The Plantronics acquisition of Polycom brought together two talented and experienced marketing teams — each with a nuanced structure and operations. As Plantronics + Polycom became Poly, the combined marketing team realized that it would need to look different in form and function from either of their originating teams.
The complexities of the marketing teams merging were not unlike those faced when merging marketing automation platforms. While trying to organize their own infrastructure, Marketing also faced the challenge of merging two legacy marketing automation platforms; Plantronics was running a seven-year-old decentralized instance of Marketo Engage, while Eloqua was running a nine-year-old centralized Eloqua instance. Each system came with technical and creative debt meaning merging them would be a large undertaking. Ultimately, the team decided that the best way to move forward would be to start fresh and bring the best of both into a new instance. Fortunately, the combined team had experience in both Marketo Engage and Eloqua — and both would be able to offer a valuable perspective on choosing a new marketing automation platform.
One final challenge Poly faced was the migration needed to occur while the Poly team was still defining itself. Many potential partners offered in-depth discovery sessions, basing their Marketo Engage recommendations on the needs of an established marketing team. Poly, however, would need a solution that could stand on its own, without this sort of input.
To make the decision on which platform would be best, Marketing formed a decision committee from both Eloqua and Marketo Engage users. Headed by AJ Sedlak, Senior Manager of Marketing Technology and Automation, the team discussed pros and cons of each system, even generating scorecards with “needs” and “nice to haves” for the platforms considered. Marketo Engage initially took the edge when the team discussed the benefits of its superior integration with Salesforce.
In the end, the team decided that Marketo Engage would be best for their long-term strategy and growth.
Once the decision had been made, Poly needed a partner to take on this challenge and execute their new strategy. Digital Pi’s Gold Standard was different from other solutions in that it did not assume or depend fundamentally on a pre-existing Marketing team structure or function. It was instead built on Marketo Engage best practice. Further, the Digital Pi team was aware of the strengths and limitations of both Eloqua and Marketo Engage, and therefore was able to help shift the mindset of Sedlak and other teammates who had previously worked only in Eloqua.
To execute, Sedlak formed a migration team, independent of his production team, which allowed the legacy systems to keep running even as the new Marketo Engage system was being configured and tested. Reflecting on this, Sedlak noted, “You have to be realistic about your resources. You can’t build a whole new system out with the same team who is running your production. Your production will drop, and you’re significantly delaying the live date of your new system.”
During the migration, Digital Pi helped to configure numerous Marketo Engage initiatives including:
- Helping strategize on migration decisions to set best practices
- Rebuilding branded designs using Digital Pi’s “FLEX” template systems for emails and landing pages
- Resetting all lead scoring and activity records
- Recreating necessary operational programs and live drip campaigns Replacing “evergreen” web forms
To execute, Poly’s migration team consisted of marketing intelligence, sales operations, and the Digital Pi team. These teams worked collaboratively to complete the initial Marketo Engage setup and drop the legacy systems in just 90 days.
“After our new Marketo instance was live, we saw immediate results,” said Sedlak. “Our production efficiencies were huge.” Using Global Forms in Marketo Engage, combined with a more extensive use of tokens, marketing operators could create a single form and post it to the site which could instantly translate to Chinese, German, French, and many other languages. In total, the MOps team, who had been running double production under the legacy systems, was able to reduce their project effort by 66% over 900+ projects annually.
Finally, Digital Pi implemented best-practice use of program statuses and new program member fields to provide improved lead insight. This contributed to improved lifecycle monitoring that better aligned with the sales funnel – creating a consistent language between Sales and Marketing. This tighter alignment positioned Marketing for better nurture, targeting engaged leads even before reaching MQL, driving about $3 million in incremental sales pipeline in about six months.
Why Digital Pi?
Due to their circumstances, Poly needed a partner that could work with a marketing program that was still “under construction.” Sedlak and team found that Digital Pi’s Gold Standard offered a proven, strong framework that could be built from the ground up. Additionally, the Digital Pi team took the time to educate Sedlak’s team on the “why” of each
Marketo Engage configuration during the migration; this was especially necessary for those teammates who formerly operated in Eloqua. Finally, Digital Pi provided both the plan and the means for execution, so Poly was able to keep their production team focused on keeping the business running while migration was happening in the background. Digital Pi met Poly where they were at and created a best practice foundation in Marketo Engage for the Poly team to grow and evolve with.