You are here:

Having problems with Acquisition Program in Marketo?

Help! There are too many leads without acquisition program? How I can generate program member analysis report?

Are you running into the same issue? No problem, I have a solution for you. Before moving ahead with the solution, let’s cover some basic things about Marketo Program.

What’s a Program in Marketo?

Any program in Marketo is a Marketing initiative like Email campaigning, Webinar, Content program etc. In Marketo it’s like a package where you can put all stuff related to that particular Marketing initiative like all emails, target lists, forms, landing page and related reports etc.

What is Acquisition Program?

Acquisition Program tells that this is the program the first time this lead ever came into this system so that program gets the “credit” for creating a net new lead.

This is very important if you are using RCE or if you rely on the Program Analyzer or Program Performance reports to measure your program success.

How Marketo manage the Acquisition Program field?

You might be curious to know how the Acquisition Program value is being populated. Is Marketo managing this or you have to do it?

So there are 4 ways to set the Acquisition Program value in Marketo:

  1. Automatic – Marketo will populate the Acquisition program automatically when a brand new lead get membership in a Marketo program. This will happen when you have a form created in a program and a new lead gets created through that form.
  2. Manual: Change Data Value – It might be possible that you do not want to attribute the lead to the program that own the form. In that case you have to use a smart campaign Change Data Value flow action and assign the appropriate program as Acquisition Program.
  3. Manual: During List Import – When uploading the list in Marketo, you must have noticed an option to select the Acquisition program on the last step. So while importing the leads be sure to attribute that leads to respective program for better lead tracking, never select “None” there.
  4. Manual Option: During Member Import in a Program – As you know, you can import the members in a program directly. It’s similar to a list import. So as mentioned above, attribute the leads to the program correctly.

Why I should care about Acquisition Program?

As I have mentioned above acquisition program tells you how many new leads you have generated from a particular program. This is really a cool thing to track and showcase the program performance. This will obviously help you proving that your marketing efforts are driving the revenue.

What if you haven’t set the acquisition program correctly? How you can back fill this data?

If you are not setting up acquisition program correctly then you are losing up the reporting and you would not be able to show the great success of your program. You might have a number of orphan leads in your system which you can’t easily tell from where these leads we were generated.

You might have forgot to setup acquisition program while importing leads. You might have done many list imports for roadshows, content syndication, and another offline or third party online programs. Now looking at the program performance reports, you can’t show the correct numbers during your board member meeting.

Don’t worry! I have figured out a work around to back fill this information. Once you follow the below steps, you will be on the track again and start getting the correct report from Marketo itself. Below are some steps that will help you to populate this field:

  1. Identify Leads without Acquisition program, there is a system smart list in “Lead Database Management” that tells you the leads without acquisition program. The smart list name is “No Acquisition Program”.
  2. Export all these Leads in a excel spreadsheet with Original Source Info and Original Source Type. These are the Marketo managed fields. These fields tells you how exactly a lead enters in Marketo.Original Source Type tells the actual source from where the lead was originally created. This can be “List Import”, “Web-from Fill out”, “”, or “web Service API” etc.While the Original Source Info further defines the Original Source Type. Like if Original Source Type is “Web-form fill out” the original Source info tells which form was submitted and if it is “List Import” then Original Source info tells the list name.There are a few more system managed fields that you should be aware of. You can check all of them here.
  3. Check the distinct Original Source Info: So now you have all your leads without acquisition program in a excel sheet. Find out how many distinct original source info you have there.
  4. Try to figure out Acquisition program value from Original Source Info; as mentioned above the Original Source Info tells you the actual source from where the lead was created. So as you know the source so you can infer the program which actually generate the lead. The result will not be 100% accurate but having something is better than nothing. As per my experience, you will get approx. 70-80% correct tagging of acquisition program.Below are some example that might help you to figure out the correct acquisition program:
    • If the Original Source info has format like List:<Program Name>.<List Name>, it means that the leads were imported into a program but at the time of list import you forgot to attribute leads to a program. So the part before period (.)  and the colon (:) is the program name in which you imported the list. So now you know what should be the acquisition program.
    • If the Original Source info has format like List: < List Name>, it means that these lists were imported into lead database directly, not in a Program. So I recommend to try to identify the appropriate program by looking at the list name and see if there is any existing program that should get the acquisition attribution. If there is no appropriate program exists then create programs based on the List name. This way you will be able to report each and every lead that was imported in Marketo.
    • If Original Source Info has format like Form: <form_name> exp. “Form: Resource Form”, then see if you have setup some program in Marketo which you can assign that as an acquisition program. It is possible that you have created single form in design studio and using that on multiple landing pages. In this case it’s difficult to say which landing page form, lead filled out. So I would suggest to create a dummy program say “Website – Forms” and attribute all leads in this program.
    • If the Original Source info is “” then create a new program called “SFDC auto sync” and attribute all leads in this program.
    • If the Original Source info is “Web service API” then create a new program called “Web service API” and attribute all leads in this program.
    • If the Original Source Info contains URL then create a new program “Web Site” and attribute all leads in this program.
  5. Create Smart campaigns in Marketo to update the Acquisition program according to what you have figured out in above step. You also need to update Acquisition Date as this date tells you on which date that lead was acquired by the program. I would recommend to update this date with the Lead Create Date in Marketo. You can do this using “{{Lead. Lead Created date}}” token in the flow step.

Wow!! This sounds complicated and time consuming process but believe me if you have done with this, you will see the benefits of it when you are creating reports for your next quarterly review 🙂

Hope this will help you a lot. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any question about this and if you have any other brilliant idea to handle this. You can add your comments below.

Note: Before implement this, we would like you to first understand it correctly and consult within your team and list what you are going to do.

Illustration open licensed by Pixabay.