7 Replies Latest reply on Apr 10, 2015 10:33 AM by Justin Norris

    Which Value to use for utm code tracking

      Hi - We are working on standardizing our utm code tracking for all of our URL's and forms. 

      Can someone explain the value/difference is setting up hidden field for C.campaign, c.medium, c.source, etc with either to get value from 'URL parameter' or 'Cookie Value' or 'Referral parameter'?

      We want the utm codes in the URL's created by our search marketing agency to overwrite the default value set in forms 2.0. 

      Thanks!
        • Re: Which Value to use for utm code tracking
          Elliott Lowe
          You should preserve utm values in cookies and read those into hidden form fields first because after the initial page visit a lead may navigate to other pages before they sumit a form.
          • Re: Which Value to use for utm code tracking
            Iryna Zhuravel
            I'm also not exactly clear on those different choices

            We always use URL parameter to grab utm values, and it works just fine. How would the proces of capturing utms work diferently if I select "Cookie value"?

            From what I read I imagine using Cookie value would allow to capture utm data in more cases, e.g. if someone came through a tracked linked, clicked around and the utm part of the url got lost, then went back to the page with the form and filled it in - if I use URL parameter value my form will not capture any utms, but if I use the Cookie value I would still be able to capture the original utms, as they would be stored in the cookies, which the visitor hopefully haven't cleared yet, is that correct?

            and what does Referral parameter mean?

            Thanks
            • Re: Which Value to use for utm code tracking
              Elliott Lowe
              You are correct about cookies preserving querystring parameters as someone clicks around your site.  In fact if you have multiple forms on your site and they all look at the cookie value, whichever formis submitted will have the querystring parameters that were stored in the cookie.

              There is always the chance that the visitor doesn't have cookies enabled and in that case, you would not be able to obtain the querystring parameters.  Also in this case Marketo's tracking cookie (_mkto_trk) wouldn't be able to track their page vsits on your site.  Almost no one that visits our website has their cookies disabled though, so we use the cookie method.

              See the URL vs Referrer Parameter -- What's the Difference? discussion article for more about those parameters.
              • Re: Which Value to use for utm code tracking
                Justin Norris
                +10 to Elliot! In my opinion parameters --> cookies is a must, otherwise we are just flying on a wing and a prayer and hoping leads don't leave our landing page before we can grab their URL params.

                Iryna, to get the cookie method to work you will also need some javascript to capture the URL parameters and store them as cookies so that they become accessible to the form fields  -- then it will work exactly as you describe.

                Justin Norris | Perkuto
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                • Re: Which Value to use for utm code tracking
                  So If I set my utm parameters to pull from cookie values, the utm codes from the first page they visit (has a tracking URL) will be captured even if they navigate to other pages and fill out a different form on another page? 

                  And if I use URL parameter, the utm codes will only be captured if they fill out the form on the page they first clicked on (assuming they don't choose to navigate to another page)? If they do navigate to another page, then the utm tracking is lost for good? 
                  • Re: Which Value to use for utm code tracking
                    Hi Justin - If I use the cookie method, what javascript will I need to add? 
                    • Re: Which Value to use for utm code tracking
                      Justin Norris
                      "So If I set my utm parameters to pull from cookie values, the utm codes from the first page they visit (has a tracking URL) will be captured even if they navigate to other pages and fill out a different form on another page? "

                      Yes, except you would need to set your form fields to pull from cookie values. You can create a persistent cookie that travels wtih the lead across the site and even across multiple visits (i.e., if they come back in three weeks you know their original source).

                      "And if I use URL parameter, the utm codes will only be captured if they fill out the form on the page they first clicked on (assuming they don't choose to navigate to another page)? If they do navigate to another page, then the utm tracking is lost for good?"

                      Most likely, yes. Your form fields only grab the parameters if they are actually present in the URL, and this URL will change when they navigate to another page.

                      You may get lucky and capture the data in the "original referrer" field, which is a system field auto-populated by Marketo, and then you could potentially reverse engineer the parameters from that. But this is hit and miss in my experience.
                      Better to make it as bullet proof as possible!

                      "If I use the cookie method, what javascript will I need to add? "

                      I don't have a javascript snippet at hand, unfortunately. In the past when I've done it as an in-house Marketer, I used a wordpress plugin to grab the parameters and put them into cookies, and we had custom parameters (not UTMs). If you are on wordpress check out a plugin called Cookie Monster as it may solve your problem.

                      Now that I'm on the agency side, I know this is something we deploy for clients but I don't have the code on hand.

                      If you get stuck drop me a line, justin@perkuto.com.

                      Justin Norris | Perkuto

                       
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