Introduction to Dynamics 365 for Marketing – Core Marketing

Introduction to Dynamics 365 for Marketing – Core Marketing

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Published date: 29th May 2019

In 2018 Microsoft launched Dynamics 365 for Marketing – a solution that helps your business generate and nurture leads, score leads, organise events, and gather customer feedback all within the same application. It’s been exciting to see how Microsoft has since extended its capabilities, improved usability and performance with the October 2018 and April 2019 update releases.

Dynamics 365 for Marketing App packages fully integrated features built on the same D365 platform and database as the Sales App:

  • Core Marketing
  • Event Management

The following are part of the Marketing package but are also available as add-ons for other D365 products.

  • Voice of the Customer
  • Dynamics 365 Connector for LinkedIn LeadGen Forms
  • Dynamics 365 Portals

The Core Marketing module is unique to the Marketing App and provides marketing automation that connects marketing and sales processes seamlessly. It runs exclusively on the Unified Interface – responsive to different devices, screen sizes, and orientation and enhances user experience. Here are it’s key features:

Segments

Define the target audience of your marketing campaigns to tailor marketing content and maximise engagement.

A segment in D365 for Marketing is a collection of contacts that you can define using a query or select specific contacts or both. You can select contacts based on their demographic profiles, such as their job role or city, or based on their interactions, such as form submission or event registration.

Once a segment is defined, you can use it as the target of a customer journey to onboard and nurture.

Marketing Emails

Create a dynamic and personalised marketing email using one of the out of the box templates or from a blank canvas.

You can freely design the look and feel of the email using the drag and drop editor or directly in the HTML. You can embed images, videos, call-to-action buttons, and define the theme of the email to match your company’s branding.

Dynamic content, such as the recipient’s first name, can also be added to the email body and header fields (subject, from address, and from name) so that the email message is personalised.

Any emails that you create can be saved as a template, so you build a set of standardised templates that fits your company’s branding and purpose specific.

The finished email can then be added to a customer journey to be part of a campaign and you can track email deliveries, opens and clicks.

Marketing pages and forms

Generate new leads online and track web engagement using Dynamics 365 Portal hosted marketing pages and forms.

A marketing page may be a landing page, subscription centre or a “Forward to a friend” page,

A data capture form allows visitors manage their subscriptions or make an enquiry. The form submission event can also be part of an inbound customer journey.

Out of the box templates are also provide for both forms and pages and you can edit them using the drag-and-drop designer or in HTML. The marketing forms can be hosted by Dynamics 365 portals or embedded onto any website.

Customer Journeys

Automate marketing campaigns using customer journeys to deliver marketing content, respond to customer interactions and create task activities for your team to follow up.

The customer journey is made up of a series of tiles – targets, contents, activities and flow controls, combined into a path which your customers will be guided through. It can be as simple as sending out newsletters as part of a monthly subscription, or a more complex model to invite customers to events, send out confirmations, reminders and follow-up surveys.

A customer journey can be created from scratch or using a template and edited using a visual designer. You can schedule and set journeys to recur regularly.

Lead Scoring

Identify hot leads and handover to the sales team by setting up automated lead scoring models.

Each model contains a list of criteria, their associated positive or negative scores, and a Sales Ready Score. You can also establish Grades to classify leads as cold, warm or hot. You can select criteria based on both the lead’s demographic profile and its interactions with your marketing efforts.

Multiple lead scoring models can be used, and you can configure the models to count only recent interactions so that the lead score may reduce over time if there is no active engagement.

Once a lead has reached the sales ready score, it can then be forwarded to a salesperson to action.

Insights

Improve your marketing return on investment (MROI) by tracking and reporting on your marketing activities and customers’ engagement.

Built-in analytics help you gain insights from your marketing activities with customers. You can view results and KPIs from entities within the core marketing module, such as leads, segments, email messages, marketing pages and customer journeys.

Open the Insights tab on an entity to find marketing results, where you can view by categories and filter by date range and usage. Custom dashboards can also be built to monitor and analyse performance.

Benefits

  • Flexible content designers for all users
    • Both visual and text-based designer interfaces are available for digital contents, customer journeys and lead scoring models.
    • Users can edit emails and web pages through the drag-and-drop designer or the HTML editor to insert additional code
    • Users can build segments using different interfaces ranging from a visual Sankey diagram to editing the query as text
  • Reusability
    • Digital content, customer journeys and lead scoring models can all be created from templates, and custom templates can also be used.
    • Standardised designs can be built for the marketing team
    • Content blocks can be created so the same set of components can be used on multiple emails, forms and pages.
  • Error checking

    • Many entities in the core marketing module follow the same if not similar stages – draft, check for errors, go live, stop.
    • This management process is consistent across entities, it checks for content (to reduce spam score and email bounces) and technical errors (e.g. ensure a customer journey will run successfully) before sending an email, go-live with a campaign or publish a web page.
  • Closed loop marketing
    • Results and interaction records from marketing activities can be used to create new segments or suppression segments, so specific content such as event invitations can target and nurture active customers who show interest in your business.
    • A subscription list may be used to distribute monthly newsletters, then contacts who have clicked on links on the email and visited your website from it can be used again to create a new segment, then invite to your upcoming events.

Conclusion

Dynamics 365 for Marketing extends the functionalities of the D365 platform and works seamlessly both as a standalone app and alongside other apps such as Sales. The Core Marketing module is only the tip of the Marketing App iceberg. Find out more about Dynamics 365 for Marketing and how it can drive your digital marketing strategies by contacting us at info@codecsystems.co.uk

Want to Find out More about Dynamics 365 for Marketing and how it can transform your marketing efforts? Register for our upcoming webinar on 26th June – “Introducing Dynamics 365 for Marketing”, hosted by Dynamics CRM consultant, Miquel Alves.

Related article: D365 for Marketing vs D365 for Sales (in-app marketing)