(It’s Never Too Late To) Spring Clean Your Marketo!

Data hygiene
AvatarLaura Ortiz-Garrett


Spring has come and spring has almost gone – we might actually be better off calling this “Summer Clean Your Marketo.”  

All seasonal joking aside, it’s never too late to practice good data hygiene and spring clean your Marketo – especially when you consider that you and your team could be 20% more productive each week if you gave your Marketo instance a thorough cleaning.

In fact, a Gartner study found that poor data quality lowered labor productivity by 20%. That translates to 8 hours each week or 1 full workday per week wasted due to bad data.

And poor data hygiene costs much more than time:  it costs money. A SiriusDecisions report found that it costs $10 to clean and dedupe a record in your system, but $100 per record over time if you left the data untouched in the database.

Those costs will build and multiply, trickling down into your ROI (“I expected more from that campaign… what went wrong?”) and cutting into your budget by pushing you over your Marketo or Salesforce pricing tier (“I’m paying for 1 million contacts in my license, so why am I not reaching nearly that many leads? Do I need to purchase the next pricing tier?”)

Data hygiene

Don’t let bad data hygiene cost your team valuable time and money. Set up a spring clean of your Marketo! Here are three quick data hygiene best practice tips for cleaning your Marketo:

1. Organise your instance

Go through your campaigns and into each folder within the campaign.  Check your lists, reports, and assets. Get rid of any duplicate assets or tests and bin any unnecessary assets, anything that does not work, or that is not a final version of an asset.  

Oh, and don’t forget about your global forms or templates in Design Studio – check your test forms and test templates as well.

Our suggestion? Set a timer and give yourself fifteen minutes a day to do this. If you spend 15 minutes a day tidying up your instance, you’ll total 5 hours of cleanup time over a month. It’ll be time well spent when the time comes to duplicate any campaigns, assets, or lists.

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2. Clean Your Data

Go through your Marketo data and identify all unsubscribes, all invalid emails, and all records you don’t want to do business with. Then delete them – yes, you read that right! These records are clutter and are artificially driving up your contact band.

Before you delete them, confirm whether they are needed for reporting or if they should remain in your CRM!  (If that’s the case, set up a custom sync filter to ensure control of the low of records between your CRM and Marketo, and make sure you let your CRM know about the bad data).

3. Automate your tasks

Marketo’s powerful automation works for tasks beyond your campaigns and events. You can easily create lists to pull data out that needs to be purged or cleaned.  Beyond invalid email fields or empty email fields, you can also create lists to monitor soft bounces (keep an eye out for records that net multiple soft bounces in a 30-day period) or hard bounces, marking them as Suspended or Invalid in Marketo.

You can also set up data management flows that correct data values – some common fields where this might be helpful include Country, Number of Employees (to Employee Range), Bad Lead Source to Good Lead Source, and translating old field values to a new field (Full to Empty).

One last thought before you begin your (late) spring cleaning:

Cleaning your Marketo doesn’t have to happen overnight. This is a process that can (and should!) take some time.  However, by breaking down some basic data hygiene best practices into manageable tasks, you can make a real difference in how efficiently your team manages day-to-day activities – and gets more value – from Marketo.

Data hygiene