A step-by-step guide for Mastering Marketo Migration Maze

Marketo migration can seem like a big step, but it’s a step that holds immense potential for your business. Marketo offers a range of tools and features designed to take your marketing and customer engagement to new heights. Whether you are transitioning your business operations, software tools, or digital presence, making the switch requires careful planning and consideration.

In this article, we’ll look at the steps involved in Marketo migration. Whether coming from another marketing platform or starting fresh, understanding the benefits and steps involved can make your migration journey smoother and more rewarding.

A step-by-step guide for Mastering Marketo Migration Maze banner

Steps to perform Marketo migration:

Step 1 - Define Clear Objectives:

Clearly defining your objectives is the starting point when considering Marketo migration. Take the time to figure out what you want to accomplish with this transition. Setting clear goals and expectations will guide your entire migration process, ensuring that every step you take aligns with your desired outcomes. These objectives act as a roadmap, helping you make informed decisions and measure the success of your Marketo migration once it’s complete.

Step 2 - Marketo Migration Audit:

Before performing the Marketo migrating, there are several prerequisites and considerations that you should address to ensure a smooth and successful transition. First, analyze the existing system setup by performing an Entire Instance Audit. Some of the audits to perform before migration include:

1. Data Audit:

Conducting data audit before platform migration is essential as it lays the foundation for a successful and smooth transition. Data audit ensures that the data within your organization’s systems and databases is reliable, consistent, and meets the required standards for effective decision-making, operations, and compliance.

  • Data Cleanliness

Ensure your existing data is accurate, up-to-date, and cleansed of any duplicates or inaccuracies. Doing this will prevent issues and data conflicts during the migration process.

  • Audience Segmentation

Segment your existing contact lists and databases based on relevant criteria. And this will help you target specific groups effectively within Marketo and tailor your marketing campaigns accordingly.

  • Data Mapping

Map the data fields from your current platform to their equivalents in Marketo. Mapping the data ensures a seamless transfer of information without losing essential data points.

2. Content/ Asset Audit:

Review the existing marketing content, such as emails, landing pages, and forms. Determine what content needs to be migrated, updated, or redesigned to align with Marketo’s capabilities and best practices.

3. Integration Audit:

Conducting an integration audit is a crucial step in preparing for a successful migration to Marketo. This process involves a comprehensive review of your current system’s integrations with other tools, platforms, and systems. Moreover, identify all the applications and services connected to your existing platform and assess how they interact with your data and processes. This audit helps ensure that the integrations you rely on will continue to function seamlessly after migration to Marketo.

Evaluate the compatibility of these integrations with Marketo’s capabilities, and prepare a plan to reconfigure, rebuild, or establish new integrations as needed. By conducting a thorough integration audit, you’ll be well-prepared to maintain your interconnected workflows and prevent disruptions as you transition to the Marketo ecosystem.

4. Program Audit:

A program audit is a comprehensive review and evaluation of the marketing programs, campaigns, and initiatives that an organization has implemented. It involves assessing effectiveness, performance, alignment with objectives, and overall health of the programs. The goal is to identify areas of improvement, streamline processes, optimize resources, and ensure the alignment of marketing efforts with the organization’s goals.

Step 3 - Prepare Migration Inventory:

A migration inventory refers to a comprehensive list or record of all the data, content, assets, configurations, and other elements to migrate from one system or platform to another. It’s a detailed inventory that outlines what needs to be transferred during a migration process, whether it’s moving data from one software to another, transitioning to a new platform, or undergoing a system upgrade.

For Marketo migration, create a migration inventory spreadsheet for the following:

  • Data Fields
  • Email Templates
  • Landing Page Templates
  • Campaigns
  • Forms
  • Static Lists
  • Custom Object
  • Understand Lead Scoring Model
  • Dynamic/Smart Lists
  • Integrations
  • Other Functionality

Key points to note before migration:

  • During Marketo migration, prioritize only the most recent and essential assets to move. Avoid moving any old, unused or junk program to the Marketo instance.
  • It’s often more beneficial to spend the money on building a new nurture program than rebuilding an old one.
  • Prioritize the data based on its importance and categorize them as Tier 1 (most important) to Tier 3 (least important).
  • Focus on Data model as it is critical on migrations. Because migrations may happen from other systems having data models that do not exactly match up in a 1:1 fashion with Marketo (for instance, Eloqua may have a ton of Custom Data Object fields embedded across forms everywhere).
  • Run an API call for all the form assets from the old system to capture all the fields in use.
  • Create a mapping spreadsheet that shows both the old and the new fields to finalize the one to use in the new system.
  • Complete the CRM integration before building campaigns, forms, and assets. Otherwise, many fields won’t be available in Marketo and will slow down the build process.

Step 4 - Testing Environment:

Establish a testing environment to validate the migration process before executing it on your live data. Doing this minimizes the risk of errors affecting your active campaigns and contacts. In addition, have a robust backup strategy for your existing data and campaigns. And this ensures that you can restore data if any issues arise during the migration.

Step 5 – Migration to Marketo:

Generally, there are two types of migrations: 

  1. Lift and shifts
  2. Complete overhauls. 

Lift and Shift Migration:

A lift and shift migration, also known as a “lift and transfer” or “lift and move” migration, involves moving an application, system, or workload from one environment to another with minimal changes. The goal is to replicate the existing setup as closely as possible in the new environment.

The primary focus is on transferring the application or system’s code, configurations, and data without making significant modifications to adapt to the new environment’s features or capabilities. This type of migration is often preferred when time is limited or when the existing system works effectively and requires little change. While lift and shift migrations can offer quick deployment, they might not take full advantage of the new environment’s potential benefits.

Complete Overhauls Migration:

Complete overhauls migration, also known as a “replatforming” or “rearchitecture” migration, involves a more comprehensive approach where the existing system is rebuilt or restructured to take full advantage of the capabilities of the new environment.

Instead of simply moving the existing system, this approach often involves redesigning the application or system to leverage new features, functionalities, and technologies offered by the new platform. This type of migration is preferred when there’s an opportunity to enhance performance, scalability, security, and user experience by fully utilizing the capabilities of the new environment. While complete overhauls migrations require more time and effort, they can lead to more optimized and future-proof solutions.

Complete overhauls can be trickier than “lift and shifts” since every field has several overlapping dependencies (forms, Salesforce sync, routing, campaign usage).

Use Case 1 - Siebel to Marketo Migration:


Client A was using Siebel instance for a long time and was executing engagement, Ad hoc, Realtime programs, and direct mail. Now they would like to migrate their marketing activities from Siebel to Marketo. To do so, the leads generated from various sources will sync into Marketo in a defined timeline. The team will then perform the day-to-day campaign execution activities. Let us explore this in detail.

Challenges and Solutions:
  • Challenge 1 – Segmentation:

In this project, consider there are multiple brands with their own segmentation logic and journey. And each journey has several deployments. Here, the leads come from multiple brands, and they must be stored appropriately. 

Proposed solution: To store all this information, either historical or future qualifiers, we may use the custom object. There will 4-5 custom object with brand, survey, and direct mail data. And for segmentation we may use the static list because each segment has different rules and the data we stored in custom objects. Here run a Smart campaign and push the qualified audience to the static list. This list we will use for deployments. 

  • Challenge 2 – Direct Mail:

Direct mail was executed by third party vendor. In addition, the historical data were also available in that platform, and one lead will have multiple entries.

Proposed solution: Use the Custom object to sync all historical data to Marketo through API. With that Custom Object data, we can utilize Marketo filter to pull out the people to include or exclude from the program.

  • Challenge 3 – Engagement Program:

The leads in the middle of the engagement journey need to be continued post-migration.

Proposed solution: Initially, segment leads based on the engagement program rule and add them to a static list. From that list, move the qualified people to the journey. Each program has a respective program name or code. With the help of that information, import the members as program members. Due to this, the nurture stream will skip the qualified people for the current deployment and make them eligible for the rest of the deployments.

Migration Execution:
  • Integration Setup: Configure the necessary integrations between Marketo and other systems to maintain smooth data flow.
  • Data Migration: Transfer cleaned and mapped data from Siebel to Marketo, focusing on maintaining data accuracy and integrity.
  • Content Migration: Move approved content and assets to Marketo, ensuring they are appropriately formatted and optimized for the Marketo platform.


The existing and the new leads will flow in the journey as expected. In addition, careful planning, collaboration, and ongoing optimization paved the way for a rewarding migration experience that yields improved marketing outcomes and sets the stage for continued success.

Use Case 2 - Pardot to Marketo Migration:


Client B wants to migrate from Pardot to Marketo. The main scope of this project is Data Migration, Assets Migration (forms, LP, Email) and New CRM Integration. 

Challenges and Solutions:
  • Challenge 1 – Forms:

The existing system has more than 120 forms, and all are in use on the webpage.

Proposed Solution: Perform Forms Audit and identify the field usage of each form and the webpage URL it is available in. In addition, if the forms have the same fields, then club those forms into a single form.

If multiple forms are clubbed into a single form, it will become tedious to identify the membership of the leads for each page. To overcome this, propose Program attribution for each webpage to get the membership details of the leads filling out the forms.

  • Challenge 2 – Landing pages and Email Template:

The existing platform has multiple layouts of landing pages. 

Proposed Solution: After auditing, use only 6-8 Master Landing page templates that include all column layouts (single column, double column, etc). Another suggestion is to use Landing Page 2.0. This helps to segment the content and customize the page as needed.

Similarly, use only 5-7 Email Master templates with Email Template 2.0 modules for quick email customization.

Migration Execution:
  • CRM Integration Setup: Configure the necessary CRM integrations between Marketo and CRM platform. The process typically involves configuring APIs, mapping data fields, and setting up workflows to ensure a consistent flow of information between the CRM and Marketo.
  • Data Migration: Transfer cleaned and mapped data from Pardot to Marketo, focusing on maintaining data accuracy and integrity.
  • Content Migration: Move approved content and assets to Marketo, ensuring they are appropriately formatted and optimized for the Marketo platform.


The data from Pardot will migrate to Marketo successfully with accurate and relevant information. All form, email, and landing page master templates are migrated to Marketo and ensure that it retains integrity and functionality in the new environment. The new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system integration will establish a unified data ecosystem, enabling streamlined communication and enhancing lead management.

Step 6 - Post-Migration Activities:

Post Marketo migration, verify that all data, content, and integrations function as expected in the live Marketo environment. Address any issues that arise post-migration promptly to minimize disruptions. In addition, continuously monitor the performance of your marketing campaigns, tracking key metrics and adjusting as needed.


To conclude remember that every organization’s migration process may vary based on its unique needs, size, and complexity. Proper planning, thorough testing, and open communication are key to a successful migration to Marketo.

Planning for a Marketo Migration?

Partner with Marmato Digital today! We are here to guide you through a seamless migration process. Say goodbye to complexity and hello to efficiency as we help you transition to Marketo smoothly. Elevate your marketing game today and witness the transformative power of Marketo’s capabilities.

Let’s embark on this journey together – Contact Us now to get started!

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