Smart Campaigns are the backbone of the Adobe Marketo Engage platform - they are how you customize your instance, and a deep knowledge of Smart Campaign functionality is what separates the Adobe Marketo Engage power users from casual users. But how do you get started with Smart Campaigns? In this blog, we’ll go into detail on all of the different aspects of Smart Campaigns, as well as some of the best tips for starting your journey toward mastering Smart Campaigns.
What is a smart campaign? Smart Campaigns are essentially low-code programming within Adobe Marketo Engage. They are if this, then that statements that you create in order to manage the people in your database. What does this mean? Let’s dive a little deeper.
Smart list tab. The smart list tab of a Smart Campaign is the “if this” part of the statement. Here is where you will define which people in your database qualify for your smart campaign. You can do this using filters, triggers, or a combination of the two. Filters are just queries on the fields existing in your database. There are also filters for activity data (such as clicking links in emails or visiting web pages) and custom object data. Filters are green and will look like this:
Triggers listen for changes in your database (data value changes, program membership changes, etc). Triggers are orange and will look like this:
When using a trigger in your smart campaign, it is always either on or off, and cannot be scheduled, whereas when using just filters, your campaign must be scheduled to run at certain times. We will dive into more detail on this when we get to the schedule tab. In order to qualify for a campaign with multiple triggers, the person only needs to qualify for one of the triggers. When combining filters and triggers, the person will need to qualify for one of the triggers as well as the filters, depending on the filter logic you have set. It is important to note that filter logic on triggered smart campaigns only applies to the filters and not the triggers. It is also important to note that while this tab is called Smart List and has many of the same features as the Smart List object, they are two fundamentally different objects within Adobe Marketo Engage. We will dig into this deeper in this blog about smart lists .
Flow tab. The flow tab of a Smart Campaign is the “then that” part of the statement. Here is where you will decide what you want to happen to the people who qualify for your smart campaign. There are a whole host of actions you can take on these people, from data value changes, to program membership changes, to sending emails and alerts, to even CRM updates! One important thing to note with the flow tab is that leads will go through the flow steps in the order that they are placed within this tab - so let’s say that you want to send yourself an alert whenever someone fills out a specific form, but first you want to update a data value and have that data value shown in the alert. It’s important to put the data value change flow step before the send alert flow step in this case to ensure you accomplish the desired outcome.
Another key part of the flow tab is the ability to set choices within flow steps. For example, let’s say you want to use a smart campaign to change anyone with a country value of Canada to a country value of CA, but you don’t want to change that data value of any other people who are running through your flow. You can use the Choices feature to accomplish this:
Schedule tab. This tab allows you to activate your smart campaign (if you have triggers within the smart list tab) or schedule your smart campaign (if you are using only filters). The first thing to pay attention to on this tab is the Smart Campaign settings box - this will be relevant for both batch and triggered smart campaigns.
You can click on Edit within this box in order to edit how often you want people to be able to flow through the campaign (you have the option to allow people to flow through the campaign every time they qualify, only once, or once every hour/day/week/month depending on your needs). You can also decide whether you would like to ignore communication limits or block non-operational emails sent out of this campaign.
Now let’s talk about other important features to pay attention to on the Schedule tab for batch campaigns. The first thing you should look at is the Smart List Status:
This will let you know roughly how many people are expected to run through the smart campaign. When setting up a batch smart campaign, you should have an idea of how many people you expect will run through it, and if this number varies significantly from what is listed within the Smart List Status, it may be a sign that something is off with your filters. You’ll also want to pay attention to the number of people blocked from emails if you are using a send email flow step.
Once you’ve taken a look at these things, it’s time to schedule your smart campaign. You have the option to run it now or schedule it to run once later on by selecting the “Run Once” option, or schedule it to run on a specified cadence by choosing the “Schedule Recurrence” option.
Once you’ve scheduled your batch campaign, you’re done!
Now what about triggered campaigns? You’ll notice that there is no smart list status with a triggered campaign, and nor is there an option to run once or schedule recurrence. This is because triggers by nature fire each time a person qualifies and therefore there is no cadence, nor does the system know how many people may qualify. In order to turn on your triggered smart campaign, you simply need to click the Activate button! It can be a bit nerve-wracking to turn on a smart campaign without being able to check how many people are expected to qualify, so one good trick I like to use is to add a filter into the Smart List section that says Email Address is [my email], turn the Smart Campaign on, and then do the expected behavior myself and make sure that the Smart Campaign runs. This is a good way to test the functionality of your Smart Campaign before it is live in the system. Once you are happy with the functionality after your tests, simply remove the email address filter that you added and the Smart Campaign will be live for the rest of the system!
Smart Campaign Practical Applications
Now that we’ve gone into detail about all facets of smart campaigns, you’re ready to get started with them in your own instance! Are you now thinking to yourself, this is all great but what should I be using this for? Here are some great practical applications of Smart Campaigns and tips to get started.
Data Normalization. Anyone who manages a database knows that data hygiene is one of the absolute most important things to keep in mind. Smart Campaigns can help with a lot of the manual work we often do in order to keep our databases clean. Let’s take country normalization as an example. You can create a batch smart campaign that runs nightly and listens in the smart list tab for anyone who has a country value that doesn’t fit within your approved list of values within the smart list section, then in the flow you can use choices to update common misspellings or incorrect values like below:
You can use this same idea to clean up anything from lead sources to countries to states to industries, the possibilities are endless!
Sending Alerts. Most marketers have, at some point, been asked by a member of their sales team to send alerts when a person record that is owned by them does some specific action. Smart Campaigns are a really easy way to set these alerts up in a very automated way. In the smart list tab, simply select triggers based on what your rep has requested, then in the flow, drag over the “Send Alert” flow step, select who you want to send it to (you can choose the record owner, or you can type email addresses in the “Other” section. You can even use tokens within this “Other” section!)
Smart Lists within Smart Campaigns. Smart Lists are so powerful, but are you wondering how to operationalize them? One of my favorite uses of Smart Lists is within choices in Smart Campaigns. Choices are a wonderful feature that give you tons of flexibility within your Smart Campaign flows, but they can also be restrictive. They only allow you to call one filter within the choice, which is where your Smart Lists come in. Let’s say you want to use choices within your flow steps, but you need people to qualify for two filters in order to qualify for the choice. All you need to do is create a Smart List with the filters you’d like to use in your choice, then within the choice, your filter would be “Member of Smart List” with a constraint of “is” and then point to the Smart List you created with your desired filters.
Now that you have a better understanding for leveraging Smart Campaigns, dive deeper with Adobe Marketo Engage Champions on tips for things to consider and avoid with Smart Lists and Smart Campaigns.
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Smart Lists are a key functionality within Adobe Marketo Engage, and a strong knowledge of how Smart Lists work is key to being able to take your Adobe Marketo Engage usage to the next level. Smart Lists allow you to create combinations of filters in order to find lists of people within your database who meet the filter criteria. Smart Lists can be used within programs, or you can have standalone Smart Lists in the Database section of Adobe Marketo Engage. Are you wondering how to get started with Smart Lists? In this blog, we’ll go into detail on all of the different aspects of Smart Lists, and at the end we’ll have a quiz to test your knowledge! Filters. The most important part of your Smart List will always be your filters. Filters will be dragged over from the right side of the screen within the Smart List tab of your Smart List, and there are myriad filter options:
Within the Activity History folder, you will find various filters based on different activities that people can take within Adobe Marketo Engage, such as clicking a link in an email, visiting a web page, data values changing, etc. It is important to note that there are both Activity History filters and Inactivity Filters - if you are looking to use a filter to see everyone who clicked a link in an email, you’ll use Activity History filters, but if you are looking to see everyone who did NOT click a link in an email, you’ll want to use the Inactivity Filters. Within the Person Attributes and Company Attributes folders, you will find filters corresponding to all of the fields you have within your database. The filters within the Segmentation Filters section allows you to filter off of the segmentations and segments that already exist within your Lead Database. The filters in the Salesforce folder will show you various SFDC custom fields, where the Custom filter folder will show all available filters from custom objects. The Special Filters folder gives you access to various Adobe Marketo Engage-specific filters (such as program membership filters, smart list membership filters, etc.).
Operators. Once you know what filters you would like to use, it’s important to think about which operators you would like to use within each filter. Operators allow you to describe your filter or trigger in straightforward language. For string field types, the operators are pretty straightforward - you can use is or is not (for example, email address is/is not firstname.lastname@example.org ) along with contains or not contains. With integer fields, you can look at more than, less than, equals, etc. Date filters have some relatively complex operators that allow you to look at other relative dates, and even type in natural text (for example ‘six months’). For more detail on operators, check out this product doc .
Constraints. Certain filters (mainly activity/inactivity filters) allow you to get even more granular using constraints, which are extra criteria that allow you to help narrow your search even further. Constraints can be found in the top right corner of the filter, and you will set them up the same way that you set up any other filter.
Filter Logic. The last important part of Smart Lists to pay attention to is your filter logic. If you are using more than one filter, you will need to let Adobe Marketo Engage know whether you want the filters to be a series of and statements, or statements, or a combination of the two. Filter logic is defined at the top left of your Smart List.
The default for a new Smart List is to use all filters, but you can choose to also use any filter, making your filters into ‘or’ statements, or if you want a combination of the two, you can choose to use Advanced Filters. If using advanced filters, make sure to use parentheses to separate the and and or statements.
Quiz. So you think you know how to use Smart Lists? Let’s put that knowledge to the test! Below you will find some questions to test your Smart List knowledge.
You are helping a field marketer pull a list of people to invite to an event in the Detroit area. You’ve been asked to pull a list of everyone who has a Person Score above 40 points, is not unsubscribed, and either has a city of Detroit or a zip code of 48201. What would your Smart List filters look like? a.
You would like to start purging stale data in your database, and you’d like to start by looking at leads that have not been added to a program and not clicked a link in any email in the last year and are also unsubscribed. What would your Smart List filters look like? a.
A marketer would like to run a re-engagement campaign on any people within the database who have been sent emails within the last 6 months and have not clicked links in an email in the past 6 months. They would also like to add the additional criteria that the person is either in the US OR have a title of Marketing Operations Manager. What would their Smart List filters look like? a.
The correct answer is C ! A is incorrect because the constraint for person score is “is” where it should be “greater than”, meaning that it would only pull in people whose person score is exactly 40 points. B is incorrect because the filter logic is using ALL filters, which means that you would need to have both a city of Detroit AND a postal code of 48201 in order to qualify, thus not meeting the requirements you were given.
The correct answer is B ! A is incorrect because the clicked link in email filter should actually be an inactivity filter (not clicked link in email). C is incorrect because the filter logic looks at any filters, and you want all filters.
The correct answer is B ! A is incorrect because the filter logic is any filters, where it should be advanced filters. C is incorrect because filter #2 looks at clicking links where it should be NOT clicking links.
Now that you have a better understanding for leveraging Smart Lists, dive deeper with Adobe Marketo Engage Champions on tips for things to consider and avoid with Smart Lists and Smart Campaigns.
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As someone who spends about 90% of my workday in Marketo Engage, Adobe Summit is one of my favorite weeks of the year. Not only do we get to see all of the new features and enhancements coming to the Marketo Engage platform, we also get to learn from some of the best Marketo experts around. While it was disappointing that we couldn’t gather in person for Summit this year, that doesn’t mean we had to miss out on any of the valuable content! I’ve spent the last few days binging as many breakout sessions as I could, and I’ve rounded up some of my favorites below, along with why I found them relevant: 1. Don’t Be a Basic Batch: Test Nurture Program Success As marketing operations professionals, we are consistently being asked “is my program working?”, and the answer is often more complicated than our stakeholders think. While measuring the ROI on a webinar or event program is relatively straightforward, measuring the success of a nurture program is much trickier. This session does a great job of helping you define what success means for your specific nurture programs, as well as giving you actionable ways to measure that success on an ongoing basis. Their concept of the nurture score is one I hadn’t heard of previously, and I can’t wait to deploy this in my own Marketo instance. 2. Practical Uses of AI for Today’s Enterprise Marketers One buzzword we’re constantly hearing about in marketing technology today is AI. This session explains Marketo Engage’s AI roadmap including Predictive Audiences, which uses AI to help marketers define their ideal audiences for each of their programs, as well as the updates to Marketo Sales Insight which include a new UI, Marketing Calendar being integrated into Sales Insight, and AI capabilities directly in Sales Insight. While many of these features are not yet available in Marketo Engage, they are certainly exciting updates to the platform and this session has me counting down the days until I can use Predictive Audiences myself! 3. The Best-Kept Marketo Secret: The Campaign Requested Feature As anyone who manages a Marketo Engage instance knows, system efficiency is key. Too many inefficient triggers and smart campaigns can lead to a backlog in campaign processing, which can in turn lead to many other negative downstream effects. This session digs deep into one of Marketo’s most under-utilized features, the Campaign Requested feature, and how to use it to increase system efficiency, as well as save yourself time while building out programs. This feature is truly one of Marketo’s best kept secrets, and I plan to execute several of the strategies put forth in this session in my own instance. 4. Resuscitate and Revive Dying Leads Most of us have a mechanism in our lead lifecycle that allows sales to recycle leads back to marketing for further qualification. But what happens to those leads once they’re recycled? Many of us don’t have a centralized strategy for how to nurture these leads back to MQL status again, thus letting them die. This session gives you a very detailed and robust setup for recycle nurture programs. It goes through how to do the system setup, how to use reporting to measure the success of your program, and several extras you can deploy to take your nurture program to the next level. 5. Cover your Bases: Privacy Compliance and Legal Requirements in Marketo These days, you’d be hard pressed to find a marketer whose marketing efforts haven’t been affected in some way by privacy legislation. In marketing operations, it’s our job to ensure that our Marketo databases are compliant with all regional privacy laws, and with new laws being passed more and more frequently, this task can seem daunting. This session gives an excellent overview of how to ensure compliance with regional laws in a very manageable and scalable way. My current instance is set up almost exactly this way, but I’m looking forward to making some tweaks after watching this session in order to become even more efficient. With all of these sessions giving me some great actionable ideas for database enhancement, I can’t wait to start applying them in my own Marketo Engage instance. Did I miss any of your favorite sessions from this year? Let me know in the comments below!
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Hi All, Our team has been looking into a few different vendors for ABM advertising. We've narrowed it down to Terminus and RollWorks - does anyone here have experience with either of these vendors that they would be willing to share? Or any other vendors you use for your ABM advertising that has been really successful? Thanks, Chiara
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