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Why and how to archive assets in Marketo.

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As time passes, old assets start to pile up in every marketing automation (MA) platform. This makes navigation more challenging, and opens the possibility for inefficiencies, like using an out of date landing page or email template, or pulling report data for an old email. It can start to feel like working in an office with many filing cabinets packed with years of paperwork.

Why should you archive assets in Marketo?

Archiving old assets is like spring cleaning for MA platforms like Marketo. You may even find things that can be outright deleted, but the bulk of it is making sure things have been stored somewhere safe and out of the way to make Marketo more manageable, while leaving yourself the option to go back and reference old assets as needed. 

The benefits of using Marketo’s built-in archive functionality.

  • Data preservation. Archived assets still exist and can still be referenced, reported on and re-enabled. 
  • Easier to navigate. With all old assets archived, the navigation tree in Marketo will be tidier and contain fewer assets to sift through.  
  • Trimmed searches and suggestions. The search, auto-suggest and dropdown functions in Marketo will not display archived assets, making these features easier for day-to-day use.
  • Prevents accidental use of old assets. Many assets will have a similar naming structure and it can be easy to misclick. Since archived assets do not show up in dropdowns, they cannot be selected by mistake. 
  • Improved performance. With old assets deactivated, Marketo will have fewer campaigns and smart lists to process, which can improve overall performance and speed.

What does archiving assets look like in Marketo?

The process for archiving old or unused assets is different in all MA platforms. For Marketo, this process is done by creating a special type of folder and then placing the old assets into this folder. This will kick off all Marketo’s built-in functionality. 

The impacts of placing assets in an archive folder.

  • Hidden from view. The folder and assets are no longer visible in search results. If you search for a program or event that is inside an archive folder, the results return a collapsed view of the archive folder. 
  • Excluded. The assets in the folder no longer appear in auto suggest.
  • Unavailable. Archived templates are not available when creating an email or landing page in Design Studio. 
  • Restricted. Archived pages can’t be used in landing page test groups.

Functionalities that won’t change when archiving.

  • Function. An asset that is in use will continue to work even after it’s archived. Archived assets are not automatically deactivated. For example, active trigger campaigns can still fire, and active landing pages can be visited by leads. They must be manually deactivated if you want them to stop running.
  • Search. Global search still finds results in archived folders.
  • Filter. You can use a filter to select archived assets for use in reports.
  • Reportability. Archived assets still exist, as does all data related to the assets, so they can still be included in reports as needed. 

How to archive assets in Marketo. 

There is a step by step support article available in the Adobe knowledge base that outlines how to create an archive folder in Marketo

Anyone with sufficient permissions can technically archive assets, but some assets require more review to determine if they are ready to be archived. Here is a general guide outlining who should be in charge of the decision to archive different types of assets.

Archiver to Asset type:

A chart explains the type of user who should archive assets in specific situations.

How frequently should you archive assets in Marketo? 

Different assets should be reviewed for archiving at different intervals. Iron Horse recommends the following:

A chart explains how often, and which assets types should be archived.

The process to follow when archiving assets in Marketo.

The current asset organization and usage will influence how you should approach archival. For example, if assets are already sorted by date or have dates in the naming system, it would be easy to work from oldest to most recent.

There are two methods to handle the archive folder structure: 

  1. Create a top-level archive folder that will have additional folders within it into which all assets will be moved. 
  2. Create individual archive folders in every program. 

The first method is generally considered best practice. Work with your Marketo users to determine the folder structure that will be most intuitive for current and future users. An example structure would be to sort by year, then quarter, then sort by type of marketing asset (e.g. newsletters, one time email blasts, nurtures). 

Remember to deactivate all assets within a folder or program that will be archived, as assets that are not deactivated will continue to function as usual. Additionally, make sure to move the folder or program into the appropriate folder in the archived folder structure.

Tips to make asset management in Marketo easier for future-you. 

  • Use clear and consistent naming conventions. Naming conventions that make clear what an asset is and when it was used can help you identify assets that can be archived immediately, such as old newsletters.
  • Add naming convention for assets that should be archived. For any assets you know are finished and ready to be archived, such as test assets or retired landing pages, work with your team on a consistent system to update asset names, such as adding ‘Archive’ to the name of the assets. This will allow you to easily find the assets and immediately archive them.
  • Organize and clearly label folder structure. A clear folder structure will help guide any research that is required and help determine which specific assets are ready to be archived. For example, if the folder structure includes years, anything from prior years is more likely ready for retirement than anything from the current year. 
  • Disable/deactivate old assets as you go. For example, a trigger campaign looking for an event registration form can safely be deactivated after the event has ended. Addressing this in the moment when you know something is completed will save you time later, as you will be able to more easily differentiate assets in use that should be left alone and older assets that can be archived. 

Wondering how to get the most out of your Marketo investment? Check out these articles for best practices and tips on how to maximize the effectiveness of your marketing automation efforts and drive better results.

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The Iron Horse insight.

All tools require maintenance, including digital ones, and archiving assets is standard maintenance for marketing automation. An unorganized workspace becomes cluttered with outdated and irrelevant materials, making it challenging to locate and manage current assets efficiently. This clutter can also degrade platform performance, resulting in slower load times and reduced responsiveness. Much like changing the oil in a car, there’s no notable difference when it’s done consistently. But if it’s not done, eventually the car will start to run poorly, overheat and become unusable. Archiving old assets in your Marketo platform will keep it from becoming obsolete.

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