Marketing Automation is one of the hottest topics in the marketing arena today. Navigating all the choices when it comes to strategies and technology can be hard for most Microsoft Certified Partners. After assessing over 300 Microsoft Partners at WPC 2015, we’ve put together this short outline of the best available marketing automation platforms to help you decide which is right for you.
3 Top Issues Microsoft Partners Face
The data from our 300+ assessments points to three undeniable problems that Microsoft Partners are facing when it comes to streamlining their marketing efforts. These problems arise while trying to integrate technology, human capital, content strategy, and tactical approaches to marketing strategy implementation.
1. Having access to the right team and technology to implement campaigns
There are two critical components to successfully implementing marketing automation inside of your organization:
· having the right team or people to manage the technology setup, creation and implementation of marketing automation campaigns.
· having the right technology in place to allow for the successful deployment of campaigns.
If you continue to read this post, I’ll recommend three different platforms when considering marketing automation.
2. Having actionable analytics to guide your keyword choices and content creation strategy
Successful content creation isn’t achieved by merely having analytical data. In fact in today’s marketing world there is an overwhelming amount of marketing data available. While much of this data has value, it is hard for the modern marketer to create strategic plans around numbers alone. The joke I often tell is “What do you get if you sit down 10 marketing ‘professionals’ in front of the same analytical data – the answer – 10 different strategies” (didn’t say the joke was funny). The key today is Actionable Data – which I will define as analytics that predict what you need to do next in a manner that is decisive and statistically based. There are a few major players in the predictive content analytics market. You can click the link in the last sentence to learn more about what Enfusen has to offer in the Predictive Analytics realm of content management.
3. Knowing the exact right tactics to implement, how to implement them, and when to implement them
In FY14 Enfusen was tasked by Microsoft to go out and test 934 different marketing strategies and platforms to see which are the most viable from a speed of implementation and speed to market perspective. To think that every marketer at every organization has the bandwidth to do the same would be impossible. Instead, you need to know the top converting and easiest strategies to implement while keeping in mind your team’s knowledge and capabilities. If you want to learn more about the research Enfusen conducted in order to create the 20 Pillars of Marketing, check out our blog post on that topic.
Is native integration to Dynamics CRM the only thing you need to consider?
The short answer is NO! The long answer is that you need to consider all of your integration opportunities and the simplicity of the integrations. There are numerous marketing automation platforms that allow you to integrate things like videos, webinars, landing pages, analytics, and sales tools in a quick and easy manner. Just because a marketing automation platform integrates with Dynmanics CRM, does not mean it is the best option for your business.
Microsoft Dynamics Marketing
In FY16 Microsoft will be releasing (again) their Microsoft Dynamics Marketing platform, which is supposed to be the combination of numerous acquisitions over the last several years. Most notably, MarketingPilot. Based on what we’ve seen, the new platform appears to include a more robust offering than anything that Microsoft has released in this space before. With that being said, they are limiting the number of users that they allow to test the platform right now. If you’re interested in trying the latest iteration, check out the links I’ve provided below.
Sign up for a free trial of Microsoft Dynamics Marketing
Check out the Getting Started Guide for Microsoft Dyanmics Marketing
Download the MDM Trail Guide: Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Trial Guide
Other Microsoft Marketing Automation Options
You can always check out Hubspot, which is a very easy to use, robust Marketing Automation Platform with Dynamics CRM integration. While Hubspot is a bit on the expensive side, they justify that price point with their ease of use and the best training in the industry. If you’d like to learn more about how Hubspot can help your business or how to get started with Hubspot, you can fill out the form to the right and talk to one of our Client Success Managers about your questions.
A newcomer (sort of) to the Marketing Automation Space is SharpSpring which includes everything in their base program that the Hubspot Enterprise Package covers (Hubspot is $2400 per month) except SharpSpring is a fraction of Hubspot’s price. The catch is that you need to work with a SharpSpring Agency to use SharpSpring. All things considered this is a great option of most Partners who keep budgets in mind when choosing a platform.
Enfusen is both a Hubpsot Partner as well as a SharpSpring Agency and Microsoft approved Marketing Vendor. If you’re not sure which platform is the right fit for you, a representative from Enfusen can help you determine and begin implementation of the best automation option for your firm. Fill out the form to the right or call 1-877-999-0271 to set up an assessment to learn which is the best fit for you.
Making the right decision about which Microsoft marketing automation technology to use and what strategies to implement can be daunting. Enfusen has partnered with Microsoft over the last three years to help Microsoft Certified Partners navigate this decision and implementation. If you are a Microsoft Certified Partner and would like to learn more about the co-funded programs that Microsoft has setup with Enfusen, click the banner below to set up an assessment. We’ll try to match your organization with the platform that will provide the best results.