As a longtime Marketo user — 12 years and counting — I have had my share of if only and I wish I could moments using the system. And as part of the Marketo community, I know I am not alone. To Marketo’s credit, they actively listen and incorporate much of this feedback in future releases.
So, when Marketo announced the new Sky interface, I was hopeful that some of the pain points I keep having to work around for clients — including campaign queue prioritization, long-term program management, and mass asset creation — would be addressed. And Marketo did not disappoint when it comes to making the system more efficient for the day-to-day marketing user.
Below are 5 things that we can all get excited about with Marketo Sky:
- Priority Override
Have you ever put a blank Send Email step at the top of the flow to increase campaign priority? How about using a Wait step to reduce campaign priority? If you have, then you know why priority override is something to get excited about.
With this new feature, you can specifically set what the priority of the campaign should be in the campaign queue. This means:
- No more extra flow steps needed to manipulate the campaign queue
- High-priority campaigns needed to process records (e.g., data management, scoring, CRM sync campaigns) can run quickly
- New governance rules will be needed to determine when something can override the priority of other programs — after all, not everything can be high priority (even if it is important)
- Mass Actions
I remember the day when Marketo announced mass asset approval in the Design Studio: the clouds parted and the pain associated with updating templates disappeared. Gone were the days of having to individually approve all emails and landing pages that were tied to the same template. With just a few clicks, you could update hundreds of emails and landing pages, and save hours and hours of time.
Marketo Sky is taking this one step further by allowing mass updates to ALL assets — including smart campaigns — in a program. And if the efficiencies gained by this ability aren’t getting you excited, then you have never had the pleasure of launching a massive, multi-stream engagement program complete with dozens of nested email tracking programs and smart campaigns.
- Event Caps & Goals
Over the years, I have worked with dozens of field marketing groups. No matter the event, there was always one thing in common — space limitations. Every event had a venue, and that venue could only support so many people. Supporting these events became an exercise in reporting and timing. Every day, often several times a day, you had to watch the registration numbers until the total allowed registrations were met. Once that number was hit — or got close enough — the mad scramble would begin to quickly change out the registration page and process before the venue was overcommitted.
I can only imagine the delight of these field marketing teams when they found out that Marketo Sky will provide the ability to set a goal and create a cap for an event — and automatically redirect users once the goal or cap is reached. Now, instead of spending their time monitoring registration numbers, they can focus on all the thousands of other things that make up a great event.
- Saved Flow Actions & Smart List Rules
Cloning is amazing. Program templates are amazing for operational efficiencies. But these templates are typically built out with the most complex scenario in mind (it’s often easier to scale back than to build up). So, when you run into a scenario where you may not need all the components in the template, you end up either a) spending time removing all the unwanted elements, or b) leaving the extra items there and potentially ending up with a bigger cleanup effort down the line.
And as someone usually on the receiving end of these big cleanup efforts, being able to use a set of saved flow actions or smart list rules to reuse common program elements — without the need for a bunch of the extras that are usually in a fully baked, soup-to-nuts program template — is a major, time-saving improvement.
- Asset Expiration
Speaking of cleanup, longtime Marketo users know that unless you stay on top of deactivating and archiving your programs and assets, a couple years down the line the system can become cluttered and difficult to use — all those approved assets can make for some painfully long drop-down lists. But that’s a couple of years from now; we have higher priority things that have to get done today (and rightfully so).
Being able to set an expiration date and time at asset creation can help get ahead of the long-term clutter effect by unapproving/deactivating assets so they will no longer be available once the expiration time has passed. This is especially useful for time-bound programs such as live events, webinars or newsletters, and other announcements.
They say it’s the little things that count, and with Marketo Sky, the little things have the potential to make a big impact for Marketo users creating and managing large volumes of programs.
It is important to note that Marketo Sky is still in beta and not all system functions are available yet in the interface. But with improvements like this, I anticipate that we will start seeing more marketing teams reaching for the Sky and taking advantage of all the new solution has to offer.
Nova Kopitar is a demand generation expert, specializing in results-focused lead management, nurturing, and scoring. As a DemandGen Senior Solutions Architect, she works closely with clients in areas including program alignment, nurture development, relationship management, resource planning, reporting and more. She is Marketo Business Certified and Technical Certified.