Zak Pines | July 27, 2017

Where Zapier Falls Short - and when it matters for sales & marketing

We are sometimes asked, "What's the difference between Bedrock Data and Zapier?"

Zapier is a tool that stands out for its ability to push data from one system to another, as a one time data push in one direction. Zapier’s strongest use cases are ones which require a one time move of data, without the need for an ongoing back-and-forth communications between two systems.

Marketing Automation and CRM integrations require that back-and-forth between systems that extends far beyond this one-time push of data. Consider these common scenarios for sales & marketing integrations:

Scenario 1: Lead already exists in CRM

For example:

1. A lead comes into marketing automation system, but already exists in the CRM 

Zapier will create conflicts in this scenario, as the only options you’ll have will be to overwrite the full record in your CRM, which doesn't make sense. You don’t have the ability to update specific fields that have updated - it’d be all or nothing with Zapier.

Scenario 2: Marketing automation has updates to a lead record that has already been pushed to CRM

For example:

1. A lead comes into marketing automation system
2. The lead is synced to a CRM system, for follow-up by a BDR team
3. The lead then further engages with marketing content (registers for a webinar) - sharing more information via progressive profiling 

Zapier will also fail at this use case - because it won’t be able to update the specific field(s) on the CRM record that have been progressively profiled by the marketing automation system.

Zapier makes this very clear on their Common Zapier Problems page where they say:

“Zapier does not support two way-syncing right now, for any App. This extends to the idea of keeping records up to date after the initial Trigger and Action occurs (it is not currently supported). Think of Zaps like one-way, one-time actions.”

Zapier goes on to say under the “Update Items and Keep Items in Sync” heading:

“Zapier in general does not have a way to keep items in sync after they have been run through a Zap one time. Think of Zapier like a one-way one-time pipe right now. To this end, updating is something we don't have support for either.”

Some of the other key areas where Zapier falls short that are important for marketing automation and CRM integration include pulling data from related objects, and syncing updates to opportunity objects back to the marketing automation system. These issues play out in these further scenarios:

Scenario 3: You want to target account level data on contacts via your marketing automation

1. A contact is in your CRM, tied to an account
2. Data lives on the account object in your CRM - like size of company, industry 
3. You want to target this data via contacts in your CRM 

Bedrock Data has multiple ways to support this - either mapping the account data from CRM to an account object in your marketing automation system, if your marketing automation system has an account object. If your marketing automation system does not have an account object, Bedrock Data can use its related object functionality to map the data to contact fields for segmentation by marketing.  Zapier will fall short on its ability to do this.

Scenario 4: You want to sync opportunity data from CRM back to marketing automation

1. As opportunity data updates ($ values, opportunity status), you want to sync that data back to marketing systems 

Marketing systems rely on this data to enable its closed loop reporting - whether it’s HubSpot’s lead source to customer reports, Marketo’s Revenue Cycle Analytics, or Pardot’s Customer Lifecycle Reporting. As opportunity data is continuously changing, Zapier will also struggle with this use case due to its inability to update specific field values without overwriting the full record.

In Summary - Bedrock Data vs. Zapier

In summary, here’s a way to look at scenarios which Zapier handles vs. falls short. If you are looking for a one-time, one-way push of contact records, then Zapier fits the bill.

If your needs involve updating existing records, then Zapier will fall short - and Bedrock Data will stand out.

 

Bedrock Data

Zapier

Create lead/contact record from marketing automation system to the CRM (that does not already exist in the CRM)

YES

YES

Update the lead/contact record in CRM with data gathered later through the marketing automation (e.g. a new field progressively profiled)

YES

(NO)

Update specific fields in a lead/contact record from marketing automation that already exists in the CRM

YES



(NO)



Map data from an account record in CRM to a contact record in marketing automation, for segmentation

YES

(NO)

Update opportunity data (as it changes) from CRM system back to marketing automation system

YES

(NO)


For Example: Connecting HubSpot & Pipedrive via Bedrock Data

As a specific example, I was recently asked by one our website visitors how a Bedrock Data integration of HubSpot and Pipedrive compares to using Zapier. What I said was, the key advantages for Bedrock Data include:

#1 - Being able to keep records in sync back-and-forth (e.g. as records further update in HubSpot, getting the updates to Pipedrive)

#2 - Pushing opportunity data from Pipedrive back to HubSpot for reporting (e.g. top lead sources, tied to opportunities/revenue)

#3 - Pushing Pipedrive account/contact data to HubSpot, for use in smart lists, for lead nurturing & customer marketing

Furthermore, the Bedrock Data on-boarding team supports the setup of the integration by helping you configure it in both systems - on-boarding is included in our services. With Zapier, you'd have to figure it out yourself - and with the use cases above the result will be banging your head against the wall. 

Next Steps? Check Out Bedrock Data's Library of Connectors

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