| |

Campaign First, Champagne Second

December 14, 2017 | Kim Para Allen | 1 Comment |

Did that headline draw you in? Well, tis the season!

But before we can get to any of that, let’s straighten out a few things when it comes to campaigns first.

What does the word “campaign” mean to you?

In the marketing world alone, “campaign” is used in so many different ways. There are the campaigns that are marketing initiatives included in the budget to drive new leads, promote product, and gain conversions. Then moving more toward marketing automation, the term is still in play, but carries differences in usage between Salesforce & Marketo.

Say what?

If you work in any software system, there’s different terminology for everything. Any new system user is going to need to do some amount of drinking from the firehose, and that’s just a part of the learning process! If you’re already feeling a bit flustered, you might want to brace yourself, because it becomes even more confusing when you are working in integrated systems and need to learn the different jargons used.

Navigating through the maze of campaigns


Smart campaigns are what actually DO stuff in Marketo. Without them, nothing would ever happen. All of those lightbulbs you see in your Marketing Activities section of Marketo are smart campaigns. Some may look slightly different, so here’s a cheat sheet to ease your growing anxiety. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

The setup of these different smart campaigns is all done the same way. You specify the group of people in what is called the SMART LIST.

Here’s where you decide who you want to send through the campaign. Then you have a FLOW, where you tell Marketo what you want to do with that group of people (send an email, change a data value, sync to Salesforce, score, etc.).

And lastly, you SCHEDULE or activate the campaign. This is all a campaign is—three setup pieces that allow you to define the how, what, and when. Simply put, it gets the job done.

“How does this map to Salesforce campaigns?” Well I hate to break it to you, but it doesn’t.

Marketo campaigns live in programs. Programs are like houses for these campaigns and related assets (landing pages, emails, forms, reports) to keep them together for better reporting and to aggregate program member statuses (see the example below). Now this is what actually maps to the SFDC campaign:


Marketing and sales teams alike use campaigns in Salesforce. Salesforce campaigns provide information on a specific outreach/campaigning effort (like an event, webinar, etc.) and keep track of membership, with statuses, costs, and much more. Sound familiar? This isn’t actually executing flows and instead, is very much like a Marketo program.

Well, this is one of my favorite infographics everHere we have already mapped out side by side how Marketo programs and Salesforce campaigns work together. My recommendation is that you bookmark that infographic because it is a great resource.


I hope this has cleared up some of the #campaignconfusion when using these two systems. Really, thank you engineers for making the names of these two different things the same. We definitely appreciate it!

The overall takeaway here is to gain familiarity with terminology in the systems you use, and be patient with users of one system—it’s confusing, but we’re always here to help. “Clink” to the celebration!


1 Comment

  1. Avatar Fengning on November 21, 2018 at 5:55 pm

    Hey Kim,

    That was a great article introducing Marketo and Salesforce reporting! I enjoy reading your posts and wanted to share a guide that I recently put together on my practical experiences with Salesforce Campaign Reporting: https://digitalmarketingtechie.com/complete-guide-to-marketo-salesforce-campaign-syncing-reporting/

    It gives a walkthrough of the process from the initial Marketo Salesforce sync to an example of a completed multi-touch dashboard. I also share tips and tricks along the way.

    Do you think this would be a good fit for LeadMD? If so, maybe I can help with a future post on your website. If that’s too much, but you still find my guide useful, please link back to it and connect with me on LinkedIn.

    Thanks! Fengning

Leave a Comment

Want more? Here's some related content


#MAfails: New to Marketing Automation and Looking With Your Eyes Shut

My most memorable fail in the marketing automation world happened when I was still pretty...

Do You Have It? Thoughts on the "Optimism Effect"

I often wonder: is optimism an inherent, or learned skill? I hope it can be...

The Two Things Your Business Must Have to Grow

When I graduated from college way back when (can a little more than a decade...
email best practices ebook

Walking the Talk: Email Best Practices

 Here's how WE talk to OUR clients about email. (more…)
click to convert: landing page best practices

Click to Convert: All You Need to Know About Landing Pages

The only guide you need for consistently high converting landing pages. (more…)

Content Planning Checklist

Your first step in the right direction to creating high caliber content is a content...

Back to the Marketing Future: From Demand Gen to Account-Based Marketing

Great marketing doesn't require stolen uranium. And while we may not need roads where we're...
Email Subject lines ebook

Email Subject Lines: How to Write Enticing Copy that Readers Can't Resist

With the rise of digital marketing, businesses are using multiple platforms like social media and...