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How To Optimize Campaign Build Times With Instance Organization


If you’ve ever inherited a messy marketing automation platform (MAP) instance, you probably quickly realized how hard it was to find anything, and the amount of time you wasted clicking around to finally find what you were looking for. “They put the program templates there? Whaaat?” Few things are more frustrating than not being able to find something you know is there. You’ve got a new campaign to build and launch and you can’t even find the program templates you know you saw last week, let alone where to clone the template to begin building. I’m here to show you how a well organized instance can help you optimize your campaign build times.

If you’re one of the lucky ones (ahh I wish I were you) who have just gotten a shiny new instance, make organization your top priority. I repeat, make organization your top priority. Believe me, your future self will thank you. And you won’t have those who come after you secretly hating you and saying bad things about you. Who wants that?

If you’re like most of us, and you’ve inherited a messy instance, don’t fret, you can still Marie Kondo that beast and get your instance in tip top shape. It’ll be a little more work than for our fortunate counterparts who got the shiny new instance, but it can be done. Trust me, it will be time well spent.

What does an organized instance look like?

I define a well organized instance as one that has clear naming conventions, and a clear and concise folder structure. If someone who has never been in your instance before can find their way around with no issues, you’ve got an organized instance. You should aim to be able to find what you are looking for in under one minute. Thirty seconds and under is even better!

Why should companies care about instance organization?

The simple answer: reduced build times. Each second spent on searching around your instance for something is time you can’t spend building and executing on your campaign. Time is money, right? So save some Benjamins by organizing your instance, which will reduce the amount of time spent searching around your instance.

When should a company organize its instance?

As the saying goes, there’s no time like the present. As I mentioned earlier, if you’ve just gotten a new instance, make organization your top priority. Starting off with a well organized instance will set you up for success from the get-go. If you have a disorganized instance, now is the best time to organize it.

How should a company organize its instance?

Here’s the fun part! Actually doing the organization. Start at a high level, where you identify the various program templates, campaign channels, and naming conventions you’ll need. Then you can start to build out your templates, channels, and folder structure. In Marketo, it may look something like this:

Having a single “!UNIVERSAL” folder that all other folders go into enables you to utilize universal tokens that can be inherited by all programs in your instance, such as Copyright Year, Company Name/Website, and Company Address.

Program templates should be in a location that is clearly defined and easy to find. You can put all templates in a single folder at the top, or have specific templates for a given channel inside the folder for that channel. Just make sure everyone knows where they are.

Operational programs should be separate from all other programs, typically at the bottom. This gives you a single place to look when troubleshooting backend issues.

Who should do the organizing at company

Typically, this would be the person who owns the instance, such as a Marketing Operations Manager, but tasks can be delegated to others on the team who will be working in the instance on a day to day basis. This can and should be a team effort.


Having a disorganized instance can be frustrating, and time consuming. The time spent on navigating a messy instance can quickly eat into the overall campaign build time. Let’s reduce those build times by organizing our instance. It will save us time and a headache, and we will thank ourselves later as more and more campaigns are built and executed.

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