Dynamics 365 for Marketing - What It Is & What Can Be Done
Dynamics 365 is Microsoft’s combined ERP and CRM platform. The system consists of seven applications to serve various business functions; Sales, Customer Engagement, Field Service, Talent, Finance and Operations, Retail, Project Service Automation, and Marketing. Dynamics 365 for Marketing will be the focus of this blog as we delve into its capabilities, functions, and what it can do for your business.
Dynamics 365 for Marketing comes with everything a marketing team needs in today’s age of online consumerism. Namely, it allows marketers to customize every bit of content that a consumer may see. This may not sound like a big deal, but it is a key element to attracting new and promising leads. Consumers nowadays have seen every marketing tactic there is, so standing out from the crowd is more important than ever. Whether you’re creating a weekly e-newsletter or a brand new marketing page, there are several options for designing them with varying degrees of customization in each.
Managing, Ranking, & Scoring Leads
Scoring and ranking leads is not something that’s new, nor is it proprietary to Dynamics 365, but the way its done in Dynamics 365 for Marketing is easier and more intricate than what many other marketing platforms offer. The scoring rules are set by managers and can be based on three different data types – demographic, firmographic, and contact interactions. Examples of each would include where the prospect is located and what they are looking for (demographic), company size, industry, and purchasing history (firmographic), and whether they are opening emails, going to the website, or interacting with your organization’s social media (contact interactions).
Every action that is taken by a lead is given a set amount of points and raises or lowers their score until they either become sales-qualified or are no longer considered a lead and taken out of the system. In Dynamics 365 for Marketing, it is easy to manage how frequently a lead is contacted, what they see, and how long their actions are scored for. Not only is Dynamics 365 thorough in nurturing prospects along to a purchase, but it can also generate quality leads automatically through marketing pages and the LinkedIn Lead Generator. Because Dynamics 365 for Marketing comes with a connector between the two, it is easy to sync lead information from LinkedIn to Dynamics and begin the customer journey.
The Customer Journey
Customer Journeys are arguably the most useful and exciting feature of Dynamics 365 for Marketing. Customer journeys refer to the steps a lead takes from the first contact they have made with a company all the way through to a made purchase. Much like a drip campaign, when a customer makes contact with one of your marketing initiatives, Dynamics 365 for Marketing recognizes that they have started the customer journey process. This process can range from simply contacting the company and making a purchase, to using multiple channels of contact and several calls and/or meetings before a purchase is made. Building a journey, no matter how intricate, is a breeze with the easy to use drag and drop journey modeler.
Now, let’s say you have three leads that come into your system that all arrive by filling out the form on the ‘Contact Us’ page of your website. Because they all came from the same place, each lead will be sent the same marketing email that goes out the next week. Depending on how they respond to that email, each prospect will move to a new spot in the customer journey that you’ve created.
- Lead 1: Receives the email but does not open.
- Lead 2: Receives and opens emails but doesn’t click any links.
- Lead 3: Opens emails and clicks on link to products page.
All these leads will be contacted again but each in a new and different way. Lead 1 will be sent something similar to the email they didn’t open but likely more personalized to him or her. Lead 2 may be contacted with something like a personal email from a sales rep or a specific product offering. Because lead 3 took actions that make them the highest quality prospect of the 3, they are considered closest to purchase-ready. With that in mind, they could be prompted to sign up for something like a call with a sales rep.
Again, these actions are all dependent on how your organization chooses to nurture leads and their guidelines regarding how often prospects are contacted and what they’re presented. This example is likely more basic than any journeys you’ll be building, but it shows how leads can be treated different based on their actions and the potential for how complex journeys can get.
Fully Customized Emails, Landing Pages, & More
Getting the attention of consumers has become tougher by the day. Dynamics 365 for Marketing works to change that by offering hundreds of built-in templates as well as a visual designer and html code editing, so you can design the content on your marketing pages, emails, and forms exactly how you’d like. All three options are available for designing emails, marketing pages, and forms. When a form is submitted, a contact and lead are created for that user and they begin along the one of the customer paths you have set up depending upon their form response.
Getting direct feedback from customers is vital to improving your product or service offering while also helping to make the customer feel valued. Dynamics 365 for Marketing provides a fully comprehensive surveys app called Voice of the Customer (VOC) to design and publish online surveys that can be integrated with your events, emails, and customer journeys. Using VOC, you’ll be able to create basic and advanced surveys that send an email or even create a lead directly from a survey response. Furthermore, VOC can make responsive surveys, meaning you can assign additional questions based on responses given to get more feedback about an answer that was provided. These are useful when looking for specifics regarding why a customer answered the way they did.
Once you’ve designed your survey to look how you want and set up responsive routing, distribute it to the appropriate contacts and/or segments or post to your social accounts to get anonymous respondents. When sending a survey over email, Dynamics 365 for Marketing allows you to personalize the email to each specific respondent using “piped data”. The piped data available to customize an email consist of information like customer, product, service, date/time, location, and language, allowing you to truly personalize an email and make the customer feel like it was meant for them alone. When all is said and done, assemble and analyze the survey results. VOC makes it easy to create visuals of the results for quick insights or to export the data to Power BI and really drill into the feedback.
Planning and executing a live event or webinar involves lots of people and lots of moving parts, so Dynamics 365 for Marketing has built-in features to assist with everything from initial planning through to performance evaluation and analyzing results, even manage sponsorships and accommodations. When you create a new event in the Events area, you can add almost all the info you’ll need from a single window. Manage the financials, set the agenda, choose a venue and register attendees, and track performance results without having to dig deep into the system.
While Dynamics for Marketing is plenty capable on its own, that does not compare to what can be done when used in combination with other Dynamics apps and the suite of Office 365 products. This integration connects company and customer data across the departments that use Dynamics 365, making communication more consistent and data more transparent and available for immediate use. If you’re already using any of the other Dynamics 365 apps (Sales, Customer Engagement, Field Service, Talent, Finance & Operations, Retail, Project Service) its very easy to connect them. When you are in one program, the others can be accessed from the Dynamics drop down menu.
The most seamless connection between apps exists between Marketing and Sales. With this integration, whenever a form is submitted, Marketing will automatically create a lead that will exist in both Dynamics 365 for Marketing and Dynamics 365 for Sales. Depending on how your organization operates, leads are managed by either the marketing team or a sales person, and Dynamics for Marketing is built to work for either style. Each created contact will have a list of their engagement history, so both your marketing and sales teams can see how engaged and interested they are in doing business. When a lead reaches your preset threshold to be considered sales-ready, the sales team will be automatically notified. Additionally, sales reps can manually take over a lead in Dynamics 365 for Sales when they feel the lead is qualified.
Get a Demo of Dynamics 365 for Marketing
As a Microsoft gold-certified re-seller, Syvantis is here to help you get set up, on-board users, and provide support for all your Microsoft products. We can assist in building reports, creating workflows, and integrating apps like Office 365 and Dynamics to optimize their performance and power. If you think Dynamics 365 for Marketing is something that can help your organization gather and win more leads, streamline communication between sales and marketing teams, and make smarter decisions overall, fill out the form below to sign up for a walk-through of the system and an informational call with one of our technical consultants.