Marketing automation products like Marketo and customer relationship managers (CRMs) like Microsoft Dynamics and Salesforce are designed to help a company improve its profits. The challenge is that these two disparate software solutions often rely on the same data or could benefit from data collected by the other. Without proper integration, neither product will be operating at its peak efficiency. Poor integrations add extra complexity to human workflows, increase the chance of error, and deprive the software’s algorithms of potentially valuable data.
While nearly every business software now offers native integrations with other platforms, the results are often lackluster. While 95% of professionals in the field say that marketing automation has improved their business, only 7% feel the software designed to perform that function integrates well with the rest of their tech stack. Thankfully, there’s an alternative to native integrations.
About the Products
Before we detail how the software products integrate, let’s have a quick refresher on what each of them does.
- Marketo – This marketing automation platform from Adobe saves marketers time and money by automating many repetitive tasks that they and salespeople face. It helps to nurture and follow up on leads and personalize content. To do its job effectively, it needs to store tremendous amounts of data about your leads and customers.
- Microsoft Dynamics / Salesforce – These rival products are customer relationship managers (CRMs). Their job is to collect all of the data about your customer into one central location. CRMs give everyone on your staff complete visibility into a customer’s journey with the company and, if integrated correctly, provide a single source of truth about essential customer data.
Why Businesses Integrate Marketo into Dynamics and Salesforce
It may seem as though these two classes of products are similar enough that only one is needed. Indeed, there is some overlap between Marketo’s functionality and high-end CRMs like Dynamics and Salesforce. However, there are also critical differences between the platforms that complement each other well. After all, each type of software is designed with different use cases in mind. For example, Marketo specializes in email marketing automation and segmentation, while Dynamics and Salesforce specialize in sales enablement and pipeline opportunity tracking. By utilizing both of them, in a well-integrated technology stack, businesses can capitalize on the strengths of each.
The limitations of native integration
In a perfect world, every piece of software would simply play nicely with every other tool in a tech stack. However, there’s a reason that only 7% of users feel that this is the case. The primary problem is that general-use integrations are, by their very definition, designed for a generic workflow rather than the specific needs of a company. There are a few other issues that plague the world of native integrations as well.
- Sync and other data issues – Native integrations can be demanding. One of the big problems users face is data not syncing correctly. This can happen for several reasons. One is that organizations must set up the integration precisely for everything to sync as it should. One wrong change can break the system. Another is that software products often use different formats and names for the same data. This complicates the process of setting up the synchronization.
- Limited software support – The goal of a CRM is to be a single source of truth for your customer data. Marketing automation software also benefits from as much data as possible. As such, both solutions must integrate with as many other products in your company’s software stack as possible. However, native integrations might not exist for every tool you use and don’t exist for any custom software you’re running.
- Missing features – This is the downside of dealing with a general-purpose integration. Once your company reaches a specific size, its needs grow beyond that of stock features. While nearly every type of business software has extensive customization options to match its features to your particular workflow, native integrations will not handle most of those customizations. This prevents you from taking full advantage of those custom feature upgrades.
- One-way integration – Another problem with native integrations is that they often only work one way. Some of the integration features may be designed to pull data from one product into another, but not vice-versa. This adds to the synchronization headache because your staff must now be careful always to add new data to the correct product or risk the consequences becoming out of sync.
- Limited integrations – Native integrations almost never integrate with all of the CRMs and MAPs you need to get the true benefit out of them. And if you have multiple subsidiaries within one organization, it gets even more complicated. Add to that the inability to automate the integration between custom objects and customer fields, and you can see the problem. If you don’t have an IT team available to create those integrations, you’re stuck. And even if you do, they often aren’t exactly what you needed.
A better way to integrate
Thankfully, native integrations aren’t the only option. The developers of business software understand how important it is that their software be able to integrate with a wide range of off-the-shelf and custom software components. As a result, they’ve created open APIs that allow developers to create their integrations.
While a large company could use these integration APIs to develop its own highly customized integration solutions, not every company has the resources to do so. That’s why third-party tools have popped up to make creating custom integrations much more accessible. These solutions provide several benefits over native integrations while often being easier to use.
- Works with any revenue system – A promising integration platform will allow you to create custom integration across your company’s applications, bringing together every stage of the buyer’s journey. This includes common applications for which native integrations are typically available, as well as smaller platforms and custom software.
- No-code setup – To be a better solution than native integrations, a third-party solution must be robust. It needs to have all the necessary tools to integrate with any software and provide support for any processing required to do so in a way that works with your company’s workflows. It must provide all this functionality with a no-code or low-code workflow. This allows nearly any staff member to create integrations with a drag-and-drop interface.
- Better utilization of data – With the ability to customize how your data is synced, the limitations of native integrations are gone. You will no longer have to worry about data that only syncs in one direction or that doesn’t fully take advantage of what each application offers. A good integration platform will give you all the flexibility that hand-written custom code would.
- Enhanced data processing and cleanup – Beyond mere syncing of data, a good integration platform will allow you to perform whatever processing and data hygiene are required to enable software applications to communicate better. If one application uses a different unit or field name than another, the system will make the appropriate conversions, so syncs always complete smoothly and accurately. You need an integration with features like dedupe functionality, enhanced merge, and transformation capabilities.
- Improved customer support – When one of the features your business relies on isn’t working correctly, it can significantly impact your team’s productivity. That’s why world-class support is essential in any software product you choose to add to your tech stack. While developers of marketing automation and CRM tools often provide that level of support for their core software, support for native integrations can be much more spotty. A reputable third-party platform will provide you with prompt backing when integrations have sync errors.
With the right partner, software users across your organization will no longer be constrained by a lack of native integration support or limited customization options that those integrations provide. The result is a more accurate unified view of your data and greater efficiency from your entire software stack.
How Vertify can help
With Vertify, your company can connect data in a multidirectional manner across Marketing Automation, CRM platforms, Sales Enablement apps, and Customer Success apps while maintaining data hygiene which keep your teams and your systems in sync at all times. Want to see everything Vertify can do for you? Request a demo now.