Marketo January 22 Release Overview

Marketo January 22 Release Overview

January 2022 | Marketing Automation

The ongoing evolution of the Marketo UI marks a major milestone, while updates to form validation rules will immediately benefit Marketo users.

The ongoing integration of Marketo into the Adobe Experience Cloud was always going to have casualties. Some minor login features have been removed to accommodate Adobe's own login system. Now Marketo Sky can be added to the list of features that have been culled due to Adobe integration requirements.

When it was launched in 2018, Marketo Sky was pitched as the future of the platform. Sky was intended to be a ground up rewrite of the Marketo user interface that would modernise the platform and enable faster product development. Its premature beta release a few months later killed the momentum behind the redesign. There were too many bugs and not enough reasons to use it.

The main problem with Marketo Sky was that large chunks of the platform were missing from the initial release. Creating lists required switching back to the classic user interface, as did some program types. Those capabilities were added over time through a widely touted rapid development model, but nowhere near fast enough. People moved on long before the new experience could actually be used for day to day campaign production.

Next Generation UX

The Adobe acquisition undoubtedly played a significant role in killing off Marketo Sky, but a different approach to interface redesign has long been necessary. Last year's navigation and tree update was the first step in that new path. The new interface incorporated many of Sky's filtering and search capabilities. Last year saw a new form detail screen that bears a strong resemblance to the Sky user experience.

As such, Marketo Sky will still be a key driver for the platform's future but not in the way initially intended. Sky is being turned off in March, with the few remaining exclusive features added to the classic UI. That will introduce the incredibly useful asset expiration and Smart Campaign override options to a wider audience, which is good because they're often ignored by users unfamiliar with the capabilities of the new UX.

In the meantime, the landing page details screen is getting the next generation user interface treatment. As with the revised form details screen, this is an optional beta feature that can be enabled using a toggle at the bottom of any asset page. It adds additional asset information to the landing page details screen, as well as giving the layout a facelift. What the new UI doesn't do is enable new features in Marketo. Everything is available in both the old and new detail screens.

Domain Blocklist

There are still new form and landing page features being added. Although, these are all admin level capabilities. The most interesting is a new domain blocklist feature for forms. This allows Marketo admins to specify a list of email domains that are blocked from filling out Marketo forms, improving overall data quality in your person database. Anyone who tries to submit a form using a blocked email address will get an error message. The list of blocked domains is configured globally for all forms, with a system list of the most common consumer email providers available out of the box.

Blocking consumer email addresses will be the most common use case for this new feature. However, B2B marketers should consider the downsides of preventing potential customers from signing up for content using Gmail and Hotmail email addresses. There are valid reasons for requiring a business email address on contact us or event forms, where sales follow-up is a likely outcome of the engagement. Requiring business email addresses on asset download or email sign-up forms is a very different conversation. Many decision makers deliberately use their personal email addresses when in the early stages of the buying cycle precisely they don't want to be contacted by sales. Requiring a corporate email for top of funnel content could harm conversion rates and reduce overall engagement with your brand.

There are two areas where enforcing the domain blocklist does make sense. These are for junk email addresses and for competitor domains. Preventing obviously invalid email addresses from being added at source will objectively improve data quality and could potentially improve overall email deliverability. Even if you're only blocking and, then your lead database will see benefits from this capability. Also, consider if there are any competitors you don't want to sign up for content with, and add their email domains as well. Both these categories should already be blocklisted on your Marketo mailing lists, but preventing them at source is always helpful.

Landing Page Security

Security conscious Marketo customers will also appreciate the release of landing page header security features. These are two related capabilities that may already be used on your website. Marketo admins can now enable HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) on landing pages, which forces browsers to connect to websites using HTTPS. Typically, browsers fall back to an insecure HTTP connection if HTTPS doesn't work on a website. The HSTS header blocks this fallback from happening. Marketo's support for this feature is essential because landing pages are widely used to collect personal data.

This release also adds support for the X-Frame-Options header on landing pages. This controls which sites can render web pages within an iframe on a different page. Embedding your web pages within another page introduces security vulnerabilities because the parent page can control the content of the child page. There are valid use cases for iframes, but hackers commonly use them for phishing or clickjacking. It's likely your corporate website will already have controls around iframe usage, so aligning Marketo landing pages to this standard is desirable.

Dynamics Integration

Finally, there are upgrades to the Microsoft Dynamics integration. Multiselect picklist fields can now be synced between Dynamics and Marketo. This wasn't possible previously due to the specific way that picklists work in Dynamics. Additionally, the integration can now be configured using Server to Server authentication rather than user authentication. This allows the integration to communicate using server-side OAuth, bypassing any login restrictions or multi-factor authentication requirements that may be in place for user logins.

These are not the only updates this month. There are more enhancements to Sales Insight, will the Adobe Experience Platform connector 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 Jack B / Unsplash

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