Is Your Marketo Instance Designed for Peak Performance?

BY: Michelle Miles | Chief Client Strategy Officer at MERGE

PUBLISHED: 12/16/2019

Limited time. A shortage of Marketo-trained trained talent. Constant incoming campaign requests from both field marketers and other departments. And – of course – fear of the dreaded marketing operations bottleneck. How is your organization managing production output, especially during influxes of campaigns? Is your Marketo instance designed to handle changes, increased capacity—and still function optimally?

Capacity management is the act of ensuring that your business maximizes both the current and upcoming activities of production output, under all circumstances. Seasonal spikes, industry changes, planned and unplanned campaign requests…every scenario should be accounted for and your Marketo instance should be nimble enough to accommodate these ebbs and flows.

Is your Marketo instance designed for peak performance? And how do you know?

Conducting an Internal Audit Using SCORE


Let’s start by looking at your Marketo framework. At MERGE, we advocate for a SCORE approach, short for the key components of a strong Marketo program: Scalable, Cohesive, Organized, Reliable, Efficient.

So – is your Marketo instance set up to scale well? Do your processes work together cohesively or do you struggle with silos? Is your system organized or disjointed? How reliable is your workflow? How efficient is your workflow?

Though some of these questions may seem like straightforward concepts, the fact is that oftentimes their answers yield complex answers and shine a light on areas that need to be scrutinized within your current framework. Let’s dive into each aspect of SCORE a bit deeper.


Everything changes in marketing, all the time. Your marketing operations framework needs to adapt and grow with your organization, to handle increasing requests without rebuilding everything from scratch.

A scalable system includes:

  • Easily handling new requests as business requirements change. Updating MQL criteria? Easy. Customizing sales alerts for each web form? Sure. Adding new product lines, channels, scoring logic, or nurture tracks? No problem.
  • A thoughtful mix of centralization and localization. In a well-structured Marketo instance, local marketing programs pass dynamic values to centralized systems for processing. You can easily adapt to changing requests while keeping important functionality global, where it’s easy to update and maintain. Changes that might require hours of work can be tackled in mere minutes or seconds.
  • A structure that is designed for the needs of the future, not just today. For every feature, you’ve considered inevitable changes. If the technology is updated, will this still be supported properly? Could new team members navigate easily? What if the database size or campaign volume triples?



Brilliant marketing operations teams can anticipate where marketing might want to go and take campaigns to the next level.

A truly cohesive system allows you to:

  • Seamlessly integrate channels and tactics to orchestrate remarkable experiences for your customers and prospects.
  • Enable smarter personalization, more thoughtful targeting, and more accurate logic at every stage of the funnel. Build on a thoughtful, systems-wide approach to data architecture and lead management.
  • Send relevant communications that add value and that people actually want to receive.



Too many marketers end up spending more time merely managing Marketo than reaping its benefits. An organized Marketo architecture is designed around clarity and ease of use for the platform user.

This means:

  • Fast and reliable campaign production, meaning you can get webinars, emails, and events live in minutes instead of hours and you’re leveraging tokens and templates to mitigate the possibility of error.
  • A system that is well organized, structured and governed. Users know where things are and how to work within the environment. Every aspect—  from naming conventions to program and asset descriptions to tokenization—considers the user’s convenience and need for speed.
  • The experience of working in Marketo is a consistent delight (read: your staff stops grumbling). Your team is enabled to make a true impact on the organization, instead of fighting with Marketo all day—a much more rewarding experience!


Not to mention, turnover is inevitable; you never know who will be working in your system six months to a year from now. An organized instance enables new staff to quickly get up to speed, know where things are and execute efficiently within your Marketo environment.


The best Marketo instances “just work” – even under heavy loads and changing conditions.

Reliability means:

  • Avoiding fragile designs and race conditions that cause programs to break. Stop updating one lead management program only to break six others. No more sync errors. No more missing sales alerts. No more email misfires.
  • Designing for performance – choosing the right triggers and the right campaign structure with careful consideration of tradeoffs, for a system that scales as quickly as your business.
  • Robust error-handling, enabling problems to fix themselves through intelligent retries and safety nets, and sending useful error reports to humans when needed.




Ideally, you want to know that your systems and processes will work and you can quickly realize a return on your investment. Self-assessment time: do you feel like you’re rolling the dice, reinventing the wheel, or, could you benefit from pre-tested solutions?

Improving Work Satisfaction


As the fearless leader for marketing operations, you control the tools and resources available to your staff, and you have a big influence on their loyalty to your department and company. If your team is grumbling about technology, workflows, processes, or the difficulty of implementing last-minute requests, you may be long overdue for a systems audit—a few adjustments can make a big impact!


Does your organization need help achieving ROI from Marketo? Learn how the Marketo experts at MERGE can help. Contact us today!