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.

7 Tips for migrating to Marketo marketing automation

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.