The concept of cross-domain tracking is not a simple one. The need to understand browser’s security settings and involvement of cookies in the overall measurement strategy makes it a tough nut to crack.
Cross-domain tracking with Marketo is used to track multiple websites and determine a single user traveling between multiple websites as one entity. It is done in cases where there are multiple domains and they belong to the same brand offering similar services/products. That means, a visitor receives a unique cookie when visiting each domain. For a user tracked in Marketo, separate journeys are created on each domain and the information is merged into only one when a form is submitted on two or more websites.
We enabled cross-domain tracking in Marketo for a client of ours – a real estate company.
The client, an association of premium local homebuilders. They offer the best of agility, accountability and strong community ties with local builders at both macro and micro levels. They are backed up by stability under the thought leadership of a major national company.
They have six brands. Every brand associated with the group has a separate microsite. The client observed a significant amount of traffic from Master Planned Communities (MPC) to these brand websites and the other way around as well. Their aim was to track the activities of a prospect across the websites they visited.
With a single Marketo instance in place, the activity on the websites under the Master Planned Communities (MPC) could not be tracked. Since all domains function as domains and not subdomains, the default market tracking did not solve their purpose. They wanted to track one user visiting multiple domains under the umbrella brand as a single entity. The primary objective was to avoid contact duplicity and improve the functionality of the Marketo related processes.
To resolve the issue for them, we created a script that works across both, the Master Planned Communities (MPC) and the websites. With this script in place when a prospect lands on an MPC and starts viewing the pages, the activity is recorded by the Marketo munchkin code. If the prospect is browsing through the MPCs and clicks on a link that redirects to a brand website, the tracking script will record the prospect’s activity on the brand website as a single entity only. Once the prospect has visited an MPC or any of the group’s brand websites, their activity across multiple locations is then sent to Marketo.
Let’s take a look at when the prospect’s activities will be tracked on MPC and brand websites:
Case 1 – When an unknown prospect visits the main website or an MPC website and doesn’t fill any Marketo form on either platform
Case 2 – When an unknown prospect visits an MPC website and/or known prospect visits the main website. The activity is tracked in case they don’t fill any Marketo form on the MPC website and/or has filled Marketo form on the main website
Case 3 – When a prospect is known on the MPC website and/or unknown prospect on the main website. The activity will be tracked if they have filled a Marketo form on the MPC website and/or never filled a Marketo form on the main website
Case 4 – When the prospect is known on the main website and on the MPC website as well (has the same email address) then no action is taken.
As a result, the client is able to check the web activity of a single prospect on the main website and the MPC website. It also eliminates the possibility of having a duplicate contact in case the prospect filled Marketo forms on different websites.