Let’s start with Camp MA. Marketing Automation users have a couple of options. First, they may stay the course and wait until Dynamics 365 Marketing, B.E. arrives (likely Summer 2017). When it does, clients may evaluate the merits of the new application, evaluate the level of effort to transition, then when ready, do so. A degree of re-implementation will be involved to reconfigure templates and object and attribute configuration and enable new features, but critical contact and lead data should be retained.
A second option is to consider ISV (Independent Software Vendor) MA solutions upon MDM license expiration. Many such solutions exist, and each with strengths and weaknesses. From our experience, most Dynamics 365/ Dynamics CRM customers have identified ClickDimensions as their preferred choice, primarily based on its comparable functionality (to MDM) and native integration with CRM. Other solutions, such as Act-On and Emarsys are at a similar price point for comparable functionality and tout “pre-built” (though not native) integration with CRM. Additional ISV applications such as Hubspot or Marketo are quite common with Dynamics CRM customers, though the integration to CRM here is typically custom or non-existent.
A third option is Adobe Campaign. In late 2016, Microsoft announced a strategic partnership with Adobe whereby Adobe has agreed to move its vast suite of Marketing Cloud applications from AWS to Microsoft’s Azure platform. In turn, Microsoft has designated Adobe as its “preferred” marketing cloud provider. Just a week ago at Adobe Summit 2017, Microsoft announced that the first step of integration between Dynamics 365 (CRM) and Adobe Campaign was completed. The nature and details of this integration are still to be evaluated.
Adobe offers a very rich suite of marketing, creative, advertising, and analytics software. With a deep track record in the creative space, Adobe offers solutions that will outpace similar solutions from most competitors. Like many of those competitors, Adobe built its suite through a mix of organic growth and acquisition. Adobe Campaign (formerly Neolane) is one such example. Camp MA users are likely to find Adobe Campaign a solid replacement for MDM (MA). The question is whether “the juice outweighs the squeeze,” as Adobe is positioned at a considerably higher price point than many of the options outlined above. In fact, the Microsoft and Adobe marketing partnership is aimed at Microsoft’s Enterprise customers, presumably for this very reason.
How to decide?
For Camp MA, there are several viable options. A primary driver for most customers will be cost, followed by ease of transition. Timing will also be a factor, as alternatives such as ClickDimensions or Emarsys exist today, whereas the delivery dates for Dynamics 365 Marketing, B.E. and integration of Adobe Campaign with Dynamics 365 CRM are still to be confirmed.
(see Part 3)