Using Insights with Marketo Webhooks to Build Real-time Dashboards and Analytics

Marketing automation may be all the rage with the best of today’s tech-savvy marketers, but fundamentally it’s just another software-engineering problem abstracted to a pretty user interface (albeit with a fraction the functionality of the most basic scripting languages). Those of us who spend any time building program flows in a marketing automation platform should really be called “Marketing Engineers.” Systems-thinking and flow-control are every bit as important in a tool like Marketo as they are in software engineering, like in a MVC patterned Web application.

Just Like in the software-engineering world, understanding what is happening under the hood of a marketing automation tool is important to making sure the tool is carrying out the intent of the user–something many marketing automation tools don’t surface very well to the end user. New Relic Insights is already the leading tool to surfacing real-time software analytics, but it can also help provide visibility into the functioning of a marketing automation platform.

Marketo does many things well, and like all good marketing automation platforms, it quickly amplifies and scales up what you do well (or even not so well). That can make it challenging to keep on top of everything that is happening inside of Marketo, especially if you have multiple users sending emails, multiple email-nurturing campaigns, and triggers that do stuff when nobody is looking (usually on Friday nights and just before a big product release, naturally). Marketo administrators are often left reacting to inquiries about when something happened (“When did that webinar invite get sent?” or in what proportion (“How many emails got sent to the FutureStack guest list? How many people responded?”). Daily email reports are nice, but there is a better, more flexible solution (not to mention a more visual approach than yet another spreadsheet pivot table).

It is incredibly easy to leverage Marketo’s Webhooks to push data to an external dashboarding tool, and New Relic Insights lets you make brilliant-looking dashboards that show exactly what your marketing programs are doing, and then also query the data in real-time. Webhooks let you push any type of Event data from Marketo to New Relic Insights to surface metrics and attributes about your email programs, lead creation, program membership, and where each of your leads are in the marketing/sales funnel, etc.

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This is a fictitious example of tracking Marketo email events in a New Relic Insights dashboard.

Besides surfacing high-level summaries of metrics in a dashboard, you can also use New Relic Insights to ask ad-hoc questions about your data. Using NRQL (New Relic Query Language), it’s easy to find out how many emails were sent out this week compared to last week:

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NRQL lets you ask a variety of questions about your data that aren’t so easy to ask Marketo in an ad hoc fashion. For example, if you send the same email every week, the statistics in Marketo will show the total for all weeks, but in New Relic Insights, you can see the performance week by week so you know exactly how well it is performing over time. Just as important, New Relic Insights gets you the answer in mere milliseconds even if you’ve sent millions of emails. Think about that the next time you schedule an export for a custom report from Marketo.

Leverage your data for better decision-engineering by using the following slide-guide and New Relic Insights to implement the Webhooks in Marketo:

Andrew Schmitt is vice president of communications and PR for New Relic. View posts by .

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