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Considering MAP Migration: Costs and Risks

April 21, 2016 | By Laura Cross

  • Cost/benefit analyses for software migration often focus solely on the cost of the new acquisition, missing indirect costs and the element of risk
  • Consider four key factors when assessing the true cost of marketing automation platform (MAP) migration
  • The viability of a MAP migration project should be decided on the basis of costs and risks

This is the second in a series of blog posts on marketing automation platform (MAP) migration. The first blog post focused on the top considerations and common mistakes organizations make when considering migration from one MAP to another.

MAP Migration Costs Risks

B-to-b organizations often migrate from one MAP to another without understanding all the direct and indirect costs. The risks associated with MAP migration often are overlooked as well, in favor of a focus on reducing the cost of the software contract alone.

Evaluating the costs and risks of a potential MAP migration using the criteria below will give the organization a thorough, realistic view of the true cost of the project. The results provide the insight to develop strategies for justifying the migration or staying with the existing solution.

Take a structured approach that weighs these four key factors:

  • Direct costs. These include the vendor selection process, system implementation and integration, running parallel systems, data, process, content, reports and program migration, as well as product and process training. For organizations without the internal bandwidth or expertise to perform the tasks associated with migration, direct costs include the agency or consultant supporting migration efforts.
  • Indirect costs. These include lost output and lack of focus on improvement, as well as the costs associated with new process creation and change management. Often these costs are directly related to MAP migration. Like direct costs, they can be variable by hours spent per team member, or they can be a fixed amount. Because these costs typically involve multiple activities, they cannot be allocated completely to the migration project.
  • Internal risks. These risks are easy to identify, but often hard to quantify. They include a pause or regression in MAP maturity; process interruption; loss of data, reports and comparable benchmarks; business disruption; a potential change in culture and expectations; and risks associated with legal regulations and brand compliance.
  • External risks. These risks are difficult to predict and control, and may have a direct impact on the project’s effectiveness. Because the risks are difficult to foresee, they often are not planned for and take the team by surprise. Before any MAP migration project, external risks should be assessed, and the team should be prepared for them. Moving to a new MAP means the organization is starting over with a new database. The organization’s deliverability history will be interrupted, contact preferences and permissions must be migrated and upheld, and the organization will not retain the engagement activity history – all of which may contribute to a disrupted buyer experience.

Once the organization assesses these key factors, the project should be placed into one of four quadrants of the SiriusDecisions MAP Migration Analysis Model: low risk/low cost, high cost/low risk, high cost/high risk or high risk/low cost. The organization can then determine the viability of the MAP migration project on the basis of the quadrant into which the project fits.

Laura Cross

Laura is a results-oriented marketing professional with more than 15 years of experience in strategic planning, demand creation, marketing operations and public relations. She understands demand creation for b-to-b companies and is passionate about companies with complex business models, especially those that sell to – and through – a channel.