Setting Acquisition Best Practices

Marketo Employee
Marketo Employee

Setting acquisition is critical for acquisition attribution reporting. The Marketo Program (aka the marketing tactic/activity) which generated the new name in Marketo should be given credit as the acquiring program. Only one program can get credit for acquiring the record.

In many cases, Marketo will automatically set acquisition for you. In other cases you will need to create a smart campaign to set acquisition. In the table below is a summary of when you may need to create a triggered smart campaign to set acquisition.


Triggered Smart Campaign Needed to Set Acquisition

Marketo Form on a Marketo Landing Page inside of a Program


iFramed Form with the Marketo Landing Page inside of a Program


Embedded Form


Post to Marketo Form


List Import to Static List


Import as Member of Program


CRM Inserted Record


API Inserted Record


Manually Create Record


When importing a static list, if your list has people that belong in different program statuses, you may need to upload the different statuses separately or use smart campaigns to set the status using the email address or another field as the filtering criteria.

Changing acquisition doesn’t remove program membership automatically. If necessary, remove the record as a member from the original acquisition program using the following flow step. You should run use this step after you have changed the acquisition program.

not in program.png

You can use tokens (e.g. {{lead.Created At}}, {{lead.SFDC Created Date}} or a custom field) when first setting the acquisition date. You can only use a token which includes date and time. When changing acquisition, it is important to remember remove the record from the original acquisition program as noted above and set the correct status in the new acquisition program if necessary.

In the example below I am changing the acquisition program, resetting the acquisition date since it wasn't set correctly the first time (this step often isn't necessary and can be skipped) setting the new status for records in the program and removing records as members from the original acquisition program.


If you are reviewing records and the acquisition program doesn’t look correct because it doesn’t match the lead source or the registration source type it might be one of the following reasons:

  • Lead source was changed by sales or marketing
  • Acquisition program was changed by a flow step
  • Record merged with another

Information about Marketo behavior when changing an acquisition program.

Link to Checklist for Attribution Reporting.