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Guide to Top‑of‑the‑Market Marketing Automation Platforms

Published on octobre 17, 2021

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Here our guide to help you choose your Marketing automation platform

Marketing Automation platforms can change the way you attract, generate, nurture, and convert leads. These tools consolidate your efforts in one platform, helping you to manage customer data, lead acquisition strategies, email campaigns, social networks, events, and much more.

Here at Solutions Metrix, we specialize in providing you with the support and training you need to harness the power of marketing automation. After supporting you in configuring your platform, we will review, create, and optimize your marketing processes. This second step is vital in marketing automation to ensure consistency, uniformity, and effort optimization over your projects.

Once the Marketing Automation department is efficiently structured, the fun can start! We will develop your marketing strategies, align them with the platform, and assist you in executing them. These strategies include:

Our goal is to help you utilize and train you on the platform and ensure that you reach your business and marketing automation goals over the following years. That is why we also spend time reviewing your 5-year visions and roadmap.

We provide consultation on 4 top-of-the-market platforms, which are described below. Choose the one that better suits your needs, and we’ll ensure that it’s well-aligned with your company to propel you to the top of your industry.

Sugar Market Marketing automation platform

Sugar Market has all the basics you need, from data management to user experience to lead acquisition and engagement. The platform is perfect for small companies with revenues up to $5M and mid-sized marketing teams since it allows seamless collaboration and resource allocation.

Take advantage of Sugar Market’s Multi-channel marketing and connect inbound and outbound marketing tools, social media management capabilities, IA-driven predictive analytics, and even Google Ads Management tools. Sugar Market provides you with powerful search, social and SEO tools to stimulate your lead conversion. Get discovered using SEO audits that break down how you rank on search-based critical factors such as internal and external links, page speed, meta and mobile performance. You can also get actionable checklists of recommendations to compare your rankings to competitors. Make sure that you extend your reach with Google ads. You can trust Sugar Market’s effective paid searches without in-house expertise—the engine leverages predictive analytics and machine learning to automate campaign bidding and optimizations.

Oktopost is Sugar Market’s partner in Social Media management. Although paid for, it’s a really great way to consolidate your social accounts and brand ambassadors in one location. This social marketing solution:

  • Tracks each lead generated through social media
  • Provides thorough analytics to understand which networks, profiles and posts are most effective
  • Allows you to monitor, publish, and manage your content and ambassadors within the platform
  • Ensures that your social presence is harmonized

Be assured that with Sugar Market, you will not miss a beat. Opened emails, links clicked, pages visited, forms completed, blogs read, or other engagement activities are tracked and stored in the CRM in real-time. Knowing what happened in real-time is essential, but what about what is going to happen next? Track your prospects and customer behaviors and predict their interest level across the lifecycle with SugarPredicts. Allocate points based on emails, click rates, page visits, and content downloads and leverage firmographic information, demographic data, social activity, purchase details, and so on. By automatically scoring activities and rescoring inactivity, you will drive more significant revenue per customer and increase lead velocity, amplifying your marketing ROI. In the same vein, score accounts based on contact profile scoring and stimulate your account-based marketing efforts. This scoring tool puts an end to never stopping manual updates and only provides you with insightful information.

Sugar Market’s automated marketing campaigns allow users to create landing pages, emails, conversion forms and surveys all from within the platform. The building tools are not only using drag-and-drop tools to create an intuitive experience; they are also designed to follow industry best practices—like mobile responsiveness and advanced testing. Sugar Market allows you to spend more time messaging and less time trying to figure everything out. You can also ensure that you won’t lose time sending emails to the wrong contacts with Sugar Market’s powerful sender reputation management and deliverability testing features. Furthermore, you can send a one-time transactional email or marketing email or build multi-stage nurtures tailored to one of your specific audience bases.  With Sugar Market’s automated nurturing feature, you can go from nuisance to relevance by targeting prospects according to where they are in their journey and aligning content based on specific criteria and AI-based insights.

Now, as much as interacting with your already existing audience is critical, generating and acquiring leads is vital. For that reason, Sugar Market has developed a powerful form builder that syncs with your CRM.  Imbed these forms on a Sugar Market landing page or on your own website—but in both cases, collect and sync all the information your need to build lead routing, campaign auto-enrollment, reports and alerts. You can also develop and track surveys that you can imbed in forms and landing pages to gather information through your marketing assets.

If you want to host an in-person event or a webinar, Sugar Market allows you to sync registration data with your CRM and other event management platforms to deploy event nurture campaigns, manage multi-session events, promote via social networks and analyze the impact of ROI. Event management is offered within the platform, but the event is actually hosted on a specialized partner platform (Webex or GoToWebinar)

Sugar Market has developed a powerful Advanced Analytics platform. External to the platform, but complementary. Make sure to check out the different reports and dashboards that it offers to increase your ROI. The dashboards are interactive, allowing you to drill into colorful, organized charts and refine them based on different flexible filters to deepen your audience knowledge. Easily create these reports without the help of a data analyst using, once again, Sugar Market’s famous drag-and-drop features—quickly become the informed analyst yourself!

In brief, Sugar Market really offers all the fundamentals to promote and market your business. Its predictive lead scoring can truly help qualify leads, and its advanced analytics tools can push your understanding of the business to a whole other level to truly benefit from your automated marketing campaigns.

Creatio Marketing automation platform

Creatio enables businesses to unite their Marketing, Sales and Services efforts coherently around the CRM. It’s an excellent platform for mid-size to large companies who want to orchestrate customer journeys and accelerate their lead-to-revenue.

Creatio’s strengths reside in its marketingsales and services alignment capabilities. Creatio developed a robust Business Process Management engine that will undoubtedly improve your business processes through identification, modeling, automation, analysis and performance measurement. But how does it work? The platform guides you through a process of four steps:

  1. Define and analyze your required processes.
  2. Design your processes.
  3. Automate your processes.
  4. Report and analyze these processes.

The intuitive platform will provide you with everything you need without hiring a dedicated resource. If you decide to go with Creatio, take advantage of the Dynamic Case Management processes. They offer adaptable, context-based patterns that will enable you to dynamically select the best path and set of activities to achieve your desired outcomes. Implementing processes is definitely the way to ensure that your business operates like a well-oiled machine but having them means nothing if you do not verify their effectiveness. Creatio allows you to track your process execution metrics like duration, average execution time and visualize that information through custom dashboards. This way, you can quickly identify bottlenecks and resolve them to unlock your business’ full potential.

Since process management goes hand in hand with productivity, Creatio has made many different productivity tools available to ensure that your company stays performant 24/7. First and foremost, sync and plan your work, tasks and meeting with your Creatio calendar to get your notifications and reminders within the platform panel. In the same vein, sync and manage your email communications as well as your calls from within the platform. In other words, Creatio allows you to keep everything in one single place.

Find socio-demographic data and client history at the tip of your figures with Creatio’s 360-customer view.  From this information, understand and track changes in customer needs and preferences to ensure that you’re always matching them with the most relevant products or services. That way, you will always have the most up-to-date information about your audience. Creatio allows you to customize audience segments based on a panoply of fields and then target these segments with bulk emails or events with the click of a mouse. Indeed, divide your audiences by interest or role using filters and creating dynamic audience folders.

Know where your leads travel on the website by tracking their activities. This feature allows you to identify lead generation channels and sources to help you understand which channels need more effort and work well. This information is also displayed in dashboard analytics, enabling you to evaluate lead generation channel effectiveness. It enriches lead data with insightful intelligence that can be leveraged during sales follow-up. In the same vein, you can record communications between different teams to ensure a smooth hand-off to sales.

Creatio has an intuitive low-code campaign designer. You also can set up criteria for targeted conversion rates and campaign completion to ensure that your nurture is always working at its maximum capacity. Monitor the campaign by considering prospects’ responses at each stage until they become sales-ready and convert into new opportunities for your business. Send these prospects tailored emails based on their behaviour to ensure that you never lose touch with your audiences. Since your emails need to be top-notch to get high conversion rates, use Creatio’s content designer to optimize your content and presentation. These templates offer endless possibilities to build personalized and branded emails that will keep your audiences engaged. And if your company needs to send several bulk emails to different audiences, Creatio is an excellent tool for deliverability:

  • Allowing you to send millions of email addresses at a time.
  • Recommending you the perfect sending time.
  • Using heatmaps to identify the most clicked links in these types of email.
  • Helping you understand your engagement and conversion with real-time analytics.

If your company hosts many events, be sure to rely on Creatio’s event management features. The platform allows for promotion, advertising campaign, conference, webinar, and other off-and online activities management. By tracking information like dates, locations, audience segments, budget, and responses, you can gain relevant insights on your event performance through interactive dashboards and reports. 

If you’re looking for a platform that will optimize your productivity and support your process management, Creatio is the one for you! With its productivity tools, intelligent data enrichment, and collaboration features, be sure that Creatio will feel like your new business analyst hire!

Dynamics Marketing automation platform

Are you looking for a smooth and integrated experience? Dynamics Marketing builds on the well-renowned Microsoft’s synergy. You can integrate with Microsoft’s other Dynamics platforms, its Power Apps, Office 365 and the Microsoft store. The platform is ideal for SMEs and mid-large organizations – scalable for companies with $1M in revenue up to $1B. It’s a mature platform that works very well with mature companies.

With Dynamics Marketing, be sure to create marketing segments that will organize your contacts into groups aligned with your marketing strategies. Create personalized marketing emails that meet all legal and deliverability requirements. Then, create automated customer journeys to ensure that your nurturing is tailored to your contacts.

Whether you’re looking to create a targeted email, a lead form or a landing page, the platform provides you with a digital content designer for creating, styling, and previewing. As per industry practice, the tool uses drag-and-drop features and allows for HTML editing and adapts itself to the current context to focus on what really matters: content and context. Not sure where to start? No problem, Dynamics offers one of the broadest variety of templates, including column layouts, color schemes, sample contents and sample images.

But don’t get mistaken; even if you choose to start an email from a template, you will not lose that valuable personal touch that each email needs to deliver. With Dynamics Marketing, you can send targeted emails to an entire segment, each receiving a personalized email. Also, improve your deliverability with the platform’s automated error-checking and required compliance content. This way, all the chances of enhancing your open to click rate are on your side. Reduce time spent writing emails by setting up customer journeys and delivering messages to targeted segments using a single marketing email message in several marketing contexts. A/B test your emails and then view and analyze your results with a panoply of metrics.

Another functionality that pushes Dynamics at the top of the market is its real-time customer journey orchestration features. This allows you to:

  • engage with customers in real-time by triggering journeys, picking the right channel for each individual, and reacting to customer-led actions in the moments that matter
  • win customers and earn loyalty faster by working across all customer touchpoints to develop an end-to-end experience
  • personalize customer experiences with AI by turning them into relevant actions with AI-driven recommendations for content, channels, and analytics

But how do customer insights work? Using transactional, behavioral, and demographic data from Dynamics 365 Customer insights, you will be able to target unified customer profiles and segments and engage with them. Furthermore, converse with these individuals through emails, SMS, and push notifications based on dynamic measures like loyalty status, subscription renewal data, parent account or any other custom metric. Choosing the right channel to engage with individuals is not an easy task—and that is why Dynamics has made channel optimization available. This real-time marketing AI model picks the optimal channel for your customer based on their behavior.

You can use information gathered through insights to nurture your prospects and build journeys relevant to them. Journeys can also be triggered by real-life events like walking into a store, connecting to Wi-Fi, visiting a shopping website, and abandoning a cart. Dynamics also provides you with journey templates if you’re not comfortable with building them from scratch. Each template represents a specific type of campaign and includes pre-configured pipelines. Suppose you realize that your engagement is low. In that case, you can activate the automated scheduler and analyze historical data to select the best time to send an email and optimize customer engagement.  Then, you can assess the performance of these journeys by setting goals you wish your customers to reach:

  • track customer engagement and onboarding
  • measure the success of the customer journey on an ongoing basis
  • Optimize your A/B testing and channel selections
  • Express goal targets in count or percentage to determine how well your journey is performing

But even before thinking about customer journeys, you need your customer to fill a form for them to exist in your database. Dynamics Marketing has extensive form and landing page customization and capability, allowing you to create personalized pages for almost everything you could think of. Never miss an opportunity to nurture a prospect by integrating your landing pages with email marketing, customer journeys, behavior analysis, lead scoring, and results in analytics. Personalize your forms for each individual contact. Or, activate form prefilling according to the information you already have in your database to ensure that you provide them with a tailored and non-repetitive experience.

Once your lead is in your database and assigned to a contact or account, you can activate scoring based on demographic details, firmographic details, and actions are taken. This feature helps you understand which are your strongest and weakest leads to nurture them accordingly. Build a customized business process within the platform. As your lead’s score evolves, it will move through the process to truly demonstrate when it’s ready for sales.

One last and critical feature of Dynamics is its event management features. Plan, budget, promote, publish, register, broadcast, analyze, and evaluate your events within the platform. Some key features include;

  • Contact, registration, and attendance management
  • Out-of-the-box and best practice event management process
  • Session and speaker management
  • Venue management
  • Guest logistics and hotel management
  • Microsoft Teams webinars and live events
  • Event website management that includes self-service attendee registration, event details management, and more

Finally, manage your social media accounts all within the platform. Schedule, post, edit, and cancel messages to ensure that your presence on social media is always top-notch. Dynamics also offers a lead gen tool with LinkedIn. Lead gen features allow you to schedule and publish social posts, import leads generated by LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms, design customer journey triggers that react to these form submissions, and create LinkedIn matched audiences based on Dynamics 365 Marketing segments. Indeed, in its purchase of LinkedIn Microsoft has truly optimized its platform for lead generation on the social network. Therefore, Dynamics Marketing is the only platform that allows syncing from LinkedIn to Dynamics 365, LinkedIn form submissions, and detailed lead performance analysis. The performance analysis can be visualized through a specific LinkedIn dashboard containing charts about the source of new leads and LinkedIn campaign performance.

In a nutshell, Dynamics Marketing is a leading platform in the industry, and its offering shows why! Suppose you’re looking for best practice recommendations, online and offline customer journey orchestration, lead profiling, and event management. In that case, Microsoft’s marketing platform has all you need.

Salesforce Marketing automation platform

Finally, you cannot go wrong with the world’s largest web-based platform. Salesforces’ devoted community has already asked and answered all the questions you will ask yourself. Marketed initially to multinationals and tech giants, Salesforce is also a good fit for high-growth SMEs and online businesses. Additionally, Salesforce is the only platform to provide a specialized native B2B marketing automation tool. Salesforce Pardot,

With Salesforce Marketing Cloud, you can reach your audience in many ways: email marketing, social marketing, mobile marketing, and advertising. The email builder has state-of-the-art drag-and-drop segmentation as well as design features and content recommendations that will resonate with your subscribers. But as much as engaging with your audience is important, listening is as much, if not more, critical. The platform reconciles all your social networks accounts within one place to help you gather market intelligence, learn from honest discussions, create cross-channel topic profiles and tune into customer sentiment. You can respond to these comments and manage your community within the platform to decrease your time spent on social networks while increasing the value of your conversations. Understand customer feedback with real-time on-screen imagery of comprehensive multichannel views of every customer relationship – plus in-depth explorations of email campaigns, social care, and every brand journey. Then you can send captivating SMS and push notifications to your audience based on preferences, behaviors, and attributes during group messaging. You can also securely deliver transactional, time-sensitive messages such as password reset, shipping reminders, alerts, and updates using an open API platform. And finally, you can promote your brand to the nearest customers by targeting geographic areas and sending location-based alerts.

Salesforce’s B2B platform, Pardot, has everything you need and everything the Marketing Cloud offers, specializing in business marketing. With Salesforce Pardot, you can automate B2B deals and respond to prospects when it matters, knowing what happens between sales calls and actions.  These specific B2B insights will allow you to create more relevant conversations and target sales pitches with in-depth data about prospect activity. Increase your marketing and sales alignment by knowing what your prospects are interested in with account-based lead scoring, using intelligent lead nurturing that adapts to your audience, integrating with video platforms like Zoom, and so much more. Pardot has all the basics from landing page and forms templates to organic and paid ad management, email campaign management, and webinar management. Pardot also has excellent analysis capabilities allowing you to tie your individual closed leads back to specific marketing efforts to understand which campaigns and channels drive the most success.

Building on the world’s #1 CRM, Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Salesforce Pardot will provide you with a 360-degree view of every one of your customers on a platform that grows with you. You will be able to deepen these relationships across features about journey building, email marketing, customer data segmentation, mobile marketing, social marketing, advertising marketing, and more. With Salesforce’s Customer Data Platform, you will be able to unify your data – from anywhere – for a complete view of your customers. Match touchpoints by connecting identities, engagement data, customer orders, loyalty, marketing journey, and privacy management. This way, you can more easily segment your database and ensure that your segments are accurate and well-targeted. You can then calculate a customer’s lifetime value or engagement score and visualize all that data within Tableau to improve your marketing optimizations and audience insights.

But what is a Customer-360 platform exactly? First and foremost, Salesforce presents and connects all your data to improve how you engage and interact with your customers. By integrating and connecting external platforms, you will consolidate your work and reduce your efforts across many different platforms. You will tailor the customer experience to every customer or prospect, both in B2C and B2B. Integrating with existing apps is not all! You can also extend your marketing with custom apps to engage your customer and measure your success.

That data then feeds into the interaction studio to allow you to build 1-to-1 engagement strategies. As much as historical data is essential, you want to predict customer interaction. With Salesforce, you can monitor digital behavior and combine it with email and offline behavior to understand each person’s genuine interest, affinities, and intent. Then, with AI-driven optimization, you will be able to deliver contextually relevant experiences based on real-time segmentation to guide customers where they want to go. Scared that the algorithm will go rogue? There is nothing to worry about because, with Salesforce, you can customize, tune, and manage your algorithm and apply your own business rules to govern the process. Let it be online, offline, through emails or mobile apps, you can guide your customers down the most appropriate path. Want to make sure that the results will be aligned with your intentions? Use Salesforce’s machine learning models and simulations to optimize your customer experiences even before going live. The platform also listens to customer cues for you. With the journey builder, you can base your paths on attributes, browsing behaviors, and purchase history to continually adjust customers’ paths based on their current and predicted behavior.  Setting and maintaining automated journey logic for engagement, decisions, splits, and content tests ensure that you provide a smooth experience to your customer.

From community to automation, Salesforce provides it with all. Consolidate, analyze, visualize your data to know your customers like the back of your hand. On top of that, the platform’s social listening features will push your understanding of customers’ sentiment, and mobile marketing features will ensure that you never miss a chance to nurture them.

Solutions Metrix

In conclusion, Businesses can face many challenges when it comes to digital marketing. Getting information on marketing campaigns is one thing but extracting knowledge from these activities is something else. Some tasks are tedious and repetitive, whereas others require complex analysis and strategies. Some businesses may not have the workforce to sustain such marketing efforts. In contrast, others may simply not know how to use their resources efficiently.

All these platforms presented above differ in their strengths and weaknesses, but they are all powerful tools. However, all that glitters is not gold – you must understand these platforms to truly utilize them to the best of their capacity — and that is why coming to us will only increase your ROI and help you achieve your marketing automation vision.

You can take a quiz here to check out which marketing automation package better fits your needs or book a consultation with our sales team here.


Are you in need of upgrading your current CRM software or migrating to a new one? Look no further than Solutions Metrix. Our team of CRM experts have over a decade of experience in providing platform-agnostic CRM solutions to top banks and financial institutions throughout the United States and Canada.