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Migrating From Marketo to Account Engagement: Key Things to Know

Migrating From Marketo to Account Engagement: Key Things to Know

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Adobe’s Marketo and Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (f.k.a. Pardot) are two of the most common marketing automation platforms I’ve worked with in my career as a marketer. When migrating from Marketo to Account Engagement, there is a lot to keep in mind to make sure you:

  1. Transform marketing processes to properly work in the new system.
  2. Are aware of how features differ between the systems.
  3. Keep the migration running smoothly.

Now, both Account Engagement and Marketo have their pros and cons. And this blog isn’t to convince you one is better than the other (I’d probably be a little too biased in the matter). This post is designed to guide those who are migrating from Marketo to Account Engagement to ensure your migration goes as smoothly as possible. 

Things to be mindful of when migrating from Marketo to Account Engagement

These are the main considerations to make during a Marketo to Account Engagement migration.

Difference in the Email field

One big difference between Marketo and Account Engagement is how each platform treats the “Email” field. 

In Marketo, the email field can be blank and it can also be an invalid value (i.e. “[email protected] – only send newsletters”). 

In Account Engagement, the email field is required, always, there are no workarounds that I have found. The email value also needs to have the correct format, so you can’t enter spaces or just text without an “@” and “.”. These restrictions help protect your deliverability rate and ensure only accurately formatted data is entered. 

Account Engagement also restricts role based emails from being imported or emailed to protect your account’s sending reputation. These are emails that may go to a distribution group rather than one person, so it makes opt-in consent murky (i.e. Sales@, Marketing@, info@ etc.). Account Engagement does allow you to lift this restriction, but you will need to open a support ticket to do so.

Firing when a Field Is Changed

Marketo automations have the ability to fire when a prospect’s field is changed. So, if a prospect’s job title is updated, you might run them through a process that sets the correct Job Role. Account Engagement only works with what the field value is at any current moment. 

You can see a field’s previous value in the Audit table, but you can’t fire an automation off of this activity. Within Account Engagement, you can work around this by having your automations repeat on a regular basis or by creating a date field and using a Salesforce flow to stamp the date everytime the field changes. 

Program Statuses versus Campaign Member Statuses

Marketo has ‘Programs’ for marketing initiatives such as events, nurtures, emails, etc. These programs have statues that designate where the prospect is within the program. This mirrors how Account Engagement uses campaigns and campaign member statuses

Campaign member statuses can be used in the same way as Marketo program statuses, you’ll just want to make sure your users understand this change in process.

Lead Qualification

Marketo focuses solely on scores in three different scoring categories:

  • Behavior Scoring is implicit, it’s based off of the person’s interactions with your marketing resources or your website.
  • Demographic Scoring is explicit, it’s based on other observable information such as Job Title/ Role, Company Size, and Industry.
  • Negative Scoring is also implicit, it’s based on what the person doesn’t do and reduces their score based on inactivity.
    • This can be replicated in Account Engagement with Score decay.

When migrating your Prospects from Marketo to Account Engagement, you may want them to start with their Marketo Behavior Score as their Account Engagement Score. If so, make sure you include the score in your import file for Account Engagement. 


Marketo has a variety of built in options to support advanced operations, such as inserting text in the middle of the form, in form calculations, or multiple redirects depending on form values. Account Engagement relies on Javascript for these advanced configurations. 

Custom JavaScript can be placed within your Account Engagement forms under the Look and Feel tab, in the Below Form section.

Our blog posts on Using JavaScript to Enhance Your Forms and Creating Multi-Language Forms, as well as Karin Tracy’s MarDreamin’ presentation on Customizing Pardot Form Behavior with JavaScript will help you get started. 

Marketo and Account Engagement Terminology Differences

Below is a quick guide to the terminology differences between the two systems. Make sure your users have this guide early to avoid confusion and frustration during your migration!

Marketo and Account Engagement Field Types

Account Engagement and Marketo field types are a bit different, but the below table will guide you when creating your new fields in Account Engagement.

Marketo and Account Engagement User Roles

User Roles also differ between the two systems. Account Engagement’s Premium and Advanced editions provide the ability to use default user roles or create Custom User Roles so you can create a role with the exact permission needed.

Additional Tips

Marketo has restrictions on exports, typically 500MB per day. So plan accordingly, and keep in mind that you may not be able to export all your Marketo prospects in one day!

Account Engagement Automation Rule and Dynamic List criteria is limited to about 250 characters per rule (factoring in separator and spaces), while Marketo is limited to 5,000 characters. Creuz Your Data can help you split up your rule criteria into 250 character chunks, or Prospect Updater can help you circumvent this limitation entirely. 

Time to dig into your migration

Now you’re ready to tackle your Marketo to Account Engagement migration with confidence! For even more tips for your migration, check out our Getting Real About Marketing Automation Platform Migration Projects blog post. And reach out to the team at Sercante to start a conversation about your platform migration and how it fits into your overall marketing strategy.

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  • Erin Duncan is the Account Engagement Product Director at Sercante. Erin is 8x Salesforce certified and has 12+ years of experience as a Salesforce and Account Engagement Admin. She is the leader of the Atlanta B2B Marketers User Group, the leader of the Pardashian Slack group, and a Salesforce Marketing Champion.

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