Over the past few years, we’ve worked with several clients who are either switching to Marketo from another marketing automation platform, or who work at a company that has been acquired by a company that uses Marketo as their marketing automation platform.
We’ve noticed a common theme when first meeting with these clients--the task of moving to a new Marketo instance seems overwhelming and they aren’t sure where to begin. While the thought of a migration is enough to make the best of us want to run for the hills, with some planning and prep work, a Marketo migration can go from a daunting task to a positive experience.
So, where do you begin?
Define the Scope -
A good place to start is to define the scope of your migration project. Will you hire a consultant to help with the project? If so, it’s important to determine your budget, how many hours will you budget for their work? Are there items that can be completed internally to conserve your budget?
Next, create a timeline that includes key dates and important milestones. When does your contract for your current marketing automation platform expire? For example, what is the targeted go-live date for your new Marketo instance or, if applicable, when will your CRM be configured/integrated with Marketo?
Consider any Dependencies -
Be sure to consider any dependencies – what items need to be completed before you can begin migrating items into your Marketo instance? New email and landing page templates may need to be built before you can recreate your email and landing page assets. Will you need the help from other departments, such as IT, to assist you? Be sure to make key stakeholders aware of your migration timeline and to allow plenty of time for their work to be completed.
Remember, Details Matter -
Once your project scope is defined, you’ll need to focus on the finer details and technical requirements. Inventory EVERYTHING in your current marketing automation platform. This includes all design assets (emails, landing pages, forms, images), programs, lists and program membership. Once your inventory is complete, rank items in order of importance – ‘Must Have on Go-Live’, ‘Nice to Have’, and ‘Not Needed.’ Items labeled as ‘Must Have on Go-Live’ should be focused on first and should be configured and tested in your Marketo instance prior to the Go-Live Date. Examples of ‘Must Have’ items are templates, web forms, web tracking programs and their associated follow-up emails.
Consider Timing -
Depending on the timing of your project, your ‘Nice to Have’ items can be migrated over after the new Marketo instance is up and running. As you determine your priority items, think about ‘starting fresh’ and only bring over the items that you’ll need to work with moving forward. Your first instinct might be to bring everything over, but realistically do you need that webinar invite from 2015 or that old holiday email? Probably not.
Engage Key Stakeholder Teams -
It’s important to define technical requirements early on during your planning stage as well. While completing your inventory, you can begin engaging the other teams that will assist with your migration, as their tasks can take time to complete. Many of these tasks can be completed simultaneously, so it is best to reach out to your key stakeholders as early as possible.
Engage your IT team and begin the process to configure the backend set-up for your new Marketo instance (CNAME and SPF/DKIM configuration). Align with your CRM team to determine a data migration strategy. Perform an audit of your database fields and map the fields that you’ll need to your CRM.
Keep It Clean -
Consider cleaning/standardizing your data prior to migrating it over to Marketo. Look to only migrate active leads, remove bad data (invalid emails, opt-outs), and be sure to bring over operational data such as GDPR/CASL data points. At this time, you can also engage your Web team to add Marketo’s Munchkin tracking to your website and develop a plan for implementing new forms on your website. If possible, look to simplify your web forms by adopting a global form strategy. If you have any landing pages that aren’t being migrated over to your new Marketo instance, you can save time by working with your web team to redirect them.
Stay Organized -
Once your plans are in place you can begin building the items that were identified as ‘Must Have on Go-Live’ when you completed your inventory. To keep your new instance organized, we recommend developing a naming convention for all of your programs, campaigns and assets. Make sure that the naming convention is documented and shared with any team members who will be assisting with the migration or working in the Marketo instance going forward.
A Program Template Library is a good place to start, having templates that can be cloned is a great way to ensure that your instance remains organized and that the naming convention is adhered to. All infrastructure items, such as channels, operational programs (lifecycle, scoring, sourcing), data standardization programs, web form tracking programs, landing pages, forms and sync with your CRM should be configured.
Prior to your Go-Live date, be sure to review and QA all of the assets that have been built. It is imperative that you test all of the programs, forms, landing pages and emails that were built to ensure that they are working as expected. Once tested, activate your new marketing programs and don’t overlook one final step. Give yourself and your team a high five and celebrate a job well done. Migrations aren’t always easy, and there might have been a few bumps along the way, but you made it!
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