7 Failsafe Strategies for Seamless Marketing Automation Migration

First thing first – have you taken the calculated decision to take the plunge from your existing marketing automation suite? Then, here are some more pointers you need to add to that checklist and consider to strategize seamless marketing automation migration.

Migrating your marketing campaigns including the entire marketing database, intelligence and assets may seem daunting; however, the switch to a new platform becomes inevitable for many reasons. Cost effectiveness, better integration, modification or addition of marketing goals, plans or channels are major deciding factors in determining the switch and selection of the platform. Here we have compiled 10 points that will guide you to foolproof strategies to keep your migration process aligned to your business goals and in smooth transition.

1. Ask questions to evaluate vendors

You have already performed thorough research, calculations and considerations before deciding upon marketing automation platform. So, here is the next step – start talking and asking questions to marketing automation platform vendors to tally the features offered that align with your goals, campaign necessities, and other requirements. Here we have rounded up 12 questions to ask software vendors to help you in your decision making. Make sure to ask them all the same questions to get a detailed comparative view of shortlisted automation platforms.

 
1)   How is the CRM integration – does it support data flow both ways?
2)   Does it support additional tech integration?
3)   How does data transfer take place to and from the marketing automation system
4)   How does the reporting module work? Does it support custom reports export?
5)   How does the software measure campaign performance and success?
6)   What will be the benefits from migrating to this new system from our old platform?
7)   What will be the costs of migration and total use of the automation platform?
8)   How is the technical and customer support of this marketing automation platform?
9)   How do you add new users and assign roles and permission – how is the ease of use of it?
10)   How time consuming is it to set up and migrate to the new automation platform?
11)  Is the platform capable of managing complete buying journey – or does it only records lifecycles of leads and prospects?
12) Can your automation system offer support for mobile marketing efforts?

2.  Keep your business processes updated

 

The span of time spent in marketing automation migration is a good window of opportunity to assess your current marketing initiatives and practices and ponder upon the scope of improvement of your marketing efforts and processes. We recommend that our clients perform a thorough audit of their marketing processes to evaluate what is working and what needs fine tuning and improvements    before the migration process commences. Also, focus on the sales processes, leads lifecycle, pitches, messages, frequency, channels, and other methodologies to standardize best practices. 

3.  Start with migrating the data and insights  

Organizations that are using CRMs like Salesforce are recommended to begin migrating with the CRM data first and foremost to prevent any unforeseen risks of losses in opportunity or revenue generation. Another reason why transition of data to the CRM is favored as it also aid in preserving the valuable insights gathered on contacts, leads, client accounts, marketing campaigns, opportunities created and other intelligence. One of the best methods is to record and import these data points straight to the new marketing automation system and Salesforce CRM. And one approach that companies should avoid while migrating data is to import contact records first into the CRM or the marketing automation system as campaign and revenue data related to those people will not be added. For example, if a company has six renewal opportunities and three won deals which total the value of  $400,000, then, the company could lose that intelligence by performing a straight import and ruin the opportunities for sales professionals who are who is handling tho9se opportunities. Here is a list of items businesses should import one by one while marketing automation migration:

  • Accounts
  • Contacts
  • Leads
  • Products
  • Campaigns
  • Pricebooks
  • Contracts
  • Cases
  • Opportunities
  • Solutions

 

4.  Get ready for extra efforts during merging

Communicating and engaging with people and customers through multiple marketing automation platforms can be dreadful, but such extra efforts are necessary to maintain the engagement rates during migration process. Instead of hurrying the migration and merging process to limit communication process from a single platform, companies move and import data and all components carefully and continue communicating with the prospects and customers throughout the process, from multiple platforms and keep them engaged. Companies should adopt a short-term engagement plan which will take in multiple marketing automation platforms and the CRM in the interim of the migration and adhere to it to prevent risking loss of communication, engagement and potential opportunities in the meanwhile. For example, companies emailing to contacts after the acquisition using two, existing and new automation platforms have to incur additional and often hefty, amount of works, time and costs to consistently shift unsubscribe data from existing to new software. But, this consistency will also ensure marketers that unsubscribed contacts are suppressed from receiving messages again from new systems. At the same times, companies can maintain engagement and relationship with potential prospects and avoid losing opportunities.

5.  Perform comprehensive data audits

One of the biggest parts of marketing automation migration is managing diverse data points. Data produces intelligence that are crucial in every marketing activity and strategy from email communications, customer and prospect engagement, report generation, dashboard, creation and managing opportunities, and other aspects of the business. That’s why it is important to get your data straight and in order before you start with migration process and during the migration.

Here we recommend evaluating data health of your organization by asking these following questions -

  • What steps or actions have you taken to keep your data clean before migration?  You do not want to bring bad data to the new platform. The format of first name should accept values such as “GYKLSWA”, “abc@hgtres.com.” and country values should be consistent such as “USA” or “US”
  • Do you need to move any field – have you mapped those fields during migration? Do you want to map similar fields during merging systems such as, “LeadSource” or “Lead Source”?
  • Do your data points require normalization?  Are your industry field values consistent within two marketing automation systems?
  • Have you considered screening and cleaning duplicate values? Can you ensure that the new data set will merge with correct data points on the new platform?
  • Are the data and records on the Salesforce assigned to the right sales reps?
  • Does your database contain correct unsubscribe and subscription data?
  • Are records in your database syncing seamlessly between the CRM and the marketing automation platform before or during migration?
  • Are all the assets including landing pages, email, forms are able to gather data consistently?

 

6. Consider performance related implications

When your company is dealing with large data points during migration, the marketing performance is likely to get affected a bit. Marketers should ponder and reconsider the impact on both the automation system and marketing efforts during the migration. Organizations deciding marketing strategies on real-time sales data, email messages, need to plan these processes being slowed down. Companies need to adopt plans and set milestones during migration process to alleviate potential performance disruption, manage massive amount of data processing, monitor and track progresses of these milestones during the weekend.

7. Deal with existing marketing intelligence

After your organization has planned to migrate all the data points to a new marketing automation platform, marketers should pay close attention to the marketing intelligence. All your historic marketing intelligence contains valuable insights including website visits, bounce rates, campaign interactions, unsubscribe, link clicks, replies, and other marketing engagement – every company phasing through migration processes needs to keep track of these historic intelligence that are contained in the CRM system. For example, your company has multiple different Google PPC campaigns running in existing system. You can bundle those in a single Google PPC campaign and treat older assets for historic tracking or you may also consider keeping multiple campaigns by backfilling membership to the members’ original engagement. Both the methods have their merits and demerits which you need to consider before you partake during the marketing automation migration.

In addition to these, marketers and companies should get prepared for a multitude of issues: delays in workflow and unwarranted workflow and performance challenges. With that in mind, prep your team well in advance with the guide, solutions, knowledge base and training that will help you curtail probable and unforeseen hiccups, data loss or performance hindrances to perform seamless marketing automation migration.

3 Reasons Marketers Should Focus on Deeper Email Marketing Metrics beyond Open and Clicks

One of the most imprudent decisions email marketers make is relying heavily (or even worse, solely) upon email opens and click rate and skipping deeper parameters that measure ROI. Though open and click metrics are vital parameters to maintain email deliverability, marketers need to look beyond these metrics and take a holistic view on all the metrics and parameters to fathom how campaigns are performing from delivery, visibility, spam complaints, devices being used, revenue per subscribers, email read time, subscriber lifetime and unsubscribe rate, email conversion and many more. Lack of wider perspectives hinders marketers from monitoring, measuring and evaluating effectiveness of email campaigns accurately.

There are several reasons marketers need to widen from vain email metrics to be able to take well-informed decisions to understand how their email subscribers are behaving, their email usage, actions taken, scope of opportunities, sales and many others.

Not worth if it’s not the North Star

One of the most failsafe tricks to select the right set of KPIs for an email campaign is that the chosen metrics should be able to guide marketers in which way to steer their campaigns like a ‘North Star’.  The metrics should be closely tied to the campaign goals and budget, and marketers should not be stuck with other metrics that hardly indicate if emails are meeting the goals. Ideally marketers and brands should evaluate if they are using too many or useless KPIs or if they are goal oriented. The more you focus on all those opens and clicks related metrics, bigger the risks of them fixated on wrong KPIs.

 Over emphasis on vain metrics

We recommend our clients and marketers not stressing on surface or vain metrics such as email opens, web traffic, and email clicks etc., while there are deeper metrics that bind subscription, email content consumption, sales conversions etc. Some companies may claim they do not wish to measure sales or ROI of their email campaigns, however, they do not need to measure ROI or other deeper metrics, why should they focus on clicks or other metrics? Surface metrics often distract marketers from overseeing their actual business and marketing goals and keeping them away from their subscribers’ preferences, uses, actions, experience or their satisfactions. That’s why measuring success of email subject lines by open rates would be an unwise metric decision, since the aim of subject lines is not limited to just getting emails opened, but to engage the right segment of prospects and customers who are interested or willing to spend time in your information or make purchases. Thus, the right audience will be the segment that will be converted and take the intended actions that emails ask or guide them to do. Hence, associating subject line success with the conversions will lead email campaigns toward success and help alleviate bounce rates that clickbait subject lines are most likely to produce.

Inadequate funnel visibility

One of the most prominent research findings from 2018 State of Email Analytics report concluded that funnel visibility into campaign performance starts plummeting after focusing too much on metrics like email opens and email clicks. If the performance starts diminishing after measuring campaigns by some metrics, then how come those metrics become email marketing KPIs? Hence, selecting the right set of metrics which are able to deep scan your email campaigns and can tell the value per subscriber, spam complaint rates, unsubscribe rate, hard bounce and soft bounce rates, new subscriber acquisition, acquisition cost, sales conversion data,  overall email revenue etc. These metrics are usually the ones that brands target to track their next six months or 12 months email campaign performance.

So, are you selecting the right set of email metrics that your email marketing campaigns were actually designed to perform and achieve? Want to know if your email marketing campaigns are aligned to the right side of metrics? We are here to clear the air and make you focus and steer toward the email marketing success. Your small comment below is all we need and to start discussing 1:1. Just write down your email metric dilemma and we will take over from there.

7 Key Takeaways from Marketo Winter ’19 Release Notes

Winter months have been harbinger of good cheers! The winter wind fills the air with fragrance of festivities, feasts, good news and some extra merriment for marketers as we anticipate winter release notes. Now that Marketo has announced its latest Winter 19 Release Note updates, winter has indeed turned extra merrier. So, let us find out what Marketo Winter 19 Release updates have in store for us and dissect how these product updates will impact our upcoming marketing efforts and effectiveness of campaigns.

7 Major takeaways of Marketo Winter 19 Release are

1. Core Platform Enhancements

Key system enhancements introduced in Marketo Winter 19 Release include –

Email CC for Marketo Emails

When you plan for some specific email campaigns that require sending multiple CC recipients, the Marketo’s Email CC is what you have wished for! With this feature update, Marketo allows adding up to five CC recipient addresses to emails to be delivered through its automation suite and it is made available to all Marketo email assets irrespective of the method used for sending the email, whether trigger or batch campaign. Emails sent to CC recipients will deliver the exact copy of the email which is being sent to the main email recipient. And similar to the main email recipients, engagement rates from these CC recipients are also monitored. Marketo users can track basic engagement from these emails such as, email opens, email clicks which are logged under the ‘Marketo Person’, from the “To” line of these mails. However, delivery incidences other than “soft bounce” cannot be logged such as, email sent, email delivered, hard bounce and others. Marketo can CC up to 100k recipients at once.  If the smart list goes beyond the 100k, then user needs to break up the smart list to ensure that every contact in the list receive CC email.

Munchkin v155 Beta Version

Opt-Out Management allows managing opt-outs by tallying the Munchkin tracking cookie domain with the opt-out cookie domain.

API-Only Mode allows Marketo users to now define and decide the time and methods to trace members of the database by using single-page web apps. Users can call web apps as they want to track a webpage visit instead of using Marketo’s automatic tracking.

Domain-Level Decider Parameter is a two-letter domains such as, “website.nz” which will be able to record Marketo activities automatically, without any further setup hassles.

API

Email CC Support for Asset API Marketo – this will come to use in approving, users cloning, and processing emails via the API in order to maintain parity with the UI settings.

Multi-Branding Domain Support for Asset API – With this feature, cloning and approving assets will generate the same output within the UI and API.

2. Account-Based Marketing

Personas are considered excellent means to segment the audience of ABM and engage a specific subcategory of people. Marketo’s ABM introduces this new ABM Persona-Based Segmentation & filtering feature in Winter 19 Release. This segmentation and filtering will help improve personalizing ABM campaigns for specific segment and subset of contacts within named accounts. This Persona feature will also help create job titles and other personas based on segmentation and enable configuring further persona segmentations.

3. Web Personalization

This personalization feature will help Marketo users make use of domains and subdomains more effectively by allowing users to add subdomains to the RTP account settings. Marketo users can manage subdomains of their specific RTP Javascript embedded in their primary domain. We recommend implementing Javascript tag to the subdomains they have added. Adding subdomains to the primary domains can be performed from ‘Account Settings’ options.

4. Marketo Sky

Marketers often point to the Marketo Sky as its one of the latest state-of-the-art experience. Sky is created to design high impacting and engaging campaigns more effectively and faster. The Sky features an astonishing look and feel paired with productivity-improving capacities from the Marketing Nation community. And starting from Marketo Winter 19 Release Notes, the Marketo Sky will feature these additional capabilities:

Improved User Interface:

Marketo Sky is upgraded with new set of look and feel features including new modals, icons, buttons, new color palette that render its striking and functional new design.

Reimagined My Marketo:

This feature will help personalize Marketo experience by adding custom widgets to enable users extracting critical information, updates, and access to the mostly visited areas.

Event-With-Webinar Programs:

The Event-With-Webinar programs will debut in Marketo Sky starting with winter release notes. These programs will also support GoToWebinar functionalities with additional integrations to be established later.

Global Search:

Marketo’s Winter 19 Release Notes are introducing a faster and far improved global search function throughout its platform. The search queries can now be used in all workspaces to look for assets, whether active and archive), campaigns, labels, and programs. Marketo fetch these search results through an overlay, giving the file location to notify where the asset can be found.

Design Studio List Views & Detail Pages:

Marketo users will now benefit from an improved level of organizing capabilities and correctness with Design Studio. The design studio adds a newly improved Design Studio List Viewed and Detail Pages offer searchable and filterable list views landing pages, emails, and forms. The Asset Detail Pages present significant information related to all assets, the programs that are using those assets and the number of snippets the programs use and other factors.

Optional Default Experience:

Marketo users with Admin access or if users provided access by Admins, can now set Sky to be the default experience.

Email Program Usability Enhancements:

Marketo considers parity in Email Program functionality between the new Marketo Sky experience and Lead Management platform.

5. Marketo Mobile Engagement (MME)

Marketo has updated Marketo Mobile Engagement (MME) Software Development Kit (SDK) for Android. The automation platform features upgraded SDK for Android to present users a more improved, stable, state-of-the-art and scalable framework. This new framework consists of new engineering options and enhanced flexibility. Android app developers can now enjoy direct use of Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM) of Google starting with this new improved SDK framework.

6. Marketo Sales Engage

The following features are added to improve sales engagement on Marketo platform.

Salesforce Customization will enable users deleting redundant custom activity fields helping them to set up Sales Engage in their CRM system more proficiently.

Salesforce Custom Profile will now benefit Marketo users with unlimited custom profiles.

Email Service allows Marketo users taking advantage of enhanced email deliverability with added capabilities of connecting to Microsoft Outlook, both via Email Connection tab and Office365. Hence, users can enjoy other additional benefits such as improved bulk email functionality, scheduled email functionality, and reply tracking.

Improved Admin Settings contain two admin pages which are added to customize the Sales Engage instances including –

  • Team Management which supports smooth account set-up process by enabling admin users to edit team access and subscriptions.
  • Salesforce Admin Settings allow users to configure SFDC sync more efficiently than before.

OWA Plugin for Windows is a single add-in that will support all Windows Office365-based clients in Sales Engage that will be available from the Microsoft Store. This plugin will provide additional ability to make use of Live Feed in Outlook.

Activities Pusher helps sync Sales Engage with core Marketo automation platform to source real-time marketing insights.

7. Analytics

Marketo Winter 19 Release will enable users to use Bizible attributes to create custom fields which they can use for dashboard reporting and segmentation. Users will also get benefit of SOC II Type II Certification, a new level of security and privacy certification, that helps build on Type I accreditation.

Do these Marketo Winter 19 Release Notes product updates and improvements augment your campaigns? How do you plan to maximize the benefits of these new and improved features and tools? Share your marketing campaign goals to let us help you amplify the results and give your campaign modern look by making the utmost use of Marketo Winter 19 Release Note feature – let’s start chatting by dropping your comments below.