The Power of QA in Marketing Operations

BY: Jenna Borrelli

PUBLISHED: 3/23/2023

Before I ever laid my eyes on a Marketo instance, I worked in marketing and product development where quality assurance (QA) was an integral part of my daily responsibilities. Transitioning into the world of marketing operations and Marketo, I learned that my QA skills would come in handy more than ever.

Quality assurance in Marketo requires individuals to create systems around proofing, reviewing, and approving Marketo programs and initiatives before they are activated. This is a CRITICAL process that should be included in every single type of program and campaign build, regardless of its size or intricacy.

Why is QA important in marketing operations?

Quality assurance is a vital component of any organization's campaign strategy, yet it is often “shortcutted” in order to save time or to make up for behind-schedule launches. However, when you rush through or skip out on QAing your Marketo programs and campaigns, you put your company at risk for:

  • Losing money on campaigns sent to the wrong audience or with incorrect details
  • Losing brand trust when assets don’t contain the correct brand logos or colors, as well as other vital business information
  • Losing trust (and patience) in your colleagues or team when consistent mistakes are being made with no process in place

After several years of QAing in a variety of instances, ranging from complex enterprise builds to small businesses with more standard programs, I’ve witnessed clients experience these top problems:

  • Individuals build and QA their own programs, leaving room for error
  • Marketo users create a basic QA template checklist, but don’t take the time to actually update it or optimize it for each type of program they’re building
  • Stakeholder approval happens too late or causes a delay in program launches
  • Teams don’t allow themselves enough time to actually conduct the QAs
  • Smaller teams or more complex teams don’t have the internal resources to manage quality assurance requests

Based on these observations, I’ve identified the following solutions to help teams and individual contributors create a rock-solid, yet flexible, quality assurance process to ensure every single program is approved, free of mistakes, and ready to launch on time.

5 important considerations for QA:


#1 – If you build it, someone else needs to QA it

If you’re cloning an existing program or building something you’ve created before, it’s crucial to get outside eyes on what you’re building before it goes live.

Even the swiftest and most talented Marketo program builders should have at least one more set of eyes on whatever they’re launching to their database.

#2 – Create documentation and continue to refine it

It’s quite difficult to QA a program without some kind of documentation or checklist to track approvals, mistakes, and system errors. I recommend a multiple-tab spreadsheet so you can break down each unique program build section by section with room for notes and approvals.

As your instance evolves, your QA process should also change to keep track of intricacies and important details.

#3 – Receive stakeholder approval on assets before or during the QA process

Depending on how large your organization is or who your stakeholders are, it can take some time for the right people to approve assets before going live. Stakeholder approval should be a critical step in launching your team’s QA process. The earlier you can get stakeholder approval, the smoother your actual launch process will be.

#4 – Allow for enough time to go through several rounds of QA

Remember that quality assurance is happening on top of all your other responsibilities as a marketing operations professional (aka your desk is always full). For many clients, I recommend allocating a whole week to QA – to ensure any issues can be fixed while staying on schedule.

Make sure to allow more than enough time for several rounds of QA in case mistakes or errors arise.

#5 – Entrust your QA process to a team of expert marketing operations professionals 

MERGE has spent years developing and refining our internal QA process to ensure all of our clients have the tools they need to launch their programs without fear of making business-critical mistakes.

Not only do we keep up to date on the best practices for quality assurance, but we’ve also built the process into our own team timelines to ensure every individual has ample time to review programs before they launch.

Reminders for your next QA:

  • Take it slow and be thorough!
  • Divide and conquer – it’s a TEAM effort to launch programs.
  • Work to regularly refine the process as your Marketo strategy evolves.
  • Be kind to yourself if a mistake is made.
  • Let experts help you create an ironclad QA process!

In conclusion

Accidents arise when we’re juggling multiple tasks and program launches on top of other daily responsibilities. In order to mitigate the risk of these mistakes, it’s crucial to create a flexible yet detailed process around quality assurance that is timely, modifiable, and easy for both builders and reviewers to follow.


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