The Story Behind Two Marketo Icons

Choosing Icons is sometimes tricky business. I chose all of the icons in Marketo since 2007.  Here are a couple of stories that help explain.

Marketo Icon Glossary

The Smart Campaign Light Bulb
The most important icon in Marketo was the Lightbulb. When I first designed the system, I was trying to explain how it worked to Jen Erale and Jodi Florence (Marketo’s first customers). I explained it like this.


Keep in mind, at the time (2007), JavaScript was not as understood by marketers. And certainly using JavaScript on one site to trigger action on another was a very new concept. I described munchkin as being a wire that is tapes to the back of their website. The wire snaked its way through the internet all the way over to Marketo. When someone clicked a link or visited a page, it was like sending a bit of electricity through the internet and into their Marketo and it would light up this bulb. When the bulb is lit, the lead enters the flow.

It worked great. It explained how the system worked and was a fun colorful icon to boot.  Eventually, the concept became commonplace and the metaphor was tossed aside. Yet the icon remains.

The Program Planner
Before there were Programs in Marketo, I had designed Programs. Confusing? Ok, that’s fair. A timeline is the easiest way to explain:

  1. First I designed Smart Campaigns (Lightbulb)
  2. Then we had folders to put Smart Campaigns in called Programs. (Not the current thing, just a folder. We even had a report called Leads by Program. The Program icon was not a folder, it was a book. Why a book? I thought we were going to improve it over time. We didn’t.
  3. Then I started designing the modern programs and realized that the word programs should be used. It wasn’t an upgrade of the previous “program” it was a whole new object that could have “folders” inside of it.
  4. So I renamed Programs to be Campaign Folders and changed the report to be Leads by Campaign Folder. Plus I changed the icon to a folder. This was done months before releasing programs to help with the transition.
  5. Then we introduced Programs. As an Icon, I wanted something that looked like one of those big day planners. IconExperience didn’t exactly have that, so I chose the closest resembling icon. The Wallet.

That’s why the Program icon is a wallet.

Let me know if there are any other “Why is it like that?” questions. I am happy to explain.

1 thought on “The Story Behind Two Marketo Icons”

  1. Interesting stories. I used to often wonder about why Marketo have this icon vs. other. I will come back here and read more to find out more…

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