Generally, my clients only use one form for many landing pages, only creating new forms when the specific questions on the form are different.
The implication in Marketo is how you configure smart campaigns: if you use the same form for many pages, you can simply identify the form fillouts by what page they occurred on, provided the landing pages were themselves created within Marketo.
There are advantages to both and there is no clear cut right or wrong way - it depends on your implementation and needs.
One of the advantages of of creating unique forms is the ease of reporting. The main advantages of using one form are ease of implementation and reduction of clutter.
If you speak more about your reasons for wanting unique forms, we could help you figure out if that makes sense and justify it to your web developer.
In addition to the great points above, I will also say that using unique forms becomes quite easy with Marketo because of cloning. Lliterally if you have a local form in a program when you clone the program you get a new form. This means that you may not need some of the custom "Webmaster-y" stuff to identify the unique forms. The general advice I give my clients is:
1. Use Global forms when appropriate (Contact Sales, Content Gating etc.)
2. Use Local forms when appropriate (Webinar registrations, live events etc.)
2. How much reliance on your webmaster could be aleviated by cloning
3. Maintenance (via Jep Castelein) - in other words, if you have a form that wont change, its ok to have them decentralized, but if you anticipate a lot of changes or updates, it is easier to change it all in one place.
Hope this helps!
We use 6 different forms for resource downloads, demo requests, newsletter subscriptions and webinar registrations, plus a couple of different sizes.
The down-side of multiple forms is that if you need to add a field, make a field required, update a picklist (e.g. Industry, etc.), you have to do it in multiple forms (perhaps dozens or hundreds). There isn't a big advantage to having multiple forms as long as you have a way to uniquely identify a form's context (e.g. specific collateral request, webinar registration, etc.), which you can easily do by its presence on a specific Marketo landing page. If the form is not on a Marketo landing page, and you display it via an iframe statement, you would just add a unique querystring parameter (e.g. ID=123) to the iframe statement and read it into a hidden field on the form. My non-technical staff does this all the time. Alternately you can have your webmaster add a field to the page setup in your CMS into which you would add the unique parameter if you want a form displayed and he would program your CMS to add that parameter to the iframe statement querystring for you.
I actually have to use multiple forms for different use, for different programs. One has progressive profiling in use, and one without. There's a form for newsletter sign-up that only need 1 or 3 fields. There's a few that have to match our print stuff in terms of the font face and color. Then there's a form by region.
This is one of those great philosophical issues that the Marketo user community will never fully resolve! :-)
I'm firmly in the camp of using a new form for each campaign. The form sits in the Program with the landing page, emails, lists and smart campaigns, so I don't find clutter to be an issue. And having the separate form gives me the flexility of triggering actions off completion of the form, as well as future smart-list generation.
To avoid Elliott's issues with rebuilding picklists, etc., I have a couple of "Master" forms that I clone--then delete fields tha may not be appropriate for that parcitular campaign.
I'll add that we're also heavy users of progressive profiling, and have invested in appending our data to reduce the number of fields we need to include in forms.
I agree with Steve S. I also have to add that for our forms the submit button is not the same for every campaign. Some say demo request, sign me up! or sign up. So for that reason alone I can't use one form. Ours is also organized and devoid of clutter because it's contained in a program and the naming convention is consistent, so it's easy to find.
Wow thank you all for the responses, I only expected one or two people to respond. I appreciate everyone's comments , I particularly like the notion of using global forms and local forms.
One thing that I found my web guy is hesitant about though (which I didn't fully understand) is that our current Marketo form has maybe 7-10 fields that aren't being used on ANY of our pages. So I suggested why don't I delete those off the form since we don't use it. But he's very reluctant in doing that because he sees the Marketo form as a way to capture information from a form fillout. So he wants to have all those fields there just in case we want it in the future. But my understanding is that if we do want to use it in the future, I can just add it back in later but I think that there's a good chance that we won't ever use those fields.
At a minimum, you should hide fields on a form that you're not really using. If you remove them, you can always add them back later.
Well on the webpage that the form is on, our web developer makes custom edits so that those fields aren't visible but to me that just seemed like unnecessary work