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What’s the Best Marketing Automation Software for Microsoft Dynamics CRM?

 

ClickDimensions Review—An Independent Marketing Software Analysis

ClickDimensions Strengths and Weaknesses

ClickDimensions Strengths:

  • ClickDimensions offers a choice in marketing software consumption, be it on-premise or from the cloud. Cloud delivery is hosted with Azure, currently using the New York data center, but also considering data center locations in Europe and Asia Pacific to respond to increasing international growth.
  • The company is an aggressive innovator, generally delivering a new release with new capabilities about every three months.
  • The product is built on the Microsoft .NET technology stack. The app uses a multi-tenant architecture and integration is accomplished within the confines of Microsoft’s SDK (and API).
  • The company offers a reasonable global reach. With multi-language support, 422 partners in 46 countries (as of September 2013) and dedicated account managers in EMEA and Asia Pacific, ClickDimensions earned 48% of its 2012 revenues from outside the US.
  • In my independent ClickDimensions customer reviews (i.e. I got my own customer references as opposed to being provided references from the vendor), customer support was almost consistently described as “outstanding.”
  • ClickDimensions acquisition cost is generally the lowest among the applications in this marketing software review. Pricing for a basic email marketing system begins at $225 per month, and extends up to $1,250+ per month for more features and scalability. The primary variables which affect the subscription pricing include the volume of emails to be sent and the particular feature sets. The company permits additional website tracking at no additional cost.

ClickDimensions Weaknesses:

  • As with SalesFUSION and Silverpop CoreMotives, ClickDimensions scalability may be a problem for larger customers. While each of these vendors talks in terms of email volume when discussing scalability, that’s not really the limitation. Instead, the performance bottleneck is with data transfers between the marketing software and the Dynamics CRM application. When the marketing application requires data from CRM, or vice versa, performance degradation can bring the systems to a crawl. To help avert degrading CRM performance, ClickDimensions uses a throttling mechanism when pushing data to CRM. This is a reasonable stop gap but clearly demonstrates the scalability limitation incurred with the “embedded” marketing to CRM approach as compared to the “integrated” marketing to CRM position. It’s also worth noting that customers with higher marketing transaction volumes will achieve superior system performance using Dynamics CRM on-premise as opposed to Dynamics CRM online.
  • Lead management key performance indicators, business intelligence and rich lead management analytics are sparse.
  • There’s no Service Level Agreement (SLA) to guarantee hosting uptime or deliverability. That said, the hosting uptime history is good, and there is a public trust site to share hosting service performance at http://trust.clickdimensions.com. And as with some other competitors in this marketing software review, the company does not possess routine data center delivery and information security attestations such as ISO 27001 or SSAE 16.
  • Larger or more cautious marketing software buyers may have concerns with ClickDimensions small company size. The company’s modest Atlanta office, offshore development and small number of staff (42 employees and about 10 contractors) are hallmark characteristics of a young and entrepreneurial company, but may not withstand some organizations enterprise due diligence.

ClickDimensions is laser focused on the 40,000 companies using Microsoft CRM. It’s not the first marketing automation system designed for Dynamics CRM, but it has clearly become one of the favorites.

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