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Please check the Marketo Summit 2015 slides on Tale of Two Lifecycles.
But you do need to setup a campaign system to manage the flows in the way you want. Yes, you do need to account for skipped stages so you will end up with lots of campaigns to manage these situations.
Thank you for referring me to your incredibly useful video!
On yours and Jeff's advice, I have created a campaign for each stage in the lifecycle.
In the "Smart List" tab I have defined the action that makes the user belong to a specific stage.
In the "Flow" tab I have stamped each user that enters, including stamping any previous stages.
I have also added a "Change Revenue Stage" flow action.
In the Revenue Model, I have changed all my existing transition rules (which are now in the campaigns)
and added a single "Revenue Stage is Changed" transition rule between each stage.
My guess is now all I need to do is add arrows (transition rules) for each possible scenario
(i.e. someone who signs up to the mailing list and then books a consultation without going through any of the other stages).
I'll end up with a ton of arrows, but I suppose that's the only way if I want to account for every possible route?
Thanks again for your advice.
I'd also like to clarify a couple of things if possible, regarding how leads move through the Revenue Model.
1) If there is no arrow in the revenue model but the user does something to join a new stage and triggers the "Change Revenue Stage" flow action in a campaign, does the users stage in the model still change?
If it does, I'm guessing having the arrows in place is purely for analytics to see a typical customer route.
2) Can a users revenue stage go backwards along the success path?
If so that would present a problem for me. Two of my stages are "Visited Campaign LP" and "Applied to Campaign".
If a user applies for a campaign and then later looks at the LP for that campaign, they would have regressed to the former.
Any help would be appreciated!