Dynamics and marketing go way back. Those people who have used Dynamics CRM for a couple of years now will be familiar with the Marketing Module and what it covers…Or, I should say, used to cover.
Dynamics 365 helps companies automate a lot of their marketing strategies by allowing them to create marketing lists from existing customers and marketing campaigns, all from the interface we love and are used to.
But what if I tell you this can be extended even more? It can and, better yet, it will be covering more features in the coming updates. Let’s take a look at what Microsoft has in development for Dynamics 365 for Marketing Business Edition.
You know how things work nowadays, you visit a website, let’s say a website to buy flights, and the second you leave the website, you start getting these offer emails. We all get these.
Now if your company is using Dynamics 365, you will be able to create these professional-looking marketing emails directly from your system. What’s the benefit, you ask? Why not create them from your email like you used to?
- Very user-friendly. No code needed, just the simple drag and drop.
- Loads of professional email templates are already loaded if you want to use them or get inspired.
- Email preview provided.
- If you like to get your hands dirty with HTML, no worries. The HTML editor is at your disposal to edit any content you need.
- Performance results and insights for all emails sent.
- You can use data from your Dynamics 365 entities in the emails. (Yes! Even custom ones).
- Also, you’ll be able to see a heatmap and geographical location maps of all emails sent.
A lot of companies create company events to market their products and get recognition. These events usually target a specific set of people who might be interested in that product and they work on making those people potential customers (yes, these events are not created just for the free finger food). With the new event management feature Microsoft is packing in the update, you will be able to manage an event from A to Z using Dynamics 365.
Now this feature will have two parts:
1. Dynamics 365—this part will allow you to:
- Manage contact, registration, and attendance
- Have a business process flow to help plan the event
- Manage event sessions
- Track attendance eligibility using the pass management system
- Track the event building and room layout with venue management
- Book hotel rooms for event guests and manage the reservations
- Have all sponsors managed in one place
- Stage webinars
- View full event attendance history of a specific contact, including which sessions he attended
- Get VOC feedback using integrated survey functionality.
2. Event Portal part—this will allow you to:
- Make your event public by hosting the venue, passes, sessions, speakers, etc.
- Allow users to self-register for your events
- Display the event sponsors
- Synchronize the portal effortlessly with Dynamics 365 data
It seems as if Microsoft’s new philosophy is to reduce the amount of code used and make a lot of things configurable rather than customizable. Honestly, this looks very promising. Before this, if you wanted to create a web page that links to Dynamics 365 (Dynamics CRM previously), you’d need to get a developer to do it. It wasn’t hard by any means, but a non-technical person wouldn’t be able to do it.
With landing pages, Microsoft is introducing a way for non-techies to create landing pages for their websites that are directly connected to their Dynamics 365 systems, allowing them to get new leads or contacts created.
These are the main features:
- No code, drag-and-drop interface
- Consistent content editing experience
- Pre-created form and page templates
- Analytics tools for the landing pages to analyze performance
- Support for creating subscription center pages
- Tight integration with customer journeys, email marketing, and lead scoring
So, without a single line of code, you can have people registering their details in your landing pages and the data magically going into your Dynamics 365 as leads or contacts.
Even though most people associate leads with sales rather than marketing, the initial goal of marketing is to generate leads and that’s what Dynamics 365 for Marketing focuses on.
Lead management brings loads of features like:
- Lead Generation—Allows marketers to generate leads across multiple sources like emails, LinkedIn, webinars, events, etc.
- Lead nurturing—Once a lead is generated, he’ll be getting loads of personalized messages at timed intervals to keep him in the loop about what’s going on in the business.
- Lead Qualification—Use the business process flow and let the lead circulate through its qualification lifecycle.
- Lead Scoring—Prioritize leads based on defined scoring models. Also provides RFM (recency, frequency, monetary value) rules based on collected data like emails clicked, events attended. In addition, with lead scoring, you can assign sales readiness grades per score model to assess how leads can be transformed into opportunities using clear measures.
- Demand generation effectiveness insights—Enhance demand generation processes using smart analytics, such as:
- Power BI dashboards
- Dynamics 365 Customer insights charts and widgets.
Connector for LinkedIn Gen Forms
One of the best existing tools for lead generation is LinkedIn. What’s better than a professional social network to meet potential customers for your business?
What if those customers you meet on LinkedIn are directly mapped to your instance of Dynamics 365 without requiring any effort on your part? Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? Well, it will be possible once the update is released.
This connector will keep all potential customers in sync between LinkedIn and Dynamics 365 to help your sales and marketing team follow up with newly generated leads.
It has a couple of nice features to make your life even easier, such as:
- Support for more than one LinkedIn account; so, if you have four sales people and two marketing directors, all six of them can have their LinkedIn accounts synced to your Dynamics 365 organization.
- Customizable mapping between LinkedIn and Dynamics 365 to have all the right values in the right fields.
- Since LinkedIn will be a new lead generation source, you can track and analyze the performance of different lead sources to check which platform/strategy is bringing the most leads.
Multi-Channel Campaign Management
Customer Journeys are infographics with the goal of teaching an organization more and more about its customers from the point that they become leads, and through each and every step of a *hopefully* long-lasting relationship. This feature will provide a drag-and-drop designer to help you create and run customer journeys with multi-step, multi-channel campaigns. It provides one interface to edit all the marketing content using embedded content designers.
Reporting and Analytics
Dynamics 365 provides tools to customize dashboards and generate reports for tracking campaign performance and leads responsiveness.
- Use the Demand Generation Analyzer to analyze the effectiveness of marketing efforts.
- Gain a better understanding of your target audience and potential customers with the Marketing Audience Analyzer.
- Keep track of leads and get rid of bottlenecks using Lead Pipeline Analyzer.
- Use the Lead/Opportunity Influence Analyzer to get a grip on which activities leads are most responsive to.