14 Marketo Resolutions for 2014

New-Years-ResolutionNow that it’s the New Year and we have all gained 15 pounds from all the turkey, stuffing and adult beverages we have enjoyed over the holidays, it’s time for those pesky New Year’s resolutions.

While going to the gym will remain on the top of most people’s lists, as Marketers and Marketo users, now is a great time to break some of those bad habits that a lot of us have developed, overlooked or inherited over time.

I’ve laid out 14 new year’s resolutions that are some pretty common and avoidable mistakes in Marketo, so you can knock the ball out of the park this year when it comes to your Marketing and your revenue targets:

1. Ensure Marketo munchkin code is on every page of your website
The Munchkin code is a foundational piece of Marketo, but you would be surprised how many people do not have it on every page of their website. What about a blog or other subdomains? A good way of ensuring that you are truly covered, is to figure out from your web team or Google Analytics how many unique visitors you get on your website. Then look at the number of your anonymous leads in Marketo and do the math since you have implemented Marketo. If your numbers are off, then Houston, we have a problem.

2. Start sending emails from a person, not a company
People don’t like to receive ‘Marketing’ emails anymore. They are pretty much conditioned to automatically delete emails that are not personalized and look too HTMLy. They want personalized communications. If your emails are still coming from Sender Display Name: Company ABC and Reply-to Address: marketing@companyabc.com or even worse, donotreply@companyabc.com then your engagement rates are likely suffering. This is an easy fix to boost your email performance and make your email marketing more personalized and successful.

3. Use the out of the box unsubscribe field on your unsubscribe page
A lot of companies want to make more sophisticated email preference pages, and hence use custom fields to do so. This can be a slippery slope and unless all the marketers in your Marketo system are extremely careful in terms of the filters they are using in your smart lists, it’s easy to email someone who has ‘unsubscribed’. I would encourage you to take a look at your unsubscribe page and make sure that if someone wants to ‘unsubscribe’ that you are using the out-of-the-box Marketo unsubscribe field.

4. Report on accurate lead sources
Almost everyone struggles with capturing accurate lead sources. This is not really an out-of-the-box solution with Marketo, especially when it comes to Google AdWords. In order to properly track lead sources, you need some custom javascript, new fields and hidden fields on all your forms to grab the values. Then you’ll need to create a lead source strategy to determine what sources you want to capture. It takes some discipline but in the end you’ll know exactly where your leads are actually coming from, and what’s better than that?

5. Leverage lead lifecycle to its full potential
One of the most powerful aspects of Marketo is the lead lifecycle. Although setting up a lead lifecycle is one of the more complicated pieces of Marketo, you can get some pretty good ones from the Program Library that will at least give you a baseline from which you can build your own. If you don’t have one setup yet, make 2014 the year that you do.

6. Use Marketo forms
Marketo forms are crucial to lead scoring, data integrity and reporting, but they are not always used. If your website content does not sit behind Marketo forms that are connected to Website programs in Marketo, then you are not leveraging Marketo to do everything it is made to do. If your organization falls into this category, I would recommend that you start using Marketo forms and connect them all to Marketo programs.

7. Send the web activity report to everyone on your Marketing and Sales teams
Web activity reports are a great way to improve the relationship between Marketing and Sales. You can show all your Sales reps who has been on your company’s website the day before, and allow them to target their key prospects or accounts that have shown interest. This is an out of the box report that you just have to add the appropriate people to the subscription.

8. Use Program Statuses for better reporting
Everyone wants to get good and accurate reporting, and program statuses (formerly known as progression statuses) are one of the main pieces to achieving these reports. Every program you create in Marketo should have 3 folders under it (Campaign Logic, Program Statuses and Local Assets). Also, don’t forget to add your period costs when you setup your programs if you want to see them in RCE.

9. Cut down the number of Marketo forms
Resolution #6 was to use Marketo forms. #9 is about using forms properly. I’ve seen several clients who make a new form for absolutely everything. Although I would still say this is better than not using Marketo forms at all, less is more when it comes to the number of forms in your environment.

10. Dedicate more real-estate on your website for lead generation
If you have content on your website, make sure you are pointing to it from every page on your site. Use your right hand sidebars or bottom of your pages to point to Marketo landing pages for registration. The more exposure you give your content on your pages the more new leads you’ll generate.

11. Stop trying to score on open text fields
Scoring on open text fields is like trying to convince a cat to go swimming (or something like that). Point being it is very difficult, and there is an easy solution. Usually I see people trying to score on an open text field for job title. Well, instead of job title, try using job role instead. Group your desired job titles into roles, put them in a select field and score off of those values instead. Much easier, and more accurate.

12. Create a competitor black list and master exclusion list
If you don’t already have these two lists, add them this year. Stop your competitors from seeing any of your email content, and make a master exclusion list to increase the accuracy of your email marketing stats in Marketo.

13. Import your Tradeshow, Webinar and List Purchase leads into proper Acquisition Programs
Chances are you do tradeshows, webinars or purchase lists. Hopefully you do more tradeshows and webinars than list purchases, but that is a topic for another post. When you get your lists, to be able to report effectively, it’s important that you upload these lists into Marketo first. To do this, make the appropriate program and then upload the lists into the appropriate program and program status. This way you will be able to see where you acquire your leads from and how they impact influence and revenues.

14. Provide your Sales team with the Sales Insight plugin for Outlook or Gmail
Sales Insights is an excellent tool for your Sales people and really enables Sales to effectively communicate using templates that Marketing has created for them. A lot of people don’t know that they are paying for plugins that are supported in both Outlook and gMail and that their Sales reps just need to install them into the appropriate email client. Then they’ll have it at their fingertips and will be much more likely to use it.

And that’s all of them folks! Hopefully this gives you a few ideas to help improve your Marketo environment this year and enable you and your team to drive some really successful marketing campaigns to drive revenue.

I’d like to hear what you guys are hoping to achieve with Marketo this year. Please leave a comment below.