Setting Up Program Channels for Success

November 5, 2015 Mark Emmons


You’re a marketer who has spent considerable effort in planning, creating and launching a campaign. Now, your focus has turned to tracking its success so you can prepare a report about the campaign’s influence for the sales department, and perhaps even the executive team.

But here’s the reality: It would have been much easier – and more productive – if you had thought about the insights you wanted to capture from your campaign before it began, not after it already was under way. That’s because the best reporting requires detailed preparation.

“If you don’t set up your campaigns correctly at the start, it’s really, really hard to create actionable reports,” said LeanData Chief Marketing Officer Adam New-Waterson. “How you want to do your reporting all comes down to how you set up your channels.”

New-Waterson joined with EverString Director of Audience Marketing Jessica Cross and Marketing Rockstar Guides Founder Josh Hill on a webinar called “Setting Up Program Channels for Success” to share tips and strategies on getting the most out of your campaign reporting. The webinar served as a chance to get an inside look at how three Marketo Champions go about tracking and measuring their digital marketing activities.

“The reason we spend so much time on this is because if you properly set up programs channels, it will enable you to do excellent reporting so you can actually prove the ROI of everything your marketing team is executing for your pipeline and revenue numbers,” Cross said.

And it begins, Hill said, by asking yourself what he describes as the “big questions.” In other words, you have to decide what answers you need from the campaigns you launch with the Marketo marketing automation platform.

“It comes down to what you want to know,” added Hill, the author of “Marketing Rockstar’s Guide to Marketo.” “Where should I invest my money this quarter? How are my assets performing? What kinds of data do I need to make decisions to help my business? A lot of these questions can be answered if you set up the program channels and statuses correctly.”

Think of channels as the “how,” Hill said. These are the campaign platforms themselves: email, trade shows, pay per click, organic searches, webinars and so on. Cross added that while out-of-the-box Marketo gives you a list of default channels, that’s likely only a start.

“You have to think about if those fit how your business works,” she said. “Most likely, it will only go about 80 percent of the way, and you’ll have to add channels to augment that.”

The great thing about Marketo, New-Waterson added, is you can modify the process to track the information that’s important for you.

“This is a very open-ended and customizable solution,” he said. “So you can really set it up in any way that makes sense for you and your particularly business. Each one of our businesses are a little different. So we’ll want to tailor them for what we need.”

That was evident when the trio took turns going into detail about their individual program channels – which varied greatly. They also conducted a deep-dive into the proper use of statuses and program tags as well as the importance of creating a naming system that is understandable. The goal, they agreed, is producing reports at a reasonably granular level that give marketers a richer understanding about their impact on pipeline and revenue.

“Whenever I’m talking to someone about how to set up my channel and campaign types,” New-Waterson said, “the things I always emphasize are that you do this because you want to be able to report on them later.”

To hear more from Adam New-Waterson, Jessica Cross and Josh Hill, you can watch them here. Viewers will find the webinar, which includes a question-and-answer session, useful as a hands-on look at specific steps you can take to improve your reporting.



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