A Marketing Pilot Overview: Integrated Marketing for Dynamics CRM

Note: This article was written well before the release of Dynamics Marketing.  I have more recently written about the Dynamics 2013 Spring Wave and the confirmed features of Dynamics Marketing since.

Integrated Marketing Management is no longer the future of marketing.  It is now essential that all of your marketing campaigns and activities are launched in a consistent manner.  Another key development in marketing has become the necessity of Customer Relationship Management and lead tracking – the ability to understand who your potential customers are, and exactly how they are engaged with your organization.

Today, I’m going to take a look at MarketingPilot, Microsoft’s solution for integrated marketing management, but I’ll definitely be looking at other solutions that integrate with Dynamics CRM in a future post.


About MarketingPilot

MarketingPilot was acquired by Microsoft way back in October 2012, and has yet to be released under the Microsoft Dynamics banner (it’s getting a facelift and Dynamics CRM integration, as well as having a business plan developed for the Microsoft side of things). MarketingPilot is built around campaigns – under each campaign, one can control the various channels and tasks within and relating to that campaign.

MarketingPilot’s capabilities are wide-ranging and impressive – it really does allow you to micromanage your channels, including email and social, right inside the solution.  MarketingPilot allows you to track online interactions in a customer’s or lead’s CRM profile, and will also integrate lead scoring metrics with this feature. There will also be advanced project and budget tracking capabilities, which should assist us in tracking ROI.

Overall, the exact, detailed features of the upcoming product are not well-publicized, but I am hoping that Microsoft refrains from scrapping any of the functionality that was available in the old MarketingPilot, because it was a extremely well integrated system, and having so many options available to me under one roof would be absolutely killer. Features such as Google Adwords integration are enough to get any advertiser excited.


After watching some demos, it seems as if MarketingPilot will be best-suited for larger organizations with a relatively large (and layered) marketing staff and a big budget, but it could certainly be utilized by smaller organizations.

MarketingPilot takes a top-down approach to marketing activities, and will be extremely attractive to marketing managers. It allows for total tracking of campaigns, from their inception to detailed analysis and everything in between, including collateral development, budgeting, and resource management.

As with any ERP implementation, in order to get the most out of this product, a large-scale shift will need to be made within your team towards centrally utilizing this product for all of your activities.  You will need to ensure that all of your marketing operations are tied to a certain campaign – no more disjointed mish-mashes of inbound operations; every action must be taken with a purpose.  This requires a strong and developed set of marketing goals and objectives from upper management.

If this isn’t your company (the unfortunate reality for too many organizations), you’re probably better off with another solution. For the SMB, MarketingPilot might be a little too high-powered, but I’m really looking forward to seeing how MarketingPilot is able to handle the wide range of needs that different marketing departments have.

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