There’s no denying Microsoft Dynamics is a powerful sales and CRM platform. While it can handle marketing data, many still want a dedicated marketing automation platform (MAP). Marketo is renowned for simplifying some of the most sophisticated marketing processes, providing everything needed to continually roll out sophisticated marketing strategies in a single native environment.
It’s no wonder almost 5% of the top 10,000 high-traffic sites rely on Marketo to manage their top-tier marketing campaigns. Making native Marketo data useful in Dynamics, however, can lead to significant discrepancies — and without the proper data integration and automation partner, conflicts in data can create friction between disparate apps.
Syncing Challenges Common to Marketo and Dynamics
Generally, syncing errors between Marketo and Dynamics can be categorized in one of three ways:
- Improper field management
- Duplicate data
- Performance delays
When you trace these problems to their root causes, the ambitious user may be tempted to roll up their sleeves and resolve them manually using custom spreadsheets, reminders, and other workarounds. It takes a lot of time, though, and it distracts from more revenue-impacting efforts.
While a bit better, some users employ their hodgepodge of custom apps to monitor syncing processes more closely, but this is a decidedly non-automated strategy. You still need to ensure the data syncing itself is effectively streamlined to start with.
Further, it introduces new complexity, and you take on the role of product developer (and tester). You must also retrain your entire staff, even if you possess those skills. No matter how you look at it, you’re stepping outside of Marketo’s and Dynamics’ native environments when what you need is to remain there all the more.
Tweaking Settings Isn’t the Be All, End All
Deciding to master Marketo and Dynamics is undoubtedly responsible, as with any tool your company relies heavily on. At the same time, syncing the two presents issues that are anything but user error, even for experts. It’s essential to be clear about which sync mistakes you can overcome with sophisticated custom settings within the native integration, and the inherent limitations that require a live automation environment to overcome.
Some processes can be improved with a more thorough command of each system’s settings, but if fundamental data-syncing issues require better integration solutions no matter what, you’re better off starting there before getting too far under the hood. For example:
- You could write a field once, block updates, and use only the original value when appropriate. However, besides the inherent limitation, you’re still forced to add new custom fields to Dynamics before syncing to Marketo. This impacts real-life team dynamics, putting your marketers downstream from your sales or support staff.
- Avoiding duplicate entries can be extremely cumbersome. Some hide early prospects from sales to reduce duplicates that sometimes happen with a partial sync. Of course, you’ll be left manually remembering which records you left out, creating a lot of mop-up work that doesn’t happen with set-it-and-forget integration.
- Slow syncing can be overcome by minimizing which data set is synced with the programs. Still, it requires importing specific records in a single direction and then updating those records in the original platform the same way every time. What if your sales team does not need to use Marketo other than to fulfill these requirements? Automated integration makes virtually every syncing task bidirectional.
Regaining Organizational Cohesion
If it seems like a losing battle, you’re not alone. A research report on the effects of poor synchronization cited findings by the marketing group Ascend2, who found that 44% of marketers consider “inadequate or missing application integrations” a primary challenge.
It also goes beyond departmental friction — a Deloitte survey cited in the study found that almost the same percentage of respondents ranked poor app integration as the second-biggest obstacle to procurement plans. Only poor data quality was a bigger issue, which goes hand in hand with integration struggles.
What this means at the organizational level is that these challenges are impacting business at every level. From operations teams to C-level RevOps managers, poor app integration has become one of the most enduring problems for post-information-age businesses.
Just as organizations focused on data acquisition throughout the first quarter-century, the focus has firmly shifted to honing that data’s usability. Without a strong plan for streamlined app integration, companies at any scale will continue to struggle at virtually every division between native environments.
As even the smallest companies frequently use several (or even dozens) of apps, smoothing integration issues is a shared focus across virtually the entire business landscape. Some app developers are slowly accommodating this, building rudimentary sync features into their product.
Because the functions of Marketo and Dynamics only slightly overlap, they aren’t seen as direct competitors of each other. Still, many find their syncing processes to be incomplete. Moreover, what about future app-integration needs you might have? The right target is a universal integration solution.
Resolving the Top Pain Points of Native Marketo and Dynamics Sync Errors
Resolving integration issues requires clarity on what those issues are. Then, you can identify which features are necessary for an effective automation ecosystem that works with your preferred platforms — in this case, Marketo and Dynamics.
Related: How a Mid-Market Manufacturing Company Uses Vertify to Connect Marketo Engage With Multiple Dynamics CRMs
Because not all data points sync bidirectionally, ensuring your data-integration partner resolves the specific data discrepancies common to those programs is pivotal. Determining the exact issues that lead to poor data hygiene when exchanging data between Marketo and Dynamics will point your systems automation developer to the appropriate solutions.
The most common pain points users have when syncing data between Marketo and Dynamics (and the attendant solutions) include:
- Troubleshooting sync issues, which can be reduced with improved error alerts and automatic, event-driven retries.
- Updates during native syncing can cause data discrepancies; for instance, lead scores updated in Marketo are sometimes overwritten by the old scores in Dynamics. This can be avoided with configurable sync timing per entity rather than relying on the native sync’s five-minute batch-syncing intervals.
- While Dynamics has some trouble syncing batch smart campaigns (the backbone of Marketo), more sophisticated integration methods can synthesize both triggered and smart campaigns without altering the data.
- Dynamics’ lookup fields are sometimes given cryptic IDs instead of the actual, original values. Rather than create a manual database to translate between the two, user-friendly integration systems can maintain, transform, and convert custom values between disparate apps without requiring separate labels.
- The percentage of out-of-sync contact records gradually increases with time, an occurrence typically handled by Marketo support running global resyncs. This occurs even if you run your Marketo-Dynamics instance properly, with no duplicate detection rules or Dynamics customizations interfering with Marketo’s lead-qualifications detection.
- It’s not always clear why these sync errors occur. Because Marketo can overwrite leads, lead-field sync discrepancies sometimes rectify themselves, though not for contacts, which always require global resyncs. Custom integration solutions are much more flexible and elastic; therefore, they are not bound by the same syncing limitations for contacts.
Sync First, Ask Questions Later
RevOps teams know that their work is never done. Suppose you’re dedicated to helping your sales, marketing, and customer support teams output high volumes of value-adding work. In that case, you must ensure their efforts aren’t wasted on valueless tasks that are best left to automation processes.
Developer-grade integration solutions – with interfaces that are no-code and don’t require a developer to configure – are now available to smooth the rough edges between sales and marketing platforms (and, by extension, your teams). As two of the most prominent products in their respective market, Dynamics and Marketo can be merged into a much more unified workflow using Vertify’s advanced, user-friendly automation platform. For more questions or to get started, request a demo today.