Tag Archives: Marketing

Can Better Technology Help Network Marketing Teams Reach Their Potential?

The days of distributors selling product out a stockpile in their garage are over. The direct sales and network marketing industry has transformed from that information-poor selling environment to one that is rich in information about the buying and selling behavior of both distributors and customers.

 Can Better Technology Help Network Marketing Teams Reach Their Potential?

Is your organization effectively using all of this data to maximize the performance of your distributors and help them reach their potential?

If you’re not using artificial intelligence tools to increase your average order size and frequency, you may want to take a look at what you’re missing.

Artificial Intelligence: The Turnkey Technology You’re Not Using Yet

Artificial intelligence sounds complicated, and when you get down into the nuts and bolts of the technology, it is.

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However, what you need to know is simple:

It can plug right into your organization and your business support systems (like CRM) very simply. This allows it to learn your business and perform high-value tasks, freeing up human labor for the things humans are best at. The most relevant form of artificial intelligence today is the chatbot, or “bot” for short.

Deploying artificial intelligence in the form of a bot is like giving each of your distributors their very own assistant.

There are two main ways that a bot can integrate with your team:

1. By prompting your distributors to take smarter actions

2. By taking those actions automatically

You can use AI in both ways simultaneously if you choose to do so.

How Does It Work?

AI plugs right into your CRM and other business support systems, which enables it to process massive amounts of data about the behavior of people buying your products. Using this data, it can do things like the following:

1. Determine who’s most likely to buy, what product they’re most likely to buy, and what message they’re most likely to relate to. The AI can pass this data to distributors, who can spend their time pursuing the best candidates with the right offers.

2. Point out the areas in a high-ranking distributor’s downline where he/she can have the biggest impact to boost sales numbers and/or grow the team this month.

3. Independently message customers who have opted into chatbot communication and remind them of special offers or points that are expiring, offering to complete the transaction right in the chat.

4. Increasing average order size by identifying the personalized upsells for a customer that have the highest probability of acceptance, and offering those during the customer’s checkout on your website, during an instant message chat, or prompting a human contact center rep with the right upsells during a phone conversation with the customer.

Does any of this sound like something your team needs?

The good news is, it’s not that hard to get started. JourneyTEAM’s AI and chatbot experts can help you get started with some simple, high-value scenarios that will get your feet wet and help you see the possibilities for AI in your sales organization.

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By: Dave Bollard and Eric Raff
JourneyTEAM | Technology Solutions

JourneyTEAM is an award-winning consulting firm with proven technology and measurable results. They take Microsoft products; Dynamics 365, SharePoint intranet, Office 365, Azure, CRM, GP, NAV, SL, AX, and modify them to work for you. The team has expert level, Microsoft Gold certified consultants that dive deep into the dynamics of your organization and solve complex issues. They have solutions for sales, marketing, productivity, collaboration, analytics, accounting, security and more. www.journeyteam.com


Top Microsoft Creative Design and Public Relations Firm. Get the help you need to market your product or organization. https://utcreative.com

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CRM Software Blog | Dynamics 365

Salesforce Connects With Marketing

A good way to understand what Salesforce articulated at Connections 2018 is to recall the direction it set a few years ago, when CEO Marc Benioff said the company would develop most apps for the small screen first. Translated, that was a concession that handheld devices — phones and tablets — would become the primary devices we’d all use in business. Lots of software vendors took the same position, though arguably few did it as fast.

So far that’s been a good bet, because while this piece is being written on a conventional laptop, it’s highly likely that people will read it on a variety of devices and in a plethora of locations tethered to the Internet through WiFi.

Fast-forward and the device is the primary computing platform, and the next big hurdle to overcome — in the front office at least — is delivering a consistent customer experience across the platforms, including relevant and timely offers and experiences.

Some might have thought the job was done when apps crossed hardware boundaries, but when that happened a new set of expectations from customers — that they could cross boundaries and that their vendors would keep up with them — came into focus. Supply creates its own demand, they say.

Billions of Transactions

It turns out that’s not easy, because along with multiple devices to account for, there’s also the issue of many apps contributing to sussing out just what the customer wants and how to deliver it. The problem is like figuring out the next-best offer, plus understanding who the customer is, and what the customer has done previously with a vendor, and then some.

It’s “real-time personalization at scale for every customer at every vendor site,” Salesforce President Bret Taylor explained in a keynote. In other words, don’t forget this is cloud computing, so the system is using the cloud platform to do all this not just for a single vendor but for all vendors and their customers.

Today, that literally means billions of transactions. In a day, the system processes 2 billion Einstein predictions, sends 15 billion emails, logs 2 million leads, and much more, according to one Connections presentation.

You also could look at it as solving Rubik’s Cube or, more likely, solving simultaneous equations. Essentially this means solving everything at once rather than holding everything constant and solving for one variable at a time the way we do in a classical science experiment.

If you think I am perseverating, think again. This is a measure of where the technology world is today. We’ve done the easy stuff to capture and retrieve data. We’ve figured out how to extract significant information from all of it, too. Now we are trying to attack a pool of data that makes and informs other data in real time.

News From the Stage

That’s why I think Connections 2018 was important. Here are some of the announcements that support my thinking:

  • Commerce Cloud enhancements give B2B customers consumer-like shopping experiences. This is in line with the idea of giving people the same kinds of experiences at work that they have in their personal lives.
  • Marketing Cloud Interaction Studio might be the trickiest thing to get right, and in some ways may be the key to the whole show. Marketing Cloud helps employees to analyze and manage customer experiences with context (who is the customer, what’s unique about the customer, what can we recommend?) across a brand’s owned online and offline channels.
  • Service for Commerce, or adding a service element to a commerce interaction when needed. The demo showed a customer buying shoes and then going back into the event to change the delivery address. It was all mediated by a bot too.
  • Salesforce next month will deliver to beta an integration with Google Analytics 360 that will enable marketers to create audiences in Analytics 360 and then activate those audiences for engagement within Marketing Cloud.
  • Finally, Commerce Journeys will empower marketers and merchandisers to trigger transactional and behavioral journeys based on customer actions, like abandoning a shopping cart, confirming an account or making a purchase.

My Two Bits

Marketing is arguably the last frontier in CRM, because sales and service apps have been well articulated by now. Nonetheless, we should add that the marketing announcements coming out of Chicago this week blur the lines between the stovepipes very nicely. Those lines — and other lines, like those between front and back office and B2B and B2C processes — are evaporating.

Supporting the move is a Swiss Army knife technology stack that delivers analytics and machine learning to business processes that take us well beyond simple next-best offer approaches. Bots have not replaced people yet, but they are being creatively inserted into niches that are too low-volume or too expensive to insert people. The result is a far better customer experience.

A few years ago I wrote a book, Solve for the Customer,” after examining early online apps for self-service and commerce, and finding their processes woefully inadequate, precisely because there was little or no intelligence built into them. Customers were assumed to be able to use those systems because they were “intuitive,” which only meant that they were available on handheld devices, unfortunately.

Customers were so enraged by those systems that some of them took to the Internet to build blogs and sites castigating vendors. Those sites are still out there, and you can find them by searching a vendor’s name and adding the word “sucks.”

Many of those sites haven’t been maintained in years, though, and there’s no better proof for the efficacy of the revolution in commerce and marketing that is effectively and efficiently leveraging data than that.
end enn Salesforce Connects With Marketing

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ECT News Network.


Denis%20Pombriant Salesforce Connects With Marketing
Denis Pombriant is a well-known CRM industry analyst, strategist, writer and speaker. His new book, You Can’t Buy Customer Loyalty, But You Can Earn It, is now available on Amazon. His 2015 book, Solve for the Customer, is also available there.
Email Denis.

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CRM Buyer

You Connected Your CRM and Your Marketing Automation Platform…Now What?

Congratulations! You’ve successfully joined the ranks of marketers who have an integrated CRM and marketing automation platform. Things are going to be awesome—just as soon as you figure out what you’re supposed to do now…

If you’re in that boat, you’re not alone. In fact, the number one challenge for B2B marketing automation users is understanding the data integration between their systems—more than half consider this to be a major challenge, and creating a successful strategy for marketing automation isn’t that far behind.

As marketers, we’re up against the challenges of data entry, understanding integration points, and defining sales triggers. Often we don’t know what to ask for on the CRM side to execute the campaigns we want to build on the marketing automation side, which makes understanding how to architect our integrations hard and implementing strategy even harder.

A Successful Integration Starts with a Plan

To make the most of your integration, start by thinking about your overall marketing goals (engage cold leads, cross-sell to existing customers, get a notification when a nurtured lead is ready for a sales call), followed by individual campaigns you’ll need to support those goals (nurture campaign for leads gone cold in the last 90 days, people who bought this also liked X), followed finally by how you’re going to gather and organize the information you need to run those campaigns (your CRM).

Let’s start with goals and work backwards. There are some marketing automation tasks that CRMs are perfect for supporting, like:

  • Lead Nurture
  • Re-engagement of Cold Leads
  • Creating Custom Audiences for Remarketing Campaigns
  • Cross-sell and Upsell Campaigns
  • Customer Retention
  • Review Strategies

Once you know what goals you want to achieve (e.g., run a lead nurture campaign or create a review campaign for existing customers), you can set up a path for the data you need to gather, like so:

Let’s look at a few goals and sample campaigns you can build based on this model.

Preparing to Nurture Your CRM Leads

There are two types of lead nurturing you should be thinking about with your integration: what’s in your CRM, and what’s in your marketing automation platform. To nurture what’s already in your CRM (say, existing Leads that aren’t in the act of being converted), think about what you want to target and a build a Marketing List based on a specific Field or action. Avoid broad generalizations, like “All Open Leads,” and look for specifics you can build a personalized campaign around. You might want to target a field that captures what the Lead is interested in, completed phone calls, timestamps, or custom fields. Consider, too, if you want to run this campaign one time or have it running dynamically.

Once your Marketing List is built, create a campaign in your marketing automation platform with a strong call to action that’s directly related to the field you targeted in CRM. For example, if you targeted Leads gone cold 90 days prior, you could create an offer that entices those Leads to re-engage. If you’re dealing with timestamps, you could add new Leads into a Learn More nurture. Once your campaign is ready, use your integration to map that list to your marketing automation platform.

Preparing to Nurture Your Marketing Automation Platform Leads (Early Funnel)

These are your inbound leads, which may or may not be ready to enter in your CRM. Ideally, you should have control over what inbound leads get entered into as CRM Leads. For example, someone who is downloading content is not at the same place in the sales funnel as someone who has filled out the contact us form. Let’s focus on early funnel leads—people who have converted in your marketing automation platform but who have not filled out a form that asks you to contact them.

These early funnel leads are prime for nurturing. Use messaging on your landing pages that tells your would-be downloaders you won’t call them right away, as that will help you get more conversions. Next, build an automated email campaign with helpful information related to what they downloaded—say, a follow up download that adds context to what they have, a link to reviews, a case study in their industry, etc. When they contact you, tag their CRM source campaign back to your original download campaign—this helps you prove the value of inbound.

Don’t forget to use Lead Scoring on the marketing automation side to autopopulate a list of sales-ready nurture leads in your CRM!

Re-engage Cold Lists

As much as a quarter of your email list goes cold each year, either through job turnover or role change. But you won’t know who’s still interested and who has moved on if you don’t ask. To make this work, build a Marketing List around last activity date, modified on, opportunity close date (as lost), or created on date. Then create compelling content, like a how-to guide or an event invitation, and using your integration, send a series of emails to that list.

A few tips: put a query in place on your marketing automation side that takes out people who have engaged at each step along the way, and let them know what value you will provide to them if they subscribe to your emails in the future. Remember, this is what value you are providing to them—not what value they are providing to you!

Don’t Forget About Your Contacts

Marketing has a role to play in customer retention, and your integration can be a huge help here. In CRM, create triggered Marketing Lists targeted at Contacts based on a cross-sell, upsell, or post-sale campaign objective. You might want to create a List around Opportunity = Closed as Won, or a Contract Renewal Date, or a satisfaction score from customer service.

Using this Marketing List and your integration, you can automate campaigns around “You might also like…” suggestion emails, product use cases for recent buyers, ready to renew contract reminders, or review us campaigns for happy customers.

Regardless of where you are in the process of understanding and strategizing your marketing automation platform and CRM integration, the key to success is planning. Before you ever build a campaign, know what data you want to collect, why you want to collect it, how you plan to use it, and perhaps most importantly, where you’re going to get it. Having an effective strategy for using a marketing automation platform is often the biggest barrier to success, and knowing what you hope to achieve from the outset can help you be successful quicker.

Natalie Jackson is the marketing director for the emfluence Marketing Platform–learn more about her here.

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CRM Software Blog | Dynamics 365

Salesforce Adds Google Analytics Capabilities to Marketing Cloud

Salesforce on Wednesday announced integrations between its Marketing Cloud and Google Analytics 360 that equip marketers with a broad range of new capabilities, including the following:

  • View consumer insights from both Marketing Cloud and Analytics 360 in a single journey analytics dashboard to better analyze cross-channel engagement. For example, if marketers see a high rate of browse abandons — customers who click through an email offering but don’t buy — they can create a tailored journey to re-engage them.
  • Create audiences in Google Analytics 360 based on their interactions with Marketing Cloud campaigns and deliver Web pages with customized content to those audiences when they click on a link in an email offer.
  • Gain a better understanding of how their content influences transactions, through the availability of Marketing Cloud data in Analytics 360. This lets them unearth macro trends in customer journeys and make strategy tweaks to maximize conversions.
  • Quickly authenticate to Analytics 360 from the Marketing Cloud, and tag each email with the Analytics 360 campaign parameters without having to seek help from IT.

85389 620x325 Salesforce Adds Google Analytics Capabilities to Marketing Cloud

Visualize Google Analytics 360 Web interaction data directly in your Salesforce Marketing Cloud dashboard.


In Q3, a beta rollout will let marketers create audiences in Analytics 360 — such as category buyers, loyalty members and abandoned browsers — and activate them for engagement within Marketing Cloud by, for example, adding a specific audience to a re-engagement journey.

“This is about deeper integrations,” noted Ray Wang, principal analyst of Constellation Research.

“As Adobe has gotten closer to Microsoft, Salesforce has done the same with Google,” he told CRM Buyer. “Adobe does a great job with their analytics and machine learning portfolio.”

What Worked and Why

The integrations are part of a strategic alliance between Salesforce and Google. Salesforce has named G Suite as its preferred email and productivity provider, and plans to use the Google Cloud Platform for its core services in connection with its international infrastructure expansion.

Viewing consumer insights from Marketing Cloud and Analytics 360 in one dashboard is important because “marketers want to know what campaigns worked and why,” Wang said. “They want to know what their customers need and how to predict demand or interest.”

Being able to leverage information about responses in a campaign to deliver tailored Web content “helps in reducing useless interactions and understanding if you have enough context to be relevant,” he pointed out. “The goal is to leverage as many channels as you can at the right time in the right manner.”

All About Personalization

The new integrations between Google and Salesforce Marketiong Cloud “will streamline the process for marketers and make it easier to provide real personalization at scale in customer engagement,” said Rebecca Wettemann, VP of research at Nucleus Research.

“Marketers have been talking about personalization for a long time, but this is really about bringing the data at scale so they can truly execute on it,” she told CRM Buyer.

Adobe earlier this year enhanced its Adobe Target personalization tools. Last month, it announced plans to open up its data science and algorithmic optimization capabilities in Adobe Target, along with other new capabilities.

PegaSystems last week rolled out Pega Infinity, its next-generation digital transformation platform.

Pega Infinity builds on “the continued innovation of our AI-driven marketing capabilities,” remarked Jeff Nicholson, VP of CRM product marketing at Pegasystems, giving clients “the clearest path … to make the long-discussed vision of one-to-one engagement a reality.”

Marketing tech has gone far beyond “simple measurement of campaign effectiveness,” Nicholson told CRM Buyer. “The key to the new generation of tools is not to provide just information to the marketer, but actual AI-powered real-time insight and guidance.”

The aim is for companies to convert “nuggets of insights into actual action and improve their customers’ experience, along with their bottom line,” he observed.

“By improving contextual relevancy, customers and clients will more than likely engage,” said Constellation’s Wang. “If they engage more, you’ll more likely convert. That’s the whole point here.”
end enn Salesforce Adds Google Analytics Capabilities to Marketing Cloud


Richard%20Adhikari Salesforce Adds Google Analytics Capabilities to Marketing Cloud
Richard Adhikari has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2008. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, mobile technologies, CRM, databases, software development, mainframe and mid-range computing, and application development. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including Information Week and Computerworld. He is the author of two books on client/server technology.
Email Richard.

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CRM Buyer

Why Low-Code is a Good Fit for Marketing

iStock 832112086 e1528815762943 Why Low Code is a Good Fit for Marketing

























Digital Transformation

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The TIBCO Blog

Dynamics 365 Spring 2018 Update: Introducing D365 for Marketing

Spring Updates 09 300x225 Dynamics 365 Spring 2018 Update: Introducing D365 for Marketing

As of the Spring 2018 release, Dynamics 365 for Marketing is here! The new app helps businesses turn prospects into customers and foster long-term relationships. The great news is, Dynamics 365 for Marketing works with Dynamics 365 for Sales, providing the ability to share data across apps and collaborate across teams. The app has loads of robust functionality, in fact each function could have its own blog, but this blog will provide a high-level overview of the new key features within the app.

Email Marketing

Every day our email inboxes are flooded with automated messages that do little for us. Often times, such emails end up in our inbox trash, which is why it is important for businesses to have a strong email marketing strategy and fresh content that will attract new customers. Now, with Dynamics 365 for Marketing, marketers can design and send email messages and online content directly from within Dynamics 365. There are a number of customized templates ready to use, but the new user-friendly interface allows marketers to create unique professional marketing emails with either drag-and-drop in a visual designer or using an HTML editor. Additionally, since Dynamics 365 for Marketing sits on the same platform as Sales, you can pull data directly from your Dynamics 365 entities to use in your emails for a personalized message!

060518 1607 Dynamics3651 Dynamics 365 Spring 2018 Update: Introducing D365 for Marketing

The marketing email designer with its drag and drop editing capabilities makes it easy to create great e-mails. Use the Preview tab to get a look at how your email will look across different email providers.

060518 1607 Dynamics3652 Dynamics 365 Spring 2018 Update: Introducing D365 for Marketing

Event Management

Events and webinars are important activities in sales and marketing processes. Dynamics 365 for Marketing has an event management solution to help you plan, manage, and execute these activities. The contact, registration, and attendance management are handled in one system. To help marketers plan the events, you can create processes within Dynamics 365 to guide them through it. Data around venues, attendees, registration, sponsors, logistics, and post-event surveys can all be housed and managed from within Dynamics 365.

060518 1607 Dynamics3653 Dynamics 365 Spring 2018 Update: Introducing D365 for Marketing

Customer Segments

Customer Segments are a similar concept to what the old “Marketing Lists” functionality in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Segments reflect different audiences, such as customers, prospects who live in a specific region, people who are registered for an event, and so forth. These segments can be Dynamic, Static, or Compound. Dynamic means that the people who are in each segment automatically changes as contact data is updated. Static segments are lists of contacts that do not automatically change; they are created by selecting on a per-contact basis and marketers or sales teams may create these based off of prior/existing knowledge. Compound segments combine existing segments into a single segment.

060518 1607 Dynamics3654 Dynamics 365 Spring 2018 Update: Introducing D365 for Marketing

Customer Journeys

With Customer Journeys, we get to watch and understand the transformation that happens when a prospect becomes a customer. Use Customer Journeys to create processes that help you guide contacts in a selected segment through a process via automated messaging, activity generation, etc. Common examples of journeys include a monthly newsletter and nurture campaigns. Using the drag and drop Customer Journey builder (similar to what you see when building Business Process Flows or Business Rules), users can create custom journeys and assign them to specific segments of contacts.

060518 1607 Dynamics3655 Dynamics 365 Spring 2018 Update: Introducing D365 for Marketing

Each journey starts by defining the segment. Then, they can be customized and tailored to capture interactions or full nurture campaigns depending on your needs. Throughout the journey, you can automate communications.

In the screenshot below, you can see that you first choose the Segment Group, and then add the next action.

060518 1607 Dynamics3656 Dynamics 365 Spring 2018 Update: Introducing D365 for Marketing

There are also some predefined customer journey templates that you can start with and further customize:

060518 1607 Dynamics3657 Dynamics 365 Spring 2018 Update: Introducing D365 for Marketing

LinkedIn Lead Gen Form Integration

Dynamics 365 for Marketing includes a connector for LinkedIn Lead Gen forms. This will sync leads and lead information in the LinkedIn Lead Gen tools, with Dynamics 365. Now your sales and marketing teams can work these leads directly within Dynamics 365!

060518 1607 Dynamics3658 Dynamics 365 Spring 2018 Update: Introducing D365 for Marketing

Customer Insights

Customer Insights will help your business better understand and engage your prospects and customers through leveraging the data in the Azure Cloud. New Customer Insight charts provide us with key information such as lead scores and health.

This blog is just the tip of the iceberg on the robust capabilities of Dynamics 365 for Marketing! Join us for our webinar on June 12 for a deeper dive into Customer Journeys, Segmentation, Customer Insights and Voice of the Customer surveys!

Check out the upcoming FREE live and on-demand webinars in our Spring 2018 Update Webinar Series to learn more about the latest CRM and ERP changes for Dynamics 365. Register for one or more sessions now!

Happy Dynamics 365’ing!

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PowerObjects- Bringing Focus to Dynamics CRM

Increase Sales and Customer Engagement with Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing

CRM Blog Increase Sales and Customer Engagement with Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing

It has been a long time coming, but Microsoft’s marketing automation solution, Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing, is now available, providing organizations with all the tools they need to automate campaigns, obtain better customer insights, and help drive their sales team.

Built on the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement platform (previously known as Microsoft Dynamics CRM), Dynamics 365 for Marketing leverages its intuitive, familiar interface to make it easier than ever to manage your marketing activities, increase customer engagement and facilitate the handoff to the sales team. As such, it allows users to:

  • Obtain a true 360° view of customers and prospects. Access all information regarding contacts, leads and customers to ensure that you have everything on hand to tailor your marketing campaigns and activities to their needs and better track them throughout the sales cycle.
  • Nurture leads with automated campaigns. Create campaigns, emails and landing pages with a simple, intuitive interface to attract potential customers. You can configure and personalize templates, manage events, and create online forms to gather data and keep leads engaged throughout the entire sales cycle.
  • Obtain better customer insights for better decisions. Create online forms and store the information to better identify customer interests and market trends, and to generate scores based on your own specific criteria. When a lead is hot, the handoff to the sales team can be done seamlessly and at the right time during the sales cycle.

Moreover, since the Dynamics 365 for Marketing solution is built on Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement, it provides the same adaptability and flexibility that this platform has come to be known for, ensuring that you can adapt to market trends and stay on top of technological developments to always reach customers through the appropriate channels.

This allows you to connect with them whenever, wherever, retaining their engagement to increase your chances of closing sales and providing the outstanding, personalized service that today’s customers have come to expect. For more information, read our article 5 Steps to Starting a Marketing Automation Practice Within Your Organization to nurture your leads in the long term.

By JOVACO Solutions, Microsoft Dynamics 365 marketing specialist in Quebec

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CRM Software Blog | Dynamics 365

GET READY, GET SET, GET MARKETING WITH DYNAMICS 365 FOR MARKETING WEBINAR!

CRM Blog GET READY, GET SET, GET MARKETING WITH DYNAMICS 365 FOR MARKETING WEBINAR!

GET READY, GET SET, GET MARKETING WITH DYNAMICS 365 FOR MARKETING!

Have you heard the buzz that Microsoft has launched a new marketing application, Dynamics 365 for Marketing?! The target market for this solution is small to medium-sized organizations who require an end to end marketing solution. Join us for this session which will serve as an introduction to one of the newest Microsoft product offerings.

• Dynamics 365 Out-of-the-Box Marketing vs Dynamics 365 for Marketing
• What comes with Dynamics 365 for Marketing
• Navigating the Application
• Standout Elements of the Application


Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2018
Time: 11:00AM EST – 11:30AM EST

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR THE WEBINAR TODAY!

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CRM Software Blog | Dynamics 365

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing vs ClickDimensions

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing vs ClickDimensions, an initial comparison. Microsoft has released their Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing module, this article is an initial review of the module and high-level comparison to ClickDimensions (the other mainstream marketing automation option for Dynamics 365).

Availability – There are a few different subscription options for the Marketing module. Let’s first compare the pricing models between Dynamics Marketing and ClickDimensions.

Dynamics Marketing is priced based on the number of contacts. There has been a lot of um let’s say feedback on this model. As a partner we work with many Dynamics 365 clients, we see even small businesses that have lots of leads/contacts in their Dynamics database. Often times there is a large number of leads/contacts that will never be marketed to, under Microsoft’s pricing model you are paying for these leads/contacts even if you don’t market to them. The upside to Microsoft’s pricing is that there are no upcharges for functionality, you get all the goodies with any subscription level.

ClickDimensions has two pricing/subscription levels, Basic and Advanced/Business, different levels of functionality. Also, the levels include certain numbers of email sends, Basic includes 50,000/year and 200,000 with Advanced/Business. An email send is each copy of an email you send, for example, if you have the contact Bob Smith in your database and you send 4 different email campaigns that include Bob that is 4 email sends. Basic is priced at $ 499/month, Advanced/Business is $ 699 per month. You can purchase additional email sends ($ 100 for 100,000, $ 200 for 200,000 etc.)

The Advanced/Business subscription level adds functionality – Automation, Landing Pages, Lead/Contact Scoring, Event Management, Surveys and Subscription Management. For a fair comparison with Dynamics Marketing you should use the ClickDimensions Advanced/Business subscription level.

ClickDimensions also offers Social Engagement that is an add-on, $ 250/month for Basic and $ 600/month for Business. Microsoft includes their Social Engagement tool in the base price of Dynamics Marketing. The Social components of each solution are different so look at each closely to determine which solution meets your Social needs.

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Pricing/Packaging

Standalone – The Marketing module is offered as a standalone option. This is a differentiator, ClickDimensions is only available as an add-on to Dynamics 365. The standalone marketing module also includes Microsoft Social Engagement, Voice of the Customer for Microsoft Dynamics 365, 1 Portal, Non-Production/Production Instance, and Storage. Pricing is $ 1500 for the base package with 10,000 contacts. You can add more contacts for $ 250/month for 5000 contacts.

“Attach” Plan – If you already have Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement plan licenses you can attach Dynamics Marketing to your subscription for $ 750/month, 2000 contacts included. Additional contacts cost $ 600 for 1st 8000, then $ 250 for each additional 5000. If you already have Dynamics 365 application licenses (like Sales Enterprise vs the full Customer Engagement Plan licensing) you can attach Marketing for $ 750/month, includes 10,000 contacts and $ 250/month for each additional 5000 contacts.

If you license the Marketing module standalone you get Microsoft Social Engagement, Voice of the Customer for Microsoft Dynamics 365, 1 Portal, Non-Production/Production Instance, and Storage. If you are a Customer Engagement Plan customer you get portals, Social Engagement with your Customer Engagement subscription. If you have the Sales app. licenses you don’t get Social or Voice of the Customer, they can be added on to your subscription.

Dynamics Marketing limits the number of emails you can send monthly, 10 times the number of contacts in your database each month. You can also have up to 100 active customer journeys.

To truly compare pricing you will need to know the number of leads/contacts in your database and the number of emails you plan to send annually.

Confused? We can help you determine the proper solution and subscription level.

Functional Differences

ClickDimensions leverages standard Dynamics 365 functionality (Marketing Lists for example). ClickDimensions looks and feels like any other area of Dynamics 365.

Dynamics 365 Marketing is deployed in the new Unified Client (if you try to access the functionality via the standard browser interface you will be confused as all the functionality is not there(at least not that we could see). There is no clear instruction on this, to access the Marketing functionality log into your portal – login.microsoftonline.com, click on Dynamics 365, then find the tile for Marketing, this will get you to the unified client.

MDM Capabilities 625x327 Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing vs ClickDimensions

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Capabilities

ClickDimensions Capabilities 625x555 Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing vs ClickDimensions

ClickDimensions Capabilities

I have used Microsoft CRM/Dynamics 365 for over 14 years, the Marketing module is different. Yes, it looks very new and fresh but that comes with a learning curve. When I first logged into the Marketing tool I could not easily perform simple tasks (like building a segment, more on that later). I had to revert to the documentation.

Things are different and the standard Dynamics 365 entities are not used in some areas. For example, Marketing Lists. If you have put a lot of time and effort into building Marketing Lists and try to use them in Dynamics Marketing you will likely be upset as you cannot use them unless they are set as a “subscription list” (not that we could see anyway). Here comes the new “fresh” functionality… lists in Dynamics Marketing are called Segments. Ok, no problem I go over to the Segments. You would think that Segments are built using Advanced Find right? Nope… whole new system for querying and adding Leads/Contacts to a segment. Again if you spent a lot of time and effort building Advanced Find queries you cannot use them (again not that we could find). Going to a Segment and then clicking on Definition will let you build a segment:

MDM Segment Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing vs ClickDimensions

Dynamics Marketing Segment

You can build your query one of 3 ways, Designer (point and click), Flow or Query. I cannot understand why the standard entities like Marketing Lists and Advanced finds are not used. Now users need to learn multiple ways of querying.

ALSO – I found the Marketing module not to work with Microsoft Edge…. I had to open it in Google Chrome.

You cannot just pull together a list and send an email, you must build a Journey even for one-off emails. The Journey functionality is nice and I think will ultimately prove to be a good tool. ClickDimensions has very similar functionality in their campaign automation (very similar UI for building Journeys/campaign automation).

MDM Journey Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing vs ClickDimensions

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing Journey

Pages, Forms and Websites are pretty nice in Dynamics 365 Marketing. Very visual and drag/drop based editing. LinkedIn lead generation is also built-in allowing you to create forms on LinkedIn to collect leads. There are some advantages in these areas over ClickDimensions in our opinion.

Reporting in Dynamics Marketing is good with some builtin dashboards. There is a PowerBI content pack also available however we could not get it to connect to our Dynamics Marketing instance. ClickDimensions also has builtin dashboards available as well as a PowerBI content pack, builtin views.

MDM Dashboard Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing vs ClickDimensions

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Dashboard

All-in-all we are impressed with the Microsoft Marketing offering, especially for a V1 release. I like that it is available as a standalone application for businesses that are not ready for full CRM or just need a marketing application. I am not thrilled about the pricing model (based on leads/contacts), that will limit sales in a lot of accounts who are smaller but with large databases.

I admit I am biased having used ClickDimensions for a lot of years. I try not to let that sway my opinions. I am a Microsoft and Dynamics 365 evangelist, I love what Microsoft is doing with the Dynamics 365 platform but our job and first loyalty is to our clients and to help guide them to the best solution for their needs/requirements. From where I sit today we will need to spend more time with the new Marketing module and will be writing additional reviews on the solution.

If you would like guidance on selecting the best marketing automation platform for your business, a demo of Dynamics Marketing or ClickDimensions please reach out to us – 844.8.STRAVA (844.8.7282) or email me at [email protected]

About the Author: David Buggy is a veteran of the CRM industry with 18 years of experience helping businesses transform by leveraging Customer Relationship Management technology. He has over 14 years experience with Microsoft CRM and has helped hundreds of businesses plan, implement and support CRM initiatives. In 2017 he founded Strava Technology Group, a firm that is focused on helping businesses achieve success with Microsoft CRM and Dynamics 365. To reach David connect with him on LinkedIn. To learn more about Strava Technology Group visit www.stravatechgroup.com

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CRM Software Blog | Dynamics 365

Demandbase Debuts ABM Analytics for Optimal Marketing Performance

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Demandbase officially announced ABM Analytics during its annual ABM Innovation Summit. The new tech, part of the company’s account-based marketing platform, leverages its account identification technology to help marketers analyze performance from advertising to pipeline and revenue figures. “AI gives B2B marketers a clear view into the behavior of their target accounts,” said CMO Peter Isaacson.
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