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How-to: Migration of marketing automation tools

The majority of B2B companies use a marketing automation platform. Most started several years ago, according to research done last year (2021) by Demand Spring. After the first couple of years, marketers evaluate whether the current platform is still suitable, or if they need to consider migrating to another platform. If you have decided on the migration path, this post is a must-read for you.

Step 1: Select the right marketing automation software

When you’ve decided that your current platform should be replaced, you will want to take these factors into consideration:

  1. Goals: what goals (or KPIs) do you and your organization want to achieve with the marketing automation platform?
  2. Team: How is your team built? Do you have dedicated professionals or generalists?
  3. Budget: What is your budget for the software licenses, migration, support and professional services?
  4. Integrations: How well does the platform integrate into the other tools in your martech stack?
  5. Preferences: Which features are crucial for your organization?
  6. Type of company: B2C or B2B? SME or Enterprise?
  7. Expectations: What are your expectations of the platform?

Based on the criteria above, you’ll have a choice between best-of-breed and all-in-one platforms. We’ve recorded a complementary podcast on this topic:


Step 2: Preparation phase and KPI setting

In this step, you’ll define the team that will be managing the migration and you’ll have to set KPIs for the new platform and the migration. Of course, these will be marketing KPI’s but a variety of other metrics can be used and they might include timing, financial results, and better time-to-market.

Step 3: Evaluate your current results and campaigns

Next, you’re going to find out which current campaigns are delivering the results you want. These are the campaigns and flows that you want to migrate or copy into the new platform. Examples could be lead nurturing flows, best-performing email templates, lead scoring models, reporting and revenue attribution models.

Step 4: Planning your marketing automation migration

A migration will typically take anywhere between 4 and 12 weeks. Ensure you have backward planning, usually based on the renewal (or cancel) date of your current solution. You should start migrating at least 3 months before your current solution is planned to sunset.

We typically use a Plan – Build – Execute methodology in which we plan the different steps. During the Plan-phase you’ll plan the work and migration, the Build Phase is the actual migration (below) and the Execute Phase is the go-live moment, followed by ongoing support.

Step 5: The actual migration from existing to new marketing automation platform

The actual migration typically has 2 stages: the technical stage and the launch stage. Below you’ll find the typical steps that are included in each stage.

Stage 1: Technical migration

  • The technical set-up of the new platform
  • Integrate your new platform into your CRM
  • Data & content export and import (check also this article)
  • Templating: email creation, form creation & implementing
  • Subscription/unsubscribe manager
  • Training

Stage 2: Launch of your new platform

  • Strategy sessions and formulation
  • Nurturing flows
  • Set-up of the reporting (we recommend using a real-time dashboard)
  • Support

 

Warning: migrating marketing automation platforms can be costly!

Don’t think too lightly about migrating your marketing automation platform. It’s not as easy as just copy-pasting your assets from one system to another. As you have seen above, you need to plan carefully and make sure to take the right steps at the right moment. Even when you take the steps above into account, the migration of one marketing automation platform to another will require a substantial investment.

Need help in marketing automation platform migration?

It’s our job to help B2B marketers successfully use their marketing automation platform. We implement, integrate, and migrate all kinds of platforms, and have experience in the following platform migrations:

Go ahead and plan a discovery call with us to discuss your specific migration demands:


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