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Attention All Marketers: Dynamics CRM Just Set the New Standard!

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As most everyone in the Dynamics community has heard Microsoft has recently unveiled its newest addition to the marketing capability of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. At its core Microsoft Dynamics Marketing seeks to deliver powerful, integrated marketing management solutions that help bring businesses and the customers they serve closer together. The essence of Dynamics Marketing is best illustrated by this image:

MSDMarketing

 

Native or Not?

Let’s be clear Dynamics Marketing is not native to CRM. It is in fact a standalone product that can be integrated into your CRM environment or purchased as a standalone product. If your business is currently utilizing CRM and would like to explore the capabilities of the integration between CRM and Dynamics Marketing you need to consider the following:

Main Components:

  • Microsoft Azure – provides communication channels in the form of two cloud-based queues, and supporting services to enable the transfer of marketing data between Dynamics Marketing and CRM.
  • Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Connector for Microsoft Dynamics CRM – a Dynamics CRM solution plus server software. Once installed and configured, the connector connects the components together.

Integration Points:

  • Marketing data flows from Dynamics Marketing to CRM through a queue that you will create in the Microsoft Azure cloud
  • Marketing data from CRM flows back to Dynamics Marketing through another queue created in the Microsoft Azure cloud
  • This data flow is not instant. Rather there is a slight delay of a few seconds or more depending on the performance of the network and server setup.

Here is a brief summary of the field mapping offered by the Connector for Dynamics Marketing to CRM:

FieldMapping

The Evolution of Campaign Management

Dynamics Marketing features a visual designer intended to make setting up campaigns easier for marketers as well as overhauled lead scoring and management capabilities that will integrate with Dynamics CRM. This allows Marketers to build structured campaigns to dive deeper into their customer markets to find higher quality lead for their sales team. Essentially you can create the following engagement tools based of a Marketing List through the new Dynamics Marketing portal:

Email Templates: Create personalized emails to reach out to your customers and leads

Landing Pages: Capture the interest of potential customers by offering targeted messages and offerings

Campaign

Event Management: Plan, allocate, track and execute successful customer events

Post to Social Media: Never miss an opportunity! Interact with your entire social network through Facebook, Twitter, and more.

Lead Scoring: Monitor the value of Leads by implementing scoring based upon customer interaction

Track Performance: What’s working? What needs to be adjusted? Never leave these questions unanswered again with powerful reporting, charts, and KPI’s with Power BI

OppPipeline

Branding with a Purpose

With an ever evolving competitive landscape businesses around the world are looking for that extra “something” to put their products and service top of mind for their target market. This is where Dynamics Marketing takes over and allows Product/Brand Managers and their teams to design, implement, track, and improve each line individually. Ultimately, this leads to one consistent message that will engage your customers and create vast leads and opportunities for your sales people.

Drive Efficiency: Keep up to date with daily tasks and activities through centralized Dashboards

Keep Track of Requests: Whether a customer is requesting a brochure or a demo never miss a beat

Dashboards

Ensure Brand Consistency: With real-time workflows you can rest assured that the tasks being performed by your team relays the correct message to your target market

Track Assets: Approve all branding assets from flyers to email templates from a single window

Assets

Collaboration is Key: Easily provide annotation to marketing assets to provide insight and thoughts

Analytic Engagement: Utilize Power BI and robust reporting to track performance

The Verdict

It’s Dynamics, but Different

The moment the homepage of Dynamics Marketing opens, the uninformed user may assume they are inside the typical Microsoft Dynamics CRM application. However, one needs to simply use the top navigation menu to see the difference in the user interface.

NavigationMenu

Once a selection is made from the navigation bar the user will not see the expected “Actions” toolbar. Instead they will see a group of actionable items to the right of the screen. The untrained user will need to depend on the tool tips provided by these icons to know what they are actually capable of doing once navigating to a specific component with Dynamics Marketing.

Components

Is More, Better?

The ability to plan a project, budget the resources needed, execute the marketing effort, and then measure the effectiveness is extremely powerful. However, is media planning, budget calculators, and job requests relevant for the majority of businesses? We’ve found that when fully utilized within a large scale marketing campaign the business processes that are impacted by Dynamics Marketing are impressive to say the least. When we played Devil’s advocate we found the reverse effect in which less complex marketing programs became lost in the complexity that is Dynamics Marketing. Granted you can deactivate these components for your needs, but that doesn’t mean you will get any sort of break on the bill at the end of the month. Currently Dynamics Marketing is an all or nothing purchase that can be bundled with CRM or as a standalone product.

User Adoption, the Broken Record

It’s a well-known fact that user adoption will make or break the ending result of a software implementation. As stated in the beginning of this article, Dynamics Marketing is a separate application from CRM. The golden question is, “Will users take the time to log-in to a separate application and actually use it?” This is really a twofold question. First, they will need to be trained on this new functionality brought forth by Dynamics Marketing. Secondly, will the everyday marketer really want to work in between two different applications without being able to seamlessly work within one complete solution? The line of when to use one over another is likely to become blurred if clear guidelines are not set and enforced.

Drumroll Please…

Great! Now that we’ve covered Dynamics Marketing you don’t have any questions, right? This is where Columbus, as your trusted partner comes in to lend a helping hand. If you’re interested in learning more about how Dynamics Marketing can assist your business in that upcoming rebranding initiation, the continued growth of your company, and everything in-between, contact us right away!

P.S….

For those of you still wondering if Dynamics Marketing is the right fit for your company be on the lookout for our follow up article of this discussion. We’ll be reviewing the deciding factors between Dynamics Marketing and the renowned marketing automation tool, ClickDimensions!

MSDLogo   OR   ClickDimensions 

by Columbus

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