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Unlocking True ROI with Marketo Measure: Importing Marketing Spend into Marketo Measure

By August 2, 2023No Comments

While not the most fun aspect of maintaining your Marketo Measure instance, ensuring you have accurate spend data in the tool is one of the most important parts of ownership of this product, and good practices around keeping spend accurate can make insights from Marketo Measure more trusted and actionable within your organization.

A big reason why customers use Marketo Measure is to understand which marketing channels, campaigns, and even keywords are performing the best. It helps you do this by combining marketing data with business outcomes (opportunities/deals) to show you what performed the best over a certain period of time. While that’s important information to know, leaving the spend out of the equation could create gaps in your reporting data. At the end of the day, knowing how much revenue a certain campaign generated is good to know, but how actionable is it without showing what you spent on it?

Fortunately, Marketo Measure allows you to upload spend for all of your marketing efforts. In this post, we cover some best practices we’ve found from years of working with successful Marketo Measure/Bizible clients:

Best Practices

  • Leverage Integrations: Out of the box, Marketo Measure is able to automatically import marketing spend from a variety of sources, which should cover many of your costs as a marketing team. Keeping these platforms updated with accurate costs month-over-month not only makes your reporting insights more powerful, but improves data hygiene and makes it easier for your entire org to review costs consistently.
    • For digital ad spend from AdWords, Linkedin, Facebook, BingAds or DoubleClick, costs are uploaded automatically via Marketo Measure’s API – more information on setting those connections up can be found here. This is really as easy as it gets, but we’d still recommend checking for notices from Support about accounts becoming disconnected. Keeping updated Admins is important for this, but as a failsafe, you should check the ‘Connections’ tab from within Marketo Measure’s settings at least once a month in order to make sure those accounts are all connected and authorized. Instructions on how to re-authorize accounts can be found here.
    • CRM Campaign Costs: For CRM campaigns being synced with Marketo Measure to create offline touchpoints, Marketo Measure can automatically pull the identified spend into Discover, easily allowing you to understand the ROI of things like Webinars, In-Person Events, and more. The fields Marketo Measure leverages for this integration are unique to whether you use Salesforce or Dynamics, but both relate to actual cost, as well as a start and end date for the campaign. Without those fields populated accurately, the integration will not work, and your ROI data will not be accurate. More information on the integration and how to set it up can be found here. Keeping this data accurate is not just important for Marketo Measure, but also helps to transform your CRM into a centralized hub for tracking marketing campaign spend.
    • Marketo Engage Period Costs: Marketo Measure also allows you to create touchpoints via the Marketo Engage Programs Integration. Measure’s integration with Marketo Engage costs are automatically downloaded from Period Costs and the reported cost in Marketo is distributed throughout the assigned month. Similar to CRM Campaign Costs, keeping period cost accurate in Marketo Engage has benefits that don’t just apply to Marketo Measure. More information on the set-up of this integration can be found here, and we’d also recommend reviewing some best practices around calculating period costs from this Marketo Nation article.

Upload other spend via Marketing Spend CSV

  • We understand that there might be marketing dollars being spent which aren’t, and can’t be, tracked in either an ads platform or with your CRM. For this spend, you will want to leverage the Marketing Spend upload feature of Marketo Measure. Here are some tips we have for navigating this method:
    • Upload spend one month at a time – this makes the document easier to navigate and manage.
    • Remove rows which aren’t needed. Some of these would include
      • Rows for Channels/Subchannels/Campaigns related to an API integration (AdWords/Linkedin/BingAds/etc.) or for campaigns whose cost is already being pulled in via the CRM/Marketo Engage integration.
      • Rows for Channels/SubChannels/Campaigns with $0 cost
    • Once you have the spreadsheet filled out using the costs for that given month, save it as a CSV using a new, unique name which will make it easier to find (ie. MarketoMeasureCostsJuly2023.csv and then upload the CSV into Marketo Measure using the “Upload CSV” button.
    • Once uploaded, we’d recommend waiting 48-72 hours to make sure all the spend has been processed into Discover. The Marketing Spend board is a good way to check this. Make sure to update the filters in the report to reflect the previous month. If anything doesn’t look right, reach out to Marketo Support to help diagnose.

Administrative Best Practices

Now that we’ve covered how to upload spend into Marketo Measure, let’s cover how organizations can set themselves up for successful data input month over month.

  • Upload and review spend monthly
    • In our experience, anything less frequent than monthly can lead to more time taken to gather and upload campaign costs, and anything more frequently can also take up unnecessary bandwidth from your team. Just like tidying up a house, more frequent small cleans can help you avoid a bigger mess later in the quarter or year! After updating spend in your CRM, Marketo Engage, or by the CSV upload, be sure to verify that spend within Discover’s Marketing Spend board.
  • Have a single owner for collecting, compiling and importing costs
    • Having a single Spend Import Owner, or SIO, reduces the number of hands having to upload spend into Marketo Measure. This person needs to be able to coordinate with other channel owners in the Marketing and Sales orgs to ensure spend is being entered into CRM/MAP platforms as well as for any other costs which fall outside of a Marketo Measure integration (Manual upload).
    • Some tips for the SIO would include:
      • Setting a monthly reminder to upload costs to Marketo Measure
      • Sending an email to channel owners, or anyone else who has spent marketing dollars to provide updates to a spreadsheet outlining their monthly spend, broken down by individual campaign if possible. A shared spreadsheet can help make this easier. Here is an example of what this might look like.
      • Channel/spend owners should be given a deadline by which to upload/pass along spend
    • Check for emails from Marketo Support around disconnected ad platforms
      • Ads accounts, for a variety of reasons, can become disconnected and need re-authorization. While less of an issue for spend, as costs can easily be backfilled after re-authorzing, this can have downstream impacts on ad platforms and touchpoint granularity, and should be treated with high urgency.


  • How do I include spend from events where we spend money outside of the month that the event took place?
    • Record all spend in the month that the event took place, not the month the money was spent
  • How should I upload platform costs (Marketo/Demandbase)?
    • Platform costs should only be included if they are specific to a channel/subchannel
    • Ex. Webinar platforms are specific to a channel, and if we decided not to do webinars anymore, we would not need that platform
    • Ex. 6Sense or Demandbase have platform fees in addition to the ad spend; The platform fee is specific to a channel/subchannel, so we should record this spend
    • Ex. Marketo/Hubspot are general platforms that span most, if not all, of your channels… therefore they are more of a business expense than a marketing channel expense and shouldn’t be recorded in Marketo Measure. If you paid for a specific email
  • Should we include salaries in Marketing Spend?
    • No. Freelancers/Contractors count as invoices… not salaries. If you want to upload spend for agency management fees for things like AdWords/Linkedin, we recommend doing so via the Marketing Spend CSV, at the Channel/Subchannel that makes the most sense for your organization. Agency management fees for things like SEO should also be recorded at the “Organic Search” channel level

We hope this article has provided you with tips for maintaining accurate marketing spend within Marketo Measure. Once you’ve gotten your instance up-to-date with cost data, the actual fun part of reporting on Marketing ROI can begin! Please give us a shout if you have any questions on this or anything else attribution-related!