Nurture Your Target Audience with Intelligent Marketo Engagement Programs

This blog is part 8 of 11 on setting your marketing up for scale using the Gold Standard – our signature framework consisting of a series of foundational processes and corresponding deliverables focusing on strategic marketing as well as technical and campaign operational services. Need to catch up? Our series starts here.

Our most recent blog post described the importance of, and recommended approach to, scoring records in your database against your target demographic/firmographic criteria. Not only should we be spotting records who fit our target definitions, we need to be watching for records to engage and demonstrate buying intent behaviors in order to drive qualified, interested leads through your funnel to the sales team.

The ideal funnel is a linear path from new lead to qualified, and engaged lead to a sales converted and subsequently won opportunity The actual path looks like a connect-the-dots puzzle gone wrong. This is because records that hit the MQL threshold may not in fact be ready to move down the funnel.

During the lead’s time in the early funnel, finding ways to encourage education and interaction are paramount to keeping your business top of mind and fostering trust as a thought leader in the industry. Marketing tactics such as webinars are a prime way to achieve this, as are ongoing Engagement or Nurture programs that push out relevant content in a steady cadence.

Setting up the steady cadence of content is the easy part. The part that takes mindfulness is aligning the content to the target audiences and their interests or needs based on their place in the funnel. This is where the Digital Pi consultants will help walk through a content matrix template as well as cross-reference the Data Management/Targeting and Segmentation discussions to establish the right streams, transition rules, and dynamic content recommendations for each record and their place in the funnel. 

The Digital Pi Gold Standard encompasses all the necessary components that work in concert to enable an intelligent Engagement Program design and Nurture Strategy, and the consultants will expertly guide you through:

  • Identifying key target audiences
  • Capturing and categorizing them into fields, smart lists, or segmentations for easy targeting
  • Designing a content matrix to evaluate existing and missing content, as well as each piece’s place in the Engagement funnel
  • Building a framework template for an Engagement Program, leveraging appropriate entry and exit criteria in addition to stream transition rules where applicable

Perhaps one of the most valuable elements of the Gold Standard Engagement and Nurture architecture is the intelligent design that ensures duplicated content is not sent to any record. For example, if a record has engaged with a particular Whitepaper – perhaps via a content syndication effort or from perusing the resources page on your website – it would not be practical to re-send that Whitepaper to the lead via the nurture program. Leveraging a Content Program strategy and nested programs within Marketo, Digital Pi ensures that only net-new and relevant material is sent to all leads in the funnel. 

Finally, there is an optional add-on management control feature that can be leveraged for cases when there are multiple audiences that need to be carefully managed. This controller mechanism can prioritize and shuffle records into the appropriate Engagement Program based on various factors. This really fine-tunes the ability to tailor content and timing based on demographics and behavioral indicators, making the Engagement strategy easy to execute and manage. 

As with all modules within the Gold Standard, reports are built to capture the performance of the Engagement Programs and enable monitoring of any gaps or errors that need addressing. 

Engagement Programs and the Nurture Strategy are highly dependent upon other discussions in the Gold Standard and overlap solidly with the Prospect Lifecycle. In the next blog of the series, we’ll go into depth for how to discuss, evaluate, and subsequently build a robust Lifecycle in Marketo that helps drive qualified leads to Sales and tracks their progress from new lead to won opportunity. 

Anxious to learn more about the Gold Standard? Check out this info, or contact us at

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At Digital Pi, we use technology to connect revenue to marketing efforts. We fuse marketing strategies, processes, data and applications to make marketing technology solutions work for clients' businesses.

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