Adobe and Microsoft may have created one of the most valued tech announcements this year with respect to customer relationship management (CRM), analytics and cross device strategy.
At issue is the integration of Adobe’s Marketing Cloud with Microsoft’s Dynamics CRM. The announcement was made at the London sessions of Adobe’s Summit last month.
The integration is meant to serve marketers who want to engage customers in a unified way.
Until now isolated analytic and CRM systems often made assessing that engagement difficult, and marketers increasingly encounter new challenges to own the customer experience.
Those challenges do not appear to be abating soon.
Yahoo noted in its Point of Influence survey how consumers were simultaneously using a laptop and smartphone when researching online. As a result, there is a growing need for analytic solutions that can replicate real time human behavior.
Adobe has introduced such changes to its Marketing Cloud suite, which aims to include the Internet of Things (IoT) and mobile devices for content planning.
Microsoft has not created a major role in the measurement marketplace. Yet Microsoft continues to dominate the business market with its office applications, and has looked to expand the functionality of its software and apps beyond its hallmark operation system.
For example, Microsoft has offered software developer kits to encourage more apps that leverage the phone version of Windows. It has launched an office preview app for Android. And Microsoft is testing new collaborative possibilities with its upcoming Windows 10 release.
For Dynamic CRM, Microsoft has sought to add enhanced features with a similar approach to broaden appeal beyond the software. It, like Adobe, has sought to make Dynamic a central analysis interface — in this instance, for social and mobile communication.
It introduced a Social Listening tool to Dynamic last year. This year, the tool was rechristened Social Engagement as it added revised user interface, data visualization and data filtering features.
The Bottom Line
All of this leads into a sensible integration of Adobe Analytics and Microsoft Dynamics.
Marketers using these tools will be able to better understand social media influences and plan responsive content that appeals to their intended customers.
Moreover, they will make the creative-to-marketing workflow faster to match new developments from the activity. The end result becomes better aligned sales and marketing activities that closely integrate audiences and their behaviors into sales and marketing activity.
The alliance also raises the competitive profiles of both companies against longtime CRM and analytics competitors. CRM and analytic systems that silo data rather than encourage collaboration among sales and marketing teams will be hard pressed to compete against feature-rich combinations like Adobe and Microsoft.
Time will tell what else will spring forth from the Adobe Analytics-Microsoft Dynamic CRM integration. But it is easy to see that both companies are off to a dramatic and great start in a cross device, multichannel world.