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What Marketing Automation Tool Do You Use?

  • 1.  What Marketing Automation Tool Do You Use?

    Posted Aug 20, 2019 10:32 AM
    Edited by Katherine Souder Aug 20, 2019 10:40 AM
    We currently use Marketo and their out of the box integration with Dynamics. It's been okay despite a few gaps - the sync can be slow, we can't sync Marketo campaigns or activities (newsletter emails, etc), but none of this was a dealbreaker until we told them we were moving to Dynamics Online. Now they want 160k to create a copy of our Marketo instance (more than 3x the annual cost of the tool!) because their integration is setup so that once an instance of Marketo is integrated with Dynamics, it can never be integrated with another Dynamics instance.

    We're using this as an opportunity to explore other marketing automation solutions. Would love to know what others are using, why you like it, and if there are any known gaps.

    Thanks!




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    Katherine Souder
    Service Management Group
    Kansas City MO
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  • 2.  RE: What Marketing Automation Tool Do You Use?

    GOLD CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Aug 21, 2019 01:07 AM
    We are using Clickdimensions. It integrates well with Dynamics and they have decent support and online training materials.

    That being said, the training materials are very much needed, as it's rather complex to use. Unfortunately we have a very small, overworked marketing team that has their focus on the content they create, rather than the tools they use. With Clickdimensions not being a very intuitive tool and them not having the right pre-requisites to work with the tool I'm finding it challenging to get them to use it effectively.

    If you go for Clickdimensions, make sure to focus on good user training so that they have a good technical understanding on how it works. I have no experience with Marketo, so I have no clue how it compares.

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    Sissy Bottcher
    Business Process Innovation Specialist
    Dynamics 365 for Sales Enterprise (Online v.9)
    San Diego CA
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  • 3.  RE: What Marketing Automation Tool Do You Use?

    Posted Aug 21, 2019 02:18 AM
    Hi Katherine,

    Can I ask how slow is the sync? We are just starting on our journey with Marketo and have concerns about performance, which they have said won't be an issue.
    We have over 200,000 contact records. Considering them, leads, opportunities and some custom entities; it does give us cause for concern.

    We have CRM Online. Any info you are willing to provide would be excellent.

    Thanks

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    Sharon Fish
    Beyond Bank Australia
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  • 4.  RE: What Marketing Automation Tool Do You Use?

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Aug 21, 2019 05:15 AM
    Hi Katherine,
    we are using ClickDimensions and looking from a data perspective I like the fact that all is in CRM. Our users do not know if they are on ClickDimensions site or in CRM. Sissy is right in saying that it is not the most userfriendly tool but with good educated superusers and a good set up of marketing lists and templates we got everyone to be able to send a newsletter. The advanced stuff like reporting, campaign automation and dynamic content is done by superusers or internal CRM support (like me).

    If you want to look at other systems I just got an insight in dotdigital.com. It sounds quite impressive what they can do and they also integrate into Dynamics and also to cms and shop systems.

    Good Luck

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    Axel Girgensohn
    Dynamics CRM Specialist
    Aller Media AB
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  • 5.  RE: What Marketing Automation Tool Do You Use?

    Posted Aug 21, 2019 06:24 PM
    We use Act-On, which has a pre-built connector to Dynamics.  We have our integration scheduled in the 2nd phase of our overall implementation which we are just getting started on so I'm curious what others reply with.  Hoping it will help me understand some of the potential questions to ask and struggles to learn from.

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    Tina Silver
    Senior Business Systems Analyst
    SR Smith, LLC
    Canby OR
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  • 6.  RE: What Marketing Automation Tool Do You Use?

    GOLD CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Aug 21, 2019 09:32 PM
    @Katherine Souder, I've used ClickDimensions for many years with different companies. Since it's a Dynamics 365 solution it provides seamless integration to the end user. It has many great features that are worth exploring. I would reach out to them in your quest for an integrated and robust marketing automation tool. @Joel Hinton may be able to put you in touch with the right people at ClickDimensions if you are interested.

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    Aaron Howell
    Associate Director, CRM Product Management
    American University
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  • 7.  RE: What Marketing Automation Tool Do You Use?

    Posted Aug 21, 2019 10:48 PM
    Edited by Joel Hinton Aug 21, 2019 10:50 PM
    @Katherine Souder​ it's nice to electronically meet! @Aaron Howell​ thanks for you introduction! Since 2010, Our Sole mission and purpose has been to make Microsoft technology work for marketers so they can create great experiences.


    ClickDimensions is the only complete marketing solution made exclusively for and natively built within Dynamics 365. We combine multi-channel marketing automation technology, a marketing dashboard for deeper insights into marketing results and revenue impact, and a full range of world-class marketing services – all designed to ensure success for marketers at organizations that use Dynamics 365.

    Feel free to reach me directly if I can help.

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    Joel Hinton
    Senior Territory Channel Manager
    joel.hinton@clickdimensions.com
    (678) 820-5552
    ClickDimensions
    Greenville, SC
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  • 8.  RE: What Marketing Automation Tool Do You Use?

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Aug 22, 2019 03:31 AM
    We use CommuniGator - it's UK based, but that does not seem to be a problem for their other US clients.

    We've used CommuniGator for 8 years now both for our own use and for 30+ clients, most of which were/are integrated with Dynamics.  You use Dynamics to choose your audience and then it passes the audience to CommuniGator and you use their interface to create emails, send, etc...  All of the campaign performance comes back to Dynamics, updating the campaign activity and individual opens, clicks, unsubscribes, event bookings and so on are written into a set of entities linked to leads, contacts and accounts.

    There are advantages and disadvantages to the use of a separate interface for email marketing, depending on how you work.  For example, if one person runs the whole process, they need to use CommuniGator interface to create emails and send campaigns but D365 to select the audience.  However if different people are involved in the process, some of those people concerned with creating and sending emails don't need access to D365, saving on licence costs...

    Personally, I like the separate interface for preparing and sending emails.  It's been built for that one purpose and so is well optimised rather than a general D365 screen that serves many purposes, but that's just my view!

    In terms of what I like and dislike, the support is outstanding and the main reason we have stayed with them so long.  They are a technical led company, so the product is very feature rich.  So if you want to drip your campaign out 200 emails at a time over a month you can, multiple sending domains, AI based Spam checking rules, etc, etc...  The big disadvantage for me is that there are so many functions, the learning curve to become truly competent can be steep and some of the functions are hidden away in odd places.

    Picking up on comments above, the integration is easy - install the solution and they do some stuff their end and you are up and running.  I've migrated from OnPrem to Online in less than a day without issue.  Speed of data transfer seems fine - most lists of a few thousand take less than a few minutes while a big list of 200,000+ takes an hour or so before it can be sent.  But it takes us longer than that to prepare the email anyway!

    We're not a reseller, just an enthusiastic client.

    Hope that helps.

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    Simon West
    Nett Sales LLP
    Aldbourne
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  • 9.  RE: What Marketing Automation Tool Do You Use?

    Posted Aug 22, 2019 09:52 AM
    We use www.emfluence.com , they are a marketing company that has build an integration to CRM.  They attend our local users group , and have spoken at CRMUG a couple of times.  The interface was intuitive enough for a non-marketer to figure out :) , great support and long history of marketing experience.  Synchronization performance works great for our needs, but we're not at 200k of contacts or emails , more like the 10k range.  There is a full range of APIs available so IT can interact with the product as well.

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    John Ross
    Senior Microsoft CRM Solutions Specialist
    Redstone Logistics
    Overland Park KS
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  • 10.  RE: What Marketing Automation Tool Do You Use?

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Aug 23, 2019 02:41 AM
    We are beginning to use Dynamics 365 for Marketing.
    Have not used in in anger yet and will be installing it on production over the weekend.
    When I installed in on our sandbox, I discovered that we were entitled to 18k contacts instead of the expected 2k.
    When I queried this I was told that our 'quota is tenant based and is multi Geo, It has license in each region, that is why you can see 2000 * 9 Geos contacts = 18000 contacts'. Happy days.
    One thing to be aware of, you can only have one active version. I had to uninstall it from my sandbox to have the option of installing it on production.

    We did use ClickDimensions, and when it was good, it was very good; however, repeated downtimes (unable to send emails or get leads into the CRM for days and days) meant that they they completely lost our trust.


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    Donal McCarthy
    Digital Marketing Administrator
    BrightWork
    Galway
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  • 11.  RE: What Marketing Automation Tool Do You Use?

    GOLD CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted 30 days ago
    Edited by Aaron Howell 30 days ago
    @Donal McCarthy, thanks for your candid feedback and happy Friday! I'm curious if you can share more details on your ClickDimension experience? On rare occasions, we would have issues getting email statistics, but they would come through, albeit it a day late. For the lack of lead captures into CRM, were you using a CD form to capture your leads or custom code? I've sent as many as 250K in one batch multiple times per week. In one organization I worked with (the $250K emails) we had painful performance issues with CRM. We engaged with our Microsoft partner and found out it was more complex. Our partner implemented recurring maintenance tasks, increased system resources, and we scheduled large email blasts on non-peak hours. There are some limitations, CD isn't perfect by all means. I've found their support to be quite helpful. Please also keep us posted on Dynamics 365 for Marketing, I'm excited to hear how it goes.

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    Aaron Howell
    Associate Director, CRM Product Management
    American University
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  • 12.  RE: What Marketing Automation Tool Do You Use?

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted 30 days ago
    @Aaron Howell - it was around 18 months ago that we moved. We were using a custom version of their form capture on a WordPress site. ​They were suffering from capacity issues.

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    Donal McCarthy
    Digital Marketing Administrator
    BrightWork
    Galway
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  • 13.  RE: What Marketing Automation Tool Do You Use?

    GOLD CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted 19 days ago
    Hey Donal,

    I hate to hear that you had issues but having worked on the support team at that time I strongly recall similar cases such as yours. We were undergoing major infrastructure upgrades due to the rapid increase of our customer base. Thankfully, significant changes have been made since then, the platform has expanded and is now in a much more scalable state - we certainly learned our lesson from back then. 😊

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    Emma D'Arcy
    MCSE: Business Applications
    Pre-Sales Consultant
    ClickDimensions
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  • 14.  RE: What Marketing Automation Tool Do You Use?

    GOLD CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted 27 days ago
    We are deploying Dynamics for Marketing as well. You can purchase additional non-production instances of the Dynamics for Marketing application, which we have, in order to have the solution in our development, test, and production environments.  If you are using their out of the box portal we learned the hard way you need to purchase a portal for each non-production instance if you want them to be distinctly separate environments like we require.

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    Shawn Hickey
    Burns & McDonnell
    Kansas City MO
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  • 15.  RE: What Marketing Automation Tool Do You Use?

    Posted 27 days ago

     

    Hi Donal,

    Happy to hear that you are onboarding to Dynamics 365 for Marketing.  I just want to clarify a few things for you and based on your expectation of seeing only 2K of contacts, I'm guessing that you have the free version of Marketing as you have 10+ C+E/Dynamics Plan licenses, correct?  

    You should only have 2K of contacts regardless of whether this is multi-geo or not.  If you are seeing 18K contacts then this sounds like a bug in our system.  It may be a display issue - meaning you really only have 2K contacts or it might be an issue where the actual quota is incorrect.  I will need to follow-up with our team internally.

    • You can have multiple paid Marketing instances on a tenant, only 1 per instance
    • You can only have 1 trial of Marketing per tenant and it installs as a stand-alone on the tenant, not integrated with an individual instance
    • The issue of having to uninstall and re-install with the single version is simply because you have only one active license, otherwise this wouldn't be necessary.

     

    I'd like to know who provided you with the other information so that I can follow-up and make sure that they are provided more education, so if you could share that with me privately, I'd appreciate it.  Also, please feel free to reach out to me with any questions/concerns.  

    Thanks,

    Megan 



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    Megan Day
    Microsoft
    Redmond WA
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  • 16.  RE: What Marketing Automation Tool Do You Use?

    Posted 30 days ago
    Katherine

    You might want to push back to Marketo.  We just upgraded from MSD2011 on-prem to 2016 on-prem and we had to uncouple our Marketo instance and spin up a new one for MSD.  Marketo should not charge you to make an instance copy.  They will advise against it because of concerns of data integrity an so on.

    We worked with Marketo Services to do the migration.  However, I would recommend you reach out to Jeff Pedowitz at The Pedowitz group.  They are an excellent firm and I regret being unable to go with them for our migration.  It was 100% our fault because they were great on price and service.

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    Michael Larmon
    Director, Marketing Communications
    Misumi USA
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