So many times, companies get to a certain point with Marketo and other marketing automation platforms and want everything to just work. This is like creating a super fast race car and expecting it to drive itself. Or, building a mansion and not maintaining it.
Unfortunately, the days of the Jetsons self-driving vehicles don’t exist. And neither do the days of self-maintained Marketo engines.
What can you expect after you roll out the fancy new lead scoring, sales intelligence and lead processing after 90 days or so? Check out below for some top areas to attain Marketo launch success.
Complexity of the system (42%) and lack of employee skills (32%) are a few significant barriers to marketing automation success. Ascend2 Marketing Automation Trends Survey
Don’t Stop the Investment
Marketo (or any other platform) requires ongoing expertise to make your marketing repeatable, measurable and streamlined on an ongoing basis. I can’t stress this enough.
Whether you invest internally on employees and/or externally on agency expertise is up to you but this maintenance takes investment–no way around that.
If your organization doesn’t want to invest or wants to assign the responsibility to an intern, your long term success will be at risk.
Leading organizations put Marketo management front and center with titles like Director o f Marketing Operations or Marketing Operations Manager.
What Kind of People Investment Should You Consider?
According to Sensible Marketing, small-to-mid-size companies with $10-50 million in sales should budget $200-300K per year on inbound marketing to build a solid, scalable inbound marketing engine.
From our experience with clients, we recommend budgeting at least 2-5X+ your license cost on expertise to run your Marketo system. RevEngine Marketing
For example, if your organization is investing $50K in Marketo license costs, plan on at least one full-time resource and potentially some agency expertise with a combined expense of $100-$250K annually–obviously, your investment may vary.
The Marketing Maturity Model
Once you get Marketo up and running with lead processing, scoring and other repeatable programs, it’s time to learn how your organization adopts the new processes to better prepare for the next big Marketo initiative.
According to Josh Hill’s Marketing Technology Maturity Model, you are probably falling somewhere in stage 1. In other words, you have a long way to go to get to digital marketing nirvana.
Marketing Rockstar Maturity Model – Marketing automation is a long term journey, not a short term fix.
You Have Completed Your Marketo Launch. Now What?
You’ve just sprinted to get everything done and start realizing value with your Marketo launch. It’s now time to let those new processes take effect before getting ready for your next sprint to success. Take a bunch of steps, learn, tweak and then improve. Then rinse and repeat over time.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is your Marketo engine.
What do you do in between those sprints? Don’t put your Marketo instance on auto-pilot. Be ready to invest in the expertise to ensure the machine is well-oiled AND that processes are being followed. In other words, don’t plan on hiring a student out of college to manage key issues like below.
#1. Teach to Fish and Educate Your Marketing Team for Ongoing Success
Here, you’ll educate your marketing department on the intricacies of the initial Marketo rollout. This usually requires a lot of handholding.
Expect your team to have lots of questions on new processes associated with the shiny new marketing engine. If you don’t have an internal resource, or an agency spearheading those questions with ongoing trainings, your instance may turn into wild wild west of worst practices (Yes, we’ve seen that before).
Many times, business owners won’t even ask the questions, or know the questions to ask, because the process are so new. Instead, they may execute without the proper process. This can result in an unorganized instance.
- How do I setup a webinar in a repeatable fashion?
- We have a slight custom variation for a website form program. How do we set it up?
- I just created a new program. How do I make sure leads are scored properly?
- How do I import new leads to make sure there are no duplicates and that the new leads are tagged appropriately for reporting?
- What’s our naming convention for programs and campaigns?
#2 Spend Time Researching Issues and Address the Top Ones
Marketo is a robust business logic engine with many moving parts. Like any dynamic system, there are always issues so be ready to address these. These issues can be process issues, bugs or education on “how it works” questions.
There are rarely “quick questions” as each takes time. Plan on spending 20-60+ minutes researching, fixing, documenting and communicating issues like below.
Of course, you can just ignore these issues which will result in more work down the road.
- The lead synced to Salesforce but didn’t have a score. Why?
- A lead is not associating with an on demand webinar. Why?
- This person is shown as unsubscribed but she still got an email? Why?
- I got an alert in Salesforce but the lead is not in Salesforce. Why?
- This person came in without a lead source? Why? How do you fix it?
- Forms are throwing errors. Why?
- Country data is coming in as USA instead of United States? Why?
#3 Address Process Issues for Cleaner Data
A great Marketo benefit is the efficiencies gained through repeatable processes. That sounds great in theory, until a team member doesn’t follow process and wreaks havoc on the data. Get ahead of these data and process issues to keep your data on track.
- I didn’t set up the new webinar properly. How do I fix it?
- I imported a list without a lead source. How do we fix the data?
- The event gave us a preshow list but I imported it into the attendee list. What do we do now?
#4 Keep Marketing and Sales Aligned with Answers to Common Questions
Remember, some marketing automation concepts like lead scoring, interesting moments and lead flow management are new to both Sales and Marketing. These questions tend to come in all kinds of forms. Training helps reduce the questions, but be ready for them, as you build long term Marketing and Sales alignment.
- What if I disqualify a lead? Will the person still get email?
- What do stars in Sales Insight mean?
- How can I tell what makes up a lead’s lead score?
- What does “EV” in “EV-2016-10-New-York-Event” mean?
- What is an acquisition program?
- How do we report on program success?
#5 Prioritize and Make Enhancement Tweaks
Hopefully you have documented all of your business requirements for your launch which puts you in a great place. However, when your engine is fully running, you’ll most likely need to make some adjustments along the way.
- The interesting moment doesn’t have enough information. Please adjust to XYZ.
- Alerts are needed for XYZ program.
- Bump up the score for XYZ program success from 30 to 50.
- The Sales Manager needs an alert for every new lead, please add to the list.
- We’re not capturing XYZ data on a form. Please add.
#6 Benchmark Results
As part of the maintenance period, begin measuring various aspects of your Marketo launch. This will help provide insights on future improvements.
- What are your click rates? open rates? unsubscribe rates?
- How many leads are different programs acquiring?
- What is the registration/attendee rate of your webinars?
- How many leads are hitting a certain score threshold? Are those quality leads?
Summary-Learn from Your Marketo Launch
In summary, learn from your Marketo launch to build adoption of your system and begin creating requirements for your next phase–don’t let your Marketo instance sit in limbo.
Doing so will set your organization up for long term success as you continue down the path of marketing maturity.
If you have any tips on what has led your organization to success, please share with readers below.