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.

7 Tips for Hassle-free & Successful Migration to the Marketo Marketing Automation Platform

It’s been a big decision, full of analysis and also some tensions – but now that your migration to Marketo is finalized – what’s next?

Migration to a new marketing automation platform from another can be a daunting task, especially if you’ve got a large number of assets already created, including emails, and contact details, and especially those that are already involved with programs or campaigns.

Our clients who are looking for migration assistance at ShowMeLeads are often apprehensive about issues and risks of errors, duplication or missed data in the process of migration. There are, after all, movements of assets, data, and reporting on campaign progress. In the midst of all these concerns, there are ways to simplify and streamline the process of migrating to the Marketo platform with minimum hassles and errors.

If you’re thinking of (or if you have a need of) migrating to Marketo, here the following may give you a kind of ‘things to do’ list to help make that process more successful for you [and you can thank us later :-)].

1. Data collection

Begin the Marketo migration process by collecting data on just about everything, to make sure you avoid the risks of retracing to the former marketing automation platform and spending considerable amount of time later in order to make plenty of small changes while you are building on the new platform after migration.

In the data collection process, you should take an inventory of everything, especially your creative assets such as images, videos, PDF documents, and any external items added to the database. Then collect information on all your forms, templates of landing pages and landing pages themselves, plus templates of all your emails and other email assets.

After you have done all of this logging of assets, next you need to focus on programs – in this case, we recommend that marketers start with stocking up all the marketing programs while keeping a spreadsheet of all the smart lists and flows that your program impacts the most. While documenting, create a separate tab in the sheet for complex nurture programs. After logging these, you also need to take in your operational programs (e.g. all the data management and lead scoring pro) into the inventory.

2. Data auditing

The data in a migration plays crucial roles since all the programs, emails, reports, engagement, communications, sales opportunities, and other areas. That’s why it is important to ensure your data is in good condition. After thorough collection of all the data, assets and templates, the next step would be auditing data in the process of migrating to the Marketo platform.

There are several things to keep in mind in this audit. First of all, make sure the data is clean and getting rid of bad data before the migration starts. You also need to check to see if the data requires normalization, and if the data is consistent throughout the database (fields such as country, city, and state values must be consistent, for example).

Also, to avoid data issues, you need to check if the database is fetching similar fields while switching to the new platform. Another important area of data auditing needs that your attention is that there are no duplicate data and that the new data get merged with the correct set of records on the receiving side. You also need to take care of how the data collected by forms and landing pages and if all the data is getting synced between Marketo and the CRM system while migration.

3. Update processes

Take this opportunity to evaluate your processes with data and marketing programs while you are switching from one marketing automation platform. Weigh your existing business processes, initiatives and practices to audit and measure strategies that are working for you and what not to optimize your marketing efforts during the migrating process. At the end of the evaluation process, you can come up with more effective marketing and sales processes, offers and content, lead generation strategies to engage your prospects and customers and improve your revenues against budget of migrating to a new platform.

4. Simplified naming convention

The naming convention is fundamental in order to simplify the process of migration to the Marketo platform. Apart from the migration process, the naming convention also helps marketers who are starting with a new marketing automation platform to have a clear and easy to relate names, making users more efficient and ensuring every user on the platform follows the naming practices.

5. Redirects

Many of our clients have loads of landing pages which are required to get redirected when they are migrating to Marketo. The first thing is to get a list of landing pages ready and incorporating that into the tab of landing pages of your Marketo migration sheet. Once this is ready, your technical team will have the list of pages for redirects and get it running efficiently in ways that make unlikely the risk of “404 error” error message popping up in the marketing operations.

6. Test everything

A/B testing is an inevitable part of the migration process. Make sure you start the testing process before you start migrating to the new Marketo platform. You can start testing all the links of landing pages, forms, make sample of all emails and test all of those and then, you need to audit all the programs. This testing process needs to be thoroughly planned and executed so that you do not miss anything left to be tested before you migrate. For some marketers and businesses, this phase might run a bit longer, maybe as much as a week or a couple of months depending on the volume of assets and programs you are migrating.

7. Extra marketing efforts

Before your new Marketo instance is up and running, communicating with your prospects and customers from two different marketing automation platforms can be difficult. For this, you need to have ready a short-term communication plan that may require you to communicate with your targeted audience through both the marketing automation systems.

Though this communication process will take a little more hassling and tedious, but this is necessary to keep the glow of communication consistent with their targeted audience. But, even though you are sending messages from two systems, your audience should not receive duplicate messages or they will report you as spam or unsubscribe from your campaign. That’s why you need to create a process that will prevent your prospects and customers from receiving duplicate messages from two different marketing automation platforms.

Apart from these heavy-lifting steps to be taken, businesses should not forget to prep the entire organization and activities for the probable bumpy roads ahead –

  • Make sure you do not forget internal communications to keep your employees updated of probable issues which may emerge while merging data. They must be well aware of the possible errors and problems that may occur with the bumpy road ahead such as, false notification of alerts, issues with assigning leads among others.
  • While migrating to the Marketo platform, especially merging a large amount of data may affect your marketing performance. You need to take an estimation of how the merging process may impact the performance of the system during migration. For example, if your business heavily relies upon the scheduled email messages or real-time sales alerts, expect these processes to get a serious hit by the migration process temporarily.
  • You need to pinpoint the possible risk areas and breakage points in the flow of marketing well in advance before commencing to the whole switching process. We advise cross-checking all the nooks especially risks of unwanted triggering of lead scoring process, CRM queues which sales reps rely upon, the hit on dashboards and reports, notification process to alert addition of new records, overall impact on the Marketo ecosystem etc.

Do these items help in identifying and fixing issues that can help you to get through your Marketo migration process with less hassles and pain? In addition to these practical tips and tricks, if you need to reach out to Marketo Certified professionals to get hands-on technical assistance in migrating your marketing process to the Marketo platform – you can simply reach us at (408) 502 6765 or DM (chat with) us via Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn – to get customized migration solution for your business.