While gearing up for my Marketo Certified Expert examination, I had been reflecting on my experiences during the past year using Marketo. For those of you who may not be familiar with Marketo, it is one of the world’s leading marketing automation programs used to gather and nurture sales leads from initial point of contact through to closing on a sale. Marketo also provides an in-depth look at each lead within your database to gauge their interest and deliver a current activity log.

Our experience with Marketo altered our views on analytics, email blasts and engagement campaigns and ultimately led us to the decision to become a Marketo-affiliated agency.

Over the past year, we built and launched over 32 landing pages, 85 email blasts and one customer engagement program using Marketo. We truly grew to love the program. Marketo allows us to watch and target our leads based on their behavior and interaction within our Marketo instance. This means anything we build using Marketo is interconnected, and we are able to track and record each lead and their movement.

For example, if you were to build an email blast, a landing page or embed a YouTube video or poll within Marketo, each asset would track any IP address that visits or interacts with these pieces and produce a lead activity log. If an anonymous lead visits your website, Marketo automatically records the IP address and tracks any movement through the page, creating an activity log. This activity log remains captured in the Marketo lead database.

A lead may visit your website once and not enter any information or fill out a form; however, the lead’s IP address is recorded. If the lead comes back a few months later and enters an email address to receive newsletters or updates, the email address is linked to that IP address and the previously recorded activity log. The activity log data continues to build as the lead downloads papers, visits landing pages, receives emails, etc. until you can determine who they are, what company they work for, what products they are interested in and how to best target them. Using the lead information gathered through the activity log, you can create a campaign or engagement program to begin nurturing these leads and scoring or assessing them for sales purposes.

While using Marketo and running our lead and campaign performance reports, we began reaping the benefits of Marketo’s in-depth lead profiling. We were able to drill down into our leads’ history and activity to create focused nurturing campaigns to engage our most active leads, as well as those that may need a little extra push. Using this information, we built various email campaigns, landing pages and video teasers throughout 2013. By closely watching our leads as they came through Marketo, we pulled detailed lead reports for our clients to pass on to their sales teams. We then tracked the lead from their initial interest, be it a webpage visit, email click or case study download, through to the closing of a sale. This information helped both our clients’ communications teams and us as an agency to prove our ideas and campaigns were justified and worth the investment.

Using Marketo has become an intricate part of our campaign building and design. This is a tool that we are now experts in using and recommend to all of our clients interested in marketing automation and lead tracking.