Tracking Online Assets with Marketo

Tracking Online Assets with Marketo

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Many marketers report on how well their Marketo programs perform using clicks, web page visits, or changes to a lead’s program status, but what about the online assets that we use within those programs? How do we measure online asset consumption across multiple programs, and how do we apportion the cost of the asset across those programs?

The answers to these questions can be easily obtained when the right online asset architecture is in place—one program for the asset itself, and multiple programs for each method used to drive people to the online asset. Let’s look at a common scenario.

Scenario: Online assets used in online ads and social posts

Let’s say we bought distribution rights to an analyst report that mentions our product. The report is called the “2015 Power Quadrant,” and we have rights to distribute it for 90 days after paying $9,000.

We want to leverage the analyst report for our demand generation efforts, so we create an online ad on our favorite search engine, and pay $5 per click-through to our landing page. From there, people fill out a form with their information, and we let them download the report.

We also create a series of posts on a social website, and while it costs only employee time, we want to track the number leads that click-through to our landing page. However, the right architecture is required to track online asset consumption and costs. The table below shows how the costs should be apportioned.

Online-Asset-pic1

The goal is to use multiple methods to drive people to a single landing page, but still track how they arrived. We can use parameters in the online asset URL to tell where it is coming from—social posts or online ad. Let’s look into the architecture to see how this works.

Architecture

First of all, you need separate programs for your online asset, your social program, and your online ad program. The online asset program can house the landing page for your asset.

Next, you need to construct URLs for each inbound online-asset lead. For example, if your online-asset landing page URL is go.mydomain.com/2015-power-quadrant-download.html, then the parameters would be as follows:

1. Social – you posted a link to online asset “2015 Power Quadrant”, prospects clicked on it, and they arrived on its LP

URL go.mydomain.com/2015-power-quadrant-download.html
?utm_source=social&utm_medium= xyz-social-post-august-27-2015

2. Online Ads – you created a search engine ad, and prospects arrive on its LP

URL go.mydomain.com/2015-power-quadrant-download.html
?utm_source=online-ad&utm_medium= abc-ad-power-quadrant-july-2015

The parameters are embedded in your online asset URL, but they do not effect the navigation to the landing page. Any parameters can be used following the question mark in the URL. We used parameters that start with “utm_”, which is a common naming scheme for Google Analytics.

Notice how the parameters in each of the URLs allows us to use the same landing page for multiple programs, and it tells us, 1) the type of inbound source, whether social or online ad; and 2) the specific social post or ad. This type of URL parameter works for any number of marketing programs.

Using the parameters as shown enables the social program to track inbound leads from your social source, and the online ad program to track those leads from your online ad. The online asset program keeps track of the overall consumption of the asset regardless of inbound source.

Using this architecture, you can track data like the scenario above. After that, you can use reports to show costs per inbound channel type; for example, all online ads, or you can look at a overall cost per acquired lead by summing up the cost contribution of each program.

We’d love to hear about any other scenarios that you may have, so feel free to reach out to us.

bob@digitalpi.com

Over the last 20 years, Bob has built, managed, and advised marketing teams of technology companies, including Arbortext (PTC), Brocade, CA Technologies, LLamasoft, GXS, HAHT Commerce, Intuit, QAD, Sybase, and WorkForce Software. Bob thrives on solving business problems with marketing technologies and will not quit until a suitable solution is found.

  • July 28, 2015

    Bob — great post! That’s one of biggest challenges we’re facing as marketers today, specifically, accurately attributing credit to multi-channel marketing strategies. While hidden architecture like UTMs is great, they can be incredibly labor-intensive. What has been your experience in managing/organizing accounts with several unique landing pages and UTM fields?

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