By Danielle Langenderfer

Marketing with Marketo is more targeted and more powerful than ever. Unfortunately, if you don’t have a firm grasp on what your Marketo platform can and can’t do, it’s easy to feel like you’re drowning in information. 

Luckily, there are a pair of Marketo organizing features that can work miracles: workspaces and partitions. Although it’s not uncommon for this duo to be mentioned in the same breath, they are not the same. 

Wondering what the differences between Marketo partitions and workspaces are, and how to use them to simplify work for your marketing team? Here are the differences and how you should be using each.

What’s the difference between partitions and workspaces?

Workspaces and partitions are both Marketo features that organize and simplify marketing work. Although they’re often used together, partitions and workspaces each have a unique function. 

Both manage permissions and are a way of organizing your contacts and marketing teams. However, workspaces house marketing content, and partitions provide access to Marketo contacts. With these Marketo functions in mind, here’s more on the two key differences between partitions and workspaces: 

1. Marketers can use workspaces to manage marketing assets.

Workspaces give marketers a way to organize Marketo content and keep the marketing team from being flooded with the wrong content. This tool is especially helpful for global enterprises or companies that promote a wide stream of product offerings. 

For instance, imagine your company operates in North America, Europe, and South America. Your marketing materials, such as assets in your Marketo Design Studio or marketing activities, may vary drastically by region. By setting up separate workspaces for each region, you can keep marketers from having to sift through piles of the wrong branding, messaging, or campaign pieces. 

2. Marketers can use partitions to manage marketing contacts.

Partitions work with workspaces to create even more defined lanes. Unlike workspaces, partitions house people: your Marketo contacts and leads. 

For example, you may have separate marketing teams that deal only with separate products. In this instance, you could set up a partition so that a marketer who’s dealing with Product A is only dealing with contacts associated with Product A. All the while, those marketers can zoom in on targeting messages for Product A without having to wade through contacts who are only interested in Product B. 

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How do workspaces and partitions work together?

The way your company uses workspaces and partitions depends entirely on your business model—and so does the way you set up workspaces and partitions. For instance, you can create a 1:1 workspace to partition ratio. You can also assign one partition to multiple workspaces. One thing to keep in mind when determining your workspace and partition setup is that a single person can only exist in one partition at a time.

Here are some instances where a marketing team might use workspaces and partitions:

Splitting Up Regions

One common instance where organizations need workspaces and partitions is when they have marketers split across global regions. For instance, you may have marketing and sales teams operating in North American and Europe. As mentioned before, you can set up workspaces to share content via each area. 

However, you can use partitions to take that all a step further. For instance, maybe you need U.S. marketers to have access only to contacts in a sub-region—the Southwest, Northeast, or Midwest. Basically, you can set up partitions to refine your team’s access to contacts within those areas. 

Dividing Product Lines

Another common instance where marketers benefit from these tools is when the organization has distinct business lines. If you need a team to work with specific marketing assets related to a product, you can accomplish this through Marketo workspaces. At the same time, you can parse the contacts within those product lines via partitions. If a person may potentially buy from multiple product lines, you may want to have multiple workspaces but a singular partition.

Creating B2B and B2C Lanes

Oftentimes, an organization will need to separate marketing materials by geography or product. Then you might also need to divide your B2B and B2C contacts. This is another instance where you can assign partitions and workspaces that keep information clean and on track.

It’s worth noting that these are just a few common examples of instances when companies can benefit from workspaces and partitions. Ultimately, the way you use these tools best will depend on your organization and how you want to divvy up permissions. 

Who needs workspaces and partitions?

The specific use cases for workspaces and partitions come in all shapes and forms. However, the simplest way to know if you need workspaces and partitions is to ask yourself if you’ll benefit from restricting, or concentrating, access to content or contacts. On the flip side, if you share information across all your departments and share access between all teams, workspaces and partitions probably aren’t for you. 

In all cases, before you set up workspaces and partitions, it’s worth sitting down, mapping out your business’s marketing needs, or consulting a marketing partner who understands the ins and outs of Marketo. 

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Danielle Langenderfer

About the author

Danielle Langenderfer was formerly a Marketing Automation Manager based in Cleveland, OH. Dani provided Marketo expertise and support in everything from implementation through to strategy and execution. Outside of work, you can find Dani playing with her daughter, crafting, or cooking/baking. Read more articles by Danielle Langenderfer.

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