D365 for Marketing vs D365 for Sales (in-app marketing)

D365 for Marketing vs D365 for Sales (in-app marketing)

Published by: Karen Wong
Published date: 29th May 2019

What’s the difference?

Dynamics 365 offers a range of business applications including the recently launched Marketing app and the closely related Sales app. They both offer marketing functionalities in different ways that are ideal for smooth handover of leads from marketing to sales team. I have compared my experiences with the marketing capabilities of both D365 apps on a high-level, giving you an overview of their strengths and weaknesses. I will also touch on ClickDimensions as it is a popular solution used with the Sales app before the Marketing app was made available.

The Sales app offers basic in-app marketing capabilities using Campaigns and Marketing Lists. Lead and opportunity management, product lists and quotes are available out-of-the-box (OOTB) as part of the sales functionality. D365 add-ons and other 3rd party solutions such as ClickDimensions build upon this to extend functionality often without the need to integrate with other systems, but I will leave out 3rd party solutions to reduce bias and to really focus on the battle of D365 applications.

The Marketing app includes core marketing modules as well as Event Management, Dynamics 365 Portals, Voice of the Customer and LinkedIn Lead Gen integration. The lead lifecycle is extended here and ends at sales acceptance, when a lead is ready to handover to a salesperson to qualify into an opportunity.


  D365 for Marketing D365 for Sales (in-app marketing)
Segmentation Segments – static, dynamic, compound


Marketing Lists – static, dynamic
Campaign Management Customer Journeys – templates, drag-and-drop designer, multiple segments and marketing lists, associate trigger workflows and generate activities, associate with events, marketing emails and landing pages Quick Campaigns – quick execution, single activity type, single marketing list, email templates

Campaigns – long duration, templates, multiple marketing lists, multiple types of activities, email templates, campaign responses, associate with price lists, products and sales literature

Campaign Automation Customer Journeys – visual editor, schedule campaigns, set to recur, flow logic Workflows – on-demand or automatic, time and condition based workflows
Email Marketing Marketing Emails – visual and HTML editor, templates, dynamic content, call-to-action links

Marketing Lists – static marketing lists can be tagged as subscription lists

Emails – text editor, templates, attachments
Web marketing Marketing Pages and Forms – templates, visual and HTML editor, host on portal or external website

Marketing Portal –hosts landing pages and subscription centre


*Portals – as an add-on


Event Management Events, Sessions, Venues, Speakers etc.

Portals – event registration, online payment with 3rd party payment provider

Campaign – planning activities
Reporting Dashboards and Customer Insights Reports – default reports for Campaigns
Lead Scoring Lead Scoring Models – drag and drop designer, positive and negative scoring, grades, sales ready score
Surveys Voice of the Customer – themes, dynamics content, anonymous or non-anonymous responses *Voice of the Customer – as an add-on

Dynamics 365 for Marketing


  • Can be a standalone application or use with other D365 applications
  • Portals and Voice of the Customer are available as part of the solution
  • Visual and code editors for editing and designing content
  • Wide range of out of the box templates available in different styles and for different purposes
  • Subscription centres allow customers to select their subscriptions rather than simply subscribe or unsubscribe to all marketing content.
  • Interaction data (web page visits, email clicks, event registrations) for reporting and to reuse when creating new segments


  • Core marketing entities and their editors can only be used with the Unified Interface.
  • Comes with a learning curve, but becomes easier and faster over time
  • Email attachments are not available with the Marketing Emails
  • It is still a growing product, future updates will continue to further improve and extend functionalities.

Dynamics 365 for Sales (in-app marketing)


  • Uses both web client and UI
  • Reliable as an existing rather than new product
  • Attachments available for emails
  • Campaigns utilise activities so it’s easier to learn
  • Can be powerful with add-ons and 3rd party solutions (ClickDimensions)


  • Main functionalities are sales focused, no campaign automation and web marketing
  • Emails and email templates are mostly text only, it is difficult to build HTML templates
  • Additional digital marketing functionalities require customisation and/or 3rd party solutions
  • Portals and Voice of the Customer are add-ons


To summarise, the in-app marketing functions for the Sales app is limited with little out-of-the-box automation as it is a sales centric application while the Marketing app achieves most if not all basic marketing functionalities that you can get with marketing CRM products but lacks maturity and is still growing at a fast pace. What gives you the most value and at the best price will vary, as D365 allows for customisations and 3rd party solutions and this ensures that the product is specialised and fit for your requirements. Contact us at info@codecsystems.co.uk to find out what we can offer at Codec to support your marketing strategies with our technology and expertise.

BONUS: ClickDimensions

ClickDimensions has been around for almost a decade providing marketing automation for D365 before Microsoft’s launch of its own D365 Marketing app. So how can we leave it out in a comparison review?

When we take ClickDimensions in consideration, it can give the Sales app an upper hand as it matches the Marketing app’s advantage in terms of functionality. Codec is a gold certified ClickDimensions partner, we are experienced in implementing and supporting this 3rd party solution for D365.


  • Provides email marketing, campaign automation and landing pages as well, on top of that, SMS messaging integration
  • Visual editors for designing digital content and campaign automation
  • AB Testing is available
  • Runs on the web client which is familiar with most Sales app users which helps with quick adoption.
  • Requires no integration or data synchronisation
  • Has almost a decade of experience in providing a marketing automation solution


  • Pricing for D365 is based on apps and number of contacts, while ClickDimensions is based on functionalities and number of email sends. Whether it costs more or less than D365 for Marketing will depend.
  • ClickDimensions runs on Dynamics 365 and uses the same database, this can affect performance with scale. Whereas D365 for Marketing’s processes and Insights data utilise Azure Services, thus less pressure on D365 platform.

Want to Find out More about Dynamics 365 for Marketing and how it can transform your marketing efforts? Register for our upcoming webinar on 26th June – “Introducing Dynamics 365 for Marketing”, hosted by Dynamics CRM consultant, Miquel Alves.

Related article: Introduction to Dynamics 365 for Marketing – Core Marketing