How to audit an inherited Marketo Engage instance

Inheriting a Marketo Engage instance can be a stressful time, whether you are an experienced Admin or whether you are a newer Admin it can be difficult to know where to start cleaning up. To start off, we recommend you spend time understanding what is in the instance you just inherited today and creating a plan of action to update the configuration.

In this tutorial, we will walk you through the most important sections within Marketo Engage, including Admin, Marketing Activities, Design Studio, and Database, and provide you with tips for auditing and optimization along the way.

Hi, I’m Jamie Lynn Barna, and I’m a senior manager of customer success for customer journey management at Adobe. I’m a Marketo certified expert and a Marketo certified solution architect. I’ve been using Marketo Engage and working with our marketing automation customers for eight years. Inheriting a Marketo Engage instance can be a stressful time. Whether you’re an experienced admin or whether you are a newer admin, it can be difficult to know where to start. In this video, I will be talking about post implementation Marketo Engage, which can be filled with best practice design, architecture and use case development. It can run like a well oiled machine, providing meaningful analytics geared towards recognizing ROI. It can also be riddled with mixed best practices, personal preference for build and setup, and misaligned architecture to current use cases. The longer the instance is running in live, the more complex understanding of the setup and architecture can be. Together we will look at the most important sections in Marketo Engage to help you get started with auditing an inherited instance. And I will be sharing my tips and tricks along the way. To know how to approach owning an inherited instance of Marketo Engage, you will need to understand what is in the instance today. From there, you can create a plan of action to make any necessary adjustments to your configuration and setup. As marketers, much of what we can report on, build and execute in Marketo Engage starts at the foundational setup within our admin panel. This will help add context for future discoveries around any limitations, data challenges, or reporting misalignments. Let’s start with a review of your users and user roles to determine and answer for your business how many users are there, what permissions or access does each role have, should any be adjusted, how often are your users logging in. Quick tip, while in the section for users and roles, visit your audit trail to understand what actions the users are taking. Next, consider reviewing your email defaults and email setup for branding, your SBF and DKIM, your tracking links, and landing pages.
Is the appropriate branding in place? To protect the branding you have in place, we will start with your Smart Campaign settings. Do you have a restriction on Smart Campaign size? If not, consider adding one. A quick tip is to set your Smart Campaign limits to be no less than 25% of your total database. By setting a limit for your Smart Campaign processing, you will help mitigate manual error of processing the entire database in Smart Campaigns, which can lead to a backlog of activity or accidental email distribution. Once you look at your Smart Campaign settings, review your communication limits. Does your instance have appropriate communication limits? Adobe recommends one per day and three per week with non-operational emails blocked if over the limit. These limits prevent over-communication to your database while protecting your brand. Finally, look to ensure your Campaign Inspector is turned on in the Treasure Chest setup. This is a quick tip that will help you when you look to audit the activity of your instance in marketing activities. Navigate to the Marketo database and look at your system’s Smart Lists. Adobe recommends a marketable database of at least 85% or more. If yours falls under this threshold, look at the other system lists with greater scrutiny. Block List, Marketing Suspended, Duplicates, and Unsubscribe. Consider the rules in which a record would qualify for an unmarketable status. Does this align to your business use case? Do you need to consider a strategy to clean up your database? Quick tip when auditing your database, also consider taking a look at your field management. What fields are available? How consistent or normalized is the data? Is the proper formatting in place to keep your database accurate and usable? After reviewing your database setup and marketability, look at your program structure and marketing activities. Your program structure can deeply impact your efficiency and ability to report on the marketing impact to ROI. Do you have a consistent and easily navigable folder structure? Is there a center of excellence with program templates or program shells, which are clonable program setups for consistency in building? If so, do those program templates make sense for your current business use cases? Are similar program types consistently structured? Adobe recommends utilizing program templates for consistent and scalable program creation. Remember when we reviewed in the admin panel setup and enabled within the treasure chest the Campaign Inspector? Here in Marketing Activities is where you can benefit from that setup. Navigating in Marketing Activities, you can see the Campaign Inspector, which helps you view or search all of your smart campaigns in one place. Look to understand which campaigns are active, scheduled to run, or invalid. Do the active workflows meet your business requirements? Do you have a campaign processing backlog in the campaign queue? In the final part of our high-level audit, we will review the Design Studio. In reviewing your creative assets, consider how to easily it is to navigate your folder structure and types of assets. Look to the number of assets per template. Adobe recommends global assets for consistency in updating and branding. A quick tip is to look for higher ratio in use by references per template versus single use templates. This can indicate a global asset structure. As you navigate through your audit, you will want to ensure you document the setup clearly. This could be documentation like a data dictionary, an implementation workbook, or a user and role log, and more. This will not only help serve as a starting point for creating an action plan for the changes you will need to make, but will also allow you to track changes ongoing and document the process or requirements for the setup decisions you make. I recommend ensuring that this is stored on your company’s cloud drive to help with easy collaboration and keeping that documentation up to date. A quick tip for further auditing and troubleshooting is to subscribe to Marketo notifications. Notifications keep you up to date on system events happening in your Marketo subscription. For example, campaign failure notifications inform you about errors in your smart campaigns, and CRM sync notifications alert you to critical issues found with the CRM sync, such as incorrect permissions or the sync being down. By navigating to the notifications, you can choose to subscribe to a subset or all the available notifications and receive an email when an event occurs. Now you are ready to review your legacy instance of Marketo Engage and put into practice what you learned from this tutorial. Remember to start within your admin panel. Take time to focus on each key area of Marketo Engage to evaluate if the current setup aligns to your current business needs and document your findings so you can get familiar with the legacy instance and improve instance efficiency for your internal users. Well that’s a wrap for this instructional video. I hope you find it helpful for evaluating the configuration and setup of your inherited instance. Don’t forget to check out the additional resources to apply the tips to your instance audit work and check out our tutorials on managing your instance effectively. Thanks so much for tuning in.