Change is never easy, and changing marketing automation systems has the perception of being exceptionally difficult. Still, SiriusDecisions reports that every year nearly 10% of B2B organizations that currently have a marketing automation platform plan to switch to a new vendor.
There can be a lot of reasons to switch. Whether it is to save money or because of an integration issue, sometimes the best answer is to cut your losses and change platforms. It is easy to find yourself caught up in the hype of marketing automation to a point where you are lured in to paying over $1,000 a month or more on a platform that doesn’t even fulfill your needs. But, that doesn’t mean you have to continue with that system.
Marketing automation has the power to provide a substantial ROI, which is why 79% of the best marketers have already been using marketing automaton for years. However, with hundreds of marketing automation systems to choose from, selecting the ideal platform for your organization requires a deep understanding of your desired outcomes and requirements when using the system.
Switching is not easy, but following these seven steps will help make your transition as smooth as possible.
- Understand The Need
Sometimes the grass is not actually greener. Understanding your company's unique requirements is always our top priority. Is your current system lacking necessary features or is it too complex to fully utilize? Understanding your actual needs will help determine whether a switch to a new marketing automation platform is the answer, or if an improvement to the existing strategy will be more beneficial.
- Understand Your Goals
Understanding what you are trying to achieve with your marketing automation plan will allow you to evaluate vendors more effectively. While many platforms offer the same features, small differences can end up being deal breakers if they affect critical components of your business. For many companies, an improved integration between their existing (or newly implemented) CRM and marketing automation platform plays a critical step in system selection. This is especially true with platforms like HubSpot and Pardot focusing more on their own CRM offerings (HubSpot CRM and Salesforce) and discontinuing the native integration of other top CRMs (Microsoft Dynamics, NetSuite, SugarCRM, etc.).
- Assess Your Inventory
This step will allow you to determine exactly what you have and what you want to bring over to the new system. By mapping out your workflows, landing pages, forms, content, files and email templates you can clean out the old outdated information and improve where necessary. The easiest way to do this is by setting up a spreadsheet to track every step. When your lead generation efforts rely heavily on your existing system, losing any assets can be devastating. This systematic assessment of what you have and will need help ensures that isn’t anything slipping through the cracks.
- Export Your Assets
After assessing and defining your needs, goals and taking inventory of your existing assets you will need to export everything from your current platform. This includes the HTML files for your email templates and landing pages, as well as your database (contacts) and media files. We recommend storing this information as a local file or in a cloud based storage system independent of your marketing automation systems as backup during migration.
Not everything will transfer seamlessly. While most marketing automation systems will allow you to export and import the raw HTML for landing pages and email templates, we recommend using the builders offered in your new platform. This will allow you take advantage of the advanced features like dynamic content, improved analytics and mobile-responsive design. Also, will not have to worry about pasting in an old URL path to an image hosted on your previous system that will break when it is shut down.
Automated programs will also need to be rebuilt based on their new entry points and updated workflows (provided you took the time to find areas for improvement in step 3).
Even when you plan everything, you may still encounter problems. Always test the new system before you turn off your old one, otherwise, you risk missing valuable leads and potentially hurting your brands reputation.
- Optimize Your New System
Don’t let the word automation fool you. These systems shouldn’t just sit here and automatically run without you. Optimizing a marketing automation system means analyzing the data to find out what is working and what you can improve. Modern platforms allow for A/B and multivariate testing as well as track your leads on multiple channels, providing you with detailed insight into the effectiveness of your marketing strategy.
At Foremost Media, we not only help clients choose the best marketing automation system for their business, but we also help them migrate from existing platforms that are wasting their valuable resources. Few people look forward to migrating marketing automation systems, but with thorough planning you can keep everything running smoothly. We understand what is required to switch and how to get the most out of the top platforms to help your business reap the rewards and move ahead of your competition.
Contact us today to learn how we can help you make the switch and improve your marketing efforts and your bottom line at the same time.
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