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Marketing Automation, Marketing Technology

Auditing Your Marketo Instance – Start With The End In Mind

It may seem a bit daunting to subject your Marketo deployment to an audit. You’ve built your Marketo-baby with a lot of blood, sweat and (hopefully not) tears. There’s also a fear that someone will tell you that you did it all wrong. Letting go of that fear isn’t easy, but I assure you, taking a critical look at what’s under the hood will not only surprise you about the awesome-ness that exists, but also reveal tweaks and adjustments that will make things smoother, more efficient, and better quality.

As a Consultant, and long time Marketing Operations Professional, I have seen my fair share of Marketo instances. When you implement Marketo, you have the power to build your marketing automation ‘engine’ in any way that suits your particular business. With that power also comes a great responsibility to govern, monitor and maintain the standards set out at the beginning.

So you didn’t set standards at the beginning?

You are not alone. Many of the instances I have come across have no documentation of the initial implementation, let alone standards or strategy. Documentation often comes as an afterthought. Often, it’s when someone leaves the company or a new hire comes on board and wants to understand how the system is set up. Alternatively, there is documentation but it hasn’t been maintained as things have evolved. I’m not sure which is worse –  no documentation at all – or documentation that is misleading and outdated. 

Where do you start with documentation?

This is where an audit can come in extremely useful. Performing an audit not only provides documentation of how your system is working, but also what might be wrong with it. And if you start with the end in mind, you’ll end up with a prioritized set of improvements that can improve your knowledge of the system as well as the system itself. All documented in an easy-to-follow, pragmatic roadmap for success.

How do you get started on an audit?

Start with a framework that describes the focus areas, recommended updates, why they are important and how important they are. Here’s a breakdown of the framework:

Focus Areas: Detail each area of the instance that you are going to look at and what you’re looking for in each area. For instance, your focus areas might be lead scoring, lifecycle, organization and naming convention, etc. Within each of those areas, ask questions that reveal the health of your setup.

Recommendations: Detail your findings in this section for all of your focus areas. Link to supporting documentation or other references. Was there something broken or missing? Were programs or campaigns operating in conflicting ways? Detail the best practices along with the specifics of what you would change.

Why is the recommendation important: This is where the rubber meets the road – knowing the best practices as well as having a deep knowledge of how the system works, helps craft why each item is important. This creates a better understanding and buy-in across the team on each of the optimization areas.

Prioritization: Last but not least, prioritize your findings. Rank them in order of importance as well as the level of effort required to complete the optimization so you know what to tackle first and what kind of resources you’ll need.

We performed an audit of our own Marketo instance, and it is what spurred our own optimization project which you can read about here. An unintended, but welcomed benefit of the project were the many cross-functional conversations and dialogue it created. It opened doors to ask the questions about our evolving business and truly optimize our instance – and even our team!

Don’t have time to stop your day-to-day activities to do an audit? Let a professional handle it and we’ll be the catalyst to your next level on the Marketo maturity curve. Or reach out to me with questions, I love to talk Marketo!

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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