Customer Success Story – Marketo

You know that feeling you get when you upgrade your phone? Everything just works and it works fast.

Marketo itself is feeling some of that goodness as it recently revamped one of the oldest Marketo instances in the world — its own.

We recently sat down with Marketo’s Paul Wilson to discuss how Marketo manages Marketo and why it moved to a new instance.

Digital Pi: How does Marketo revamp the oldest Marketo instance in the world–its own? Today we go behind the scenes with Paul Wilson. Paul, what is your role here at Marketo? You do a lot.

Paul: I head up marketing technology and innovation for Marketo. 

Digital Pi: What does that mean? What do you do on a day-to-day basis?

Paul: Basically, I wake up every day and think about how we can do Marketo better.

Digital Pi: Day to day? How about on the strategy side?

Paul: Strategy is taking a look at the trends we see in the market and thinking about how to integrate new technologies and new innovations for marketers in our best-in-class instance.

Digital Pi: After years of running Marketo, Marketo has run into some challenges running Marketo, can you talk about that?

Paul: As many of our enterprise customers find over the years, an instance of Marketo can end up having gone through many hands of different administrators, and you can end up with some technical debt in the instance, and we were in a situation where we needed to find a way to work around [that] and leave that technical debt behind.

Digital Pi: Marketo decided to move to a new instance. What is that like?

Paul: There were a couple of challenges we were facing at the same time. We were given a mandate where there was a major revamp being done to, and because our salesforce instance was being reimagined basically and moving to Lightning, there was an impetus to say, “Okay, what do we need to do to get a Marketo instance that is perfectly suited and tailored to that engineering work.” There were two key projects running at the same time, in order to accomplish that, there are so many key important parts to these projects and really what was most important for us was having the right resources with the right skills at the right level to do that work. That’s why we partnered with Digital Pi through our professional services organization to have all of the right skills to accomplish those key initiatives, and I’m so glad that we did that.

Digital Pi: As a big organization like Marketo, what was one example of a challenge that you had  to overcome, and that a lot of the audience watching this probably experienced? While they may have some of those same challenges, they may not know, “Hey, the best of the best [Marketo] also has that challenge.”

Paul: I think one of the main considerations early on in the project was, is the new instance going to be a simple replica of the functionality that came from the originating instance, or are we going to build new and build better. W we decided to build new and better build, and that was a key decision. It was also an important decision, and one that I think our enterprise customers also face in similar circumstances, be it a legacy instance with a lot of technical debt, or inheriting a new instance through a company acquisition or merger. This is where you have an organization coming in, you have a new instance coming in, and you ask, “what do we do?” Do you leave it alone? Do you replicate it? Or do you re-build? 

Digital Pi: What did you want to try to accomplish? You’re going through the whole process, what was the end goal that you wanted to get to? 

Paul: From my perspective, the end goal was to be in the Marketo instance that we could continue with going forward, and continue building on innovation. To do that, we needed best-in-breed process implementation and a best-in-breed technical implementation, and that’s what we’ve got.

Digital Pi: The team that was assembled was a mixture of professional services, internal resources, Digital Pi team members, what was that whole process like?

Paul: What was very important and really visible at the beginning, was that the team that work together, completely integrated, right from they beginning of the entire project plan–seamlessly, that was key. It wasn’t that there were different parts of the teams who were disparate, and not focused. It was definitely a cohesive group that understood the full scope and architecture of what was going on, and that made all the difference. 

Digital Pi: As part of this, you talked about going out with the old and coming in with the new, Marketo developed some new processes along the way. Using Marketo, how were those processes revamped? 

Paul: As I alluded to you earlier, one of the options would have been to bring the components of the old instance into the new, but we didn’t want to do that. What we were looking for was a way to do Marketo better, and in partnering with Digital Pi, that gave us the opportunity to bring in core elements of its Gold Standard process, which is a best-in-breed way to configure Marketo. And, as a core component of the new implementation, it gave us a great framework that scales completely for all of the requirements that we have. It’s a great way to do Marketo.

Digital Pi: Inside Marketo, you’re the technical guru. You have to have different tools in place to monitor and make sure that things are up and running. What are some of the tools that you use?

Paul: There are a couple of, sort of internal tools, that are available to us because we are Marketo. However, Omega, which Digital Pi created, gives us an unbelievable under-the-hood view on a moment-by-moment basis. In order to do great diagnostics, to understand what’s happening at the API layer, to see what’s coming in, and what’s affecting our instance, we rely on Omega It also gives us great insight into the specifics of sync issues that may occur with salesforce. Omega is a very powerful way for us to keep an eye on the instance–we rely on it daily.

Digital Pi: Now that the initiative’s done, how has it been? 

Paul: We’re now a couple of months through that process and because of the entire re-engineering on the Salesforce side, and the stand-up of the new Marketo instance. We’re still chasing our tail on some of the overhanging issues that resulted, which is not uncommon for an organization of our size. We expect that implementation as complex as ours, will still have tweaks and fixes, which we’re doing, but we are now at a point where I can now look ahead again and think about what is next. Coming up with the new integrations and new tech that we’ve got as a business, we’re going to be running beta in our own implementation, and then looking farther ahead. Obviously, there’s some new wonderful changes happening. 

Digital Pi: Marketo just acquired by Adobe. You might have to do that all over again. 

Paul: There are other integrations and other implementations that we’re looking at. It’s now taking the strategy that we ran through for this project, taking it to the next level, and figuring out how we can do that with Adobe.

Digital Pi: Just some amazing progress that you’ve had. Congratulations on your success and Marketo’s success, and we’re looking forward to what comes next with you. 

Paul: Absolutely, thanks. 

Digital Pi: Thanks Paul. Till next time.

Your marketing technology experts.

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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