In every project, in every firm I join, I always do a Marketo Audit first. To some, this process is a bit of a mystery, but it is in fact fairly easy to do if you have about 10-15 hours to walk through the right steps. And this process can be used on any marketing automation platform or martech stack. The steps below are a little more Marketo specific.
A Marketo audit examines the existing system against best practices and known issues regarding Marketo. While there is some debate on certain best practices, most consultants will be within a range of how this should work. A really good consultant will also examine your existing setup against your desired state. Ultimately, the Marketo Audit should become a roadmap for your martech stack so you can achieve Stage 5 or later in the Martech Maturity Model™.
The steps below will help you conduct your Marketo System Audit, but many agencies will have a very detailed document.
Business Requirements and Situation
Before you begin, always ensure you understand the existing Business Requirements, Goals, and Process. If the CMO wants full funnel attribution and you think you just need to look at a few data fields, you will not proceed with this engagement. Likewise, if you are attempting a wide-scale data investigation, your findings and recommendations aren’t going anywhere if the business doesn’t care. Areas to consider:
- Maturity of the team in use of the tools.
- Use of content and nurturing
- Current reporting maturity and expectations.
- Do teams trust each other?
- Do they trust the data?
- Why are you doing the audit?
First, make sure the settings are in order. This requires admin access. Typically, you are looking for standard procedures and if anything seems a bit weird. Experienced admins know, but here’s what you may look for:
- Users – too many Admins, old staff, unused invitations.
- Roles – standard Roles instead of specialized; people have Delete and Run Flow Action access.
- Sales Insight – off or seems to be off.
- CRM – sync errors; actual person user instead of dedicated user
- Not using Treasure Chest Features
- Tags and Channels – using bad types or too many.
Lead Lifecycle System
Overall, this is harder to spot, but you can use this as a Guide. Essentially, look for errors or dig into issues if people have said something about lead flow.
- Leads not syncing.
- Scores seem wrong
- Lead funnel data seems wrong.
- Look at the flows and see how efficient they are (too many triggers? duplicate triggers? race conditions?)
- Write down the entire system and diagram it in Lucidchart to see where things might be amiss. I write out every single step in order to spot issues.
Lead scoring can be a bit challenging. Again, it’s best to write the entire system down to see where the Scores are out of balance. Things to look at:
- Not using Score Tokens
- Fast Track points vs. Form Fill (is it too easy to get to Sales?)
- Scoring both No Shows and Registers
- Double scoring the same pages because exclusions weren’t set (Scoring on Multiple Visits vs. High Value)
- Scoring too often (Schedule tab vs. the Trigger)
- Trigger scoring on Demographics – do you really need it?
- Separate Interesting Moments scoring – no, you never need this.
Here I look mostly at the following:
- Naming and Organization of Folders. This impacts your ability to FIND things as well as use Folder Tokens.
- Are you archiving old stuff?
- Are your Program Channels in use correctly?
- Are you auto-syncing Programs to SFDC Campaigns? (best to not)
- Are you scoring or using IMs locally? (big no-no).
- Do you use Program Templates?
- Campaign Inspector and Queue – too many things running?
- is it too easy to break things like the Lifecycle?
- Are you using Subscription Management? Is your system working?
Design Studio is mostly about organization. With the advent of Programs, many people avoid this area unless they build Templates. But it’s important to organize and name your Templates well. It’s important to use Global Forms whenever possible to reduce data errors and work. I note if you use Snippets or Images & Files much and if there are potential red flags.
Lead Database has a few things to watch for depending on the use of Marketo:
- Naming and Foldering – nothing like never being able to use Global lists.
- Static Lists – most of the time these go into Programs, but sometimes you should use global static lists.
- Segmentation Use – active? Are these correct?
- Field Organizer – only for RCE/RCM users.
Here is where I conduct a Data Health Audit. Depending on the requirements, I usually look at:
- Number of Fields synced (if sync time is an issue).
- Total Records
- Total Emailable Records (opted in, invalid, blacklisted)
- Total Engaged Records (have they done something in past 90 or 180 days?) This is usually 15-20% max.
- Total Engaged and Emailable – usually your best respondents. Almost no one properly focuses on this segment.
- Demographic Fields – are you using the right Demographic fields and are they populated? What kind of data appending do you need?
- Use of Data Appending Tools
- Possible Dupes – Marketo’s filter is directional, so I recommend using RingLead or similar tools to dig deeper to fix. Are you even using automated de-duping?
Your goal should be a set of smart lists that feed an Excel sheet every month. Yes, it’s manual. Yes, it’s worth it because you can see the impact of improving data with your data vendors.
In this area of Marketo, I usually review the Naming Scheme. Most firms aren’t using this area for more than Email Deliverability.
RCE and RCM
If the Lead Lifecycle is robust, you are most likely using Revenue Cycle Explorer and RCM. I check if you are properly using this with useful RCE reports, Field Organizer, Syncing the right Fields, etc. If you are relying on the RCM to trigger Stages, I investigate if your Lead Lifecycle System is properly managing this. Possible benefits include:
- Discovering the Lifecycle is just wrong or needs change due to business changes.
- The CRM updated Opportunity Record Type and you’ve been missing dozens of Won Opps.
- The data isn’t flowing to the correct fields in your reports.
- The Lifecycle is too resource intensive on Marketo, which slows down your system.
Depending on the organization and requests, I usually examine things like
- Use of SFDC Campaigns
- The sync process.
- Sync Time
- Are you syncing all Leads?
- Are you using Queues to manage pre-MQL?
Plenty of consultants and experts have opinions on this process. I know some of you are wondering about benchmarks. While I’ve shared a couple of numbers I’ve seen, there isn’t a great benchmark other than what you want to do. If your system isn’t meeting your needs, then that’s enough to make a change. The Marketo Audit document should be a set of recommendations that can be implemented over the next 4 weeks vs. long term projects. Usually, small firms can clean up things very quickly, while firms with a long history with Marketo or a large martech stack will require a long term project list.
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