3 Things to Consider when Assigning Marketo Admin Rights

3 Things to Consider when Assigning Marketo Admin Rights


Why does it even matter how many people you make Marketo Admin?
That depends.  How important is the integrity and security of your entire database to you?

A user with Marketo Admin rights has the ability to use every tool; create more users, distribute leads, delete records and access your entire database of contacts. So – if you have more than one Marketo admin, you’d better have a good reason. If, as in many of the systems we see on day one, the entire list of users have Admin rights, then you’ve created multiple security holes… that’s scary.

If your process when someone asks for a user ID/password for Marketo is to create them a default of Admin – you’re in big trouble.  And yet we see that all the time when we walk into a new client’s setup. You need sensitive info in safe hands; so your job is to make it as few hands as possible.  Incidentally, this is not a problem limited to Marketo – it is true generally for *all* IT systems of course, including Marketo, SFDC, Hubspot et-al.  It’s just we see it most in Marketo because of our focus.  And because Marketing people are not the best at procedures and systems related to IT — as per this article from my colleague, Graham.

What can go wrong?

Um… do we start with the potential for security breaches? Or the corruption of millions of records in your data using the bulk edit tool? Or the unauthorised dispatch of thousands of emails to your entire database?  Or is it the deletion of your most valuable customer data that hits home.

So many things can go wrong if the user doesn’t understand how both the Marketo system works, and how it syncs with all the other systems in your digital marketing stack.

So here it is, my top 3 Marketo Admin considerations for your Marketo instance. 

1. Consider the chain of command

  • Changes to sensitive information can often require multiple-stakeholder sign-offs.
  • Does this person sign-off on things or do they often need to seek approval from higher level management?
  • You should have – a maximum of two or three Marketo Admins [unless you’re an Enterprise].  These people would be the conduits for change, and have the authority to make changes to increase efficiency.

2. Consider their Marketo know-how

  • Are they a Marketo super-user? Or are they a novice? If you have given access to someone and you don’t know their level of expertise in Marketo, then you’ve created a security hole and handed that hole the opportunity to create more holes themselves. Double whammy.
  • You don’t need to be an expert, but you do need to understand how everything fits together. This can take some time. Until then – they don’t get to be an Admin!
  • If all they need to be doing is to build assets/add in content, then they don’t need Admin access rights

Psst… need to train up a normal user to a super-user? RMS provide training in Marketo and assist you with campaign planning and execution ’til you are an expert yourself.

3. Consider roping in someone from IT

  • Marketo is complex. An understanding of relational databases, profiles, and computer science is handy!
  • It helps if this Marketo Admin has a decent understanding of sales and marketing as well.

Take away message? Be frugal. The fewer Marketo Admins, the better. Question the person asking to see what level of access they required, and go minimal! Call RMS if you’re unsure.

Want to know more? Check out one of our previous blog posts: Best Practices for Managing Marketo User Roles and Permissions.

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