CRM and marketing automation

B2B companies heavily rely on digital channels, Gartner predicts that by 2025, 80% of B2B sales interactions between suppliers and buyers will occur via digital channels. When it comes to data quality, however, around 60% of marketers don’t trust they have the right knowledge available. CRM and marketing automation are key technologies when improving the customer experience (within the digital buying journey) and insights into data.

Which CRM and which marketing automation platform?

Most companies already are using some kind of CRM solution, whether it’s Salesforce.com, Microsoft Dynamics, or a smaller solution that fits their needs. Over time, tons of data is being put in the systems and it often becomes a single point of truth for the majority of customer interactions. When evaluating marketing automation platforms, considering your existing CRM system should be top of mind.  You will need to decide between best-of-breed or an all-in-one solution. Below we’re giving you an overview of which choices you may want to make. You’ll have to choose between a Best-of-Breed or All-in-One solution.

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RFI marketing automation templateCRM and marketing automation: best-of-breed option

The first option is to use a best-of breed solution.  This means that you’ll build a marketing technology stack that includes the best possible solutions for your different technology needs. This includes not only marketing automation and CRM but also might include sales enablement software, chatbots, CMS, and attribution software. Typically, a vast ecosystem of software integrations is available. The functionality and ease-of-use is often better than some all-in-one solutions.

As the average marketer uses over 30 technologies in their daily job, the main thing to consider is the integrations that are offered. You will want to do a deep dive as not all integrations are equal. Some native integrations that marketing automation providers offer are even better than the all-in-one solutions.

Some of the most popular marketing automation solutions include Adobe Marketo and Act-On Software. These solutions natively integrate into Microsoft Dynamics, Salesforce.com, Netsuite, Zendesk, and SugarCRM. When native integrations are not available, there are proven solutions to integrate (like Zapier or Blendr.io).

CRM and marketing automation: the all-in-one-solution

The other option is an all-in-one solution. These solutions typically have a ‘cloud’ or ‘suite’ of marketing solutions available. These systems might include CRM, marketing automation, social media posting, advertising, reporting, sales automation, operations software, and support solutions. The most recognized and used solutions are Salesforce.com (Pardot or Marketing Cloud for automation), Microsoft Dynamics 365 (Marketing Module for marketing automation) and of course HubSpot.

As a user, you don’t need to worry about integrations, however, don’t overestimate the level of integration. Often the all-in-one solution is marketed as the perfect integration, but in practice, the different modules are actually two solutions that can even require separate logins. The other thing you’ll have to keep in mind is that new features often take long to be included and pricing gets steep when all features are required. Keep in mind scalability as future requirements will surely expand, and calculate your actual costs.

Especially with the all-in-one solution, you’re making a long-term choice as it’s challenging to change platforms when you’ve really started to use the solution.

Trends for marketing technology in 2022

The ability to integrate to various marketing technologies is one of the major trends that we identified for 2022. We host a weekly podcast about marketing technology and this episode expands on integrating CRM and marketing automation:

 

Marketing Guys: your agnostic marketing automation partner

Are you considering changing your marketing automation solution? Or are you selecting a new solution? We’re here to help you. Marketing Guys is an agnostic partner with experience with many of the top platforms.  We can help you in implementing, integrating, and supporting you to become successful as a B2B marketer. Feel free to book a short discovery call with us: