How Badly the Marketo Outage Affected You & What to Do in the Aftermath?

Last week, a Marketo outage took the marketing world by storm, as the main website, and its other domains, went down, causing many hours of outage. Companies, marketers and their clients were left aghast with this sudden outage incident as they were unable to log in or access any information from the Marketo website. Users and website visitors flooded with queries and questions on the best things to do to cope up with the commotion – at that, Marketo and its CEO Steve Lucas addressed and acknowledged the mishap by tweeting their cause and apologies:

“I want to sincerely apologize to you and on behalf of the entire Marketo team as we take any disruption to your service very seriously.”

However, their tweets could do little to relieve the agitation and apprehension of users worldwide.

What caused Marketo outage?

Steve Lucas, the CEO of Marketo, identified the root cause that resulted in the Marketo outage problem as “an auto renewal error”. He explained that the practice of renewing their thousands of domain properties every year is successfully executed through an auto renewal process which failed miserably this time. The auto renewal failure became a reality through a series of “human and process errors”.

The entire Marketo system seems to be up and running again normally. The present status of the outage problem can be followed from Marketo Status site:

So, the question is exactly, how badly were your Marketo campaigns affected by this outage problem? And what things must you do as well, now that the service has been restored?

How did Marketo outage disturb your marketing process?

In addition to leaving users with inaccessibility to the official website, a large number of functionalities were potentially disturbed including –

  • Emails – links in emails were deterred as well as the issue also hindered monitoring email open performance.

  • Also, errors with delivery of Marketo emails

  • Forms in Marketo

  • Marketo Subdomains were not accessible

  • Issues related to Marketo-hosted Images

  • Third-party software integration issues

  • Smart campaign functionalities

  • Errors with integrating with Marketo supported CRM platforms

To address these potential issues hampered by Marketo outage, we have mapped the following activities essential to avoid disturbances caused to your business –

  1. Check with your browser – get a copy of the site on the browser you use for accessing the site (by pressing CMD+R on Mac and CMD+R on Windows). Also, consider cleaning the history including password, forms, cache and other elements to enable your browser to reset the cookie and site settings.

  2. Troubleshoot DNS problem – in order to avoid the risk of the Domain Name Service (DNS) returning an incorrect IP address for, you need to do this. First, clean the DNS cache (whether Windows or Mac) and also, by rebooting the router to clear the DNS cache saved on your router. You simply need to turn off the router, remove all the plugs from the device, and switch off the power. Wait a while, then re- connect all the plugs and switch on the device.

  3. DNS service and hijacking - If you still are unable to access the site, then you need to check if there are any risks of DNS hijacking which hijack site traffic to users to the malware-laden intended ISP hackers want. Also, you will need to check your site traffic, in order to check for transparent proxies which may intercept the site traffic and send to a different site which the ISP considers more accurate. You also need to ensure that you are using a VPN or a smart DNS service, and that they are running in good condition.

  4. CRM integration – once you are able to access the Marketo site and its functionalities, check if the CRM integration is experiencing any issue. To check CRM sync errors, you need to check to see if there are any Marketo notifications regarding sync issues. Consult with your CRM admin to check any inconsistency or issue noted while outage in your country.

  5. Check all the links – next, you need to verify all the links including those of landing pages, links of sub-domains of your Marketo pages, and also check with links in your email by clicking on Marketo emails from the inbox.

  6. Lifecycle of campaigns – additionally, you need to check if any errors were caused to the campaigns or triggers during Marketo outage. Especially of those triggers and batches are for any webinar or other events, CRM data or video software. Also, check and verify if there are any gap in Marketo processes and campaigns.

  7. Emails – you need to monitor those emails that were deployed during those hours that Marketo was down. Chances are those emails will suffer from high bounce rates. Look for hard bounced data that may have resulted from bounced mails during Marketo downtime.

  8. Third-party login – another significant area which might be affected by Marketo outage and that you need to check is the set of all login credentials when Marketo site is up and running. To verify a seamless third-party login, you can register for any content downloads, webinar, hit any social media ad etc.

In addition to the items listed above, you will also need to check for authentication DKIM and SPF and make sure there are no issues with these two areas caused by the Marketo outage problem.

Do you need technical assistance on verifying and fixing any issues with Marketo campaigns and restore to the optimum campaign results post-outage then, share your issues with our Marketo Certified Professionals by calling (408) 502 6765. Or connect with us via your preferred social channels Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

7 Ways to Build, Scale & Deliver High Quality Marketo Engagement Programs

Marketo provides a great platform that enables marketers and companies to build complex marketing programs that scale. The platform lets users add new content, assets, programs and other components after Marketo is set up. In that way, with Marketo it is really easy to create engagement programs – with some things to consider to get your programs grow and escalate above the rest.

Here are four ways to ensure the growth of your marketing programs with Marketo and escalate your Marketo engagement program:

Building Marketo Programs

1. Collect Insights

If you are not sure how and where to start, it is best to start thinking about your Marketo program by looking for similar marketing programs that are working well and are generating the kinds of results you want to see. Look for areas where you think those programs can be improved such as, abnormal response rates, pipeline attribution or subjective opinion among others. These insights will give you the appropriate data to generate ideas about how you can improve your engagement program and nurture your audience better with your program.

Marketo has discovered a number of ways to promote events and programs, and they’ve gained new insights that make events more engaging. In just one insight, they’ve learned that many virtual event attendees prefer subtitles to engage and absorb information from events. More, Marketo suggests that virtual events are highly interactive and help interacting with prospects, sponsors, and these events also enable marketers to engage their target audience by offering them the ability to download event content, choosing different event sessions, and even by offering them prizes for attending events. Marketers can also use other methods, such as interviews with customers and prospects and internal people, and they can also use periodic reports and others to gain valuable insights.

2. Coordinate with cross-functional teams

The primary difference between small programs and larger, more complex programs is that the larger ones require more coordination and alignment between cross-functional teams. The better marketers are able to coordinate with other teams and use insights from cross-functional teams, the better the results they can create with their programs. By aligning with sales teams, marketers can leverage insights and information from sales reps, and sales reps can gain additional information from the vast resources that Marketo provides, e.g., reports, events etc. — all information that they can use to be more effective salespeople.

Conversely, marketers can better understand their sales teams’ requirements and incorporate those requirements into strategies to improve sales funnel. Then, sales teams can assess those strategies, and collectively, sales and marketing can better align themselves, and in that way they can better align themselves to reach sales and revenue objectives. Thus, collaboration and coordination are the keys to adopt the right Marketo strategies and achieving ROI. Companies can

This kind of cross-pollenization can be used not only with sales teams. Companies can and should also consider other teams and departments for cross-functional team alignment, including customer service teams, business or sales development, customer success, and other teams that can contribute in scaling Marketo programs.

3. Plan Marketo program: take a step back

Companies setting big business goals need to take a step back and evaluate their strategies to understand how to attain their desired goals. However, many companies fail to understand the importance of this step, rather, move forward quickly in order to avoid the time it takes. For example, if you are couple of targeting thousands of people to attend your virtual event, you need to vest in considerable amount of time to brainstorm and weigh your plan to achieve a particular goal. Throughout this process of brainstorming and assessment, your marketing team will come up with a number of effective plans will lead your company to achieve goals you take.

For example, initially you may assume your emails may get you registration from 100 subscribers, but in reality, you get only 10 people to register for your event. In this case, you need to think backwards and rethink and measure effectiveness of your marketing strategies to estimate the right ratio of the number of people you send emails and the number of people actually register for the program. That way, you can set well-measured goals and more functional strategies to chase the number you set.

4. Deploy the right resources

It takes the right pool of talents and resources to pull off the marketing goal you set. No matter whether your team is great in conceiving plans, you need to have the most efficient team players and adequate funds at your disposal to carry out the plan without stumbling in the middle. Getting resources requires discussing with stakeholders and persuading them to provide the resources you need for achieving the set marketing goals. That’s why you need to organize a thoroughly thought out Marketo plan to correctly estimate the right marketing budget and allocation of funds for your business goal.

For this, you need to measure all the aspects of a program by evaluating similar programs you have built previously, and compare those with how those programs performed with that same marketing budget and resources. Factors that companies should measure and analyze can be number of marketing qualified leads, prospects in sales pipeline, attendance rate, cost  of new customer acquisition, new properties such as, names, logos, among others.

Scaling Marketo Programs

Here are few ways we suggest that marketing teams can scale and execute quality Marketo campaigns and boost ROI from those campaigns:

5. Scale cloned content

Expert marketing team players have proficiency of cloning programs along with content and campaign workflow. They spend considerable amount of time in adopting best practices of working with email templates and layouts, content, landing page and any asset to achieve marketing goals within shorter span of time. Marketo enables marketers to save their time in replicating designs in all marketing materials by presenting them with tools to make small changes to templates before execution and scale the performance of programs. That’s why they can simply clone an entire program and change properties such as, location, banners, speakers, date and time as planned for the event from a central location. By modifying and populating schedules and assets of the event, marketers can see remarkable improvements as they iterate variations of events.

6. Scale Marketo campaigns

Evaluating a campaign management process will help your marketing teams spot their flaws and where they can go wrong and mitigate the performance of the campaign. With Marketo’s marketing automation platform, marketers who don’t have design or technical knowledge can make tweaks to the campaigns, programs, visual and textual content which meet company’s requirements. They do not need to create a new template for email and engagement campaigns, instead they can create small, user-friendly templates that can be used and edited by any marketing player without technical or email designing skills. Thus, you can simplify your marketing campaign process and give adequate free time for your designing team for email optimization and email deliverability.

The Marketo platform also enables its users with content rules and pre-designed layouts for all types of campaigns. Thus, marketers can achieve timely execution by saving time in designing and yet, giving creative twist to your programs. Timely execution of your campaign can ensure delivery of the right messages to the right people, by using limited resources. Thus, your company can set the right marketing goals that can be achieved by your marketing teams.

Marketers can also scale their marketing campaigns by utilizing Tokens and dynamic content. Tokens or ‘Merge Fields’ connect to data points referred by system inside marketing automation solution. Tokens allow modifying contacts to details to the respective fields. Using Tokens, marketers can use personalized content for enticing target audience through top trends of any industry. Thus, marketers can simply refer to the field values that are related to the lead database without having to create different emails. They can also change and personalize the content based on specific subscribers in landing pages, email content or other Marketo assets.

7. Scale marketing data

Most marketers and companies spend time in pulling and re-pulling as well as updating lists. On the contrary, they can use centralized data access and personalization options to save significant amount of time, while helping reduce risks of mistakes of messages sent to wrong list of audiences. Marketo is a great engagement program platform that helps improve data scalability with the ability to accessing updated data from centralized locations and accessing leads from various channels, programs, and content.

Apart from that, Marketo also gives marketers the ability to share a preset targeted audience from one platform to multiple channels, including major ones such as Facebook, Google AdWords etc. Thus, marketers can save time from being wasted in accessing and performing various multi-channel campaigns. With the centralized audience management architecture of Marketo, marketers can save valuable time creating relevant and compelling messages and content for the campaign.

Companies need to listen to and interact with their targeted audience’s actions from diverse locations, using a centrally-managing marketing platform in order to deliver rich personalization at greater scale. Thus, they can decrease the number of systems required for delivering personalized and connected messages even though the number of products or solutions they offer tend to expand by every year.

Do you need expert Marketo assistance to build, scale and deliver high-quality Marketo programs? Then get in touch with our Marketo Certified Professionals at (408) 502 6765 or via your preferred social channels Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


3 Marketo Optimization Tips to Improve Results & ROI

Admit it: your Marketo program costs your company a lot … to create strategies, and to run and evaluate your marketing automation efforts. However, most marketers have yet to crack the tough nut and understand the fundamentals of success – implementing the right strategies and activities, through the right channels, using the right assets and ultimately, the right measurement metrics.

Then, how can you tell if the Marketo program is going to work and what improvements are required to make the program better? In order to help you think through all of these steps, we’ve provided the following optimization tips that will help you improve the impact of your programs and your sales pipeline, and to improve your ROI.

Test Marketo programs

The more you test your Marketo programs, the more you can evaluate and optimize your programs. Since testing is fundamental to ensuring effective optimization, you need the right plan to start.

What do you need to test? You can begin testing the programs you want to assess for a subset of target consumers. For this, you can test –

  1. Programs such as a webinar to evaluate the prospects of conversions
  2. Frequency of emails to determine how many emails you need to send to your target contacts
  3. Content to evaluate which email messages and calls-to-action are working, attracting, engaging, and persuading prospects respond to taking desired actions on emails.
  4. Marketing budget to check how much you need to spend, and whether you need to increase or decrease the advertising and marketing budget.

You can also run combined tests on multiple lead nurturing offers, CTAs, or emails, in order to measure a set of nurturing tracks instead of testing a single one. For testing multiple campaigns, you  can use diverse testing methods, such as multivariate testing, which combines a number of variables, or A/B testing or split testing, which tests two assets to compare conversion rates.

Testing helps you measure and adapt your marketing efforts for the better by:

  • Identifying which Marketo programs will yield a higher ROI
  • Enabling you to identify the right kinds of reports and dashboards to analyze programs
  • Identifying which marketing efforts are most effectively influencing closed deals
  • Measuring your sales funnel and how effectively prospects are flowing through
  • Identifying major metrics to measure performance for each cycle

Build your team to improve performance

While testing and measuring programs to achieve better optimization, don’t forget your team! Companies must work very hard to build and coordinate teams to carry out campaigns as a team effort. To achieve better coordinated team effort, use the Marketo Calendar feature to enable your team to become a better team in the following ways:

  • Using the campaign calendar that appears as soon as campaigns are created on Marketo. Admin users just need to add planned activities, assets or events while creating campaigns to help other team players to access them.
  • Admin users need to do segmentation for the different team players and stakeholders to access relevant parts of each program. Users can segment the programs by target channels, audience, region, and many other parameters to attain better alignment and drive promotional results. Users can simply drag and drop relevant functionalities in the calendar of marketing campaigns.
  • Campaign creators must be careful to avoid the risk of conflicts that may happen with schedules by double checking all the scheduled activities and campaigns.
  • Make sure everyone on the team is on the same page, by reviewing those marketing goals and campaigns regularly with the team, either in-person or via web conference, being sure to involve all team members and stakeholders.
  • Keep team members and other stakeholders informed as changes made to the calendar are updated to the campaigns on a regular basis.
  • Track the progress of campaigns and coordinate them with your teams and enable everyone to focus on optimization goals with the Calendar HD.

With Marketo Calendar, you can always achieve better optimization and stay on top of the game by

  • Tracking the most important things to focus on when users open the application
  • Making changes and staying updated of upcoming marketing campaigns
  • Tracking performance of current campaigns and activities
  • Accessing reports and analyzing the performance and effectiveness of campaign s

Calculate your marketing budget

Another key way to optimize and maximize your performance and ROI is to use Marketo to help calculate your marketing budget. Marketo enables you to keep a close eye on where the most of the marketing budget is being spent. Your reports can be set up to track if that portion is performing well, scopes of improving performance of that and if resource worth spending there or need to be relocated.

Marketers need to consider lead sources and how those leads will become opportunities, flow through sales funnel and eventually convert – and how much it will cost throughout the process. Based on this analysis, you can tweak and optimize your campaigns to achieve cost effective results and higher ROI. Industry leaders and influencers recommend considering emails, subject lines, message, other types of content being used in the campaign, frequency of emails and other activities, and landing pages.

Do these optimization tips sound like they may be helpful for your business? Do you want help from Marketo experts in your Marketo optimization program? Call (408) 502 6765 to get free tips from our Marketo Certified Professionals, or connect us via Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to get informed of all latest trends, updates, and tips on Marketo platforms.