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Marketing Automation

Migrating from Marketo to Acquia Campaign Studio

August 26, 2022 10 minute read
Learn why we're moving off Marketo to embrace the advantages of Acquia Campaign Studio's open marketing platform.
marketing forms

The success of any brand today depends on putting customer experience first. You can have the shiniest, most robust marketing technology (martech) stack on the market, but if it can’t adapt to what your customers demand, then it’s inherently flawed and obsolete.

When Acquia acquired Mautic (now renamed Campaign Studio), we believed that the world needed to move beyond closed, legacy marketing solutions like Marketo due to their inability to adapt. At Acquia, we moved our marketing automation and campaigns from Marketo to Campaign Studio because we didn't want to be limited by marketing tools that weren’t open to changing with the pace of digital innovation or burdened with unnecessary costs and complexity. We saw that our customers’ needs had moved forward and we couldn’t afford to fall behind. By choosing Acquia Campaign Studio over Marketo, we no longer let the solution shape the experience; we let the experience and the desires of our customers shape the solution. 

Freedom to innovate

Acquia’s philosophy is built on openness, flexibility, and freedom. As a closed solution, Marketo can never match the integration potential of an open solution like Campaign Studio. While Marketo promises a wide variety of integration capabilities, it still limited our ability to integrate with other systems beyond their digital ecosystem and didn’t offer the choice to pursue other systems or build our own versions when the existing capabilities didn’t suit our needs. 

Rather than be confined to the possibilities of a single vendor, we wanted a technology that could be customized to the preferences of our customers. Campaign Studio is built upon the open source Mautic project and has continued to be supported by a global community of contributors. Therefore, its direction isn’t informed by self-interest. Acquia Campaign Studio evolves to suit the needs of the people who use it. The solution’s API-first architecture supports hundreds of native plug-ins that are fully tested and supported by Acquia. With Campaign Studio, our marketing team had the option to control our own destiny as we can connect both to existing systems that are already supported or quickly build new integrations to new systems or services.  

An integration so simple a marketer can do it 

Marketo has amassed many industry specialists who have dedicated their time to becoming Marketo experts. At the start of the migration, we worried that it would be challenging to re-create entities in our customer relationship management (CRM) platform compared to Marketo, which has defined processes to push information between their system and other enterprise technologies like Salesforce.

The extensive terminology and processes within the Marketo ecosystem means many organizations are forced to hire consultants or enlist extra IT resources to successfully set up Marketo or integrate it with less popular tools. However, Acquia Campaign Studio was built for anyone to understand. Campaign Studio features a very visual layout and intuitive workflow that felt user-friendly and didn’t require our marketing team to have any prior history or training with the product before diving in.

Open to tools and opportunities 

While Marketo may have a much longer history and maturity within the marketing automation space, Campaign Studio’s open API and relationship with the open source Drupal and Mautic communities means that it can evolve at a much faster pace. During the migration process, our team was already anticipating future use cases or potential problems we’d want to solve, so we built a number of useful plugins for the Acquia Campaign Studio platform. Some of the most in-demand plug-ins we’ve now launched include integrations with Salesforce, Zoom, BrightTalk, and Drift. In total, each plug-in only took about six weeks to complete! Campaign Studio connects with each technology easily and communicates between systems to help us run more unified campaigns. Plus, we’ve made all of these integrations open and available to other users as well. 

Leveraging UTMs and open data for tracking in Campaign Studio 

One of the most limiting factors our marketing team faced with Marketo was a non-intuitive, inflexible approach to building URL parameters and tracking codes. Marketo relies on customized Adobe Analytics URL parameters rather than defaulting to the universally standard UTM tags that are recognized by systems in Google Analytics. Before we migrated to Campaign Studio and implemented UTMs, it was much more difficult to keep track of the different Marketo URL tracking codes and tie them to a specific campaign or lead source. 

Each tracked code in Marketo needed to be manually translated and adjusted in Google Tag Manager (GTM) by our marketing operations team into the standard UTM format. Only once we made some edits in GTM, were they able to be read by Google Analytics. This meant lots of additional property whenever we wanted to track anything on a new subdomain.

Moving our systems to Campaign Studio eliminated that translation step by letting us apply UTM naming conventions right from the start. Setting up UTM tags in Acquia Campaign Studio was a simple process. For each new campaign or message built in Campaign Studio, we can select and apply any of the Google Analytics UTM tags: 

  • Campaign source
  • Campaign medium
  • Campaign name
  • Campaign content
  • Campaign term

This ensures that each marketing campaign will have a UTM attached to the link. Once a user clicks on the link and lands on the page, the UTM values will be stored in a cookie on the user browser and captured instantly in Google Analytics. The automatic flow of data between Campaign Studio and Google Analytics gives us the power to be much more in-depth with our analytics and reporting.


Campaign Studio’s open flow of data has enabled us to create custom dimensions in Google Analytics so we can segment and view our data to gain a deeper perspective over the interactions occurring on our site beyond organic traffic. For example, one of the new dimensions we created for this migration tracked “most recent offer type.” 

The open nature of Acquia Campaign Studio gives our data analysts and marketers more flexibility in how we build reports and track customer interactions. The highly customizable reporting fields and intuitive UTM tagging capabilities will help us streamline our tracking efforts and ultimately generate deeper insights into how our customers engage with our channels. 

More channels and more opportunities 

One of the biggest frustrations we felt with Marketo’s marketing automation was that it couldn’t adapt to a world beyond email. Today, almost every customer interaction is multifaceted and dispersed across many channels from mobile to voice to Internet of Things (IoT) assistants. Marketo still only includes email in its communications offering. With Campaign Studio, we can reach our customers and prospects wherever they are to build relationships through multichannel communications, including email, direct social messages, SMS, and web notifications. By knowing we can reach our customers where they are, we won’t let the opportunity to build that potential relationship get blocked by a single-channel silo.   

In addition, our marketing operations team felt stifled by Marketo’s more disjointed automated campaign features. There was no option for records to flow through an automated series of events or communications from system to system. The inability to show how a customer journey progresses from point to point led us to hit a frustrating “brick wall” when it came to getting insights from our data and understanding our customers. 

Acquia Campaign Studio cleared away those hurdles. The Campaign Builder in Campaign Studio is much easier and intuitive to use because the layout mimics the actual customer journey. Previously, our team had used Marketo’s Smart Lists to perform a similar function, but the static boxes were harder to comprehend and weren’t representative of the actual action being created. Acquia Campaign Studio helps us better understand exactly what our customers are seeing by matching the customer view to the user view so that we can offer more personalized, authentic experiences. 

Enterprise-ready support without cost and complexity 

When people claim that Campaign Studio is not as suited to large enterprise companies as Marketo, they are mistaking simplicity for a lack of ability. As a global, B2B technology company, Acquia found that Campaign Studio offered both the ease-of-use and resiliency we needed. The reason it took us many months to complete the migration was that Marketo’s extreme complexity hindered our ability to be agile and quick to change. Despite an extensive background in marketing technology, our team needed to enlist the help of an external “Marketo specialist” to understand all of their product-specific language and functions. 

Going forward with Campaign Studio, we’re confident that it will be easier for our digital marketers to do what they need to do quickly as well as share the data they gather with other teams and departments. Acquia Campaign Studio speaks the language of people, not of products; its intuitive and visual tools don’t require spending extra time and resources studying the terms and reasons behind why things work the way that they do. Now, as we grow and expand our organization, there won’t be such a steep learning curve. By saving countless time onboarding employees to the tools and processes they need to perform their jobs well, they can start making an impact sooner and generate real value for the business. Plus, when migrating off Marketo to Campaign Studio, we were able to simplify our existing number of forms from nearly 500 down to 20 because Campaign Studio is so agile. This will make creating and finding the right forms for future content much more efficient and manageable, as well as give us a much clearer view of our existing database. 

Acquia Campaign Studio also doesn't bundle increased complexity with increased cost. While both Campaign Studio and Marketo base their pricing model on the size of an organization’s contact database, Campaign Studio has a dramatically lower price tag for businesses with more than a million contacts. Campaign Studio won’t nickel-and-dime customers with extra charges for more user seats, advanced training, more API calls, additional storage, multiple domains, or multiple Campaign Studio instances, whereas Marketo adds cost for these features and caps the number of API calls and seats at a certain level. Now we can extend and scale our efforts and reach more customers without consequence.

Overall, Acquia believes that as part of our open marketing cloud, Acquia Campaign Studio offers a significant advantage to our future growth. We’re excited to break free from closed marketing clouds like Marketo that slowed us down and embrace the experiences our customers want with open arms.


For a more in-depth look at how we completed our Marketo migration, get our guide: Migrating From Marketo to Acquia Campaign Studio: A Guide.

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