Customer success: S&P Global Platts migrates to Marketo, boosting bottom line, winning Revvie award

By Chuck Leddy

Data in its raw, unfiltered form offers no insights to drive great business decision-making (it’s simply “more information” in a TMI world). It takes skilled, experienced professionals to make meaning and provide strategic, actionable insights from data. Enter S&P Global Platts, in business for over a century and now the leading independent provider of information, benchmark prices and analytics for the energy and commodities markets. The London-based business intelligence company has over 1,000 employees spread out over 19 offices worldwide, all of them with one goal — to leverage data to bring clarity and transparency to the energy and commodities markets.

The Challenge: Work Differently

Keeping up with the fast pace of global change has now become a core organizational capacity. Call it agility or adaptability or whatever you want (this isn’t buzzword bingo), but change happens fast today and individuals and organizations had better be ready to accommodate it. Well, S&P Global, the 17,000-people strong, global parent company of S&P Global Platts, decided that the entire global operation would migrate its marketing automation to the Marketo platform.

S&P Global Platts had been using Eloqua as its MAP (marketing automation platform). They were confronted with a migration project that had to be completed in a mere six months, one where no downtime or interruption of business continuity would be allowed. They’d spent a decade with Eloqua, having done hundreds of campaigns and generating thousands of assets. S&P Global Platts was also facing multiple, critical project dependencies that were reliant upon other teams, including a website rebuild, new brand guidelines, a major Salesforce.com (SFDC) overhaul, and much more. “Not a complicated migration project at all, right?” said nobody at S&P Global Platts.

A 3-Part Migration Solution

To complete the planned migration from Eloqua to Marketo, S&P Global Platts worked with its partner, Sojourn Solutions. A three-part solution was co-developed that was structured around risk mitigation, campaign migration, and multiple integrations. Let’s look at how each part of S&P Global Platts’  Marketo migration solution was developed and executed:

Risk Mitigation. The process always begins by analyzing the project’s potential risks and then working back to eliminate or reduce their potential (negative) impacts. Hundreds of multi-touch campaigns and thousands of assets had to be migrated, posing high risks that included: (1) errors in assets; (2) not getting campaign members into the correct campaigns; (3) not getting campaign members into the right step within each campaign; and (4) not being able to get personnel trained enough to be able to execute without interruption after go-live on the new platform.

Among the larger risks involved in the migration was the potential loss of access to relevant data on the legacy Eloqua platform before all that data had been moved to the Marketo MAP. S&P Global Platts and Sojourn thus began by ensuring a full backup of Eloqua to allow for future access even after the subscription to the legacy platform had expired. In other words, as S&P Global Platts was opening the doors to a new MAP, they’d continue to have access, like a set of old house keys, to their legacy MAP.

Next, since marketing is largely about acquiring and nurturing customers, the new migration solution made sure there’d be no interruption to active multi-touch nurture during the migration process. Finally, solutions were carefully designed to account for variances in lead management between the two marketing automation platforms. With these large risks taken into account and effectively managed/mitigated, the migration advanced with continuity between the old and the new.

Campaign Migration. MAP migration is similar to moving into a new house. You have to account for, and carry, all your stuff from the old house to the new one, ensuring that none of your precious belongings get lost or broken in transit. That process should also happen quickly and smoothly, since nobody likes to live “out of moving boxes” or with restricted use of their MAP for long. How did S&P Global Platts and Sojourn ensure a smooth move to Marketo? They jointly developed a custom campaign migration app to move all campaigns and associated assets onto the new platform (no bubble wrap or duck tape was used).

Next, the custom app was used to move assets and campaigns in multiple waves with staggered cutover to ensure a smooth transition from legacy to new MAP. So, as with all efficient moving projects, the right migration vehicle (the custom app) for the job was deployed in a highly-coordinated way, bringing S&P Global Platts significant time and cost savings, all without any business disruption.

Integrations. As the 17th Century English poet John Donne once wrote: “no man [let’s change to “person”] is an island, entire of itself; every man [“person”] is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.” The same is true of data and systems. They all need to be integrated and connected across the organization in order to work optimally. As part of the MAP migration process, S&P Global Platts and Sojourn managed several integrations, including Salesforce.com, Idio, ON24, Ungerboeck, CMS, data warehouse and multiple home-grown applications.

The Salesforce.com integration was particularly challenging due to 3 factors: a very specific SFDC release schedule, meaning that the migration to Marketo had to be timed with the SFDC release schedule. In addition, the SFDC environment included several test/UAT environments. Finally, lead flow had to be maintained from Eloqua and Marketo for a period of a couple of weeks while the campaign migration process ran.

They also built a custom application to migrate the many assets from Eloqua to Marketo. This saved S&P Global Platts an estimated 75% in time and money. Overall, the solution built strong bridges connecting the islands, enabling people, data, and systems to interconnect and collaborate. Finally, the two partners facilitated the rebuild of some of S&P Global Platts’ internal apps to accommodate different paradigms and APIs, again enabling seamless connections and no disconnected silos.

Outcome: Savings, Plaudits, Awards

S&P Global Platts finished its migration on schedule and without downtime or disruption of its MAP operations, as they’d promised their parent company. Perhaps best of all,  S&P Global Platts saw huge benefits to their bottom line, including a 75% savings on campaign migration costs to Marketo. In the end, the S&P Global Platts migration project was recognized with a prestigious 2018 Revvie Award (“The Transformer’). As the Revvie Award press release explains, “[a]fter implementing the Marketo platform, [S&P Global Platts] automated their subscription and information distribution process, saving more than 15 weeks of people-hours annually” and gaining massive cost benefits.

Melissa Thames, Head of Global Marketing Operations at S&P Global Platts, offered her assessment of the successful migration partnership with Sojourn: “Since 2008, Sojourn has been our go-to marketing operations support team. They most recently helped us successfully move to Marketo from Eloqua, which involved many integrations and complex use cases to figure out [all detailed above]. We couldn’t have done it without them.”

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