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"Marketo is really driving towards constant innovation. We would definitely be at a disadvantage if we did not have a marketing automation platform like Marketo."

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CenturyLink hits the mark with customers using Marketo Engage 





Every day CenturyLink connects millions of people and businesses of all sizes.  For much of the Fortune 500, they are the enabler to the networked world. To millions of families, they are the trusted local phone company. To maintain market leadership and continue to grow revenue, CenturyLink needs to reach their entire customer spectrum with marketing messages tailored to a specific customer, and tie those efforts to the company’s bottom line.

Growth through acquisition creates new business opportunities but also can come with complexities for internal operations. Following one of their larger acquisitions CenturyLink became a $24 billion company with eight revenue-generating organizations. Marketing operations were decentralized, with different marketing technology stacks that comprised more than 90 solutions. To improve marketing effectiveness in targeting a wide range of customers, the company decided to transition to a central Marketing Operations team and consolidate marketing activity into a single holistic view with Marketo Engage, part of Adobe Experience Cloud.

“We’re working to drive marketing optimization and maximize our assets to provide the best experiences and offers to our customers,” says Scott Berns, senior director of marketing operations at CenturyLink. “A challenge we faced for years is the need for true multi-touch attribution reporting, especially for large enterprise customers that have a much longer sales cycle.”


  • Establish a single source of truth for digital marketing across eight organizations
  • Improve marketing effectiveness to influence both business and consumer customers
  • Reduce costs by replacing paper-based billing with automated emails
  • Enable true multi-touch attribution reporting


A single source of truth for marketing

The CenturyLink Marketing Operations team began by moving all Level 3 Communications marketing programs over to Marketo Engage. The team was able to complete the transition in less than six months, greatly reducing the size of its marketing technology stack.

Two instances of Marketo Engage now provide a central source of truth for all of CenturyLink’s marketing data. Every day, its data team pulls almost 400,000 daily activities from Marketo Engage into a data lake to build a comprehensive picture of every lead’s interactions and lifecycle. From there, data is served up to multiple in-house developed application layers to provide accurate and timely insights and demonstrate the effectiveness of all its marketing efforts.

Marketo Engage’s third-party integration capabilities were essential to CenturyLink’s efforts to consolidate marketing activity information. To use Marketo Engage as a central hub for third-party marketing activity, CenturyLink leveraged the Marketo Engage activity object data model to include as many third-party products into the Marketo Engage activity log as possible, allowing the data team to extract, analyze, and build predictive data models to drive proactive change. The team also used Marketo Sales Insight to create multi-touch campaigns that include automated emails sent from a Salesforce plug-in. This fulfilled a long-time business need to send prospects consistent emails from sales while enabling salespeople to spend more time with customers and less time on administrative tasks.

“Marketo Engage is crucial to our Marketing Operations team, and using Marketo Engage to gain visibility into third-party applications through integration has proven invaluable to us during our merger with Level 3 Communications,” says Kate Federhar, senior manager of marketing operations at CenturyLink. “We’re looking forward to integrating Marketo Engage with Adobe Experience Manager Sites and Adobe Target to unify our marketing efforts and customer experience even further.”


Influencing millions in revenue

Using Marketo Engage to segment audiences, CenturyLink’s Marketing Operations team can send the right message to the right person on the right channel, whether it’s a $19.99 social media promotion for premium TV channels or a new enterprise networking service. To navigate the more complex buying patterns of business customers, CenturyLink uses lead scoring and account-based marketing in Marketo Engage so it can pivot quickly and adjust offers and messaging as needed

In one year, the team sent out 114 million marketing emails that influenced $220 million in closed-won incremental monthly recurring charges (MRC), resulting in an annualized marketing influenced in-year revenue impact of approximately $2.6 billion. CenturyLink’s multi-touch initiatives with Marketo Sales Insight also contributed substantially, with 78,000 emails sent directly from sellers via the field-driven outreach.  Additionally, the company saves $1.2 million monthly for its consumer and small business segments by sending electronic invoices via Marketo Engage instead of mailing out paper invoices

“With Marketo Engage, we can connect with our customers often enough so we stay top of mind for them,” says Federhar. “We can easily move them along through the funnel. CenturyLink has bought billion-dollar companies that used other competitors. We repeatedly came back to Marketo Engage, and one of the key reasons is the ease of use and more reliable integration with other tools."

Going beyond marketing automation

CenturyLink is expanding its Marketo Engage implementation to reach customers even further by deploying Marketo Sales Connect to streamline multi-touch marketing campaigns that will include email, telemarketing, and Salesforce-driven outreach. Because of the integration between Marketo Engage and Salesforce, CenturyLink will be better able to track activities on both the marketing and sales teams.

“Using Marketo Sales Connect as a sales-enablement tool will be invaluable in building an even better relationship between our marketing and sales teams, allowing us to easily compile influence value and present campaign results in a true dollar-and-cents manner,” says Berns.