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Marketing Automation, Marketing Technology, Professional Services

How to Conduct a Marketo Checkup

You send your car in for routine maintenance, you go to your physician for regular checkups, but have you ever thought about performing a ‘checkup’ of your Marketo instance? Sure, you might be monitoring your key data points (kudos to you for data governance), and you’re fixing what’s broken — however, stopping to take a critical look at your overall system and report on any trends, observations, or issues is just as important.  Read on for our approach to uncovering key leading factors that might indicate trouble is brewing, so you can move to a proactive approach, as opposed to a reactive one.

Step One: 

Think about how often this type of checkup needs to be performed. This will depend largely on the following factors:

  1. How many users do you have building and deploying programs in Marketo?
  2. How frequently are you making optimizations, adding integrations, or new data sources?
  3. How large is your database, and how fast is it growing?
  4. What is the frequency and cadence of your outbound and inbound marketing efforts?

A system that is heavily trafficked, with a lot of data and a lot of users might require a monthly checkup, while a system that is in lighter use may only need one on a quarterly basis. The key here is simply to get started, what you find will help you determine the path forward on frequency.

Step Two:

Determine the critical success factors and leading indicators for your instance. Here are our recommended ‘Top 10’ as a starting point:

1. Organization: Look at naming conventions, folder structure, and ensure your users are following process in this area. Also, look for programs that need to be archived.

  • Why? To reduce clutter in your instance, and enable you to continue scaling in an efficient manner.

2. Program Templates and Token Usage: Are your users cloning from your best practice program templates or are they cloning from old programs? Are there other ways that you can utilize tokens for more efficiency in program execution?

  • Why? Program templates and token usage are a key foundation for your instance to save time and reduce manual errors to ensure consistency.

3. Data: Lead Source, Acquisition Program and Date, Invalid Names, etc. This is one area that you should be monitoring with more frequency, but for a health check, report on what’s changing with your overall system — such as an increase in duplicates or unsubscribes, decrease in deliverability, database growth, missing or non-standard values.

  • Why: Good data hygiene is required for accurate reporting, compliance and much more. Key data points such as deliverable rate and unsubscribe rate can be leading indicators that suggest you need to modify your messaging or frequency. Missing or incorrect data can alert you to other systemic problems on the rise.

4. Lifecycle: Are people progressing as they should? Do you have a ‘leaky’ funnel?

  • Why? A well built and optimized lifecycle is essential for analytics on opportunity progression, and for nurturing by stage in the buyer journey.

5. Scoring: Is that scoring program working as it should? Are all the score triggers firing? If not, maybe something is up with the criteria.

  • Why? Better lead quality improves BDR productivity and marketing and sales alignment. Plus, buyers don’t want to be sold to too early — lead scoring helps prevent that.

6. Nurture: What programs are up and running, and how many have exhausted content? Are the right people going through them? Who isn’t going through nurture, and should they be?

  • Why? Lead nurturing helps maintain and grow relationships in a personalized, segmented, automated way to save time and boost conversion rates, thus lowering the cost of customer acquisition.

7. CRM Sync: Check that everything that is supposed to sync is getting through, check any failures.

  • Why? This is an essential step during a Marketo integration to ensure both your MAP and CRM systems are talking to each other, and the right data is flowing through. Leveraging this information is a foundation step needed for success, marketing and sales alignment, and closed-loop reporting.

8. Preference Center: Are you capturing your preferences correctly and are your marketers complying with preferences?

  • Why? Subscription preference centers are often the unsung heroes of your marketing automation platform. They are crucial to comply with country legislation (e.g., GDPR and CASL), and allow you to offer options so that your audience can choose exactly what they receive and at what frequency – rather than passively lose them to a no-holds-barred unsubscribe link. This means happier customers and better segmentation for you (and of course less unsubscribes!).

9. Design: Clean and responsive LP and Emails with flexibility.

  • Why? Ensuring that all your communications appear seamless to your audience is a best practice and will positively reflect your company’s brand. Flexibility in the templates will allow ease of use for the user and enable time savings and efficiencies, as well as ensure mobile responsiveness.

10. Forms: Check to be sure you’re asking for opt-in, and that you’re using global forms for efficiency.

  • Why? Using global forms is a best practice to enable more efficient management and scalability. Using global forms will save you time in the future and also ensure your forms are built by savvy Marketo users who can implement progressive profiling and form prefill consistently.

Step Three:

Document your findings in a clear and concise manner and share with your team. We’ve created a handy downloadable worksheet to help you get started. If you need tips for a deeper audit, you can find my post here. And last but not least, if you need an expert to take a look or simply don’t have the time to conduct your own Marketo checkup, we can lend a hand. Feel free to reach out to me directly for more information.

Kris Latulippe

Director, Marketing Technology Practice

As a Marketo Certified Expert, Kris brings a unique mix of marketing automation and operations expertise to every client engagement.

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