Your Guide to Migrating Customer Engagement Data

By Hannah Wilson

Published on 20 Dec, 2023

Investing in new technology can offer new and innovative solutions, increase efficiency, and provide valuable insights into your customers. However, this pursuit of progress often comes at the cost of retiring existing technologies, a process that brings a slew of challenges such as retraining teams, migrating data, new integrations, and adjusting operational processes. Marketers must carefully navigate this dynamic landscape, weighing the benefits of adopting cutting-edge technologies against the disruptions caused by the deprecation of familiar tools. 

One dilemma our clients are often faced with is how much of the data within existing tools is needed as they migrate to a new tool. Some data may be outdated or need to be deprioritized in favor of more relevant information, and it’s critical to understand what’s needed ahead of your tech transition.

In this article, we’ll focus specifically on how to best manage the deprecation of technology while retaining your critical customer data.

When To Deprecate A Tool

Deciding when to deprecate a tool is a strategic decision that must be made carefully and is aligned to your company’s evolving goals. Here are some scenarios in which deprecating a tool is recommended:

  • Outdated or inefficient technology: Sometimes, our tech doesn’t evolve as fast as we’d like it to or there are better ways to solve your problem.
  • Lack of integrations: If your current martech tools do not integrate well with each other or with other systems in your organization, it may hinder collaboration and data sharing.
  • Evolving business goals: If your current technology cannot support your evolving business and marketing objectives, it might be time to consider alternatives.
  • Lack of ROI: If certain tools are not providing a positive ROI or contributing significantly to your marketing efforts, it may be cost-effective to deprecate them.
  • Security concerns: If there are security concerns with your current technology, it’s crucial to address them promptly to avoid potential data breaches.
  • Scalability problems: If your business has grown significantly, your martech stack should be scalable to accommodate increased demands. If your stack isn’t keeping up, it’s time to switch to something that will.
  • Employee feedback: Gather feedback from your power users regarding usability. If feedback is overwhelmingly negative, keep your team happy by finding something that’s better suited to their use cases.
  • New and innovative technologies: Every year, new tools are introduced in the market. If there’s one that has a competitive advantage and is innovative, it may be worth exploring.
  • Cost: Evaluate the overall cost of maintaining your current martech stack versus the potential cost savings and benefits of adopting new technologies. Sometimes, the cost of upgrading may be justified by the long-term gains.

Data Transfer Considerations

If you’ve decided it’s time to move onto a new platform, it’s important to discuss and granularly place the process for data migration to the new tool. Sometimes, it’s an easy 1:1 migration. It’s even easier if your data is accessible in a data warehouse that you then can integrate to the new system.

However, in the case of more than 70% of our clients, it’s a much bigger, more daunting task. And if you don’t get it right the first time, you can risk your customer data integrity or the loss of data as a whole.

One type of data that is dependent on use cases is customer engagement data. Your customer engagement data are insights you’ve collected on your customer based on their engagement with your brand–such as social media interaction, website analytics, email marketing metrics, purchase history, surveys and NPS scores, or event participation, to name a few.

While it may seem enticing to preserve this customer engagement data from the marketing platforms you intend to move away from, take a moment to really evaluate this data and determine why it’s necessary to keep. Typically, we advise against directly importing all engagement data into your new platform without a level of transformation. We advice this for several reasons:

Data Limits: Your new tool likely has data limits, and storing vast amounts of data can significantly escalate costs.

Data Lifespan: Some marketing automation platforms lack extended data retention options, leading to the potential depreciation of certain engagement data after a specific timeframe.

Data Transformation: There is often no direct equivalent for the substantial and incremental data generated throughout a customer’s or prospect’s lifecycle, making a one-to-one translation challenging.

Data Transfer Recommendations

We typically recommend a 4-pronged approach when it comes to transferring your customer engagement data.

Perform A Data Audit and Select Criteria for Migration

Identify which data is critical for your new marketing platform. Consider scenarios like advanced personalization and behavior tracking of your customer. Then, assess and migrate only relevant existing data. This will yield benchmark results from your current platform while ensuring the most recent engagement data can be leveraged in your new tool. Learn more about what a data audit entails.

Standardize Engagement Data Within a Warehouse and Apply a BI Integration

Normalize engagement data and bring it directly into a data warehouse like Snowflake, or apply relevant attributes found within your engagement data within your CDP like Adobe rtCDP. 

Once you do that, integrate it into a Business Intelligence tool (like Salesforce Tableau, Adobe Analytics, or Microsoft PowerBI) for historical benchmark reviews and performance comparison from the existing to the new platform.

Segment and Batch Campaigns

Build active segmentations and operational workflows that provide a concise overview of engagement data and history of contacts. For instance, “These Prospects Engaged with X Campaign,” “Added to Database less than 12 months ago,” or “Highly Engaged vs. Never Engaged Contacts.” Start by building a list of the types of insights you’re looking to create segments around.

Train Your Team

Educate Marketing and Sales teams about the nuances of this data, ensuring they understand what they are viewing. Additionally, inform all team members that historical engagement data is available in the BI platform for reference.

Wrapping Up

In this era of constant innovation across the SaaS marketing platform landscape, marketers are faced with navigating the excitement of embracing the latest tools while simultaneously tasked with letting go of familiar ones. 

The true measure of martech success lies in the capacity to orchestrate these transitions seamlessly, ensuring a blend of innovation and continuity in the pursuit of market leadership. 

With our latest Tech Navigator solution, we are able to inventory our clients’ tech to identify capabilities and gaps of their current and future stacks, allowing them to spend less time fighting with their tools and more time to drive growth for their organization. 

Want to see Tech Navigator in action? Contact us.

Written By Hannah Wilson

Hannah Wilson is currently the GTM Marketing Manager at Shift Paradigm. With over 5 years of hands-on experience, Hannah has cultivated a diverse skill set that extends across the marketing spectrum. From crafting content to implementing data-driven strategies in tools like Marketo, Salesloft, and Drift, she has consistently delivered results for Shift Paradigm. In and out of the office, Hannah embodies the spirit of a modern marketing professional, combining industry expertise with a commitment to continuous learning and growth. When's she's not at work, you can find her binging TV shows at a record pace.
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