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Tips for Implementing Marketo Engage


How would you get started if you were handed the keys to a brand new Adobe Marketo Engage instance? There are many settings and recommended configurations that must be aligned with your organization’s unique workflows and business processes. If this is part of a migration from another Marketing Automation Platform (MAP), there are additional considerations and scoping requirements. Read on to learn how to get started with your shiny new instance of Marketo with a project plan at the center of it all.

What does setting up a Marketo Engage instance require?

There are several key components to stand up a Marketo Engage instance out of the box:

  • Initial CRM Sync and Configuration
  • Marketo Engage Administration Setup
  • Email Marketing & Deliverability
  • Forms and Landing Pages
  • Program Templates

If there is a migration from another Marketo instance or MAP, the following additional components are present:

  • Data Migration
  • Asset Migration
  • Website / Landing Page & Form Updates
  • Corresponding Program Builds and Activations

So many moving parts can be difficult to manage especially if you are trying to move quickly to begin using your new instance. It’s important to understand which items can be done synchronously and which have dependencies, which are required before you engage in even a single marketing activity and which can be handled after an MVP is live. This is what a project plan can do for you.

Why should companies create an implementation project plan?

With so many details and timelines at play, it is easy to overlook a step, miss a crucial configuration, or even see deadlines push. With a project plan and (hopefully) a dedicated project manager, you can ensure no steps are missed and that your setup is completed on time.

Our team of project managers utilizes a PM tool, Smartsheet, sprint planning, and standup meetings to manage resource alignment and timelines for this process. This structure allows the implementation team to have a better understanding of the full scope of the work, time to completion, and account for the required order of operations of dependent tasks.

For reference, our typical project plan for a Marketo implementation has over 100 discrete tasks to manage! We weren’t kidding when we said there were a lot of moving parts.

When should a company outsource Marketo setup?

Most companies bring in professional services to help manage the initial setup process. We highly recommend getting help from people who do implementations all the time and are familiar with the details and nuances and have a structured approach. These are some benefits of getting help from an experienced team:

  1. Set up a strong MAP foundation based on tried and testing framework
  2. Efficient management of unique business processes and MarTech tool integrations
  3. Speed – these teams have been there and done that; they know what they’re doing
  4. Management of expectations and limiting scope creep

If you have a newer team, an expert consultant can guide your team on setup while providing context and critical insights on setting a strong foundation for your systems.

For more experienced teams, consultants can focus on the project management and organization tasks while the in-house team can focus on current marketing efforts so the funnel doesn’t run dry.

In either scenario, bringing on expert support is a win-win for everyone involved.

Who should be involved in setting up Marketo Engage?

Setting up a new marketing automation platform requires cross-departmental resources.

You will need your web developers to edit your website DNS to enable SPF / DKIM and set up CNAMEs for tracking links and landing pages. Unless you have dedicated HTML email builders, web devs can also assist with your basic email template configuration, landing pages, and Marketo forms integration in your existing website.

Marketing and sales operations resources will work in tandem to ensure a smooth initial sync with your CRM.

Marketing leadership should work with marketing operations to determine business decisions such as communication limits, team roles and access privileges.

If your organization has specific security requirements such as IP address limits or enabling SSO, the IT department may also get involved.

Finally, you may be surprised who in your organization owns or manages licenses to martech that you’ll want to connect to Marketo! We’ve seen everyone from accounting to product marketing get involved.


Getting a shiny, new Marketo Engage instance is an exciting journey, but can be an overwhelming process – especially if your team has to support additional lights-on marketing initiatives.

Utilizing an experienced project manager and Marketing Engage business consultants will minimize the impact on your day-to-day marketing efforts, speed up your time to go live and improve overall confidence in the initial configuration decisions for your instance.

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