Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing – not to mistake with the cooperation that Microsoft has with Adobe or the now departed Marketing Pilot acquisition – is after a period in private preview now available in public preview. This means that everybody can apply for a 60 day trial as a part of their existing online solution (is being applied as a sandbox) or as a part of a new tenant.
The marketing solution, build in the new “unified interface”, which was introduced with Dynamics 365 version 9.0, is opening a wide range of functionalities. Some of this functionality is a part of the existing Dynamics 365 CRM and with a well-known interface while other functions are brand new. Dynamics 365 for Marketing contains all necessary basic data such as customer information, contacts e.g. and also there is an option to work with leads and opportunities. If leads and opportunities will be a part of the final marketing solution, if you do not have a license for the remaining Dynamics 365, is still unclear – as well as the pricing is unclear.
The new Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing in headlines
- E-mail-marketing solution, which is handling templates, e-mail, pages and forms, customer journey, automation of the customer journey, a whole new way of segmentation based on Customer Insights as well as related options to collect interactions with customers/contacts, controlling of images and keywords e.g.
- Event solution, which is handling layout of events and participants including access for participants via the Microsoft Portal. This is a super elegant solution, which will also be able to handle event-related activities such as simple courses, webinars e.g.
- LinkedIn lead-gen with a couple of very interesting functions where integration to LinkedIn can be made and leads collected cf. LinkedIn contact/user behavior.
New functionality in customer journey and segmentation
It is very important to understand that the marketing functionality, which is already a part of the existing Dynamics 365 CRM (e.g. campaigns and marketing lists), is not re-used in the new Dynamics 365 for Marketing. It has been replaced with e.g. “customer journey” and “segmentation”. This new functionality gives access to more advanced opportunities than the already known. Compared to marketing lists in the existing Dynamics 365, there is as a part of “segmentation” now access to new opportunities for structuring of inclusions/exclusions. This is illustrated in the image below, where graphics are available and where the use of relations in more levels are possible based on the layout built into Dynamics 365 and possible additional customer/contact information, which has been added to “customer insight”. You can read more here.
Just as important – and a bit technical – is also that all interactions with a customer/contact (e.g. email distribution/clicks, visits to the website etc.) is not saved in Dynamics 365 directly, but instead in “customer insights” which is an Azure-based solution. This ensures that you as a Dynamics 365 user will have a full overview of all interactions and at the same time can use these as segmentation and creation/adjustment of the “customer journey”.
Looking very exciting and promising
Our first test of the solution based on fairly distinguished master data and the just as elegant templates that are included in the preview solution is looking very exciting and promising. The included functionality will definitely cover the needs of a marketing department in mid-sized companies, where focus primarily will be email marketing, newsletters, and events. But this is the first version and there are areas where the solution does not quite match e.g. ClickDimensions, Adobe Marketing and other specialized marketing solutions.