A Practical Guide to Starting with Marketo – Part 2

In Part 1, I talked about the big picture and how to start when you’re first learning Marketo. Very well and good, but now you need WHERE to start.

What is the FIRST THING you need to do?

A Practical Guide to Starting with Marketo – Part 2 image marketo certified partnerMarketo Certified Partner

Here are the first two of four critical starting points, depending on your most pressing business need:

1) Problem: I have Marketo, but I’m afraid my database isn’t clean enough to get the accurate lists I need to send to the right people!

Solution: Go into the Lead Database tab in Marketo. See those System Smartlists? Start there.

First, check out your Possible Duplicates. If there aren’t too many, that’s a good start. Focus on de-duplicating these (if you’re using Marketo synced to Salesforce.com, I recommend de-duping in Salesforce instead of through Marketo). If you have a lot, consider a tool like Marketo’s Easy Merge to help you get these down to a manageable number.

Next, create some data management smart lists to help you see where you need to standardize and normalize data. Find out where the dirty data is coming from and nip that in the bud first, so you don’t have more coming in. Using pick lists on your forms, where possible, is a best practice. Once you’ve done some cleaning, you’ll be familiar enough with your data to know what the next easiest cleaning task is. Data management and cleanliness is an ongoing practice, so don’t think you can do it only once. That said, once your database is clean, you can institute practices that keep it clean.

2) Problem: I need to start nurturing NOW! My leads are cold and getting colder!

Solution: That might be true, but without a plan you won’t get very far. Think of it this way: you have fairly new leads and older leads. Start there. Plan two programs, one that will nurture existing leads (not yet customers) and one that will nurture your fairly new (and incoming in near future) leads. That’s it, just two.

The first one might be four emails spaced two weeks apart each, so your program will run for eight weeks. Don’t talk about your products, a mistake many of those new to marketing automation make. It’s a little like walking into a bar, walking up to someone you don’t know, and saying “Hey, want to get married???” It might work occasionally, but more likely not. Instead, focus on the problems that people who purchase your product are facing, and the types of questions they’re asking.

The second email can talk about what they’re doing to answer those questions (again, not your product, but the things they’re considering to progress towards a solution). Make sure all four emails have campaign messaging that focuses on problem solving from your prospect’s point of view, not yours. It’s all about them. Once people start responding to what you have to say, you can introduce them to information they might be interested in further down the funnel, but start by getting to know them a little bit, and show them you understand their concerns.

In part 3, I’ll provide two more Problems and Solutions for where to get started. Stay tuned!

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