martech migration

According to the latest research from our 2020 State of Martech survey, we know that at any one time over 68% of marketers are not happy with their martech stack, and that 57% of marketers believe they will be changing martech platform over the next few years.

These are quite shocking statistics.

The disruption to marketing operations as a result of undergoing a platform migration can be huge. A stall in campaign execution, the time required to re-train skills, and financial expense are three reasons why marketers may not choose to migrate. But despite this impact on Marketing, clearly there is significant appetite for change.

In this article we explore the top reasons we see marketers looking to migrate. Spoiler alert, it is not all about platform features…

1) Current platform has lost credibility in the business

The perception from the business is that the martech platform is not solving a business challenge that was initially intended. This can significantly harm Marketing's ability to get the necessary investment in martech or campaigns.

What are the signs?

  • Grumblings about the platform are common in cross-department meetings.
  • Reports and metrics produced by the platform aren’t trusted and are not used to drive business decisions.

The perception of the technology may also be impacting the how the rest of the business view the Marketing department too. To change this perception, a change in martech platform is sometimes the only option.

2) Marketing team have inherited a mess

A new Marketing team often inherit a pre-existing marketing technology environment. If the technology and process had been defined to solve historic problems without documentation, it can be chaotic and difficult to understand without that context. Often, the complexity of the platform can become paralysing because of the assumption that everything must be in place for a reason. This can prevent the technology from being developed and aligning it to current business needs. A migration may offer an opportunity to rebuild your martech stack for the present and future.

What are the signs?

  • Questions such as “why was this created this way?” and “does anyone know if this will break anything if I turn it off?”
  • Simple changes can require hours of analysis to understand the potential impacts.

3) Need a platform that integrates better with the rest of the martech spine/stack

Connection and integration are central to our philosophy at Clevertouch; and ensuring that your marketing technology platforms integrate as part of a core spine of technologies is critical for success. Data needs to be connected to enable reporting and analysis, but it also needs to be actionable. Can an interaction in one platform trigger the right engagement in another? A coherent strategy for your Martech Spine™ is critical for successful businesses and if you have components that are not talking, then it’s worth considering migrating to one that does.

What are the signs?

  • Data is siloed and with no way to share information to a central data source of truth.
  • Many features feel like they were designed to integrate with the vendors other products, not the ones you use.martech migration elephants

4) Current platform was purchased by IT, not marketing.

A big issue we see is IT purchasing marketing technology on Marketing’s behalf, without any true understanding of the challenges Marketing are trying to solve. Typically, this is part of a wider IT contract with a preferred vendor where the marketing technology can be thrown in as a ‘sweetener’. Marketing then need to pick up the pieces and make a platform work that they didn’t choose!

What are the signs?

  • IT purchased platform with little or no input from Marketing.
  • IT still owns a lot of the platform processes and will not give control to Marketing.

5) Existing marketing technology is not fit for the future

Your current platform was capable of fulfilling Marketing’s goals and objectives, but you’ve become more ambitious and want to push beyond the boundaries of what is possible in the current platform. Both organisations and platforms change over time and the alignment between the two can diverge. It is important to be realistic about whether your martech environment is right for the long term, and the longer you stick with an unsuitable platform, the harder (and more expensive) it is when you inevitably need to move.

What are the signs?

  • Seeing exciting things by others that you want to implement to improve Marketing but are limited by the functionality of your martech.
  • Your current platform cannot scale with your business to support new teams or geographies.

6) Company has been acquired or has acquired another business

The drivers of a merger or acquisition often involve increased efficiencies and unlock synergies. A consolidation of marketing technology can be a key step in delivering both. After a period of analysis, a common strategy should be developed to standardise on a given set of technology and processes.

What are the signs?

  • The business is asking Marketing to unlock cross-sell opportunities between merged businesses.
  • Legacy systems from acquisitions still linger and are used in some capacity across the business.martech migration buffalo

7) Martech vendor has changed strategy

Marketers may have bought into a marketing technology platform’s vision for the future, be it their ethos or their platform roadmap – if this changes then it may no longer align to their use case. Acquisitions are rife in the marketing technology landscape and can alter a vendor’s strategy quite dramatically when acquired, especially by a larger incumbent.

What are the signs?

  • Changes to product roadmap that no longer align with your future vision for Marketing
  • Lack of investment from vendor in the platform and user community

8) A need to drive out platform complexity

Over time, your existing marketing technology platform may have become over-complex to the point of no-return. This can also lead to time and resource intensive training to upskill staff to use the platform.

The only way back is a new instance of the existing platform or a complete transition to a new vendor.

What are the signs? 

  • Fulfilling basic marketing tasks in the platform is too time consuming.
  • Takes too long to train new staff members on the platform.

Perhaps a few of those reasons resonated with you, but whatever the reason that you’re considering a migration, recognise that it is more than just a ‘rip and replace’ exercise. There are challenges which include time, resource and the impact on Marketing’s business as usual, but sometimes the problems of not migrating are bigger than undergoing that change.

If you are in the process of migrating marketing technology platform, why not download this helpful migration checklist to ensure you have everything lined up ready for a successful transition.