your preference.

The criteria can be much more sophisticated than what you write down combining filters with advanced logic. Only a few fields cannot be used (such as the partition). More importantly, you cannot use past activities to segment, but you could imagine to simulate this with lead fields that you would fill in with info when an activity occurs. You also have to pay attention to date fields, some specific rules apply (see Date Filters in Segmentations) YOu also have a limit of 25 segmentations in your instance and 100 segments per segmentations. Another element about segmentations is you can restrict the right to edit segmentations, making it safer as only a limited number of people will get the right to change the rules about them.

2/ Smart lists provide obviously additional flexibility, including the possibility to easily invoke activities. But they are much slower when used in a smart campaign, they do not guarantee a partition of your target by design and can be tempered with by users.

As much as we can with regards to products, we try to sync them as custom objects; so that they can easily be invoked in smart lists.

My 2 cents