• Executed marketing campaigns within 3 weeks of a flawless implementation.
  • Leveraged sophisticated tracking, contributing to revenue in 4 global regions.
  • Integrated Salesforce.com seamlessly, routing leads and analyzing buyers’ lifecycles to increase conversion rates.
  • Increased overall pipeline creation by 9%.



As a global leader in application delivery networking, F5 Networks aligns IT structure to business initiatives and strategy. F5 serves over 16,000 customers, including nine of the Fortune 10. Previously, F5 was using a system that was plagued with technical issues. Marketing operations had become a de facto IT service bureau for marketing managers, creating all kinds of dependency bottlenecks. F5 needed a system that was intuitive to use, but was also easy to modify on the fly—so marketing and sales teams could work closely toward common goals. What’s more, they wanted an automated system that was scalable to the needs of regional teams in four global regions.



F5 chose Marketo, because as F5’s Director of Marketing Operations, Kristen Petersen explains, “You can immediately tell Marketo is designed by marketers for marketers.” With no down time, F5 migrated to Marketo in less than three weeks with over 42 people launching campaigns around the world. No longer having to manage their platform’s IT issues, F5’s marketing team was finally free to be creative and agile with their campaigns, to test what worked, and to quickly switch out what didn’t. Marketo’s Revenue Cycle Analytics helped F5 realize that they needed to focus more on programs like PPC, webinars and online advertising because the cost per lead was so much lower than tradeshows and seminars—something they had not realized up to that point. Previously, F5 only had access to this sort of analysis through arduous, “Excel-ridden” processes, but with Marketo, they instantly tracked revenue attribution in each of their 4 global marketing regions, focusing resources to generate measurable results. 



Marketo provided F5’s marketing operations concrete metrics that show their contribution to overall pipeline creation in the past year was 9%. With Marketo’s Revenue Cycle Analytics, F5’s marketing and sales have been able to instantly see what leads are in the pipeline and better understand the entire buying lifecycle. As a result, F5 now spends its marketing dollars more effectively, helping sales close more deals and contributing to overall top-line growth. Ultimately, F5’s marketing has been able to prove progress toward goals in a range of KPI, which has meant a better “big picture” understanding for the entire F5 organization. And through new strategic cooperation between sales and marketing generated by Marketo’s sophisticated analytical tools, F5 is planning to increase pipeline leads by 15% in the coming year. 


With Marketo, F5 Networks can:

  • Easily and accurately track planned, forecasted, and actual spending
  • Keep the budget balanced and react more quickly when overspending occurs
  • Identify and reallocate unused budget before it goes away
  • Enable individual budget owners to customize budgets by region, product or activity, and still maintain roll-up metrics
  • Show finance the impact of changes to the marketing budget
  • Calculate the cost to bring a new message to market



As a global leader in application delivery networking, F5 Networks aligns IT structure to business initiatives and strategy. F5 serves over 16,000 customers, including nine of the Fortune 10. Previously, F5 Networks was using a spreadsheet template for their budgeting process with twenty-seven people in marketing managing individual budgets in their own versions. While the marketing organization tried to maintain a single, master version, people were constantly making template changes, inadvertently overriding other’s work and making it impossible to maintain an accurate, final budget. Something as simple as one budget holder adding a column could throw off the budget document for the entire organization and add hours to the time marketing operations had to spend consolidating the various spreadsheets.

For F5 Networks, getting an accurate picture of marketing spend to provide forecasts and balance budgets using a spreadsheet was time-consuming and required reconciliation that was a tactical nightmare. One department might be in need of budget while another might have extra, because F5 lacked visibility, there was no way to identify the surpluses to transfer before the end of the period. F5 Networks estimates budget of tens of thousands of dollars was under spent due to the issue of visibility in the first quarter of 2013. F5 recognized the need for a financial management solution to enable marketing to collaborate on budgets and gain visibility across the organization.



With Marketo Financial Management, F5 Networks can forecast easily and accurately, and marketing can locate and reallocate budget so it doesn’t go unused. F5 likes that the Marketo solution is fast and flexible. “The flexibility means no one is confined to a structure,” explains Kristen Petersen, Director of Marketing Operations. “The interface looks like a spreadsheet, which is a plus, but budget owners can format the columns the way they want and create their own views.” A marketing manager who manages five countries might organize her budget by country while the sales marketing group in the United States may decide to organize their budget by type of activity—user groups versus webinars versus trade shows. Marketo enables F5 budget owners to customize the way they think about their budgets without impacting the company’s ability to view the marketing budget as a whole. “I certainly like the analytics and I really appreciate Marketo’s solution is focused on the needs of the marketing organization,” adds Kristen Petersen.



Marketo Financial Management saves F5 time and improves the accuracy of their reporting. Because every marketing budget is in one place, F5 leaders know instantly where spending stands and any remaining budget can be redirected to other revenue generating activities. With Marketo, F5 has true transparency and they have the reporting they need, when they need it. For instance, a custom column in the grid allows F5 to forecast expected marketing increase per demand generation activity. F5 can input the number of leads they are expecting to generate from each activity and achieve a cost per lead calculation. This scenario prior to Marketo Financial Management would have taken countless hours and inevitably had human errors.

With their previous solution, marketing costs ended up in one big bucket with no way to differentiate between planning and upfront costs versus execution costs. The Marketo solution also enables F5 to identify execution costs versus content creation costs, so when F5 rolls out a new message, they know exactly how much it costs to get that message to market. They use this insight to plan better each time they take a new message to market.

F5 was also able to show how spending on large corporate events was impacting regional budgets. This empowered marketing to build a strong case to finance for additional funds. “With Marketo, I’m actually looking forward to budget planning this year,” says Kristen Petersen.