4 Ways Dynamics 365 can Improve Your Marketing Strategy
In the past, Microsoft Dynamics 365 suffered from a bit of a disconnect when it comes to marketing. You have always been able to plan marketing campaigns and tasks within the tool, but true marketing automation has always required an external or third-party solution. Even Microsoft Dynamics Marketing required a connector to synchronise data between the systems.
Now however, Microsoft recently announced the public preview of Dynamics 365 for Marketing (not to be confused with Microsoft Dynamics Marketing, who names these things?) which allows full marketing automation from within Dynamics 365.
In this post I’ll try and give a very quick rundown of some of the key features that this offers, which can enable your business and marketing team to gain advantage by working quicker, smarter and with more innovative tools available; enhancing your brand and your reach to your targeted customers:
The email designer in any automation system is always one of the big-ticket items for the user, and it’s no exception here. The interface allows for full drag and drop email creation, as well as the ability to create your own from scratch if you are a HTML expert.
This allows marketers to fully customise their own collateral and design, while structuring it around the specific message being pushed out to their customers.
Marketing Pages and Forms
Marketing pages, generally known as landing pages, provide the customer with an interaction point with you and your business. These generally can provide calls to action or static information, but really come in to their own when combined with forms that allow the customer to interact with Dynamics 365 and by extension, the business.
Forms allow the business to capture various information from a customer which may range from simple contact me request through to event registration or anything in between. Easily accessible, easily stored and no headache for your business trying to stay on top of lists and other tools that could eventually prove problematic.
If you have used Dynamics 365 before, you have almost certainly used marketing lists to segment your data for email campaigns or other actions. Microsoft have now taken this concept a stage further with the creation of segments, which are effectively a very clever combination of marketing lists and customer insights. Segmentation is a perfect way of focusing in on certain sectors or demographics that you want to target, while being able to market your message efficiently and quickly.
Segments can be either static, dynamic or compound. The first two of these may be familiar to existing Dynamics 365 users; the third is new and was only previously possible with customised development.
Static segments allow a user to add contacts to a list, which then remains constant.
Dynamic segments are created based on a set of rules and are re-evaluated each time a marketing task is executed.
Compound segments allow for the combination of existing segments. The operators available for segment combination include union, exclude and intersect, which allow for some interesting possibilities and some very defined targeting.
Customer journeys are where the true marketing automation occurs. These bring together email designs, marketing pages, forms and segments along with business logic to provide an automated marketing pipeline and interactive user experience, giving you a clear indication of where how your marketing strategy is going and providing guidance on what is the next best step.
A customer journey can be as simple as a single email send or as complicated as a full event (marketing, registration, attendance and recognition process).
Dynamics 365 for Marketing provides a drag and drop editor for the creation and management of these journeys and, should you need a little help, Microsoft also provides a number of templates as a starting point. This leads to a fully encompassed marketing strategy and digital advantage, showing you how you can target your customers and pointing out what the best methods to do this are.
Is that all?
This list touches on the basic foundations Dynamics 365 for Marketing can offer. Other features such as lead scoring, event management, LinkedIn integration and customer insights using Power BI also bring a whole new dimension of digital marketing to the table. Ergo has knowledge in these areas and can leverage this software to provide a truly rounded user experience, one that will enable you to unlock the power of your team’s marketing capabilities and to directly target customers and opportunities. Resulting in gaining a competitive edge for your business, while also increasing brand awareness.