Marketo Engage August '21 Release Overview

Marketo Engage August '21 Release Overview

August 2021 | Marketing Automation

All change for Marketo, as Adobe kicks off a major transition for their marketing automation platform.

It's all change for Marketo this week after a milestone release landed over the weekend. While not quite as large as last quarter's mega release, there are still plenty of interesting new features for Marketo Engage users to get their teeth into. The biggest update is only for new customers at the moment. It will be rolled out to existing customers in the middle of next year. In particular, Bizible has seen a lot of new enhancements. Those Bizible updates are enabled by the identity changes that headline this release.

Adobe are integrating the Marketo product portfolio into their existing Adobe user authentication platform. Starting from next month, any new Marketo instances will be provisioned with Adobe's login system rather than Marketo logins. This will bring Marketo into other Adobe products, all of which can be accessed by a single login. That will be hugely convenient for organisations already invested in the entire Experience Cloud tech stack. IT teams for such companies will likely have already configured any required security policies as well as the obligatory single sign-on for enterprise environments. Everyone else will need to invest a lot of time in setting up Adobe IDs for their entire marketing department, along with any required policies or integrations.

The new login system is being extended to existing Marketo instances next year. Customers should be aware of the change, but no preparation is required at this time. Adobe will notify Marketo users when such work is required. In the interim, Universal ID is being enabled for all Marketo instances. This is a pre-requisite for the planned login changes, as it allows a single Marketo login to access multiple instances. It does require those instances to be part of the same subscription though, a restriction that will be lifted when Marketo instances are migrated to use Adobe IDs.


Bizible is also being updated to use the same Adobe ID login system, but at a significantly quicker pace. It is expected that everyone will have been switched over by the end of the year. As a result, some cross-platform Adobe services will become available to Bizible customers for the first time. These include the Adobe Privacy Service, which can be used to manage data deletion and subject access requests as mandated by GDPR and CCPA. The Bizible UI is also being updated to use the Adobe nav bar already seen in the new Marketo UI.

Even without the login changes, there are still plenty of new features for Bizible customers. New metrics open up additional reporting possibilities around funnel velocity and cohort analysis. The velocity dashboard has been updated with additional filters, enabling the same types of drill-down seen in other Bizible dashboards. Meanwhile, a brand new cohort waterfall journey dashboard will allow deeper analysis of conversion rates and conversion triggers throughout the lead funnel. For the first time, these metrics include LinkedIn Lead Gen Form activity, which has been added to the Bizible LinkedIn integration in this release.

Campaign Flow

From a Marketo perspective, there is a significant enhancement to the brand new executable smart campaigns capability that was introduced three months ago. This added a new Execute Campaign action to the platform, meaning that smart campaigns can call other smart campaigns. The new functionality enables admins to share flow steps between multiple campaigns. That capability has been extended to allow executable campaigns to be nested. Campaigns can be nested up to three levels deep, enabling further consolidation of system operational flows. There are plenty of use cases for this, but so far, the most common relate to data maintenance and lead lifecycle workflows that need to be run following a program success.

Another existing flow capability is being upgraded in this release. Single flow actions have existed for years but can be tricky to find. The option only exists when viewing a list of people in the database. That works fine in some situations, but not when scanning the field details or activity log of an individual person record. This can require switching back to the lead database and searching for the person again before running a single flow action. Not anymore. A new menu has been added to the person detail page, allowing users to run single flow actions while viewing someone's activity log. That should save multiple clicks for admins when adding people to lists or making ownership and partition updates to individual records.

API Updates

Then there are the API enhancements. Recent releases have seen multiple new APIs, substantially expanding the scope of what developers can create on behalf of Marketo users within the platform. This time is no exception. It is now possible to create and update fields using the API. That is particularly useful for LaunchPoint integrations, which previously needed to ask admins to manually create any required person fields as part of the configuration process. Now they can do it automatically, simplifying the setup experience for external applications that want to integrate with Marketo.

The Submit Form API has been updated to support duplicate person records. Previously, this API would ignore form submissions if the email address included on the form existed on multiple person records in Marketo. This was far from ideal, given how common duplicates are within the typical database. Fortunately, the API has now been changed to update the last modified person in line with standard Marketo form behaviour. That makes the API far more useful and should increase its usage compared to alternative methods of integrating forms with Marketo.

These are not the only updates this month. There are more enhancements to the API, while Sales Insight gets an upgrade too. For full details of what's in the current release, view the release notes on Adobe Experience League.

Banner Photo by Isaac Quesada / Unsplash

Written by
Marketing Operations Consultant and Solutions Architect at CRMT Digital specialising in marketing technology architecture. Advisor on marketing effectiveness and martech optimisation.