Skip navigation
All Places > Champion Program > Blog > 2015 > July


Are the names of your programs all over the place? Are you constantly trying to find programs but forget what you called them? A poor marketing naming convention strategy is kind of like stuffing tons of random stuff in your junk drawer–eventually things are going to get messy. If your company is using naming conventions like “Tradeshow LA, Feb 2015,” it might be time to reevaluate your strategy.


Naming inconsistencies reduce reporting effectiveness, cause marketing inefficiencies and reduce marketing automaton power.


Today, I’ll dive into some steps you can take to get your Marketo instance back on track. You must be super diligent to follow the same process EVERY time.


The Trouble with Naming Inconsistencies

Let’s first look at where things tend to go wrong.


Multiple Users

Sometimes, multiple marketers within your organization name things differently. For example, maybe Joe named last year’s annual event “Joe’s Texas Event 2015″ while Karen named this year’s “Trade show-Dec-Dallas?” This kind of naming will drive you nuts when it comes time for analysis. Once you develop the strategy, make sure your team becomes naming ninjas—otherwise, centralize program naming with your marketing ops group.


Different Formats

Forget about analysis for second. What about trying to find these marketing activities in the Marketo? Was it named “trade show” or “event?” Is the event in a month-letter format (Oct) or month-digit format (10). Lastly, marketers lose flexibility to trigger different activities based on the name.


A Few Inconsistent Examples

  • Event_Oct_2015_Europe
  • Trade show, November 1, 2015
  • John’s tradeshow-Speaking 2014-10
  • Tradeshow NYC, 2015
  • Minn Executive Conference, 10/1/2015


Why is Naming Important?

I’ll get to the actual naming convention strategy later in the article but here are a few reasons to consider adopting a consistent naming process.

1) Gain Better Reporting Insights

Consistent program names make analysis and comparison easier. For the spreadsheet whizzes, consistent naming enables advanced filtering to gain custom insights.


BEFORE: Example without a strong naming convention

Comparing different Marketo programs like website and events is difficult as marketing activities are blended together. When you add in other channels, analysis can quickly get out of hand quickly.


AFTER: Example with a naming convention

When you have a naming convention, you can easily distinguish between marketing activities and compare results. Answer questions like:

  • How did our events perform vs our roadshows?
  • Which website assets are being downloaded most?

Answering these questions with the previous model will give you a headache when you are trying to compare hundreds of programs.



2) Streamline Marketo Management

No need to get frustrated trying to figure out if the program is called “Tradeshow” or “Trade Show.” Use a naming convention to cut down management time by easily finding and sorting assets.




3) Build More Powerful Programs

When names are standardized, marketers gain the flexibility to build more powerful global programs by leveraging the consistent naming. A few trigger examples:

  • If a lead clicks a link in a program starting with “NUR-Early,” then transition the lead to the mid-stage nurturing track.
  • If a lead reaches success in a program that includes “-WP,” also add the lead to the Whitepaper Asset program.
  • If a lead’s Last Lead Source contains “-Trial,” boost the lead’s score by +75 points.


Action for You - Adopt a Naming Convention

The below convention is one of several you can adopt within your organization for program level naming. These conventions enable organizations to quickly search for similar assets, programs, etc. while allowing for users to sort programs chronologically.


Once you settle on a convention, start to change the names of your existing programs to reflect the new naming. Obviously, make sure the name change doesn't affect any existing campaigns.

The Program Convention………….

[Abbreviated Program Type]-[4-digit Year]-[2-digit Month]-[2-digit date]-[Program Description]-[Location or Content Type]


Optional for larger organization is to add the program manager’s initials at the end. You can also add other items like target audience and Marketo program ID if applicable.


A webinar in October on The ABCs of Marketing


Best Practices Whitepaper published on the website on Oct 23, 2015. Note that the day of month is not included as that level of granularity is probably not needed for a content asset. Of course, if you want it, add it in.


Roadshow in Dallas in December 2015


An online advertising campaign for capturing leads in Q4, 2015. If you budget advertising on a quarterly basis, you could elect to change the month format (10) to a quarterly format (Q4). If you go this route, ensure all OA programs leverage this naming.

Do I Need the Dashes?

Dashes are optional but I like to use them in conventions. Or, use underscores.


Why? The first reason is improved searchability. It’s a lot easier (and more accurate) to type “CS-” within Marketo and find all your case studies. A pure “CS” search would pull up other assets like “The ABCs of Marketing.”


Advanced. The second reason is to build consistency with your lead source strategy if you are using URL parameters to populate Lead Source data. This assumes you are using similar names for your Lead Source Strategy which I presented at a recent Summit. See recording.  When these values are also used as part of URL parameters that feed Lead Source data into the system, a dash or underscore is needed--blank spaces in links can sometimes wreak havoc.


            Example: WS-2015-10-Best-Practices-WP

What's up with this Funky Date Format?

Get your brain thinking a little differently.


Americans like to use the 12-22-2014 format while Europeans like to use the 22-12-2014 format. So why use this 2014-12-22 format? One word–sorting. By using the 2014-12-22 format, all of your programs will automatically put themselves in chronological order with no extra work by you.


On a totally different note, I've started using this date format for pics I take with my camera as it helps me sort through the thousands of pics I take over time.


Don’t Let Your Names Spiral out of Control

To summarize, make sure to choose a naming convention that meets your organization’s goals. The biggest piece of advice I can give—be consistent.


I’d love to hear what conventions you are using so please feel free to comment. What are you finding successful in your organization?


Other Resources


A special shout out to Josh Hill, Elliott Lowe, Kristen Malkovich, Dory Viscogliosi , Michelle Tiziani, Nicole M and others  who have provided a ton of tips on this subject within the Marketo community.


A few articles:


Why You Should Start Including Program ID in Your Naming Convention Kristen Carmean gives reasons why to also include the Marketo ID.

Organizing Marketo Database: Naming convention

Naming Conventions - Sync to SFDC campaign

Re: What are your best practices to insure consistency in usage and naming



The first thing I do when I get to a new city is to see if they have Uber available. Uber has made it easier than ever before to get around in new places. I was recently in Taipei, and even though I cannot speak a word of Chinese (and the drivers English is usually no better than my Mandarin) I was able to get where I needed to go effortlessly with Uber.


I recently got this email from them, and was blown away by the design, sophistication and execution of their email. It's not the first time I have been impressed by Uber's emails, but this one in particular stood out for me.


Screen Shot 2015-07-15 at 1.37.13 PM.png



It's not visible in this screenshot, but the background of Uber's email is completely animated. The little dots flicker and glow adding an amazing visual dimension to the email. Since most emails are static (and may I say boring) this one really catches your eye, and tells the recipient that they are seeing something different. Capturing your audiences attention is one of the hardest things to do in email, but animation is a great way to get that extra second or two of attention, and then get your message across.


Personalized Analytics

Not only are there some great stats in the email, but Uber is actually taking my personal ride stats, and displaying them to me in a dynamic fashion. Marketo makes this possible with the use of tokens in your emails. This provides the recipient with a personalized experience, and makes them really feel like this email was made just for them.



Surprisingly, many emails that Marketers send are still not using responsive emails. Uber does a great job of coding their email so it is fully responsive, so that no matter what device the recipient is on, they are able to get an amazing viewing experience. You can always tell if an email is responsive by dragging the size of your window and seeing if the layout changes. The best responsive emails are constantly rearranging things to suit the size of the screen. Here is what Uber's email looks like on typical phone dimensions.


Screen Shot 2015-07-15 at 1.42.02 PM.png



The best emails work seamlessly across all devices. Regardless of if I look at Ubers email on my iPhone, iPad or MacBook, it looks great everywhere. Not surprising since I hear they hire a lot of former Litmus employees to work in their email marketing department



Last but not least, the email is beautifully designed. There is something about the simplicity, colors and layout that makes an email marketer like me happy!



Often a lost marketing art form, but the intrigue of the open text field asking where I will go next was too much for me not to click it, I had to see where it would take me.


That's it. Hopefully I have inspired you guys to go out there, and try and make an equally beautiful, thoughtful, analytical and personal email like Uber did!



There is many websites out there that can help walk you through email bounced codes, categories and examples. What I wanted to cover here is how Marketo handles bounce categories and what they are. For some time now, I had a hard time trying to find information regarding Marketo’s bounce categories and then try to report on them.


Working with Marketo support over the years I was able to nail down some of them.

Was told that there are 6 categories but not in numerical order. I’m not too sure what categories 5 and 6 are. I’ve not seen any leads being tagged with them, but I’m sure some of you may know them and can add to this post and we can all reference them.


The point of this is to monitor and find repeat offenders in case of deliverability issues. With adding a constraint of say last 7 days depending on your email frequency should help you get an idea of the data that needs suspending.



The Marketo mail servers use "StrongView” (formally StrongMail) as there mailing software. (At least they did when I went though this few years ago with Marketo support). StrongView stamps emails with 1of 6 different bounce categories. StrongView categories are blocking (receiving server is not allowing mail), hard (unknown user), soft (temporary failure) and technical (infrastructure).


To identify these categories, we will set up a smart list for each of the categories, set them to look at the last 7 days and show me the leads. So lets make a start!


Email Management

  • Create a new folder and name it Email Management
  • Create 6 Smart Lists


The categories


Category 1 – Should be Email Suspended (usually from spamblock). You may find leads (particularly Gmail addresses) that are Category 1 bounces, but have no data in Email Suspended or Email Suspended at. They are STILL problematic leads. You could also add a further constraint for the # of times they hit Category 1.



Category 2 – Email Invalid. Anyone who has a Category 2 bounce should be email invalid. Leads in this category should be considered for being marked email invalid if they are not already.


Category 3 – Soft Bounce. “Mailbox is full”, that kind of thing. Temporary. Repeat offenders may be an issue.


Category 4 – Technical. Something was wrong with the mailserver on the other end. Again, temporary, but you might want to look for minimum # of times.


Category 7 – Proprietary, used for Strongmail internally.

Category 8 - Is invalid From Email address

The most common reason this happens is because your "From" email address is incorrect. The easiest way to check this is to go into the results of your campaign, and do a search at the bottom for ‘email bounced’. When results come up, double click on a random one. It will show you the reason for the bounce.


Category 9 – Unknown. Nonsensical errors, non English, etc.


I hope some of this is helpful, this information I gathered was from a few years back but may still be relevant today.

Please feel free to add and more information to this post.

“They say Marketing Technologists will become the next CMOs”


I still remember the first time that I heard the name Marketo. I was working as a freelance catalog designer for 3B Scientific in early 2009. I had just taken over their email marketing program and the vice president wanted the company to use one of the new marketing automation platforms. We evaluated Eloqua, Silverpop and Marketo. Eventually we chose Marketo. Then, they turned over the keys to me and asked me to drive!


At the time I knew very little about marketing. I had a degree in photography and worked nights in restaurants to pay the bills. The original Definitive Guide to Lead Scoring was the first time I had ever even considered how the sales and marketing process worked. At this point I had only done B2C marketing and had no concept of how B2B was different.


Along this journey, the Marketo Community has been an invaluable tool that helped me in so many ways. Here are some ways I recommend you get involved:


1. User Groups: As I learned about what other people were struggling with – their specific use cases – I was able to start to piece together a bigger picture of what marketing was and how it needed to start working better. My first Marketo User Group in Atlanta had Cheryl Chavez teaching us how to use new features.

2. Champion Program: When I moved to a B2B software company as an  online marketing manager, Marketo helped double my salary. Quickly afterward, I was honored to be inducted into the first-ever Marketo Champions class. The Champions program has done so much for me professionally. But even more than that, it has connected me with a group of friends whom remain close with to this day.


3. Connect with the Marketing Nation (on and offline): When I requested to be relocated to Planon’s corporate headquarters in The Netherlands, I soon was helping a geographically split team run their marketing online. My Marketo connections helped me work with colleagues in many countries and time zones and in various native languages. It was an invaluable education in global marketing organizations and effective communication. I was able to build these relationships through the Marketo Community, Champions Calls, Marketo Roadshows, and, of course, The Marketing Nation Summit.


4. Marketo Community: When my contract ended, my husband and I decided to return to the United States and had no clue about where to move. So, I asked Marketo employee friends and found out that fellow Champion, Jason Seeba, was looking for someone to join him at BloomReach. We arrived at SFO with our dog and just a few suitcases, and no place to live. Our cab to the Extended Stay in Mountain View was the first time either of us had been to the South Bay before. And yet we didn’t feel alone because the Marketo community was with us. I immediately had friends to connect with in the area that I would never have had without my years of experience with Marketo.


In fact, throughout this journey, the thread that connects it is the Marketo community, the Champions program and the User Groups. As marketing technologist for BloomReach, my responsibility was for the entire technology stack, in addition to Marketo. I am amused by the recent surge of the term “full-stack marketers”. I think in our day and age, we all have to understand how our core technologies operate. To be truly effective and maintain a competitive advantage, we now have to also know where to add in other technologies to create a more complete sales and marketing machine. If you attended this year’s Marketo Summit, you might have heard the name BloomReach a few times for all the cool things we have done  using the whole stack.


I am writing this Champions blog post for the kickoff of the new Marketo Community. I cannot express to you how different my life is from the first time I heard the name Marketo. I have been lucky to be asked to speak at the last three Marketing Nation Summits and several other smaller events. I love being able  to co-lead the Silicon Valley Marketo User Group with Jason. I have spoken with analysts and given advice to product managers. One of my favorite things has been to beta test and make suggestions for improvements.


With the launch of the new Community, I too am launching a new step in my career. I recently started at LeanData as the chief marketing officer. It’s an incredibly exciting and new challenge. At the Summit, I was speaking with the vice president of sales at Influitive and told her I was a marketing technologist. She said: “They say Marketing Technologists will become the next CMOs”.  Funny you should mention that.


After years of doing manual and monotonous operations tasks, I’m excited to help fellow marketers simplify and allow  the machine to work for them – rather than the other way around. I joined LeanData because after using their products for a year, and I knew that they solved real problems that people like me have been struggling with over the years.


I guess what I am really saying is this: Take it seriously, and you can go far. If you can pull a report and show your direct impact to the top line, the higher you push that top line the further you will go. Now get to work, there’s great marketing to be done!


Adam New-Waterson

Have you used Marketo Ad Bridge yet? If not, you really should. In this post I'm going to walk you through how to use Marketo Ad Bridge to build predictive advertising.  Marketo serves as the connecting platform from my predicatively scored leads to Facebook advertising to deliver highly targeted leads that matter. Follow along to see how easy it is to launch a predictive ad strategy in just a few steps.


Step 1 - Connect Facebook to Marketo

  • Login to Marketo as an admin
  • Select Admin from the top navigation
  • From the left nav, find Launchpoint under Integration
  • Create a new service and authorize Facebook from Marketo (note: you may also need to add a standard Facebook advertising tag to your corporate site code if you haven’t already)

Step 2 - Build a list of predicatively scored leads

I'm using Fliptop to score my leads. Fliptop assigns a "SpendGrade" to all leads, A meaning they have a high probability of converting, D meaning they have a low probability of converting. All scoring is done automatically and behind-the-scenes, and a SpendGrade score is assigned to all leads and accounts within your database. I built a smart list of all my SpendGrade A leads, see screenshot for details.


Step 3 - Sync the list of leads to Facebook

Click the Marketo Ad Bridge button at the bottom of your Smart List Leads tab.



Click on the Facebook icon, then Next.


Next create a new audience to push these leads to. We recommend naming this list “Fliptop SpendGrade A.”


Step 4 - Log into Facebook and Build an Ad Campaign

The list will take a 24 hours or so to sync over to Facebook so take a break and do another project. The next morning open your Facebook and navigate to "manage ads," then on the left hand menu click "audiences."  There you will find the list of predicatively scored leads. Now you can build an ad campaign targeting just these top quality leads.

findaudience in FB

Step 5 - Advertise to the leads that matter

In this example I chose to promote the Predict Event we are holding later this year to my top quality leads.


While Facebook is just one example of predictive advertising—and an impressive one at that—this same methodology can be applied to countless advertising channels (see Marketo Ad Bridge screenshot for proof). From Google to social channels and beyond, predictive technology is transforming the way we target… delighting consumers with relevant experiences, saving ad dollars and improving ROI and, most importantly, driving leading marketers’ bottom line.

Filter Blog

By date: By tag: