How to Become a Better Project Manager (2 Methodologies)

Are you a relatively new project manager who wants to expand their skillset?

As projects become more complex and larger in scope, it can feel like you’re outgrowing some of the simplified tools and tactics you started with.

Here’s how you can mange projects and deadlines more effectively.

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When managing any project, a one-size-fits-all approach isn’t going to be optimal.

It’s important to take a look at the project and consider which management methodology will fit.

Defining your timeline is a perfect place to start when doing larger-scale projects, such as a website redesign or working with other vendors.

  • Deciding how firm or flexible your timeline can be will guide the rest of your management approach.

Here’s a summary of two different project management methodologies (depending on the rigidity of your timeline) that will help you get the ball rolling.


1) The “Waterfall” Approach

The waterfall methodology is a linear, phased approach to project management.

It’s a traditional approach that would be suitable for your team if the project you’re working on is timeline-driven with a very defined scope and budget.

In this case, you will have to sit down with your team to establish the project’s end goal and a firm timeline to follow.

From there, you can work backwards to establish the necessary steps everyone must take to meet that deadline. It’s important to have a clear, sequential plan toward your end goal so that everyone can stay synchronized and productive.


2) The “Agile” Approach

Conversely, you can take an agile approach if the project scope and timeline is more ambiguous.

In this case, your team will be relying on smaller deliverables submitted on a weekly or monthly basis – for example – to make progress more quickly.

Team members and stakeholders involved with the project will be communicating and collaborating much more frequently with this approach. Agile allows for quick adjustments and iterations to the overall strategy as you go.


  • Waterfall approach: Good if you have a single, all-encompassing end goal the entire team is working towards with a firm deadline and clearly defined timeline.
  • Agile approach: Good if your timeline is less certain and you have smaller goals you want to hit to get updated results and prompt feedback.


Other factors to consider

In addition to your timeline and overall goal, choosing which project management approach is going to be influenced by the nature of the:

  • project itself
  • stakeholders involved, and
  • allocated budget.

Once you’ve defined those variables, you’ll be better equipped to choose the methodology that will help your team execute effectively.


Know when to ask for help

Sometimes you will run into projects that involve much more:

  • stakeholder coordination
  • larger budgets
  • longer timeframes, and
  • external vendor collaboration.

So if you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry – that’s completely normal.


“Project managers have years of experience handling these challenges.”


Project managers have years of experience handling these challenges and are equipped with many more processes, methodologies, and tools that you don’t have access to yet.

If you find that the projects you’re dealing with are just too big, consider bringing in an agency-side project manager to help.

Being honest about this with your boss will prevent projects from getting off track, and will give you an opportunity to learn more about project management from an expert in the field.

How to Hire Fractional Marketers

TLDR: Fractional marketing provides cost-effective access to top marketing talent on a part-time basis, allowing businesses to fill skill gaps without the expense of full-time hires. Keys to hiring a Fractional CMO or Fractional Marketer include defining strategic goals, setting clear expectations, and defining success metrics. At RP, we act as a Fractional Marketing Agency, integrating seamlessly with your team to boost marketing capabilities and drive growth.

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If you want to hire great fractional marketing talent, you’re in the right place.

We’re going to break down what fractional marketing is, why it’s valuable, and key considerations when choosing who to hire.

Here are the sections we’ll be covering in this article:


What is Fractional Marketing? (And How Is It Valuable?)

Let’s start with a hypothetical (for most of you, this is NOT a hypothetical – it’s reality):

  1. You need more headcount and additional marketing resources to support growth.
  2. But your C-suite and board aren’t able to approve full-time hires right now.

Enter fractional marketers.

Essentially, fractional marketers are skilled marketers who work on a part-time basis to manage or enhance your company’s marketing initiatives. And despite not being on your payroll full-time, they are deeply integrated into your team.

The term itself doesn’t signify anything new or groundbreaking, but it does represent an ongoing shift in the marketing world.

Because in today’s digital marketing landscape, there are more channels than ever. You have email marketing, paid social, organic social, SEO, paid search, PPC, affiliates, influencers, referrals – it goes on.

And with so many different channels, we’re seeing a major increase in marketing “specialists” over “generalists”. Marketing teams want talent that can work in these channels at a very high level. But from a hiring perspective, companies simply can’t afford all of those full-time positions.

Fractional marketers offer a solution to this.

This arrangement allows businesses to leverage top-tier marketing expertise without committing to the overhead associated with full-time hires.

In short, the value of Fractional Marketing comes from:

  • Cost-Effectiveness: Pay for top-level expertise only when you need it, without the added expenses of benefits, bonuses, and full-time salaries (as we said above).
  • Flexibility: Fractional marketers can scale their involvement up or down based on your business’s current needs, providing a flexible solution that adapts to your company’s pace and budget.
  • Expertise on Demand: They typically bring a wealth of experience and specialized skills that can be hard to find in a single full-time employee. Crucial for navigating complex issues and achieving specific strategic goals.

There’s no rules on what kind of marketer can be “fractional” either. You can find fractional marketers that will help you resolve technical issues with CRM integration, prepare venture capital pitches, offer executive-level strategic guidance, and everything in between.


How To Hire a Fractional CMO

The recent rise of the “Fractional CMO” is a big contributor to the increasing popularity of the “Fractional” term in the marketing world.

So why use the title “Fractional CMO” when the concept of fractional work is nearly synonymous with freelance work?

The difference is, freelance work has never really applied to higher-level leadership or C-Suite roles. These positions have always been filled by full-time, long-term salary hires.

The Fractional CMO changed that perception.

You can pay a Fractional CMO only for a fraction of their time – as needed. This lowers the cost for businesses, while giving them the benefit of an experienced leader who can steer the marketing ship with strategic vision and executive presence.

So how should leadership teams approach hiring a Fractional CMO?

  • Define strategic goals: Clarify what the Fractional CMO is expected to achieve, such as refining brand strategy or accelerating growth. This will vary based on your company size, goals, budget, and lifecycle.
  • Look for relevant experience and skills: Choose candidates with a strong track record in roles that showcase their ability to develop strategic visions, influence teams, and make decisions.
  • Consider cultural fit: Ensure your chosen Fractional CMO aligns with your company’s culture and can motivate and lead the marketing team effectively.
  • Discuss expectations: Agree on their on-site presence, availability for meetings, and response times for critical issues. Remember, they aren’t full-time. Setting clear expectations here can make or break a successful fractional hire.
  • Set clear success metrics: Define specific performance metrics such as marketing ROI, brand development, and customer acquisition costs. These will be the north stars that help you track progress and guide your Fractional CMO.
  • Establish an onboarding process: While this isn’t specific to fractional hires, it’s still important to implement a structured onboarding process to quickly integrate any new hire into your team and systems.
  • Have a plan for future sustainability: Due to the nature of fractional hires, your company likely won’t work with a Fractional CMO for years on end. It is typically a shorter-term agreement that is focused on specific goals. With that in mind, establish a system that will set up your company for success even after your Fractional CMO has left.


Hiring Other Fractional Marketers

When it comes to enhancing the rest of your marketing team with fractional talent, the hiring process remains mostly the same.

Examine your strategy for any gaps that might exist and consider your budget and team’s bandwidth. If your team is overwhelmed and unable to handle additional full-time roles, allocating budget towards fractional marketing resources could be the strategic lever you need.

Pinpoint exactly where a fractional professional can make the biggest impact.

For example: Your company needs to enhance its digital presence through advanced SEO and data analytics but lacks the in-house expertise.

Rather than hiring full-time employees, you could bring in fractional SEO specialists who can set up the necessary frameworks, train existing staff, and oversee the initial implementation of sophisticated strategies.

As mentioned earlier, skills, experience, cultural fit, expectations, and a good onboarding process are important for any new hire – fractional or not.

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Hiring fractional marketers allows companies to harness top-tier marketing expertise and drive growth while maintaining control over budgets and scaling operations efficiently.

With these recruitment and integration tips in mind, you’ll find fractional marketers who can significantly enhance your marketing capabilities and provide a competitive edge.

At RP, we’ve been acting as extended fractional team members and fractional marketing leaders for some of the biggest brands in the world for over a decade.

Acting as a Fractional Marketing Agency, our consultants specialize in various domains, allowing us to assemble the perfect combination of experts to augment your marketing operations with tailored solutions.

If you want to explore how we can fill the gaps in your marketing strategy, feel free to reach out to us here!

How to Manage Your Projects More Effectively

Do you ever feel like you’ve bitten off more than you can chew?

Many small (or even one-person) marketing operations teams are required to keep themselves organized and on track.

Without a dedicated project manager on board, things can get overwhelming fast.

But don’t worry — you’re not alone.

Although project management is quite a deep topic, here are some practical tips and tools you can start utilizing right away to stay on top of things!

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1. Invest in an organization tool

The very first thing you should do is invest in some sort of project management (or task management) tool to keep yourself and your team organized.

Your projects likely have many moving parts with multiple stakeholders or team members involved. A good management tool ensures everyone is completely updated and in sync.

In addition to creating basic task lists, you should be able to:

  • assign team members to tasks
  • track any dependencies among tasks
  • track the progress of tasks, and
  • set high, medium, or low priority for tasks.


2. Find the right PM tools

With so many project management tools out there, it can be tricky to figure out which one is best for you and your team.

At a high level, it’s important to pick tools that have a great user interface and are intuitive to use. Some examples of this include:

Without getting into the detailed differences between them, it’s safe to say that each of these tools are fairly easy to use and will have all the basic features you need — without becoming overwhelming.

It’s also important to keep your company’s budget in mind when choosing a tool.

While many of these options have capable free tiers, they often require paid versions if you want to unlock premium features or scale your team up to a certain size.

If your budget doesn’t allow for a full blown project management platform, it’s also possible to get creative with cost-effective choices like Google Sheets — at the very least, creating a sheet to keep track of tasks and priorities which can be shared with other team members.


3. Get comfortable managing people

Successfully managing projects requires open lines of communication with team members to ensure everyone stays on track and problems or bottlenecks are addressed promptly.

An effective way to achieve this is to hold scheduled meetings with your team so you can catch up on the status of each task, discuss risks or concerns, and so on.

The frequency of these meetings — daily, weekly, monthly, etc. — will largely depend on the timeline of your project and the nature of the tasks.

I also recommend you put an emphasis on reporting deadlines for team members.

Aside from your regular meetings, receiving written documentation of progress on a regular basis is an effective way to stay updated with what’s going on at all times. Reports are also useful for historical referencing, as well as communicating project status to other stakeholders in the company.


4. Promote collaboration

The final point I want to leave you with is: create an environment that promotes healthy collaboration. As a manager, you are responsible for keeping your team on track and ensuring they’re comfortable asking for help when they need it.

Project management tools and regular meetings are great for staying organized, but you want to avoid a situation where everyone goes off on their own to complete their respective tasks in a silo between meetings.

Encourage all team members to maintain an open dialogue and interact with each other on a regular basis.

De-siloing your teams and taking a collaborative approach will allow everyone to work more efficiently and effectively towards your goals.

How to Automate Marketo Form Documentation

After over a decade of navigating the fast-paced world of MOPs, I’ve learned the hard way that documentation, especially for Marketo forms, often takes a backseat amidst more pressing priorities.

But the reality is, documenting forms in Marketo is absolutely essential when it comes to audits, inventory management, and ensuring compliance with internal and external regulations.

However, manually documenting each form’s fields, validation rules, and configurations can be incredibly time-consuming and prone to errors.

That is exactly what this guide aims to address.

We’ll walk you through a streamlined, automated approach to documenting Marketo forms using API and Python so you can save time and reduce errors – freeing you up to focus on driving impactful marketing strategies.

Who is this guide for?

If you’re already familiar with using the Marketo API, you’ll find this guide immensely helpful.

We’ll provide you with a Python script that automates the extraction and documentation of form fields directly from Marketo, saving you hours of manual work.

Not familiar with the Marketo API?

For those who aren’t as comfortable with the Marketo API or scripting in Python, don’t worry—we’re here to help. Our team can assist you with your project, ensuring your forms are documented correctly and efficiently. You can book a free 30-minute chat with an expert here to get started.

Alternatively, if you’re keen on learning how to do this yourself, we highly recommend signing up for the API Crash Course course offered by Tyron Pretorious on The Workflow Pro blog. This course will equip you with the knowledge and skills to leverage the Marketo API for various automation and integration tasks.

Our Step-By-Step Guide

The script we provide leverages the Marketo API to fetch form fields and then formats this data into a neatly organized Excel file, with each form’s fields documented in a separate tab.


  • Marketo API access with client_id and client_secret.
  • Python installed on your system.
  • marketorestpython and pandas Python packages installed. You can install these via pip:
pip install marketorestpython pandas openpyxl


The Script (Python):

from marketorestpython.client import MarketoClient
import pandas as pd

# Marketo Credentials
munchkin_id = ""  # fill in Munchkin ID
client_id = ""  # enter Client ID
client_secret = ""  # enter Client Secret
api_limit = None
max_retry_time = None
requests_timeout = (3.0, 10.0)

# Initialize Marketo Client
mc = MarketoClient(munchkin_id, client_id, client_secret, api_limit, max_retry_time, requests_timeout=requests_timeout)

# List of form IDs to process
form_ids = [1000, 1001, 1002]  # Add form IDs here as integers

# Initialize Excel writer
excel_filename = 'marketo_form_fields.xlsx'
writer = pd.ExcelWriter(excel_filename, engine='openpyxl')

for form_id in form_ids:
    # Retrieve fields for the current form
    fields = mc.execute(method='get_form_fields', id=form_id, status=None)

    # Create a DataFrame from the fields
    if fields:
        data = []
        for field in fields:
            if 'fieldMetaData' in field and 'values' in field['fieldMetaData']:
                picklist_options = "; ".join([f"{opt['label']} ({opt['value']})" for opt in field['fieldMetaData']['values']])
                picklist_options = ''
                'ID': field.get('id', ''),
                'Label': field.get('label', ''),
                'Data Type': field.get('dataType', ''),
                'Validation Message': field.get('validationMessage', ''),
                'Required': field.get('required', False),
                'Form Prefill': field.get('formPrefill', False),
                'Visibility Rules': field.get('visibilityRules', {}).get('ruleType', ''),
                'Hint Text': field.get('hintText', ''),
                'Max Length': field.get('maxLength', ''),
                'Picklist Options': picklist_options,
        df = pd.DataFrame(data)

        # Use form ID as sheet name for now
        sheet_name = str(form_id)
        df.to_excel(writer, index=False, sheet_name=sheet_name[:31])  # Excel sheet name has a max of 31 characters

# Save the Excel workbook
print(f"Excel file '{excel_filename}' has been created successfully.")

How to Use the Script:

1) Fill in Your Credentials: Replace the placeholder values for munchkin_id, client_id, and client_secret with your actual Marketo API credentials.

# Marketo Credentials
munchkin_id = ""  # fill in Munchkin ID
client_id = ""  # enter Client ID
client_secret = ""  # enter Client Secret


2) Specify Form IDs: In the form_ids list, replace the example IDs with the IDs of the forms you want to document.

# List of form IDs to process
form_ids = [1000, 1001, 1002]  # Add form IDs here as integers


3) Run the Script: Execute the script in your Python environment. The script will communicate with the Marketo API, retrieve the specified forms’ fields, and output the information into an Excel file named marketo_form_fields.xlsx. Here’s what that file should look like:

4) Review Your Documentation: Open the generated Excel file to review your forms’ documentation. Each tab within the workbook corresponds to a different form, named using the form’s ID.

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By automating the documentation of Marketo forms, you can significantly reduce the time and effort required for audits and inventories. This not only improves accuracy but also allows you to allocate your valuable time to more strategic tasks.

If you encounter any challenges or have questions about customizing the script for your specific needs, don’t hesitate to reach out for professional assistance. As mentioned earlier, you can book a free consultation with one of our experts here.

How to Streamline Data Collection for Events in Marketo

Has this happened to you before?

A marketing manager approaches you with an ambitious plan for an upcoming event.

There’s just one catch – the event requires collecting five distinct pieces of information from each attendee, information that’s unique to this particular event.

However, setting up all the assets to collect this information is a major lift, especially for smaller teams.

So, how do you efficiently set up your Marketo instance to support their request?

To help answer this, we’ve created a guide on how to streamline data collection for events in Marketo.

We’ll show you how the clever use of repurposing fields can keep your database streamlined while accommodating the unique needs of each event – saving your team countless hours of work for events throughout the year.

Let’s get into it!

Repurpose Fields &
Program Fields

In Marketo, we can use repurpose fields to collect event-specific information, such as t-shirt sizes, dietary preferences, and so on.

Since these repurpose fields will constantly change from event to event, you’ll need some way to store the data from these fields for your historical records.

We can do this by creating a set of adjoining program member fields to go along with the custom repurpose fields.

Here’s what the process involves:

Start by creating three new lead string fields named Repurpose Field 1, Repurpose Field 2, and Repurpose Field 3. These fields are adaptable for collecting unique data for each event.

Technical Tip: While repurpose fields can technically be of various types, such as boolean or string, we recommend creating all repurpose fields as string fields initially. When setting up your forms, you can adjust the field type as needed—whether you require a boolean, picklist, or any other type. This strategy simplifies the management of repurpose fields in your database, ensuring they can be easily adapted for each event’s unique requirements without altering the fundamental field type in Marketo.

Next, you’ll create three program member fields named Repurpose 1, Repurpose 2, and Repurpose 3. Marketo limits the number of custom program member fields to 20 per instance, so use them judiciously.

When you incorporate repurpose fields into your forms, you have the flexibility to modify the labels and field types of those fields for every new event.

For instance, a field labeled “Dietary Preferences” in one form can be easily relabeled to “T-Shirt Size” for another event, using the same underlying field (Repurpose Field 1, for example). This capability ensures that you can adapt your data collection strategy to the unique aspects of each event without multiplying your fields and complicating your database.

Transferring data from repurpose fields to program member fields in Marketo is essential for preserving event-specific information without the risk of overwriting. This ensures attendee data remains accurate for each event, enabling personalized follow-ups and streamlined database management.

To achieve this, include a Change Program Member Data flow step in your event’s registration processing campaign that moves data from repurpose lead fields to corresponding program member fields.

This action guarantees data is permanently stored, freeing up lead fields for reuse in future events. It’s an efficient strategy for keeping your database organized and your attendee experience personalized.

Technical Tip: If you have a need for this information to exist in your Salesforce Campaign as well, you can sync the Program Member Custom Fields with Campaign Member Custom Fields. Here’s Adobe’s guide on how to do this.

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Utilizing repurpose fields in this way will significantly streamline your data collection for future events and roadshows. Your database will be more organized and efficient, all with fewer hours of work required.

And if you need help navigating Marketo’s complexities to maximize your marketing efforts further, we’re happy to chat.

You can book a free 30-minute call with one of our experts here.

How to Troubleshoot Campaign Queue Backlogs in Marketo

Have you been noticing slowdowns in your Marketo system?

Uncovering the exact reason why leads aren’t progressing through campaigns as quickly as they should be can be difficult (and frustrating).

This guide will walk you through specific actions you can take to troubleshoot campaign backlogs and streamline your Marketo instance.

Understanding the Problem

Campaign queue backlogs in Marketo occur when multiple processes stack on top of each other, especially in large instances.

For example, if you’re doing a large email send (let’s say 500,000 emails), you not only have multiple sends firing off at once, but you likely have several tertiary processes being triggered in the background as well.

You might have a smart campaign that changes the program status of a contact, triggered when the email is delivered. Then you’ll have another smart campaign that marks something else, triggered when the email is opened – and so on.

These processes, including email sends, lead scoring, lifecycle campaigns, and Salesforce syncs, among others, create a cascading effect that slows down the entire system. Marketo can only do so much to a particular lead record at a given time.

Identifying the Issue

First, we need to understand what’s happening in your system. Marketo’s campaign queue feature, found in the marketing activities tab, is an essential tool for this. It shows all ongoing processes and their priority levels. A lead usually runs through one campaign process at a time, so high-priority campaigns that take too long can cause lower priority ones to stall and backlog.

Regularly check the campaign queue to identify high-priority campaigns with a large number of leads processing in the “Status” tab. If a particular process shows thousands of leads in the queue, for example, it’s likely the backlog culprit.

Troubleshooting & Prevention

Once you identify the backlog culprit, more often than not you’ll have to let it run its course. In extreme situations, however, remediating it may require removing it from the campaign entirely. Neither of these solutions is ideal and can ground campaigns to a halt for days.

Which is why the real solution to a backlog like this is through preventative measures. You need to set up your smart campaigns and segmentations in a way that is optimized for efficiency so backlogs can’t occur in the first place.

Here are best-practice tips and considerations for you to follow:

  • Every single smart list rule in a segmentation becomes a smart list trigger in your campaign. With this in mind, it’s important to simplify your segmentations as much as possible, using fewer fields for differentiation to reduce the processing load.
  • For each campaign and segmentation, ask yourself if the triggers and criteria have been set up in a way that could unintentionally cause a backlog – part of this is ensuring your filters and flow steps are accurately targeting the intended leads.
  • In line with the point above, map out exactly what a smart campaign will trigger and where things will end up in the system as a result. Always double-check your campaign logic. You want to avoid setting up campaigns that could loop, causing infinite processing cycles.
  • Use batch campaigns for large-scale processes when possible, as they tend to clear out faster than triggered campaigns.
  • Be sure to test campaign and segmentation triggers before pushing them live, referencing Marketo’s campaign queue as you go to continuously identify snags. From there you can reiterate the campaign until the processes are as efficient as possible.
  • Use the “Everytime” campaign qualification rule as sparingly as possible. Consider if you really need someone to go through every time, or if once per hour/day is enough.

(As a side note: when we say segmentations, we mean the smart list buckets that contacts get filtered into, as depicted in the screenshot below)

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Troubleshooting campaign queue backlogs in Marketo doesn’t have to be daunting. As you gain more experience, your understanding of the underlying causes of backlogs will become more refined.

Just remember that the best solution to backlogs is prevention.

If you follow the best-practice preventative measures listed above and use the campaign queue to proactively identify and diagnose issues in a timely manner, you’ll be well on your way to a more streamlined Marketo experience.

And we’re happy to chat about this in more detail and answer any other questions that you might have.

You can book a free 30-minute call with one of our experts here.

How to Define Marketing Success: A Guide for Marketing VPs and CMOs

Defining marketing success requires a blend of strategic vision and data-driven decision-making.

As fractional marketing leaders, we help teams define their strategic OKRs, KPIs, and metrics that align with their company’s growth and retention objectives.

This guide explores the essential metrics that Marketing VPs and CMOs, particularly in the SaaS sector, can use to inform their strategic decision-making and contribute to their organization’s success.

But before we dive in, it’s important to point out that:

  1. None of these metrics are mutually exclusive. Many of them are connected and understanding how they fit together is crucial.
  2. Depending on the size and lifecycle stage of your company, some metrics will be more relevant to you than others.

You’ll come across some metrics you’re not thinking about, inspiring you to improve your current dashboard and measure not only marketing’s contribution to revenue, but also to the overall health of your business as well.

Let’s get into it!

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Growth Targets vs. Actual Performance

This one is pretty obvious, but it’s definitely important. Comparing your growth targets against actual Year-over-Year (YoY), Quarter-over-Quarter (QoQ), and even Month-over-Month (MoM) performance will give you critical insights into your marketing strategy effectiveness and allow you to adjust according to discrepancies.

Understanding Your Growth Targets

What do those growth targets actually look like? Bookings targets, including new logos and Annual Contract Value (ACV), are foundational for assessing the health and trajectory of your business. These are great for providing a “big picture” glance when looking at actual numbers vs. targets.

When it comes to ACV in particular, a trend we are seeing is a shift away from LTV (Lifetime Value) in favor of “Speed to Cash” when discussing company growth with leadership and investors.

Sales Cycle Monitoring

This is another obvious but essential one. An intriguing angle here is to think about how ACV correlates to your sales cycle. Specifically, if you have a smaller ACV, you are more likely to have a shorter sales cycle. From there, you can forecast sales more accurately and even identify if your marketing efforts are contributing to sales cycle shortening.

It’s also important to remember that your sales cycle can change depending on whether you’re in a hot or cold market – it might shorten when things are heating up or expand when the economy slows down.

SAL Volume

Although this is pretty much table stakes for any business, it is interesting to see that not everybody monitors it. You want to keep track of what leads your sales team is taking action on, and why they aren’t taking action on others.

What did the journey look like for a lead after they left your team and went over to sales, and why was the close unsuccessful? Take advantage of tools like Gong to look at sales call transcripts and uncover if there are any areas where sales need enablement.

GTM Diversification

This is about evaluating how each Go-To-Market (GTM) lane and tactic is contributing to achieving your targets. Ask yourself, how are inbound, outbound, and partner channels contributing to your booking composition?

Take a granular look at the inbound and outbound leads, but also a holistic look at the channel itself. What does the lead velocity (we’ll get to this one below) look like across your funnel stages in each channel? For example, do your webinars and roadshows generate revenue faster than your content syndication?

Remember that diversifying your channels is what enables optimization – once you test different channels, you can read the data, refine your approach, and continue to test new tactics in your channels as you go.

Total Addressable Market (TAM) and Serviceable Addressable Market (SAM)

Total Addressable Market (TAM) is a metric that I’ve operationalized for years. But the reality is, your company may not have the necessary resources to support the entirety of your TAM. The amount of customers you actually can support today is your Serviceable Addressable Market (SAM).

Your SAM is a more practical and actionable number. You can certainly make a long-term play to close the gap between your TAM and SAM with your product team, but as a marketing leader, SAM is a valuable reference point that will help you calibrate the expectations of the board toward what is immediately possible for growth.

Pipeline Status

As a marketing leader, you need to have a strong understanding of your pipeline to set realistic expectations. Assessing the size of your current pipeline and doing regression analysis against revenue targets and the sales cycle length helps you understand whether targets and budgets are realistic.

Multiply pipeline by close rate to see how far off you are from your booking rates. You’ll have more realistic expectations, which will enable candid conversations to manage budget, demand, and the expectations of your leadership team.

Lead Velocity

This is one of my favorites. Essentially, it’s the speed of leads across each stage of the demand funnel. Think of your funnel as an hourglass or bow tie. On one side you will have all the stages leading up to the sale in the middle. But it doesn’t stop there. On the other side of the sale, we measure retention, upsell and cross-sell opportunities, as well as advocacy.

The main focus for lead velocity is top-of-funnel through the initial sale. How quickly are leads picking up content and getting into the hands of your sales team? Examine the stages where your leads are stuck, and identify places to optimize and apply budget and marketing efforts, such as paid social, retargeting, and nurture campaigns to increase lead velocity and unstick those leads.

Success Rates by Channel

When thinking about the propensity for a closed-won business, what channels are generating the best volume of MQLs, SALs, and Closed/Won Business? And what is the Payback Period and return on ad spend by channel?

Earlier, we mentioned the importance of speed to cash, but determining return on investment by channel is still highly relevant. It will allow you to apply any incremental budget with confidence, even allowing you to accurately forecast what the return on investment will likely be.

Lifetime Value (LTV) to CAC Ratio

A healthy LTV to CAC ratio (Customer Lifetime Value to Customer Acquisition Cost) is key to ensuring sustainable growth over the long term. It contextualizes LTV, providing an understanding of profitability per customer. It helps you to understand the value of new customers against the cost of acquiring them. The ideal ratio varies based on the size and maturity of your company, as well as your industry and other factors, but a good rule of thumb is to aim for a ratio of 3:1.

Payback Period and Gross Margin

This is an important duo. When Payback Period is compared with gross margin, these metrics shed light on the profitability and financial health of your SaaS business – these numbers will certainly speak to your accounting team and board of directors. Payback Period is Initial Investment divided by Annual Cash Flow, allowing you to better understand profitability. Gross Margin is Revenue less Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) divided by Revenue, then multiplied by 100. While the Payback Period focuses on the time it takes for an investment to pay off, Gross Margin assesses how much profit a company makes on its sales after covering the costs of production.

The Rule of 40

This is another metric that is great for measuring the overall health of your business. The Rule of 40 states that the sum of your growth rate and profit margin should equal 40. If your growth rate is high, it can help offset low margins. Perhaps you have fewer deals and great margins. The Rule of 40 helps put both situations in perspective.

Some of the best businesses in the world struggle to hit the Rule of 40. You can’t get to 40 overnight, so you likely need to start smaller. Consider what number is practical for your business, and aim to inch towards the magic 40 goal.

Customer Health Metrics

As we wrap up, I want to leave you with three more useful metrics to track the health of your business when it comes to retention and client satisfaction.

  • Gross Retention Rate (GRR): Measures customer retention and is especially critical for companies relying on monthly recurring revenue. A GRR below 80 percent for a company older than five years means you need to mitigate churn triggers.
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS): Aim for a high or improving NPS. This number indicates customer satisfaction and can signify future organic growth through referrals and upsells.
  • Number of Referenceable Customers: How many customer success stories and testimonials do you have? Is your sales team’s list of referral clients growing or shrinking? The ability to showcase success stories is invaluable for credibility and sales enablement, and it can be marketing gold if you leverage it properly.

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This collection of metrics is meant to inspire the way you help your team understand the health and performance of the business. Depending on your organization’s size and unique situation, you’ll need to curate a set of metrics that are meaningful to your organization.

But as a marketing leader, it is important to remember that you help to decide which metrics are vital. You are a co-author of this narrative, and you should lean into the conversations where these metrics are vetted and chosen.

Clean your data, and put governance around your team’s processes for updating and maintaining data integrity. Then, for newer metrics, give the data time to mature if necessary. You will not get the whole story of what a particular metric can tell you if it’s only been a week or month of tracking or if the source data is messy or inconsistent.

The better the quality of baseline data you gather, the more clarity and utility you’ll get out of your monitoring and analysis.

If this topic interests you, we discussed it in greater detail on our very first episode of Launch Codes Live. If you missed it, you can watch the full recording here.

And If you have any thoughts or questions about these metrics or need help with a particular project, we’d love to support you. Feel free to reach out here to book some time to chat with our experts.

How to Automatically Update the Copyright Year in Marketo
(2 Methods)

Do all of your marketing emails, landing pages, and other assets still say “Copyright © 2023” at the bottom?

Keeping your copyright year up to date goes a long way for maintaining brand professionalism and consistency.

But we are well into February now, and plenty of companies still haven’t updated the copyright year to 2024 in their Marketo instance yet.

Or maybe they did, but they had to go through each email and landing page and edit them manually — one at a time.

There must be a better way, right?

We’re going to walk you through 2 different methods to automate this entire process using Marketo tokens.

And there’s no coding experience needed for these. We’ve done our best to break them down into simplified steps that are easy to follow.

Method 1:
A Single Token Across All Assets.

This first method is to create a token at the top-level folder in your Marketo instance — allowing it to impact every asset within.

Step 1) Navigate to the left side of your Marketo instance and find the top-level folder that contains all of your programs.

Step 2) In this top-level folder, select the “My Tokens” tab and create a new token by navigating to the right side of the screen and dragging in a “Text” token.

Step 3) Change the Token Name to {{my.Current Year}} and set the Value to 2024. It should look like this when you’re done:

Step 4) If you don’t currently have a token in each of your assets, you’ll need to swap out the hard-coded date (2023 in this case) and add the token there instead – as shown in the screenshots below.
Before (hard-coded):

After (token):

And that’s it!

While this method is incredibly straightforward, it does come with some drawbacks.

The most glaring issue is that you still need to remember to update the “Year” value of this token every January 1st. This may seem easy enough, but we’ve seen countless organizations (big and small) forget about it for months.

Which brings us to our second (and superior) method.

Method 2:
Set It and Forget It.

This is our preferred method, because while it requires a little more upfront work, you will never have to worry about updating your asset copyright year again.

It’s a completely automated, self-updating setup that you can forget about once it’s running.

Step 1) Navigate over to the same top-level folder as Method 1 (the main folder that holds all of your other programs).

Step 2) With the “My Tokens” tab selected, go to the right side of your Marketo instance and drag in an “Email Script” token.

Step 3) Change the Token Name to {{my.Current Year – Email}}.

Step 4) For the Value of the token, press “Click to edit” which will open up a new window titled “Edit Script Token”. Here, paste the following:


Then press save. This short script dynamically updates the year based on the server's current date.


Step 5) Drag in another token from the right side, this time use the one called “Text”.

Step 6) Change this Token Name to {{my.Current Year - LP}}.

Step 7) In the Value section paste the following:

<script>(document.currentScript || document.scripts[document.scripts.length - 1]).outerHTML = new Date().getFullYear();</script>

This JavaScript code fetches the current year from the user's computer, ensuring the displayed year is always accurate.

Now you have 2 different tokens set up for each asset type (Emails and Landing Pages) that will automatically update the copyright year.

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While Method 2 does have a few extra steps involved, the entire process should only take five minutes or so.

A worthy tradeoff for never having to remember to update your copyright year again – and keeping the copyright year current reflects well on your brand’s attention to detail!

Below are a few examples of what the end result should look like.

Email example:

Landing Page example:

If you want to explore a more robust setup of the same solution, check out Sanford’s blog post which taught me how to solve this challenge years ago here (Marketo-hosted version here).

His method goes into greater detail, and has an extra setup for dealing with time zone differences over the first day of each year.

We hope this was helpful!

And if your team needs assistance with more complex projects, we’re happy to chat when you’re ready.