Marketo Summit 2013: 10 Ways to Optimize Marketo System Performance

Nate Mattison, our Insights team lead took in some great tips at the Summit. He also played a killer and impromptu rendition of Piano Man during dueling pianos. But you didn’t hear it from me.

Thoughts on the Summit so far?The Summit has been an excellent place to meet people and connect on the topics that are uniquely shared by the marketing nation. It’s amazing to see how revolutionary the idea of a marketing platform is, that it’s still a new concept for companies all around the world. Most of the people I’ve spoken with have been using Marketo for only two or three years, so it seems that everyone is learning together at the same time. It’s exciting to partner with Marketo as they lead the way in this space.

What was your favorite session? 10 Ways to Optimize Marketo System Performance by Shane O’Donnell and Jep Castelein, both from Marketo. Shane works in Marketo’s Ireland office, and was a pleasure to listen to and reassuring, and Jep was very knowledgeable about how Marketo systems work and had lots of great tips and suggestions.

What did you learn? This topic is a must for all users building campaigns and configuring Marketo for CRM sync. By re-thinking the use of trigger and batch campaigns, users can increase system performance speed by 10x in many cases.

The 10 ways to improve Marketo System Performance are:

1. Troubleshooting—Start by looking at Smart Lists and Flows, then look in Activity Log. Subscribe to Notifications, use the Inspector tool (found in the Treasure Chest), and look for an infinite loop in the Campaign Queue.

2. CRM Sync— To minimize your API load, only sync the data you need. This will also improve performance and user experience. It’s also important to get new leads into the CRM as soon as possible, because the sooner a lead goes into the CRM, the less likely you are to have duplicate records in the system. When setting up your sync, be selective. Then let the periodic sync push updates to CRM. Use filters and batch leads when possible and only use Sync to SFDC for leads that haven’t been synced already. Schedule batch campaigns at off peak hours. And, finally, remember to be aware of CRM rules, permissions, field validation and other minimum requirements.

3. Reference Library—Build in sandbox environment, then import your Program into a production instance. Also note that you’ll need to import from a “like” instance with the same fields and objects with meta data.

4. Reporting—When it comes to reporting, focus on your end goals. Use Smart Lists for lists of leads, and use Analytics for summary information. Schedule report subscriptions for off-peak hours. In regard to RCA: use programs, assign costs, turn on your revenue modeler, and enable custom fields needed to segment your data.

5. Smart Lists—Tweak your Smart Lists by minimizing the use of activity filters, using “Is” when possible (“Contains” can be significantly slower) and minimizing your use of nested Lists in your filters. We were also advised to use Segmentations, rather than Smart Lists, when possible. Segmentation combines the Smart Lists and Static List features, is always up to date and doesn’t have to “run” each time it’s used. So, only use Smart Lists for ad hoc needs.

6. List Import—Use Optimize for New Leads, because it’s 8x faster (Lists can be up to 50Mb). Use CSV Splitter tool for larger lists. And, make sure trigger campaigns are turned off during import.

7. Batch Campaigns—Batch Lists are more efficient than trigger campaigns because they won’t the send same email to the same lead twice. But note that only two 2 batch campaigns can run a Smart List at the same time.

8. Trigger Campaigns—Avoid excessive use of Trigger Campaigns and be careful about Race Conditions. Form Submissions and Web Visits are asynchronous and may not show up for 15 seconds. You can also check the status of these campaigns in the Campaign Queue, or can search for a specific campaign using Campaign Inspector.

9. User Interface—Chrome is fastest, then Firefox. Open multiple tabs. UI performance is independent from server performance

10. Website Visitors—Anonymous leads can bog down system performance, so delete them when they’re old and inactive. Marketo will also delete anonymous leads for you periodically to optimize system performance. Consider not placing Munchkin code on all pages of website (e.g. homepage).

What’s the key takeaway for our clients and other marketers? Don’t use excessive Trigger campaigns. Instead, try to batch leads and run flows on multiple leads at once, as this can result in up to 10x faster system performance. You can also reduce the number of individual trigger campaigns running on one lead at a time by taking advantage of segmentations, static lists and batch filters within Marketo.

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