Why get a marketing automation audit?
A marketing automation audit is an objective third-party evaluation of your Marketo and/or Pardot (Salesforce Marketing Cloud) instance. The purpose is to know how well they are working with your salesforce automation software to achieve your lead and sales pipeline goals. Marketing automation audits can reveal many aspects of underutilization or lack of staff training that, when fixed, can make a radical improvement in your company sales pipeline and measurement. Remember, marketing automation audits aren’t just for the marketing department’s benefit. It’s for the sales department too. It’s your best first line of defense to diagnose and troubleshoot lead quality, and fix scoring and reporting issues.
We recently completed audits for two companies and found two completely different sets of results and issues. Surprisingly, a major tech company using Marketo for six years was using fewer features and functions than most companies that have used it for only 12 months. We began to train their staff on new features to organize, segment and track campaigns. And with further analysis of the data, we found we could save them $60,000 per year on their Marketo contract renewal through some pretty simple data cleanup. Wow!
And for the other audit—a smaller healthcare device company that was using Pardot for three years—we found a surprisingly organized set up. However it was paired with an inexperienced demand generation specialist in desperate need of training. The result was management’s unfulfilled desire to score and nurture new leads. We set out to fix these things immediately.
Changes that can precipitate a marketing automation audit
Many company changes can precipitate the need for a marketing automation audit. The following are five of the most common we come across.
Five good reasons to initiate a marketing automation audit:
- 3-6 months prior to renewal of your Pardot or Marketo instance (and for major MarTech tools)—to review structure and costs
- A top admin leaves (or high turnover in demand gen staff)—to smooth out transition period
- New CMO and/or Director of Demand Gen – to give a good analysis of the current install and what needs to change
- Need to benchmark progress (i.e. have follow-up audits every 6-12 months)
- Need an objective way to separate operational issues from sales & marketing issues
The value of an objective 3rd party audit can be in several areas and often pays for itself in cost savings with renewals:
- Helps budgeting and planning for:
- MarTech stack
- Demand gen staff & vendors
- Training and organizational alignment
- Helps uncover hidden issues such as:
- Missing MarTech tools
- Underutilized or incorrectly utilized features
- Lead leakage / loss and bottlenecks
- Data that can be eliminated (and thus not included in renewal)
- Helps analyze the meaning of the findings
- View data with fresh eyes to point out obvious patterns
- Share relevant “lessons learned” from other orgs
The four major areas marketing automation audits cover
A marketing automation audit typically covers four critical areas of analysis: contact management, data health, governance and campaign management. We will explore each of these areas below.
1. Contact Management
- To troubleshoot known issues in Pardot/Marketo to salesforce automation transfer of leads or values
- To identify inconsistencies or gaps in current lead management
- To define standards and rules for form creation and back end processing
- To document Pardot/Marketo to salesforce automation sync (current state and post-fix)
- Document any 3rd party connection synch processes
- Use of forms (type, consistency)
- Form field capture, and back end form processing (hidden fields, UTMs etc)
- Lead routing workflows and salesforce integration
- Lead statuses triggered or converting as expected
- Lead scoring (document profile / behavior score system)
- Review Prospect, Account, and Opportunity field mapping
- Review use of progressive profiling
- Review Pardot tagging strategy
2. Data Health and Gap Analysis
- To capture current state and provide a benchmark for judging data health e.g.
- Active database
- Marketable database
- To define standards and rules for field mapping
- Make initial recommendations for data normalization (e.g. US, United States, USA should all be US)
- Make initial recommendation for list segmentation
- Database size
- Marketable %
- Unresponsive data / junk data / duplication
- # and % of unsubscribed
- # and % of opted in contacts (with opt in date)
- # of fields, default / custom fields, field values, and field type
- Audit lists (document, size, last used)
- % of duplicate records
- CANSPAM, GDPR, etc. validation and recommendation
- Create list of top 20 values in each field to support normalization
3. Usage and Governance
- To recommend new standards if necessary
- To ensure compliance with data privacy rules&emdash;as appropriate by region/country, etc…
- To apply more controls as to Pardot/Marketo usage
- Verify email deliverability
- Review Naming convention and folder hierarchy
- Check for Explicit opt in management
- Review Current users and permission levels
- Review and recommend tag normalization
- Document and recommend archiving of lists, templates, forms, campaigns, etc…
- Test deliverability to ensure the domain is not identified by Spam blockers
- Inventory and review all email and landing page assets
4. Campaign and Nurture
- To identify what ‘clean out’ efforts are needed
- To make it easier to see what’s active or not
- To support better practices around template use
- Document a full list of all Pardot/Marketo assets: forms, landing pages, templates, campaigns, and engagement streams
- Current status of all assets (archived, draft, active, not in use)
- % of duplicate records
- Troubleshoot email and landing page templates
An audit will result in a report on each of these areas and a set of observations for good findings and areas that need fixing.
Small changes often yield big results. Big changes yield even bigger results
Every marketing automation audit we’ve conducted has yielded a different set of issues and the fixes needed. We often rank the fixes needed in order of priority and help the client to determine the tradeoffs or benefits gained for investing in them. Even small data cleanups can yield big cost savings, and significantly improve lead quality. Bigger investments in fixing nurture streams and lead scoring can yield big results in ushering better leads filling the pipeline – something that will surely warm the heart of marketing and sales alike. Because the marketing automation audit isn’t just for marketing, it’s for sales too. They have a vested in interest in what is being pushed over to the salesforce automation system, and a marketing automation audit is your best first defense to ensure better quality leads get there.
Need a marketing automation audit? Contact us for a free consultation.