When Microsoft Dynamics 365 was released, there was a great deal of attention given to many of the new features. However, not a much focus was on how the new release could benefit marketers. Fortunately Microsoft has incorporated several features that can add a great deal of value to your intelligent campaigns.

Customer and Relationship Insights

One of the most significant enhancements for marketers is the visual workflow design tool that uses machine learning to generate customer insights. The customer and relationships insights combine your customer data from your CRM with social media and other external sources, aggregating the influences that can influence your relationship health scores. Integration with ERP systems, Exchange and other apps, Azure machine learning, Power BI, algorithms from Cortana and social media streams let you collect, correlate and view analytics and key performance indicators. Extensions can provide additional guidance specific to each customer. For example, if a customer sends you an email that contains the name of a competitor, the system could create an activity or trigger an alert.

Business Intelligence

Power BI now works within the CRM, supporting drill-through to grids and forms. There are also some new multi-language and content packs. In addition, the new data warehousing capabilities allow you to replicate data easily to external data stores for Power BI viewing or online analytical processing.

Adobe Marketing Cloud and Microsoft Dynamics 365 in 2017

Microsoft and Adobe announced plans for a strategic partnership to help enterprise companies embrace digital transformation and deliver compelling, personalized experiences through every phase of their customer relationships. Together, the two companies will enable businesses to dramatically strengthen their brands with solutions from Microsoft Azure, the Adobe Marketing Cloud and Microsoft Dynamics 365.

New Dynamics Marketing App

In October 2016, Microsoft announced that it will be releasing a new Dynamics 365 for Marketing app in the spring of 2017. Although the company will support existing Dynamics Marketing apps until 2020, sales of the app ceased in November 2016.

The new app will offer a number of benefits and features that are expected to be especially appealing to marketing professionals. For example, the new app will include landing pages, email marketing, lead management and event management. It will have the functionality to model and manage your customer journeys as well as manage leads across sales and marketing. The marketing app and the sales app will share the same Dynamics 365 platform. Since both apps use the common data model, developers will be able to extend the platform and organizations can create custom business apps without the need to write code.

Reports indicate that the new marketing app will not lose any of the capabilities present in the existing app.

  • Marketing lists let you group leads, contacts and clients into a targeted list to sharpen campaign focus.
  • Campaign management allows you to organize your plans, tactics and budgets to provide a consolidated view of all of your marketing efforts.
  • Campaign activities can be created for individual campaigns and assigned to your team members to facilitate tracking.
  • Campaign budgets can be created and tracked to help you manage your spending.
  • ROI analysis offers you the ability to link projects and new clients to a campaign code to make it easier to track the return on your investment.
  • Campaign reports offer a variety of ways to monitor activity status and performance, compare campaigns and analyze your activities.
  • Customer response tracking lets you track the responses to your campaigns so that you can analyze success or make adjustments during the campaign.

Marketers are obviously receiving more attention from Microsoft these days. However, the latest enhancements to Microsoft Dynamics 365 can benefit everyone in your organization, including your sales team, your business analysts and your customer service personnel.

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