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How to Consolidate Marketo Instances: Managing Acquisitions & Tech Debt


So your company just acquired another company! While the excitement stirs throughout the org and most are excited about the new future, as a Marketing Operations professional, you should know that acquisitions always mean a new project on the roadmap. That project typically begins when your VP or C-Level executive informs you that the acquired company is also using Marketo and you will be meeting with their team to discuss the long-term plan for your tech stacks moving forward.

Regardless if you are acquiring another company or being acquired, the same general discussion around whether to consolidate overlapping tools will begin taking place behind the scenes. The purpose of this article is to discuss the reasons companies choose to consolidate Marketo instances and the benefits of consolidation. It will also cover when a company should consider consolidation of Marketo instances and what actions should be taken by which teams to execute the consolidation.

What are the benefits of consolidating Marketo instances?

There are many benefits of consolidating Marketo instances when an acquisition occurs. These include:

Reduced subscription costs

Less instances typically lead to less costs. While you will likely need a larger database size in your combined Marketo instance, there is usually audience overlap. Managing this overlap in one instance will allow you to save database size costs once the duplicates are eliminated. In addition, with one Marketo instance, you will be able to manage one set of integrations.

Centralized database of contacts

Having one instance will all records in it enables you to better manage communications to your audience. With a consolidated instance, you will be able to control communication limits as well as manage one view of activity and engagement. One instance also simplifies the orchestration of marketing campaigns and nurture emails to contacts when coming from one system.

One system that manages your operational processes

Assuming you are merging your Salesforce instances, having a single Marketo instance to manage operational processes for all records will ensure that your essential processes are consistently applied to all records in your company’s ecosystem. These processes can include, but are not limited to: scoring, lifecycle management, privacy compliance management, marketability management, data standardization and management.

Cross-sell/Upsell Opportunities

With an acquisition, two companies combine their existing customers and prospects. In most cases, companies want to promote their products to this new audience that may not have been exposed to their brand yet. Having all records in a centralized system makes promoting those cross sell/upsell products/services much easier.

Why should companies prioritize consolidation of Marketo instances?

Companies should prioritize consolidation of their Marketo instances because of the benefits listed above. The sooner the consolidation occurs, the sooner the business will reduce costs for tools, have access to new prospect/customer data, and have a consolidated instance managing their emails and operational processes.

When should companies prioritize consolidation?

Companies should prioritize Marketo instance consolidation once the decision to consolidate tech stacks has been made. The Marketo migration should run in tandem with the CRM but the CRM should go live first. It’s important to consider a few things when working through the timeline of the Marketo to Marketo migration:

Contract renewals

Understand when your Marketo contracts renew to ensure you can run both instances as long as needed while the migration is in process – be sure to reach out to your CSM as soon as possible.

Timeline for CRM consolidation/migration

There are several CRM dependencies for Marketo to Marketo migration so it’s important to work with Sales Ops to understand their timeline for the CRM migration/consolidation before you plan the one for Marketo.


A combined Marketo instance will need to work with all web properties being maintained after the acquisition. Be sure to coordinate migration with your web team as well so you don’t have a gap in activity tracking or data capture.

How should companies prepare for instance consolidation?

Once you’ve aligned internally on the order of operations and timelines, putting together a migration plan is the next step. It’s important to outline the milestones, dependencies, and time needed to execute. High-level milestones for a Marketo to Marketo migration project are listed below:

  • Identification of teams/people needed to complete the project
  • Identification of users that will need access to the new Marketo instance
  • An audit of data and fields to identify which are needed in the combined instance
    • We recommend building out a data dictionary
  • An audit of existing assets (landing pages, nurtures and programs) to understand which ones need to be migrated or rebuilt in the combined instance
  • An audit of operational processes to identify which processes will need modifications to account for newly combined data and sales processes
  • Begin modifying, importing or building programs and assets in combined Marketo instance
  • Test and activate programs and assets in the combined instance
  • Ensure form optimization for data capture across all web properties
  • Ensure Munchkin tracking on all web properties using the Munchkin from the combined instance
  • Sync data into combined instance
  • Deactivate instance(s) no longer in use

Who should execute instance consolidation at your company?

Instance consolidation projects typically include the following teams:

Marketing Operations

Primary owners of the migration to ensure all teams are aligned and the project is following the defined plan/timeline.

Business Systems/Sales Operations

Management of data consolidation timeline and execution. This team will also be able to assist with determining how the new records created as part of the migration should be created and treated in the combined instance of Marketo and CRM.


Oversee the consolidated web properties and manage web tracking, and lead intake where appropriate.

External Agency

Provide an opportunity to scale the Marketing Operations team’s efforts.

You may need to involve other teams depending on the components that interact with the respective Marketo instances.


All in all, the decision to consolidate Marketo instances may seem overwhelming, but has many benefits including reduced product/services costs, a centralized database for marketing campaigns and operational processes, and the ability for both businesses to benefit from the extra prospect/customer visibility.

To ensure a successful consolidation, creating a project plan that accurately reflects major milestones is essential, and begins by auditing the amount of effort the consolidation will take. With a solid plan in place and help from other teams that should be involved in the migration (BusOps, SOPs, Web, and an agency to help with labor heavy tasks) you will be on your way to completing a successful Marketo instance consolidation.

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