The Latest Developments In CRM and Marketing Automation. How SugarCRM, Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Other Major CRM Vendors See This?


Traditionally, CRM vendors emphasize more on sales and business processes automation and less on Marketing Automation. certainly, the more traditional marketing processes as conducting (web, print, email) campaigns are vital for any and every organization therefore CRM users prefer to integrate the third party marketing automation products with CRM.

Many standard products and solutions are available in the market with advanced, Marketing Automation tools i.e. CRM with Medley, Marketo or Mail Plus for complex email campaigns.
In this post we will have an overview of the latest developments with CRM and Marketing Automation and the strategy that major CRM vendors employ for this.

CRM and Marketing Automation:

The traditional marketing processes and campaigns are well supported by CRM solutions as all campaigns run with the CRM and the leads acquired from the Web, telesales and (e) mail newsletter are transferred directly to the CRM system.

Matters such as lead nurturing and social monitoring, however, are less supported since these are usually not the standard functionalities of a CRM system. To fill up the gap in this area, major CRM vendors have set their sight set on advanced marketing automation tools and they seem to have a very interesting strategy: Oracle bought Eloqua in December 2012, Salesforce bought Pardot in June 2013 and Microsoft consecutively Marketing Pilot in December 2012 and Netbreeze in March 2013. SugarCRM has, from its open platform strategy has retained its customers by letting them choose the ideal marketing automation platform and integratethat with CRM. However, SugarCRM, in addition to other partnerships such as Hubspot, recently formed a partnership with Marketo.

SugarCRM and Marketo


Gartner ranks Marketo as a leader in the Magic Quadrant for CRM Lead Management. Marketo offers include Marketing Automation, Email Marketing, Social Marketing, Inbound Marketing, Loyalty Marketing, Event Marketing and Lead Generation Management tools.

Marketo integration with SugarCRM

The integration between Marketo and SugarCRM is two-way. Only by entering the SugarCRM credentials plus the desired objects and fields to match the data, both systems are automatically synchronized. The integration uses Sugar’s Cloud Connector & scheduling and is configured with the standard SugarCRM module loader. This seamless integration ensures efficient distribution and management of leads (and contacts) across the marketing and sales cycle by simultaneously ensuring the integrity and quality of the data in SugarCRM.

Microsoft dynamics CRM, Marketing & Social Listening.

During the event “Explore Dynamics CRM 2014” the Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Microsoft presented product roadmap. It introduces Microsoft Dynamics Marketing and Social Listening as new modules of the CRM suite. Both modules are from Q2 2014, the so-called “Spring Release” is available.

In contrast to the solution of Marketo and SugarCRM, this is an integrated solution. Although both modules come from previous acquisitions, Microsoft offers new solutions as a CRM suite. With a unified and fully integrated solution, Microsoft wants to distinguish itself from Oracle and Salesforce that still have large challenges in integrating the Marketing Automation tools purchased by them with their CRM solution.

Integrated solution or integration?

Integrations are robust, thanks to open-source technologies available for updates, there is no point of dealing with two different user interfaces. (marketing automation tool and the CRM tool.)
An integrated solution is certainly good from end-user interface perspective, yet, it also has its limitations. It is at this moment the question of what Microsoft does with its Marketing Automation solution compared to established platforms such as Marketo, Hubspot, Eloqua and Pardot arises. How much time Microsoft requires to catch up in terms of functionalities and specifications?

What exactly a marketing automation solution is supposed to do?

A marketing automation tool is a means to initiate, automate and operationalize the (online) marketing strategy. Decide as a first step, the overall CRM strategy and roadmap with a phased implementation.

First phase: implementation and delivery of an operational CRM system to operate efficiently from one integrated and central CRM solution.

Second phase: improvements and in functionality and efficiency i.e faster help and support provided to the customers leading to increased customer value.

Third phase: Enhancements in the processes and functionalities.

These marketing automation developments are definitely a call for the CRM vendors to come up with smarter built-in marketing automation integrations with their CRM products.