4 Replies Latest reply on Aug 2, 2017 12:49 PM by James Zolinski

    What values to use for utm parameters?

    James Zolinski

      Hello everyone! I'm relatively new to creating UTM parameters for various links for various campaigns and am a bit confused as to what values I should be using.


      I've heard a few different trains of thought for what the actual values should be for the various parameters. Specifically, for utm campaign.


      I've heard that campaign should be the overall campaign name. For example, at my company, we have ads specifically made around what we call "Yoga man" (your average joe kind of guy, but doing yoga in overly-tight clothes). We may promote these Yoga Man ads in many different mediums and sources. From my understanding, under a "traditional" marketing structure, my utm_campaign value would be "yoga_man", with say a utm_medium=paid_social & utm_source=facebook.


      I've heard that when using Marketo, it's better to match utm_campaign to the Marketo program name. So, I might make a program for the Yoga Man fdisplay ads on one website, a program for Yoga Man display ads for another website, and a program for Yoga Man display ads for Facebook. Instead of utm_campaign=yoga_man, I would have utm_campaign=PP_DA_FleetOwner_2017-01-19_Generic and utm_campaign=PP_SM_Facebook_2017-03-08_Generic.


      I've also heard that it is a terrible idea to use the program name for the campaign, as it is way too specific (or... perhaps our programs are far too specific). I could foresee this being a problem when looking at Google Analytics and seeing an endless list of campaign values. Perhaps, one should just use the acquisition program to track this?


      What are your thoughts? Best practices for utm values? Bad habits to stay away from?


      Also, for bonus credit, what kind of value do you use for lead source (Person Source) when using all the standard UTM parameters? I'm currently thinking the leadsource value would just be a concatenated version of all the UTM parameters?


      Thank you Marketo Community! You all are amazing!

        • Re: What values to use for utm parameters?
          Darrell Alfonso

          Good points Jimmy.


          I use an abbreviated form of the campaign name for UTM_Campaign, without the date. My logic here is that in reporting, you can filter out old campaigns or target specific time periods with the date filter.


          For source, I match those with our agreed upon Lead Sources, which actually match our channels to make things easier.

            • Re: What values to use for utm parameters?
              James Zolinski

              Thank you Darrell!


              I believe you're right on the abbreviated form of campaign name for utm_campaign! In my case, I'm thinking it may be worth to keep a date on it though as reporting is done outside of Marketo, so we wouldn't be able to take advantage of the date filters.


              So for leadsource, you have agreed upon values between marketing and sales, and you use those values for your utm_source? I was thinking something like this, as I know lead source is a heavily used field between marketo and many CRMs. Do you find that the leadsource is lacking information? That's the feedback I usually get from analysts when I talk about making the leadsource simple (instead of say, a giant string of program and utm information).

                • Re: What values to use for utm parameters?
                  Darrell Alfonso

                  Yup, you are right, so lead source can be vague when you are reporting later.


                  I actually take the UTM_Campaign value and populate a field called Lead Source Detail which does the trick.

                    • Re: What values to use for utm parameters?
                      James Zolinski

                      Oh! That's actually what I walked into at this new job. The agency we are using had them setup with lead source and lead source detail. In this scenario, lead source = utm_medium and lead source detail = utm_source or in your case, utm_campaign.


                      Which, at a higher level works great, but I've heard analysts complain that just medium and source are not near enough information to answer the right questions.


                      It feels like no matter what route you take with lead source and utm parameters, that you won't be able to make everyone happy. Or, at least without a development team to do heavy customization.


                      Thank you Darrell! I have a feeling that I'm trying to solve for too many things at once. I just want to implement a system that captures everything we need, gives us plenty of reporting flexability in the future, and makes sense to people who have to consume information like lead source (sales reps).