There are many scenarios where it's beneficial to consolidate marketing automation portals. Some examples include company acquisitions or centralizing marketing efforts and reporting for various divisions or brands. Here are 7 considerations you should address before consolidating multiple marketing automation portals:

1. Take an inventory of all the assets in the portal you are migrating.

To get a full understanding of the level of effort required for a migration, you first need to understand the volume of assets such as templates, emails, landing pages, workflows, lists, forms, campaigns, images, and files that you need to migrate. You may be surprised at all of the assets you have accumulated inside your marketing automation portal. This is a good time to perform some spring cleaning and review which assets you actually need to migrate and which you can archive.

2. When migrating from one platform to another, there are going to be functionality differences.

If a company you acquire uses a different marketing automation platform than your company, there are going to be differences in functionality and how tasks are executed. After you complete your asset inventory, take a good look at the workflows and automation components you plan to migrate. Be sure to identify use cases and tasks that each workflow automates. Depending on the marketing automation platform you’re migrating to, you may have to re-engineer those workflows/automation components to function correctly in your new platform. Make sure you budget the proper time for this review and include stakeholders from both companies. For example, in one system, multiple workflow rules may be used to send autoresponder emails and internal notifications to team members. In the new system, these tasks could be executed via actions tied to forms or through one combined workflow. Having a plan for how you will execute common scenarios in your new platform will save you a lot of time when you start the migration process.

3. Review and compare the lead management processes for each company.

If you are consolidating multiple marketing automation portals, it's important to understand how each company/division/brand manages inbound leads. Can both brands use the same process or are there unique situations that you need to account for? Important considerations include:

  • What data the systems collect
  • How does the system evaluate, score, and prioritize leads
  • What constitutes a marketing qualified lead
  • Which companies are considered target accounts
  • What does the buyer’s journey looks like
  • What notifications or internal alerts do stakeholders need
  • What metrics are tracked

You may find good parallels across both companies/divisions/brands and identify areas where a customized process is needed. This is very important for tracking and reporting as well as defining how you will configure assets and workflows/automation rules mentioned in items 1 and 2.

4. Determine how to handle branding once you combine platforms.

When you combine marketing automation portals, it's important to plan for how you will host and distribute content related to your brands. For example, in an acquisition, you may want to continue to market to prospects under the brand you are acquiring, rather than the brand of your parent company. In that case, you’ll need to make sure you can host emails, landing pages, and related assets separately from the parent brand. One approach our clients have found useful is to create an additional subdomain or an additional root domain to ease your contacts' experience from one brand to the combined brand.

5. Field Mapping and Data Standardization

Similar to your asset inventory, you need to validate objects, fields, and data. A crucial step in the migration process is to create a field mapping document that compares fields, field types, and field values across both marketing automation portals. This will help you identify which fields you need to convert from one field type to another, which fields can share data from both portals, which fields need new values pertinent to the new brand/division, and whether you need to create unique fields for the new brand/division.

Where you can, it's best to have combined fields that all brands/divisions can utilize and limit the number of new fields to only the fields that are important to the brand/division you are migrating. This exercise will pave the way for the data normalization that will need to occur before importing contacts and accounts from the portal you are migrating.

6. Review contacts and accounts across both marketing automation platforms.

It's common to find contact and company data overlaps between the two systems you are consolidating. Compare all contacts and accounts in both platforms to identify which exist in both systems. Once you do this, it's critical to develop a plan for how you'll manage these records through the migration.

For example, say a contact/account is a customer in portal A and only a prospect in portal B. Is that contact/account still a prospect for the parent company? Should that contact receive emails from both brands? Which salesperson should own the relationship going forward? Define not just the data structure, also define the processes that drive these important elements.

7. Review CRM integrations for both portals. 

Do you have a CRM system integrated with either marketing automation portals? Pay attention to fields and data, syncing criteria, lead assignment rules, automation, reports/dashboards, and account, opportunity, and contact ownership. Combining marketing automation portals may impact these components significantly and you’ll need to develop a plan to accommodate leads from the new company/division/brand.

In Summary

Consolidating multiple marketing automation portals is no small task. Proper planning is crucial to a smooth transition. Remember that merging technologies is one part of the project - you also need to build the right processes and train users. Keep your teams informed throughout the process and set expectations to keep last minute emergencies at bay.

Need Help with a Project like this?

Measured Results Marketing has helped numerous companies combine multiple automation platforms. We can help you through every step of the process. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to assist you with your marketing automation or CRM system migration project.