Get Organized: Folders, Naming Conventions and More OH MY!

If you’re just getting started with Marketo it’s easy to put folders and naming conventions in place, but even if your existing instance is a mess, you can still use these tips and tricks to get organized. You might have folders that don’t make sense or vague campaign names, but you can follow these steps to help add structure to Marketo, no matter what stage you’re at in your usage.





Start by thinking about how your business is structured and how it makes sense to group your campaigns for your folder structure. Depending on the complexity of your business, you may have only a handful of folders or 100s.


Think as granular as you can – is it by Business Unit or Department? In our case we have a few high-level folders for Central Marketing, Product Marketing, Platform Marketing, etc. and a more granular breakdown within that.


Then think by time frame to break it down even further. It makes sense for us to break the year into two key parts – Spring and Fall – since we work with higher education institutions and that’s how our campaign seasons run. Depending on your company and the amount of campaigns you’re going, it might make sense to categorize on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis.


Here is an example of one of our folders and the internal structure:

Folder Structure.png

We also have two other key folders within each of these main folders:

  • Archive Folder - By breaking out the year into sections, it’ll make it easier to find your campaigns and archive them as they are completed. Click here to learn more about how to archive your folders.
  • On-Going Folder – We keep an on-going folder to separate those campaigns that are always running like website forms, landing pages and reporting.



Think about how Program Naming conventions can work with your folder structure.


First, make sure your naming conventions are easily searchable and identifiable. A Program named “Sale Campaign” probably won’t jog your memory if you have to go back and search for it. But one called “CM19F – End of Year Close Out Sale” will help you find when it was created and what it’s about.


For our naming conventions, we use the same Business Unit and Time Period from our folder name, along with the Campaign Name used when it’s submitted.


  • Example: CM19F – Back-to-School Instructor Campaign


You could also add specific codes to your naming conventions to identify certain types of emails or even exclude certain emails from your reporting:


  • “AR” for auto-responder
  • “EM” for a standard email
  • “OPER” for an operational email


If you want to have more advanced naming conventions including things like region, channel, etc. you could also use a Google Sheet or Microsoft Excel document with formulas to input your campaign values and have your Program name generated.


How are you using Folders and Naming Conventions? Share your ideas and best practices in the comments!

Marketo Employee

Love this, especially breaking out the archive folder! One other tip that I've found to be helpful when naming programs is to include the program ID in your naming convention to increase your efficiency (see this blog post to learn more: /blogs/marketowhisperer/2015/07/06/why-you-should-start-including-program-id-in-your-naming-conventi... ). Thanks for sharing, Natalie Kremer‌! 

Level 6 - Champion

Love it! Especially about archiving folders from past time periods that you no longer need cluttering up the instance.

One of the challenges is making sure everyone is using the same abbreviations and order in the naming conventions. (e.g. CM-19F not Fall2019-CMkt). Using a spreadsheet formula like you shared is a great way to keep it consistent. We saved a naming convention/abbreviation guide on the staff intranet, but it would be awesome if this info could be displayed within Marketo itself... But you can save programs/assets in the center of excellence that follow the naming conventions and hopefully they will be good examples for people to follow as they clone.

Level 9

Awesome write-up! Thanks for sharing this  !

Best Always,

Karan Hari

Level 8

In addition to internal organization, it’s worth to document the linking externally as well - especially via flow charts and spreadsheets. This helps to defreeze the technical nature of Marketo-Builds, and translate them into language which extends to more non-technical audience.

Also, having a Glossary to share common understanding shall help to align everyone working, or using a CoE. As Beth Massura mentions, the more we can document within Marketo, the better. Tagging can also help to filter out the categories of Programs within reports (program-performance)

Level 2

Great topic! We just stood up a net-new Marketo instance in April of this year and have successfully implemented our brand new naming convention. Four digit year - two digit month - channel - campaign name (ex: 2019-10-EM-Halloween for an email). Trying to figure out a good two-to-three letter abbreviation that has clear differentiation between channels has been a bit of a challenge at times but so far, so good! 

Some other abbreviation examples we've implemented include LWB for Live Webinar, OA for Online Advertising, WF for Web Form, and NUR for Nurture programs.

Level 1

We started some month ago using Marketo and for now we used a simple naming convention.
For assets we used EM: Email,  FO: Forms, LP: Landing page, MA: Marketing Activity. Then we build the name with the an internal unit code. After that name of the campaign and date. At the end it looks like : EM_000_Hallowen_10/19.
To stick to our multinational organization we just created folders per country, then every countries is responsible for the subfolder classification.
Hopefully this will keep us organized for some months!

Level 7

One thing to keep in mind if you are syncing your Marketo Programs to SFDC Campaigns, the SFDC Campaign Naming limitation.  

Level 10 - Community Advisor

Awesome tips. I've recently been getting into more separators between all the abbreviated items; so for CM 19F doing CM | 19F -- it ends up adding 2 extra characters, but if you have multiple tracking items, it helps visibly delineate. I was using dashes and spaces and underscores before, but once I started using vertical pipes, it made me that much more happy.


For instance:

OP | 20F | Prosp | {content name}