9 Replies Latest reply on Jul 23, 2017 2:14 PM by Grace Brebner

    How do you document your instance?

    Grace Brebner

      I first set up a Marketo instance as a solo in-house user in a highly regulated industry (where everything must be documented, auditable and signed off). Now I'm agency side, helping clients build and follow best practice solutions. I keep coming back to the importance of a well documented instance - but I'm really curious to know how much documentation others do, and what tools you rely on.

       

      Personally, I love:

      • Confluence (by Atlassian) for... just about everything
      • Trello for project management
      • Lucidchart for visualisation - flow charts, program maps, etc.

       

      What do you use? From process to business requirements, sign off to compliance... whether you hate it or love it:

      • What systems do you use?
      • What do you/don't you document?
      • What challenges do you face around documentation?
        • Re: How do you document your instance?
          Darrell Alfonso

          Hi Grace,

           

          Excel for naming conventions, channels, lead sources, and utm parameters.

           

          One thing I've done that may be different - for some of the more complicated parts of our setup, I've recorded videos using Snagit by Techsmith, and highlight each part of the program - I find it is faster than creating a document with multiple screenshots and captions.

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            • Re: How do you document your instance?
              Grace Brebner

              Hey Darrell,

               

              Thanks for your input!

               

              I've had colleagues use Snagit & found it useful - neat to hear another person fond of it. How do you find handling the management of excel docs for these purposes across larger teams? I've always leaned towards online document platforms like google and confluence because they bypass the versioning issue.

            • Re: How do you document your instance?
              Michelle Tiziani

              On our main Marketing Department account, I use Google Docs to document my process.

              I use the Google spreadsheet for the following:

              UTM parameters

              A list of email templates to use for non scheduled promotional emails or announcements that are one-off when I'm on vacation.

              - I list the names of the template, the location in Marketo and also provide the asset link.

              - I provide a sample outbound campaign, the location in marketo and also provide the asset link. The smart lists are usually consistent by product so all they have to worry about is the flow and associating the correct approved email. Or how to clone a related email send program. 

               

              The most important ones that I document are:

              - Data management, since I audit this every year, I have to update the process once a year.

              - Document for the nurture programs that we have since some of the stream logic and contents are updated at the end of the year. For renewals it's September.

              - Process for Archiving emails, forms and landing pages, and creating redirects.  Archive of Old images and white papers. Hide unused tokens.

              - A detailed how-to of the monthly subscription fulfillment emails maintained by our Marketing Associate.

              - A detailed how-to of the daily news alerts that's maintained by our 2 editors.

               

              - To complete: The process for auditing the behavior scoring and the lifecycle campaigns at the end of the year.

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                • Re: How do you document your instance?
                  Grace Brebner

                  Hey Michelle,

                   

                  Great to hear a thumbs up for google sheets! Processes can be a hard thing to convey across the span of time and tenure. Moving agency side recently I've found myself relying on google sheets more and more for their ease of sharing and accessibility for my clients, but I'm missing the structure and organisation of having a single space on Confluence!

                • Re: How do you document your instance?
                  Nick Hajdin

                  Hi Grace,

                   

                  We find it very useful to document the implementation details and process. This serves as a master file to keep a detailed, consistent model. We create an Excel Workbook detailing the following information:

                  • Index Table of Contents
                  • Workspace matrix
                  • Roles & Permissions
                  • Users
                  • Folders & Naming Structure
                  • Channels
                  • Tags
                  • Lead Scoring
                  • Lead Lifecycle
                  • Asset Inventory
                  • Technical Setup (DKIM/SPF/Munchkin)
                  3 of 3 people found this helpful
                    • Re: How do you document your instance?
                      Grace Brebner

                      Hey Nick - that's a great list to see. I've seen a few clients go through significant staffing changes where none of these things are documented, and finding out what was done in the initial set up becomes really difficult. Do you keep the document regularly updated if you make changes to processes/settings?

                        • Re: How do you document your instance?
                          Nick Hajdin

                          Yes, we keep the master file updated. This helps with change management on both the client and internal team side. It's a great resource to show progress, specifically when implementing a new instance. It also provides an organized approach to keeping the instance structured and sustainable.

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                      • Re: How do you document your instance?
                        Jonas Verhaeghe

                        Hi Grace,

                         

                        Just like you I started of on the client side, but for the last couple of years I've been active on the agency side. Marketing and technology are so intertwined with each other and as a marketer we use so many different tools, that documenting the actions we take became extremely important. I know, it is not sexy and as marketers we are not trained to document. Something we can learn a thing or two from IT ;-). 

                         

                        Anyway my quick thoughts on your questions concerning documenting your Marketo instance (or actually any Marketing Automation platform).

                         

                        • What systems do you use?
                          • I love to use Confluence or similar wikitools. Another (cheaper) solution is to make use of Google Sites. If you have an intranet available which contains a kind of learning and development section, that might do as well. It actually depends on how the organisation is structured, what are the documentation requirements and expectations (if any) and who needs access to that info.

                         

                        • What do you/don't you document?
                          • Workflows - both operational and technical.
                            • Operational: maybe not the best word for it, but how does your marketing team use Marketo (or how should they use it) and what are each teams/persons responsibilities. For example: reporting expectations, naming and foldering conventions, data management rules, etc.
                            • Technical: how certain programs and campaigns SHOULD BE setup in Marketo and what IS the setup of some programs and integrations:
                              • example: if you have a certain basic setup for events/webinars that you expect everyone to follow. Next to create a template in Marketo, provide a 'how-to' walk through
                              • example: a rather complex program or one without a specific end date should be documented once the setup has been finished
                          • Rules for documentation => documenting everything is generally not possible, too time consuming and in several cases overkill, therefore I always define a set up of standard of what should be documented and what is not necessary to be documented.
                            • Should be documented: 3rd party integration, complex programs, programs that have not specific end date or one more than 2 months away (in this case even simple ones), engagement programs - to give you some examples.
                            • Not required to document: blast email campaigns, simple programs with a short time frame, programs which are defined as standard - for example: webinar programs which have the same setup every time.
                          • I always define documentation templates, to ensure everyone documents in more or less the same manner and to smoothen the documentation process.

                         

                        • What challenges do you face around documentation?
                          • From an agency point of view working with clients:
                            • Time is definitely a challenge. As marketers you have always a busy agenda and documenting things is generally last on the 'to do' list.
                            • Storing documentation in an easily accessible manner (for example - a well thought through Confluence set up and navigation is a must)
                            • Convincing people of the need to document as much as needed
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