Essential Steps to Merge Two Marketo Instances Seamlessly

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Level 8 - Community Advisor

Merger or acquisition of any business brings with it new opportunities and risks. You’d need to perform a lot of heavy lifting on your IT infrastructure.


For instance, each company involved in the M&A has its own Marketo instance. So, how would they merge the two?

There are three situations in which you need to merge your Marketo instance:

  • Company A is acquired by company B and hence Company A’s instance merges into company B’s instance or vice versa
  • The child organization instance is merging into the parent organization instance
  • You burn both Marketo instances to the ground and start from scratch

This merger is an intricate process that requires well-defined steps, planning and clear-cut communication about your future goals for a smooth transition.


In this blog post, we’ll talk about the nitty-gritty of how to merge two Marketo instances successfully. So, let’s dive in!


6 Steps to Ensure Successful Merger of Two Marketo Instances


While most marketers might like to take a fresh start as suggested in situation three, the acquired company usually merges with the acquirer. No matter which side of the acquisition you’re on, here are the essential steps you can take to ensure a successful merger of two Marketo instances.



1. Do a Kickoff Meeting: It is one of the most important parts to get started but it is often overlooked. Schedule a kick-off meeting in which you’ll review your existing Marketo instances to determine how similar/different the workflows are. In this meeting, you’ll align your goals and plan everything accordingly. Here are a some key points that you should consider:

  • What are the organization's goals?
  • What is working well, and what is not?
  • Which data matters?
  • How do we want to change?
  • What can go in storage?
  • Do you want to use the parent organization CNAME or want to add your CNAME?
  • Do you want to use the parent company’s domain for emailing or want to go with the old one?
  • Level setting expectations
  • How would the acquired marketing team work?
  • What are current marketing programs?
  • Current nurture system (scoring, MQL, etc)
  • Lead-to-sales flow (tasks, routing, queues, notifications, SLAs)
  • Subscription management and privacy, data hygiene programs
  • How this merger fits with the global (acquirer) workflow
  • Milestones, timeframe, next steps

2. Perform an Audit and Start With the Documentation: After your team agrees to a general project plan in the kickstart meeting, it’s time to assess your target instance. Here are a few points you should consider:

  • Audit current programs, planned initiatives, and paid media
  • Document landing pages, forms, emails, landing page templates, email templates, etc.
  • Document embed ids of Marketo forms used on the website
  • Document all third-party integrations, webhooks in use, workspaces, APIs, LaunchPoint integrations (event adapters, video adapters, etc.), tags and channels in use, custom objects and custom activities, Marketo users, and community users.
  • Field audit and document the custom fields which are only in Marketo and synced with Salesforce
  • Sales fast tracks
  • Perform detailed data health checks, list out segments in use that would be migrated, and document all the static and smart lists
  • Prepare a list of universal tokens or subscriptions (if any)
  • Ensure the campaigns which are in queue do not clash with the go-live date
  • Document reports and subscriptions
  • Audit operations programs

4. Clean Your Database: Cleaning your database should be a top priority. When you clean your database out, be sure to:

  • De-duplicate your leads and contacts as much as you can before migration
  • Decode your CRM administrator’s strategy for managing duplicates records going forward
  • Assess disengaged leads.
  • Remove Bad data
  • Review sync rules
  • Block field updates

Here’s why you need to Invest in your database cleaning. It

  • Allows better segmentation of leads, helping you to focus on sending your message at the right time to the right people
  • Prevents you from sending duplicate emails
  • Effectively removes invaluable and bad leads to stay below pricing thresholds

4. Set Priorities: While merging your two Marketo instances, make sure you define your priorities which can be as:

  • Immediate
  • Necessary
  • Not required

5. Implement Your Plan: Now that you have a plan in place and set your priorities, it’s time to implement your plan. For that, you need to:

  • Establish connectivity between both instances (Raise Marketo Support Ticket for the same)
  • Create new custom fields if required and rename/hide fields that are not required, based on the fields audit
  • Build new tokens and segments if required
  • Create custom objects, webhooks, 3rd party integrations
  • Perform data migration
  • Build email templates, landing page templates, and subscription center
  • Build program templates as per best practices
  • Score new leads and stage new leads in the lifecycle
  • Export database from current Marketo instance and make it import ready for destination instance
  • Export Hard bounced emails list (to re-upload after your sync); pull right before the switch
  • Also, lead activities, campaign results, and program members cannot be migrated. You can export them from old instance and can store inside a data warehouse for future references
  • For data compliance setup (GDPR, CAN-SPAM, CCPA, etc.) check consent management mechanism, unsubscribes, unsubscribe date, and opt-in date
  • Import all the required programs keeping in consideration workspaces and campaign folders
  • Document import success and failures

6. Test and Run: Testing should be performed on assets, programs, lead flow, attribution, and reporting to ensure that everything is in place. For testing, make sure that you have a team of experts that:

  • Verify migrated data
  • Review operational programs and update if necessary
  • Recreate new programs and templates for whom import was failed

Also, to make your Marketo instance merger process is a complete success, you need to define job roles and have skilled people on your side that include:

  • Database administrators
  • Project manager
  • Marketo Operations Expert
  • Front-end developers

Wrapping Up

Merging one Marketo instance with another can be a bit tricky. However, with proper planning and expertise, you can minimize the risks, enhance your business operations, and expand the capabilities of your organization.




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