Top 5 Things That Can Go Wrong During A Marketo Engage Migration

Getting your Adobe Marketo Engage implementation right isn’t always as simple as it sounds. In fact, substantial research has shown that 85% of B2B marketers feel that they’re not using their marketing automation platform to its full potential. 

That’s due to several factors, but unfortunately, many marketers say that the implementation process was more difficult than they ever thought it would be (on top of budget limitations, lack of strategy, etc.). Mistakes are bound to happen, but some of them can be avoided with proper planning and thoughtful execution. It’s important to avoid those mistakes because unsuccessful Marketo Engage implementations can permeate your entire marketing operations and lead to ineffective campaigns, improper funnel management, unclean data, and so much more – basically all the things that lead to not getting a return on your Marketo Engage investment and not generating as much revenue as possible. 

We’ve salvaged Marketo Engage migrations for clients of all types – here are the mistakes that are most typical (and some tips to avoid them). 

5 Common Mistakes with Marketo Migrations

  1. Lack of clear ownership – A successful Marketo Engage implementation involves several moving parts. As you’ll see in tip two below, forming and executing a Marketo Engage strategy shouldn’t be a marketing-only job. However, you do need a “captain” to manage all of those moving parts and coordinate efforts across people and departments. Who is your project manager? That person is where the “buck stops.” They should be responsible for managing deadlines, deliverables, communication with business leadership, etc. Determine this person early on and ensure they have the bandwidth, resources, and support to apply to managing the entire project. 
  1. Treating the migration as a “Marketing only” project – Ideally you will take a top down approach to implementing Marketo Engage or migrating from another platform. That involves getting a core team together (with a dedicated PM), making a business case to company leadership, and then working with champions of any team that marketing automation touches to identify current processes and gaps. In the beginning, you should involve Digital Ops, CRM admins, IT, Content managers, Sales ops, Finance, Training personnel, etc. Any department that will ultimately use or have their day-to-day affected by Marketo Engage should be involved in creating the roadmap you’ll use. We like to say that all internal teams should be in the same boat and rowing eagerly in the same direction. 
  1. Your mapping strategy went wrong (or you didn’t have a clear mapping strategy) – Not having a well-defined mapping strategy means that you might be launching programs, but they won’t be as effective as you need them to be. You need to walk before you can run and proper mapping helps you to do that. Fields are going to differ depending on where you migrate data from. Review your Marketo Engage documentation thoroughly to understand how to map, and don’t be afraid to ask questions of experienced partners that you’re working with. There is no way to map out all future scenarios – some of them you’ll have to develop as they come – but you should ensure any present scenarios are clearly mapped out to create a stronger foundation to launch from. 

At a minimum, you need to:

  • Have a clear understanding of each field that you’ll use for new and current campaigns
  • Map and align the properties, along with their predefined values 
  • Visualize and build the RevOps flow for both Online and Offline sources
  • Plan out the automation and assignment rules
  • Prepare your field names, their values and who should be receiving new information as it comes in

4. Importing messy data  We all know “garbage in, garbage out,” but it can’t be overemphasized how important it is to properly clean your data files before importing them into any new platform. If you have any hopes of using a clean, organized, and effective Marketo Engage platform, then this is an area that cannot be skipped and shouldn’t be rushed. 

Here are a few things to check to ensure data cleanliness from the start: 

  1. Begin by looking for contact and company duplicates
  2. Review unresponsive and bounced or hard-bounced emails (and remove)
  3. Adopt a policy for separating or removing unengaged users
  1. Not hedging against data loss – Data loss is a big deal and could eventually affect the success of your entire marketing automation platform. That’s a main reason why many people fear data migrations in the first place. Do your best to think about potential data loss in advance. Back up data using multiple channels, ensure that any lists you upload are clean, transfer all GDPR subscription information, and start planning for more first-party data collection.  

Tips for Avoiding Costly Mistakes

Implementing Marketo Engage is intimidating for many professionals, because they have heard about how common these mistakes are. However, there are best practices to be aware of that can ensure your organization doesn’t become one of the poor migration statistics. 

  • Long before the migration is underway, determine who will be your “white knight”: the project manager who will lead the initiative and bring together the rest of the team. 
  • Schedule a regular meeting cadence with that PM and the team composed of other department champions, particularly sales, content managers, and IT. 
  • Devote more time than you expect will be necessary to mapping out current workflows and fields. In your project plan, double the amount of time you set aside for this process. 
  • Store data offline multiple times. It’s unlikely that you’ll migrate data all at once, so backup data in chunks several times before migrating. You may even want to set up automated data exports every day. 
  • Carry out spot checks to find issues that can make your system disorganized or sloppy. Perform random searches in your database and kick-off workflows to ensure leads are treated properly and sequences are followed correctly. 

Still feel a little intimidated? One of the best things you can do is trust an experienced partner who can help you to install an impactful Marketo Engage instance. Digital Pi’s Gold Standard provides a signature framework that consists of 12 foundational processes that focus on strategic marketing as well as technical and campaign operational services. Our clients find the Gold Standard integral to the success of adopting and maximizing the capabilities of Marketo Engage. 

Our panel of experts will dive even deeper into these subjects at the upcoming Marketo Engage Top Tips Event. Our experts will cover topics that can help every Marketo Engage user make the most of their investment. Speakers will share the latest insights across strategy, lead nurturing, creative templates, customization, and so much more. 

Your marketing technology experts.

At Digital Pi, we use technology to connect revenue to marketing efforts. We fuse marketing strategies, processes, data and applications to make marketing technology solutions work for clients' businesses.

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