There has been a shift in the conversations we have been having around Microsoft Dynamics CRM. More often than not, we are being asked to implement a CRM solution with minor customizations to the standard sales process and getting into more complex questions about marketing. I believe this is a sign of a greater shift to marketing in general. Marketers are looking beyond the traditional email campaign, calling campaigns and direct marketing for other effective communications channels.
I believe this is generational because the Generation X crowd still perform well with an email campaigning. However, the young Generation X community and the Millennials want faster, more social communication. Therefore, marketing needs to shift to meet this communication channel. This has left a void (as well as opportunity) for new marketing techniques.
So, what are our options? First thing we need to realize is that since the trends follow generations, we have to open up multiple marketing channels to reach our entire audience. The desired communication method will be very different. Age and region are going to be important to consider when attempting to market. Since age or birthdate are potentially sensitive pieces of information to get, there may be a need for data gathering services that can provide that information.
On the market right now, we are seeing the most activity around HubSpot, ClickDimensions and Microsoft Dynamics Marketing. While the technology and offering are changing quickly to meet the new requirements, we feel there is not one product that fits all. HubSpot and Dynamics Marketing are good campaign planners and listeners. They are intelligent and able to make decisions. For instance, they are able to put out a social message, listen to the web for a response and act upon it. This could be creating a lead for a positive comment or create a case for a negative post. They allow for complex decision matrix utilizing multiple channels. These products are strong for those individuals interested in communicating in a social way. One item to consider when looking at these products is that HubSpot requires an integration to pull lead and activity information into Dynamics CRM. There are many products that will provide this integration with little effort.
ClickDimensions is one example of a product for email campaigning as well as landing pages. Once a competitor with CoreMotives and ExactTarget, ClickDimensions is the only email marketing product right now which continues to be on course with Microsoft Dynamics CRM. The tools available with ClickDimensions are extensive. We have a retail client that has incorporated ClickDimensions landing pages on flat screens in their showroom allowing customers to walk right up to a wall and sign up for a mailing list.
The marketing space around Dynamics CRM is unclear and changing. At this point in time, there may not be one solution to meet your needs. You may have to evaluate multiple offerings. These offerings may change and expand over time .
If you’d like to learn about the marketing function in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, contact our professional at email@example.com or call us at 855.437.7202.
By: Bob Kanzler – Philadelphia Microsoft Dynamics CRM partner