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:
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”, “firstname.lastname@example.org.” 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.