There is an exciting new digital marketing capability in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement (aka Dynamics CRM), which all ‘online’ customers are set to get a taste of. Introducing the new release for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing…
In the past it has been necessary to implement a third-party add-on in order to execute email and other digital marketing from Dynamics 365 / CRM. The two main players in this field are ClickDimensions and DotMailer. Both are excellent solutions, with a strong track record, a wide range of capabilities and a few key differences to each other. Microsoft has also got an arrangement with Adobe Marketing Cloud to offer an enterprise-level digital platform.
Microsoft has been working on its own solution for some time now and has learnt some valuable lessons along the way. This has resulted in the development and launch of the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing release, which is set to be a game-changer.
Why integrate your digital marketing?
So why is it important to drive your digital marketing from CRM?
- CRM is your ‘single customer view’ (aka ‘single source of truth’ etc.) It’s the place you go to find out what’s what with your audience. Therefore, it is the ideal place from which to segment your data.
- Once you’ve segmented your audience, the data in CRM can be used to personalise the message that is sent to each individual.
- By integrating the marketing tool to CRM, you can track not only what has been sent to each person, but how they have interacted with it – what they have opened, clicked-on, web pages visited etc. As well as providing useful analytics, this further enriches the single customer view (because all the data comes back into CRM).
- Added to this, you can automate the customer journey, using multiple-channels thanks to it all being in CRM. For example, at a certain point in a customer journey (or as the result of a particular ‘lead score’ being achieved) you may want to automatically task a human being to phone the person – obviously via CRM.
- And that’s without even mentioning compliance with GDPR, as you can store all of your consent records in one place and drive your communications from there…
What’s so exciting?
The new Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing has been around for a short while, but is getting a major boost with the release of Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement v9.1 – available from 1st October 2018.
All customers who are on v9.1 (online with a minimum of 10 users) will have Dynamics 365 Marketing available to them and licensed to market to 2,000 contacts. Which means it’s a good opportunity to pilot Dynamics Marketing and see if you like it.
While it’s not yet the finished article, the functionality available already includes some very powerful segmentation capability, core email marketing, customer journey / campaign automation, surveys, landing pages, web analytics and events. And all of that is sat inside CRM.
If you try it and like it, then you can purchase ‘additional contact packs’ – an additional 8,000 to start with and then in increments of 5,000. The licensing is sensible too: You don’t have to license for all of the contacts in your CRM, just those you want to market to. This is an alternative approach to the ‘pay per email sent’ of many other marketing tools.
The new Microsoft Dynamics Marketing should be huge for Microsoft, which means it’ll see continued investment and rapid evolution. We expect to see more email marketing functionality soon, such as split testing and more sophisticated personalisation, as well as the all-pervasive Artificial Intelligence (AI) included in the customer journey.
If you are a hardcore user of ClickDimensions or DotMailer then you are not likely to just jump ship, but it’s a space worth watching. It will be interesting to see how those guys respond to this challenge to their long-held supremacy.
How to get your hands on it (and a note of caution)
Before you switch on Dynamics Marketing and start to play with it, it’s important to consider if that’s going to have any impact on your current CRM configuration. It’s always best to check with your CRM Partner (as sometimes switching on new features can have unintended consequences) and invest in a bit of training so that you get the most out of it.
We are really excited about this new capability and are happy to share it with you. Watch this space for further details…