14 Replies Latest reply on Sep 9, 2016 11:23 AM by Sanford Whiteman

    UTM vs Marketo Cookie: Need Clarification

      I am trying to capture lead source information using hidden fields on Marketo 2.0 forms on Marketo landing pages. I have thought about using UTM parameters, but my concern with this is that if someone navigates away from the conversion page or comes back later with a new session these parameters will be lost.

       

      Does anyone know if Marketo automatically cookies this information with forms 2.0 so I could use cookies as the value source and then specify the parameter name, thereby solving for these concerns? If so, how long does the Marketo cookie store this information?

       

      What type of information is available on the Marketo cookie anyway?

       

      Is there a good resource I can review for this?

        • Re: UTM vs Marketo Cookie: Need Clarification
          Tim McMinn

          What I had my dev team build out was a combination of UTM and Munchkin where we capture UTM to source leads with hidden form fields, but will place the UTM in cookie as well. We hold this data for a "session" as defined by Google general "session" definition as to match our Google Analytics.

           

          We also input referral URL into this cookie to which also passes through the hidden form fields upon lead conversion. I find this to be more accurate than Marketo's referral out of the box solution.

           

          Pretty sure this wasn't done automatically with forms 2.0 and munchkin, but I can ask my developer later this week.

          • Re: UTM vs Marketo Cookie: Need Clarification
            Sanford Whiteman

            Grant, Marketo will not automatically copy form field data into a cookie. (Of course, if you set the source of a hidden field to be a cookie, then by definition you also have a copy of the same data as a cookie.)  You can persist the data yourself if you want, but it will not happen unless you take steps (using the Forms 2.0 JavaScript API) to save it.

             

            In fact, Marketo will not use a cookie at all unless you also load Munchkin (not required for Forms 2.0 to operate). When used, the _mkto_trk cookie is meant to be opaque.  It does not store any data that can be directly read, but rather connects your browsing history to a Marketo lead record.

            • Re: UTM vs Marketo Cookie: Need Clarification
              Iryna Zhuravel

              Hi Grant

               

              I did something similar recently, so I'll add my 5 cents:

               

              - Munchkin does not write data like utm parameters into somebody's cookies; however, Marketo Forms can pick up utm data from cookies and populate hidden fields with those values

              - Adding utms into cookies should be done by your webdevelopers, we did it on external webpages where our forms are embedded, but it should be also possible to do on marketo landing pages through JS (I personally never did that on Marketo lp's, but see no reason why it wouldn't work)

              - Make sure they use persistent cookie and give it a long enough time to live, it depends on how long your campaign is running, but I make mine live at least for a month or two. Again this depends on your needs, using session cookies might also be just fine. I prefer to store the info for sometime, in case people come back to our website in a couple of days

              - To capture those utm values go to your form -> Hidden Field -> Autofill: Edit -> Get value from - select "Cookie value" and make sure to specify the name of the utm parameter you want the data to be captured from, e.g. utm_source, utm_medium etc

              That's it, you should be good to go!

               

              A few things to remember:

              - if you want to track who clicked on your tracked link but didn't submit the form, use a trigger/filter Webpage is "www.example.com" and a constraint Query string "iryna-utm-campaign"; anything coming after "?" Marketo will not see as a part of the url, but as a query string value

              - you still might loose some data because of people clearing their cache or using adblockers in their browsers

              - sometimes people might come from a tracked page A, wonder around and then fill out a form on page B, so lets say you were running adwords for both page A and page B, then in some rare cases you would get someone with utm_campaign=pageA getting into the Page B campaign; it is also pretty good result as you got a conversion, just something to keep in mind

               

              Hope it helps

               

              *Original comment was edited to correct an inaccuracy pointed out by Sanford Whiteman below.

                • Re: UTM vs Marketo Cookie: Need Clarification
                  Sanford Whiteman

                  Iryna, just to be precise, Munchkin does not read cookies other than its own _mkto_trk.   Marketo Forms -- a different module -- is capable of filling hidden fields from cookies.

                   

                  The distinction is important because you can use Forms without using Munchkin, and vice versa.   They are not dependent upon each other, though there are huge advantages to using both. When you combine the two technologies, you'll get automatic association of the _mkto_trk cookie with a Form-identified lead record, and (in environments in which it is supported) you can prefill Form fields from the Munchkin-associated lead record.

                  • Re: UTM vs Marketo Cookie: Need Clarification
                    Jan Vacek

                    Hi Iryna Zhuravel,

                    thank you for your response which actually helps us to understand it pretty well. I have got one question to you, how can you set up a time range for how long the cookie will be stored? Is it possible to do it within marketo environment?

                     

                    Thank you for any information,

                    Jan

                      • Re: UTM vs Marketo Cookie: Need Clarification
                        Sanford Whiteman

                        The default inactivity timeout is 730 days (2 years).  The timeout can be tweaked with the cookieLifeDays initialization parameter.

                         

                        Munchkin.init('AAA-BBB-CCC', {
                           cookieLifeDays: 365
                        });
                        

                         

                        Realize that Munchkin sessions are not like Google sessions. When you expire the cookie, you're declaring that a lead-associated session -- previously logging pageviews and clicks to the Activity Log of a known lead -- will be replaced with an anonymous session.  What's your exact reason for wanting this?

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                          • Re: UTM vs Marketo Cookie: Need Clarification
                            Jan Vacek

                            Hi,

                             

                            we want to use cookie parameters as a source for hidden fields, e.g. campaign_source, medium,.. We have used UTM parameters as a source for that so far but the big disadvantage is that if lead click through ad he lands on our lp with UTMs but if he search our website before he submit a form on lp he loses UTM and when he finally fills the form we track it as organic as there is no UTM at that moment.

                             

                            We decided to test cookie source - so UTMs are recorded in cookie. So there is no problem if the lead search our website and come back without UTMs, we are still able to attribute form submission to specific channel. We want to set up timeout for those parameters, e.g. 2 days. We don't want to store those information for a long time as they can come on our website organically after some time - 2 weeks and not because of our ad - in this case we would populate paid channels.

                             

                            What is your approach in this please? How do you cope with attribution model?

                             

                            Thank you,

                            Jan

                              • Re: UTM vs Marketo Cookie: Need Clarification
                                Sanford Whiteman

                                You're not talking about Marketo cookies, then: you're talking about generic browser cookies that you create to maintain source info. So the Munchkin.init() options are not relevant.

                                 

                                When setting your own cookies, you can set any expiry you want. If you want to align with GA session expiry, you can add corresponding logic (if new utm_ params in URL or > 30m since last visit, etc.). You will need a developer to create a flexible solution.

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                              • Re: UTM vs Marketo Cookie: Need Clarification
                                Jan Vacek

                                Hi Sanford,

                                 

                                thanks a lot for your insightful answers. And as you wrote - I don't want to touch marketo cookie if I would loose info about unknown leads. O would rather adjust our own cookie with our developer.

                                 

                                Thanks again.

                                  • Re: UTM vs Marketo Cookie: Need Clarification
                                    Jan Vacek

                                    HI Sanford,

                                     

                                    one more question please. You described 2 cookies - one from marketo and one our own. But which one is used to capture/collect information in marketo forms if we use source from cookie and not from utm parameters?

                                     

                                    Thanks a lot

                                      • Re: UTM vs Marketo Cookie: Need Clarification
                                        Sanford Whiteman

                                        If you use the built-in Marketo "AutoFill from cookie" feature you actually need multiple cookies. There's a one-to-one correspondence between form field and cookie.

                                         

                                        You can build, quite easily, a custom solution to store UTM values or other fields in one big cookie (a JSON object) and then pass that to addHiddenFields. That's what we do.

                                         

                                        Again, the Marketo Munchkin cookie is not related to collecting data from query string/referrer/etc. and passing it to the form. Forms actually work without Munchkin even being enabled.  It's two different -- highly complementary, but different -- technologies.

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