It is important to note that a good Dynamics CRM marketing automation tool goes beyond email nurture campaigns and the like, providing other services such as data synchronization, lead scoring, and a multi-channel approach. Here are my top picks – I recommend that you check out all of these before making a decision. Note that the top 3 are built for Dynamics CRM, while the others are marketing automation tools that just happen to sync with Dynamics CRM as an added functionality.
1. Dynamics Marketing
For an in-depth overview of what Dynamics Marketing looks like, check out this post. Dynamics Marketing works directly in step with Dynamics CRM, and hits all the items on my checklist (if all the features from before the acquisition are preserved, that is): automation, data synchronization, and even advanced budgeting and project tracking capabilities. Dyamics Marketing should definitely be your starting point when researching marketing automation tools for Dynamics CRM – compare it’s capabilities to the other solutions, while also making sure that your needs for marketing automation are met.
Cost: $125/user/mo. Extra fees apply i.e. $50/extra 10,000 email messages (standard is 50,000)
ClickDimensions is one of the most celebrated solutions for marketing management in Dynamics CRM, and deserves to be near the top on any list. It is built only for Dynamics CRM, and all of your activities are carried out with Dynamics CRM. As such, it doesn’t offer quite the range of capabilities that is offered by MarketingPilot, but most find that it hits the nail right on the head for a relatively low cost marketing solution. ClickDimensions’ cababilities include Email Marketing & Automation (its strong suit), and web tracking/lead scoring. Like these other solutions, it syncs captured web data and allows you to track a lead or customer as they interact with you online right in their CRM profile.
3. SilverPop CoreMotives
SilverPop CoreMotives appears to be very similar to ClickDimensions, as it runs within Dynamics CRM and includes email marketing, web tracking/information capture, and automation. But, a great thing about SilverPop is that it has extended capabilities in other applications outside of CoreMotives (for an added cost of course). These are similar to the kinds of capabilities offered by MarketingPilot. They include an integrated multichannel approach and extreme targeting (likely more advanced than MarketingPilot) with its ability to create dynamic web content according to your visitor’s preferences. (You can do this yourself if your web dev really knows his stuff).
Cost: SilverPop keeps pricing close to the chest as a sales technique, but a fully featured solution (not CoreMotives) will cost somewhere around $2500/mo for a relatively small database. CoreMotives is priced by database size/email volume as well, and my guess is that it would be priced an amount higher than ClickDimensions.
4. Act-on Marketing
Act-on would have to be my “dark horse” in this race. Their list of capabilities is long and impressive, and once again checks off everything from my list (automation, multi-channel capabilities, data synchronization). They seem to be a very comparable option to MarketingPilot, but more suitable for a smaller business. I would recommend taking a look at Act-on if MarketingPilot seems a little bit too high-powered for your marketing department. They have lots of those additional bonus capabilities such as webinar and event planning, too.
Cost: $500-$6500/mo, scaled by number of contacts. Advanced capabilities (mostly SEO) will run you another $250-$1000/month if you deem them necessary.
Marketo is regarded as one of the thought leaders in Marketing Automation; they have done a really good job of getting the word out about their solution. What you might not know is that they have the ability to synchronize data with Dynamics CRM. Naturally, they have a whole host of capabilities, including automation, multi-channel marketing, data synchronization with Dynamics CRM, and beyond.
Cost: Varies, but expect to spend $900-$5000 per month (depending on the number of contacts).
Hubspot is a solution that falls into the same category as Marketo as one of the tools that have succesfully established thought leadership in the field of marketing. It’s synchronization capabilities seem fairly weak, as they were developed by a 3rd party in 2011, but their excellent range of functionality outside of CRM earns them a spot on the list.
If you’re a loyal MailChimp user, and you aren’t ready for a big upgrade but want synchronization capabilities, then you should take a look at Power Mailchimp, which allows you to launch campaigns from CRM. MailChimp has some pretty adept automation capabilities, and they are constantly improving their product. I’d recommend this if you just need a low-cost solution, even if you aren’t a MailChimp user.
Yes, Eloqua (owned and distributed by Oracle) can integrate with Dynamics CRM. This is not a feature well publicized, and I expect that you’d be better off looking at other marketing automation tools, since a solution that actually advertises it’s CRM integration capabilities is more likely to do it well; however, Eloqua does come with a full range of capabilities that cover my checklist.
Even though ExactTarget was acquired by Microsoft Dynamics competitor Salesforce, their email marketing solution still appears in the Dynamics Marketplace for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and 4.0. Though it has somewhat limited functionality in comparison to other solutions, ExactTarget still automatically syncs captured web data with CRM (just contact information, no lead scoring), and allows you to launch email campaigns and make use of automation features. As with ClickDimensions, all activities are carried out within dynamics CRM.
There’s no one Dynamics CRM marketing automation tool that will meet the needs of every marketing professional in every organization. When selecting a solution, focus on your business’ specific needs, wants, budget, and willingness to commit a new tool to identify which is the best for you. Figure out what your pain points are, and line those up with the functionalities that will aid you in both your day to day activities and long term planning.