4 Things to Consider Before You Integrate Your CRM with Marketo

Level 10 - Champion Alumni
Level 10 - Champion Alumni

As a Marketo marketing operations professional, nothing is more exciting than beginning the implementation of Marketo with your CRM. Especially if this is your first experience with marketing automation, the temptation to hit the floor running is quite understandable. While it’s tempting to get the green light and begin building your first Marketo assets right away, it’s important to carefully plan this implementation. Based on my experience, here are 4 things to consider before you integrate your CRM with Marketo:


Overlap your email service provider or previous marketing automation platform with the Marketo implementation

Wait, why would I want to pay for an email service provider AND Marketo? Or why would I want to pay for two marketing automation platforms at the same time? From signing a contract with Marketo to being fully implemented to learning the basics yourself, it is going to take several weeks, possibly several months to be fully up and running. In this implementation timeframe, you do not want to halt your current marketing efforts and you do not want to lose what you have currently built elsewhere. Continuing to utilize your email service provider or previous marketing automation platform enables you to go back and forth between the systems so you can reference and rebuild existing programs and assets in your new Marketo instance. Once implementation is live, you’ve been fully trained on Marketo, and you’ve built essential programs and assets, then you can offboard from your email service provider or previous marketing automation platform. I would advise having a one month overlap between your former system and Marketo.


Get other teams involved early

You may not initially realize it as a new user, but with the implementation of marketing automation and well beyond, Marketing will need to collaborate regularly with Business Development, Sales Ops, IT, Web Development, and other teams. While Marketing Ops might spearhead the Marketo implementation, Business Development may own the lead routing process, Sales Ops may own the CRM field sync and mapping, IT may own the tracking code setup, and Web Development may own creating emails and landing pages. To be respectful of their time and to ensure a smooth onboarding, be transparent early in the purchasing and implementation process so these teams are aware of what will be occurring, what will be required on their end, and how much time it may require. Make it easy for them to help you by listing out everything you’ll need from them and what the timeline will look like.


In a perfect world, you would have Business Development, Sales Ops, IT, and Web Development involved in the marketing automation decision-making process. This way they have their voices heard and will be more prepared for what is needed from their teams once you begin implementation. This ensures not only a seamless implementation experience, but your colleagues will appreciate your respect for their time.


Figure out what to include in the CRM & Marketo sync

There are many CRM fields and objects that are vital to your business. Most enable marketing and sales efforts, but many may house information for Customer Success or Finance as well. Therefore, not all will need to be included in the CRM and Marketo sync. In fact, it’s best practice to limit the CRM fields and objects syncing back and forth between the systems. Transferring over unnecessary fields to Marketo will clutter your instance, slow down sync cycles, and you run the risk of accidentally updating incorrect fields. Take the time before you integrate to list out which fields you’ll actually need for marketing purposes. Worst case, if you need access to a specific CRM field you did not include, you can always ask Sales Ops to add that field to the sync cycle. It is also best practice when creating a new field to create it in the CRM and have it sync to Marketo as opposed to creating it in Marketo first and having to create it in the CRM and manually map the fields.


Decide which Marketo assets need to be built first

As I mentioned earlier, it is tempting to begin building new assets right away. However, it is important to first build the existing assets that you may have previously created in another email service provider or marketing automation platform. This ensures current marketing processes are not halted during the implementation. I believe the first assets that should be created are a form for a Contact Us/Product Demo request and a smart campaign to alert Sales to follow-up. You would hate to let a product demo request slip through the cracks because you did not have a process built out yet. Once these current marketing assets and processes are prioritized and re-created in Marketo, then you can take advantage of what else Marketo has to offer.