Best Practices to Set up Marketo Lead Lifecycle & Revenue Model

There are several situations when marketers want to build lead and revenue lifecycles in Marketo platforms. These include when they want to report on the sales funnel process, or if they want to demonstrate the stats and figures of leads generated in each state to the senior management team with 100% precision.

As a marketer, we select marketing technologies to automate most of the routine marketing activities including segmentation, landing pages and emails, choosing messages and content, deduping, routing and updating leads etc. The major focus and goal we set in the nurturing process is how the process impacts revenue – therefore, to gain insight in how the lead nurturing efforts are impacting revenue, marketers need the capability to document the entire revenue cycle.

For this, the Marketo platform offers great sales funnel reporting tools to accurately report the sales process. However, most marketers struggle  with setting up a lead and revenue lifecycle in Marketo platforms, which will give them clear vision on how their marketing process is impacting revenue. This easy guide will emphasize how to set up the lead and revenue lifecycle with best practices to create amazing funnel reporting.

How to set up a revenue lifecycle model in Marketo

Designing a new revenue lifecycle model in Marketo and then setting transitions to the model can be a bit time consuming depending on the type of varying business models. It also greatly depends on how the sales team works with the leads and tools being used for setting up the model in the platform. Marketo requires setting the right triggers for every phase.

In order to reduce processing time, marketers need to define triggers for each transition in the Manual Stage Change. With this, marketers can manually control and change the revenue stage by setting up a Marketo Smart Campaign. We recommend our ShowMeLeads clients create a Smart Campaign to get clearer insights on all types of marketing activities within all Marketo campaigns. Additionally, smart campaigns are easier to manage than when it comes to managing which triggers to use than Revenue Cycle Modeler in Marketo which requires double-clicking on the side arrows of the triggers to put in.

Setting up a Marketo Lead Lifecycle program

After you have created a smart campaign for the setting up a revenue lifecycle model and it is approved with Manual Stage Change – marketers need to focus on the next stage. When you are ready with the revenue lifecycle set up, marketers need to configure the brains of the lead nurturing programs.

Lead lifecycle can be set up in the “Marketing Activities” section of the Marketo using a ‘Default Program’. This program will be dedicatedly used only for flow steps and Lead Lifecycle and cannot be used for anything else in the Marketo instance. You need to create and define Smart Campaigns for different stages of lead lifecycle to clearly view the progress. In addition, we also recommend creating a folder structure which should comprise separate folders for:

  • ‘Fast Tracks’ which will help transmitting leads faster to the funnel and will be sent based on particular triggers created to ascertain readiness for conversion.
  • Folder for ‘Success Path’ will define the ‘horizontal green line’ in a revenue lifecycle model in Marketo.

Finally, create a folder for ‘Detours’ which will cater to repurposing lost deals or disqualified deals

How to set up custom channel for Marketo Lead Lifecycle

Most of Marketo program including data management, lead management, lead scoring, cannot be added to the reporting channel. Instead, marketers need to define these custom programs from default Operational channel.

Marketers need to configure a ‘Custom Channel’ from the ‘Admin’ section of the ‘Lead Lifecycle’ in Marketo. They need to ensure they update program statuses based on the specific ‘Revenue Model’. For this, they need to mark easily identifiable step number for different stages of the lead lifecycle stage. Thus, marketers can set the leads to progress with the changing of program status and can define how programs are impacting revenue in the event of –

  • When any lead is marked as ‘Marketing Qualified Lead’ or MQL which is ready to be transmitted to the sales funnel
  • When the lead is won and sale has been converted – then it should be marked as ‘Success for Sales & Marketing’’

There is one way marketers can shorten the manual and long-drawn flow steps by using ‘Smart Campaign’ with a setting trigger to the campaign for every Revenue Stage. As program status will change, the trigger will be updated with several choices in different stages. Thus, marketers can get a quick look at all the leads under the ‘Program’ of the Lead Lifecycle area. Do you want to ask questions on how to set up lead lifecycle and revenue lifecycle in Marketo? How to set triggers for Marketo Smart Campaigns? Or in case, you need help or clarifications on programs, campaigns or any other areas of Marketo, then just call our Marketo specialists at (408) 502 6765 or drop a mail at or simply connect with us via Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

5 Cool Tricks to Keep Marketo Data Clean & Spotless

“How do I clean duplicate records out of my Marketo database?”

“Is there any way to maintain Marketo database immaculate and perfect condition for campaigns?”

Do these types of Marketo questions cloud your mind and hinder your marketing efforts? Some of our clients come seeking solutions and best practices on how to keep their Marketo database cleared of duplicate records and other issues. There are super cool ways to prevent duplicate data and other data management errors to impede the performance of your marketing automation campaign. You should know how badly this duplicate data problem can affect your Marketo campaigns.

How badly does duplicate data hurt your Marketo campaign?

In most instances, duplicate records pop up in from diverse sources such as, through manual data entry attempts, list imports or any other manual activities of data entry or issues such as –

Erroneous lead scoring activities: one of the worst cases of duplicate data is from an incorrect lead scoring outcome. Inaccurate lead scoring resulting from duplicate records may lead to a miscalculation of MQL and often leave behind hot leads in Marketo. Apart from causing duplicate errors, these also cause lost opportunities for conversion by leaving leads which could generate revenues.

Higher cost of Marketo: Marketo charges its users based on the size of the database in it. And the volume may often take in presence of duplicate data and chances are, Marketo users are unfortunately being charged for unwanted duplicate records in their database.

Incorrect data analysis: Duplicate records of leads in the Marketo database will also cause miscalculation of data analysis and reports that result in reduced opportunities of ROI.

But, marketers can sidestep the loss and issues that duplicate data triggers, by adopting periodic data cleansing practices to keep pesky duplicate records at bay. The following five steps are best recommended to minimize the risks of duplicate data and other data errors to maintain good health of your Marketo database.

1. Spot duplicate records

As soon as marketers start with data building activities, duplicate records start surfacing inevitably. That’s why it is important to take proactive action and to develop routines to spot and scrape off the bad duplicate data from time to time. It is possible to maintain the good health of your database, free of duplicate leads.

In this process of eliminating duplicate records, marketers must take adequate caution in deleting records even though they are found as duplicate. We recommend a deep dive that carefully examines both records to ascertain which lead data is more useful for campaign whether email addresses or mobile number. They can also merge both the data accordingly.

2. Set rules for automatic de-duping

Another way to spot and get rid of duplicate records from the large volume of thousands of data is to set rules for the automatic elimination or de-duplication of lead data. Such practices of automatic de-duplication helps marketers with saving hours of valuable time and efforts in scanning through their both marketing automation and CRM database manually. This process is more feasible when Marketo users are adding lead lists when they can append bigger sets of lead data and avoid duplicate records as and when new contacts are getting added to the system.

3. Eliminate Junk Contacts

Many anonymous lead records may contain inaccurate, bad data such as “” or “” with no accurate details of lead contact. Such records are generated when contacts are unwilling to share their actual email addresses. These kind of contact details are unnecessary that marketers do not need and have to pay for the space these take in within the Marketo database. Marketers can set up and run smart campaigns to spot and scrub off these garbage data automatically from their database. They can set campaigns in ways that will identify such bogus email addresses, remove and suspend or even blacklist those spam contact details.

4. Set Up Alerts

Marketo users can also play this card of setting up alerts which bring them to the top of the game of their database. Spotting and deleting duplicates leads based on their email address is easy, but what if first name and last names are duplicate but both records contain different email addresses? In such cases, marketers need to set up alerts to be automatically notified of existence of such duplicate records. As soon as they get notification, they can determine if the record is simply a duplicate entry or those are of two different persons.

5. Scan data for uniformity

We recommend that companies and marketers work to ensure uniformity in order to maintain clean and good health of their Marketo database. However, there is a difficulty – if contacts choose to type in the country instead of selecting from the drop-down list menu, chances are the database will contain same country with different country values such as, for United States there can be multiple types of data input as “U.S.”, “US”, “USA,” “United States of America” or “U.S.A.” Make sure the form users can get to only choose from the drop down menu of list and cannot type on their own.

Marketers can also apply filters to get rid of lead records that become inactive for a considerable amount of time. In such cases, they can set filters to determine if those leads are engaging with their marketing campaigns or if they have left the company. As soon as they can verify those are inactive and useless leads, marketers can simply decide if they want to keep those records to run re-activation campaign or cleanse those records.

Do you need professional assistance in setting up campaigns and managing your Marketo database? Do you need help to keep your database spotless and free of bad data? Why delay? Contact our Marketo specialists at (408) 502 6765 or connect with us via  Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

How to Resolve Issues Occurring with Marketo Fields When the Marketo Salesforce Sync Stops?

The configuration changes made to the Marketo SFDC frame will affect a number of fields during the syncing process. Previously Marketo had two packages in its Salesforce AppExchange: Marketo Lead Management (MLM) package and Marketo Sales Insight (MSI) package. This current configuration update will remove the MLM package, and the MSI package will not require MLM for installation. With the expiration of MLM package, Marketo has stopped  support for syncing those 16 fields which were under that package. Hence, users might experience a few issues occurring while updating and syncing those fields such as, incorrect data in Salesforce reports. Here is what you need to know about changes made, how to address probable issues caused by changes made, and how to add Marketo fields.

Impacts of Marketo configuration sync changes

As new fields will be formed in Salesforce, fields in Marketo will be re-synced to newly added fields. This will trigger the backfill process which will stop the syncing with previously created fields. Thus, the data update process will be suspended immediately. Thus, every data which has the reference to the older dataset and fields will stop syncing and updating. Another issue caused is the backfilled data added to new fields will replace older values in Marketo and will be the only data set available in SFDC.

Fields that will be affected in the Marketo configuration change will be the following 16 fields. Data from these Marketo fields will stop syncing to the related SFDC 16 fields on the ‘Lead Object’ and 16 on ‘Contact object’.

  1. Lead Score
  2. Acquisition Program
  3. Acquisition Program Id
  4. Acquisition Date
  5. Original Search Phrase
  6. Original Source Info
  7. Original Source Type
  8. Original Referrer
  9. Original Search Engine
  10. Inferred Company
  11. Inferred Metropolitan Area
  12. Inferred Phone Area Code
  13. Inferred State Region
  14. Inferred City
  15. Inferred Postal Code
  16. Inferred Country

Other issues and areas to be affected by Marketo and Salesforce sync changes include –


The Workflows in Salesforce enables users to automate processes in SFDC and execute actions based on any criteria set. As the Marketo-Salesforce changes stop syncing of specific fields of data, the workflow rules which are associated with older fields will refer data those were stopped getting updated. Thus, the backfill processes will affect the workflow and make it react in another way than expected. Therefore, new data se will influence your workflow and will be seen in place of precious data value.

Apex Triggers

Apex Triggers is that which allow users to execute actions, before or after changes made to the records as well as to execute various other tasks, similar to workflows. Once the Marketo will stop syncing old value, Apex Triggers will fail to trigger any action afterwards.

Also, when the new values will be added to the fields over the existing values by backfill processes, will cause apex triggers to trigger actions based on new values and will not perform as expected.

AppExchange Apps

AppExchange app will also function erroneously once the new valued will be synced by the backfill processes and will not be able to perform, as desired based on the older values or will not perform as they had performed earlier.

Formula Fields

Similar to Marketo’s formula fields, Salesforce formula fields also use multiple fields and mix those fields to create new value for the value of formula fields. As the creation of the value of formula field depends on other fields, values of fields affected by Marketo and Salesforce sync changes might fail to return inaccurate field value.

Also, if the mapping of those affected fields gets changed and when the formula field will refer to those fields, the formula field will perform calculation based on the outdated data and will return an outdated formula field value. However, if the formula field will refer to new fields, then the field will retrieve data from those fields that are not backfilled. However, as soon as backfill processes will complete and all the data will be updated successfully, the formula fields will start performing accurately.


Salesforce reporting tool sources data from various locations. Similar to the formula fields, when reports source data from those fields affected by the Marketo changes, the reporting tool will fail to produce accurate data as well. Once the syncing process will get stopped, Salesforce reports will not be able to demonstrate updated data. As the reports will retrieve data from new fields, the reports will display two different set of data. The first set of data will appear when the backfill process is continuing and the field values are not updated. Thus, reports will not be able to show updated data. Later, as the backfill process has successfully completed updating process, the fields from which reports source data will be updated and reports will display accurate results based on the updated field values. Thus, you can avoid the issue of wrong reports and field values as all the fields will be updated with the new value by backfill process. Users will receive a confirmation notification from Marketo once the backfill process is finished stating the updating process is complete users can perform actions on updated set of data.

Do you find these tips and solutions helpful or do you need professional Marketo assistance in your Marketo and Salesforce integration projects? Just talk to our Marketo certified experts at (408) 502 6765 or connect us via Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to get informed of all latest trends, updates, and tips on Marketo platforms.

7 Tips for Hassle-free & Successful Migration to the Marketo Marketing Automation Platform

It’s been a big decision, full of analysis and also some tensions – but now that your migration to Marketo is finalized – what’s next?

Migration to a new marketing automation platform from another can be a daunting task, especially if you’ve got a large number of assets already created, including emails, and contact details, and especially those that are already involved with programs or campaigns.

Our clients who are looking for migration assistance at ShowMeLeads are often apprehensive about issues and risks of errors, duplication or missed data in the process of migration. There are, after all, movements of assets, data, and reporting on campaign progress. In the midst of all these concerns, there are ways to simplify and streamline the process of migrating to the Marketo platform with minimum hassles and errors.

If you’re thinking of (or if you have a need of) migrating to Marketo, here the following may give you a kind of ‘things to do’ list to help make that process more successful for you [and you can thank us later :-)].

1. Data collection

Begin the Marketo migration process by collecting data on just about everything, to make sure you avoid the risks of retracing to the former marketing automation platform and spending considerable amount of time later in order to make plenty of small changes while you are building on the new platform after migration.

In the data collection process, you should take an inventory of everything, especially your creative assets such as images, videos, PDF documents, and any external items added to the database. Then collect information on all your forms, templates of landing pages and landing pages themselves, plus templates of all your emails and other email assets.

After you have done all of this logging of assets, next you need to focus on programs – in this case, we recommend that marketers start with stocking up all the marketing programs while keeping a spreadsheet of all the smart lists and flows that your program impacts the most. While documenting, create a separate tab in the sheet for complex nurture programs. After logging these, you also need to take in your operational programs (e.g. all the data management and lead scoring pro) into the inventory.

2. Data auditing

The data in a migration plays crucial roles since all the programs, emails, reports, engagement, communications, sales opportunities, and other areas. That’s why it is important to ensure your data is in good condition. After thorough collection of all the data, assets and templates, the next step would be auditing data in the process of migrating to the Marketo platform.

There are several things to keep in mind in this audit. First of all, make sure the data is clean and getting rid of bad data before the migration starts. You also need to check to see if the data requires normalization, and if the data is consistent throughout the database (fields such as country, city, and state values must be consistent, for example).

Also, to avoid data issues, you need to check if the database is fetching similar fields while switching to the new platform. Another important area of data auditing needs that your attention is that there are no duplicate data and that the new data get merged with the correct set of records on the receiving side. You also need to take care of how the data collected by forms and landing pages and if all the data is getting synced between Marketo and the CRM system while migration.

3. Update processes

Take this opportunity to evaluate your processes with data and marketing programs while you are switching from one marketing automation platform. Weigh your existing business processes, initiatives and practices to audit and measure strategies that are working for you and what not to optimize your marketing efforts during the migrating process. At the end of the evaluation process, you can come up with more effective marketing and sales processes, offers and content, lead generation strategies to engage your prospects and customers and improve your revenues against budget of migrating to a new platform.

4. Simplified naming convention

The naming convention is fundamental in order to simplify the process of migration to the Marketo platform. Apart from the migration process, the naming convention also helps marketers who are starting with a new marketing automation platform to have a clear and easy to relate names, making users more efficient and ensuring every user on the platform follows the naming practices.

5. Redirects

Many of our clients have loads of landing pages which are required to get redirected when they are migrating to Marketo. The first thing is to get a list of landing pages ready and incorporating that into the tab of landing pages of your Marketo migration sheet. Once this is ready, your technical team will have the list of pages for redirects and get it running efficiently in ways that make unlikely the risk of “404 error” error message popping up in the marketing operations.

6. Test everything

A/B testing is an inevitable part of the migration process. Make sure you start the testing process before you start migrating to the new Marketo platform. You can start testing all the links of landing pages, forms, make sample of all emails and test all of those and then, you need to audit all the programs. This testing process needs to be thoroughly planned and executed so that you do not miss anything left to be tested before you migrate. For some marketers and businesses, this phase might run a bit longer, maybe as much as a week or a couple of months depending on the volume of assets and programs you are migrating.

7. Extra marketing efforts

Before your new Marketo instance is up and running, communicating with your prospects and customers from two different marketing automation platforms can be difficult. For this, you need to have ready a short-term communication plan that may require you to communicate with your targeted audience through both the marketing automation systems.

Though this communication process will take a little more hassling and tedious, but this is necessary to keep the glow of communication consistent with their targeted audience. But, even though you are sending messages from two systems, your audience should not receive duplicate messages or they will report you as spam or unsubscribe from your campaign. That’s why you need to create a process that will prevent your prospects and customers from receiving duplicate messages from two different marketing automation platforms.

Apart from these heavy-lifting steps to be taken, businesses should not forget to prep the entire organization and activities for the probable bumpy roads ahead –

  • Make sure you do not forget internal communications to keep your employees updated of probable issues which may emerge while merging data. They must be well aware of the possible errors and problems that may occur with the bumpy road ahead such as, false notification of alerts, issues with assigning leads among others.
  • While migrating to the Marketo platform, especially merging a large amount of data may affect your marketing performance. You need to take an estimation of how the merging process may impact the performance of the system during migration. For example, if your business heavily relies upon the scheduled email messages or real-time sales alerts, expect these processes to get a serious hit by the migration process temporarily.
  • You need to pinpoint the possible risk areas and breakage points in the flow of marketing well in advance before commencing to the whole switching process. We advise cross-checking all the nooks especially risks of unwanted triggering of lead scoring process, CRM queues which sales reps rely upon, the hit on dashboards and reports, notification process to alert addition of new records, overall impact on the Marketo ecosystem etc.

Do these items help in identifying and fixing issues that can help you to get through your Marketo migration process with less hassles and pain? In addition to these practical tips and tricks, if you need to reach out to Marketo Certified professionals to get hands-on technical assistance in migrating your marketing process to the Marketo platform – you can simply reach us at (408) 502 6765 or DM (chat with) us via Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn – to get customized migration solution for your business.

Best Practices to Manage Different Types of Marketo User Roles & Permissions

The power of a Marketo marketing automation platform is immense and must be used carefully to ensure the security of the system.  Marketo administrators need to make a number of decisions on how to assign roles and grant permissions for various types of user roles. The Marketo platform requires admins to exercise caution when managing users, as it houses a large amount of data, including the kinds of updates on leads, accounts and contacts, similar to those in CRM systems.

Marketo offers several predefined roles that can be set up with varying level of access, depending upon the amount of access to the data that users will need. Marketo administrators can select the right type of roles according to the positions and responsibilities of users from the following list of built-in roles:

Admin User – This level of users are given permissions to all rights, across various parts of the system, including admin section.

Analytics User – users who need to handle the measurements and monitoring of the campaign are assigned with the role of this analytics built-in role. Permissions given to these roles are limited to the ‘Analytics’ section.

Marketing User – Marketers are assigned this role with permissions to throughout the system, minus the ‘Admin’ part.

Standard User – Similar to the ‘Marketing’ user role, standard users are also given permission to all parts of the application, except Admin section.

Web Designer – Web designers are given limited access to only the ‘Design Studio’ parts of the Marketo application.

All the user roles and permissions can be modified to change the areas of permissions as per the changing requirements of access to the application, except the Standard and Admin User roles. Administrators can also create other types of custom roles based on the specific requisitions and organizational structures of any company.

So, the question is how administrators can assign permissions to roles in Marketo?

The types of Permissions are tied to the particular types of roles and requirements to access on Marketo application. Before you assign permissions to any user roles, you need to consider following factors I your decisions:

Things to consider before setting permissions to roles:

  • The “Access” permission can be given to a role when any user just needs to view the programs or occasionally need to make some changes to some parts of the system.
  • Users can simply have the permissions to monitor or see when they are initially leaning how to create assets or make changes in any part of the Marketo application even if they do have the rights to make modifications or take any actions to those parts of the application. if any user make an attempt to access those assets or activities, they will soon be notified with a warning message stating the limited access given to them.
  • If any user role needs access to perform any specific actions such as, “Create” or “Delete”, that user must require the “Access” permission to the specific part of the application where they need to make changes or create any asset. Hence, if any user role in your organization needs rights to ‘Edit Campaigns’, they must be given the overall permission to access the ‘Marketing Activities’ parts of the application.

So, what type of permissions can be given to user roles in your organization?

Types of permissions Marketo enables administrators to assign to various user rules are:

  • Access Admin (you can make changes to different settings under the ‘My Account’ part of the Marketo application). This level of permissions include access to make changes  to any settings of any part of the application including Access Audit Trail, Access Audit Trail, CRM, Channels, Landing Pages, Email Admin, File Upload, Login history, Location, Objects, Activities, Munchkin, Sales Insight and many others.
  • Access API that limits ‘read-only’ permissions of users to ‘API Only Role’ depending on the type of API they need to access such as, Read-Only Activity, Read-Only Campaign, Read-Only Assets, Read-Only Activity Metadata, and various other types of read-only access along with ‘Approve Assets’, and ‘Execute Campaign’ permission.
  • Access Analytics access is given to specific user roles that need to access the ‘Analytics’ tabs, various types of reports, ‘Email Insights’ ‘Access Revenue Explorer’, ‘Delete Report’ and ‘Export Analytics Data’ unless they are unchecked to restrict access to that specific part of the application.
  • Access Design Studio permission is divided into access to Access Email, Access Email Template, Access Form, Access Image, Access Landing Page, Access Landing Page Template, Access Snippet, Access Social App to create, edit, delete and approve actions in these areas of the design studio.
  • Access Database enables user roles to view as well as make changes static or smart lists with permissions to Access Segmentation, Delete Person or Delete List, Advanced List Import, Edit Person, Export Person, Merge People, Import List, Import Custom Object, Run Single Flow Actions and View Opportunity Data.
  • Access SEO brings permissions to these two areas that are ‘Administered SEO’ and ‘Standard SEO’
  • Access Marketing Activities brings viewing permissions to different parts of ‘Marketing Activities’ tab across campaigns and campaign folders. With this permission, users can get permissions to actions such as, ‘Access SMS Message’, Delete SMS Message, ‘Approve SMS Message’, Edit SMS Message, Access Push Notification, Delete Push Notification, Edit Push Notification, Approve Push Notification, Activate Trigger Campaign, Access Awards, Clone Marketing Asset, Delete Marketing Asset, Import Program and List Import, Approve Email Program, Edit Marketing Asset, Edit Campaign Restrictions, and Schedule Batch Campaign.
  • Targeting and Personalization grants permissions to administer Web Personalization, Web Campaign Editor, CRE Campaign Launcher, CRE Campaign Editor, and Web Campaign Launcher.
  • Workspace Administration which helps assigning rights for ‘Admin access for a specific Workspace’ and ‘Move assets between Workspaces’ provided the permission to Workspaces is already unchecked.
  • Lastly, Access Mobile Application permission to enable users access to the Marketo mobile applications.

Do you need expert professional guidance and assistance to define specific levels of functionalities in your organization and how to manage various roles? We guide Marketo users with best practices to manage user permissions and also in-depth trainings on how to control, make changes and remove permissions assigned to any specific roles. Whether you need tips, best practices or guidance on Marketo user management, just say us ‘Hello’ by calling (408) 502 6765 or connect and chat with us via social channels Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn – we have it all you need.