We're taking a similar approach, but to simplify the number of funnels are looking at the higher-level categories (in your example, Exec Ed vs. Master's) as funnels, rather than the individual programs. We're in the process of setting up segmentations and corresponding lead fields to support the model. When done, each record will be assigned a segment within each of our major program areas (Undergraduate, Graduate, Summer Programs, etc.), which we'll use to manage inclusion in marketing programs and communications. We'll then mirror these segment assignments in newly-created lead fields, to make them visible to users in our CRM (Salesforce).
"Program Interest" fields on the lead (in the case of suspects and inquiries) and/or on the application record itself (in case of applicants) will give us the granularity we need to report on specific programs, without needing to set up entirely new funnel models for each.
I'm sure there's more than 1 way to skin the cat, though, so I'd be interested to hear of any progress you've made on this.
I just got back from Marketing Nation. There was a great presentation from Panasonic Europe on how they did exactly what we want, but also cautioned it was a lot of work. I heard the presentations were recorded.
** Did you see the presentation? If not let me know and I will try to remember to let you know if I see the video of the session.
My post Marketo conclusion is to simplify significantly the desired outcome and only try to get to "Priority program" and then interest in other programs/courses. Then the only other issue we will have to do is work on exclusions to make sure even if someone shows interest in a program, they don´t get that communication stream if they are already a graduate of the program (use case: graduate that was just curious about current activities and starts showing interest.). The other use case: Parents who are graduates checking things out for their kids/niece/nephews still may have value since they may be making the final decision jointly with the potential student, so we can´t just "default exclude them" but will need to consider how to do that better.
I hope to have our approach a bit more clear in the next week or so, if you would like me to share it, I would be happy to do so.
Thanks for sharing your ideas.
Related to your last point as well as the whole data architecture, we are also going to use a subscription center to help manage communications, and let people's expressed preferences take priority over our own assumptions about what they want to receive. So, in reference to your example of someone who's a graduate of a program then expressing interest - if they've explicitly raised their hand, we would include them in communications, until such time as they opt out of communications related to that program area. From that perspective, it's not incumbent on us to try to intuit what the individual wants to hear about; instead, it's on us to provide an easy mechanism for the individual to make their preferences known and be able to update those preferences at any time.
I just saw a communication from Marketo saying that Summit presentations will be posted in June, so I'll be sure to keep an eye out for the Panasonic session.
Matthew, do you do everything in house, or do you use a firm to help you build this? Who is your firm? I met with Mambo Media today. It was an warm intro call, but things seemed interesting to keep the conversation going.