The Top 7 Signs That You’d Better Fix Your Marketing Automation Setup – and What To Do About It – Signs 4 to 7

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Last week I published signs 1-3 of the The Top 7 Signs That You’d Better Fix Your Marketing Automation Setup – and What To Do About It”This week I continue with signs 4-7.

Sign #4: You’re cloning landing pages to create others

It’s tempting to clone an existing page to create another landing page.  I don’t recommend it. Why not? You’re going to forget to update information. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve seen Marketo web pages with the wrong Page Name (top left corner of the browser), because the page was copied and the person forgot to update the page meta-data. That easy to forget because the meta-data is a bit “buried” and not top of mind to update unless you as using a checklist.

What to do about it:

Rather create a set of typical web page layouts in Marketo, from which you will clone. You can put placeholder info on these pages so it’s really clear to you what needs to be updated.  It will be more productive for you to clone these “templates”, rather than cloning other pages which are already populated with their own content.

Sign #5: You’re cloning a program to create another

As of the second part of Marketo’s NEXT Release (Fall, 2011), the previous example and a lot more can be further automated using programs and “My Tokens”. However the same issue applies, and the stakes are even higher in terms of margin for error, with not wanting to clone one program to create another. There is just too much to remember to update, and too high a risk for error.

What to do about it:

Rather create a Program Template, for each of your major event types (e.g. a Webinar Program template). The program template includes your standard rules and assets, using tokens, with placeholder values populated for the tokens. This way, you can clone a program from the master template, and then update all tokens from one central list, with clear indication of what is updated (another not using your placeholder values). Furthermore, if you create customer rules or communications for one program, you won’t run into the issue of having problems when you clone it (since you are always cloning from the master). And as you make decisions to change the way you are doing something as part of your standard practice, you make this update to the program template so that it’s reflected going forward.  I covered this in more detail in this on-demand webinar and related content.

 

Sign #6: All campaigns you create “come from marketing”

One of the key opportunities with Marketo is that not all communications need to come from marketing – marketing can both send content on behalf of sales (using Lead Owner tokens) and provide templates to sales to send via the Microsoft Outlook plugin.

What to do about it:

A simple example is that after marketing sends an invitation to something important (e.g. a key webinar, or a valuable piece of content), to follow this up with an email “from sales” (the Lead Owner) which includes a text-looking message on top, with the marketing email below, saying something to the effect of “I wanted to make sure you didn’t miss this as it’s been really well received by our customers”. Turn off “view as web page” at the top of the email so that the email looks as if it was sent personally by the sales person. Use a really plain font like Times New Roman to make this even more of a “plain look” which ironically helps both capture attention and build credibility of the personalized communications.

To create more later stage content on behalf of sales will require close collaboration between marketing and sales. Thismicrosite explores this topic in more detail.

 

Sign #7: You have employees, partners and vendors showing up in your Revenue Model

You don’t want to have people that would never qualify as prospects flowing through your revenue process and both taking up your time and confusing your reporting. This includes employees, partners and vendors, may include students, and any other disqualifying criteria that you establish.

What to do about it:

Build rules which tag these people based on their criteria. You can have smart campaigns which update flags based on these criteria nightly (recur once per day at a certain time), and then have entry into your revenue process require that these flags are not set in order to move them into your revenue cycle.

 

Other suggestions that didn’t make the top 7:

  • You don’t time-box stages in your revenue process – especially on the push to sales – you’ll want to build a process to alert these based on an agreed-to SLA between Marketing and Sales
  • You don’t have any flags setup to segment by topic (hint: you’ll want this set up as flags for ease of reviewing, not just Smart Lists)
  • You are not updating default URLs for pages – you’ll want these in a user-friendly, hyphenated format, both for users and search engines

Again, please share your own “gotchas” and tips for marketing automation operations.