Earlier this week Microsoft released their long-awaited marketing solution to an eager community of users that are quickly figuring out the best way to integrate this new functionality into their existing Dynamics landscape.
While there is huge potential in the new Dynamics Marketing tool, the information overload right now can be a little bit intimidating. To simplify this, I’ve laid out the “need to know” features of Dynamics Marketing below. This is not meant to be an all-encompassing list for sure, but it should serve as a good starting point for those looking to leverage the power of this new tool to engage and retain customers.
1. It integrates with all your other Microsoft stuff.
One of the most appealing features of the Microsoft Dynamics suite of products has always been how well they play together. Microsoft has done a great job of doing the “heavy lifting” for their customers once again as they have released a Salesforce Automation (SFA) Connector along with Dynamics Marketing to allow the software to essentially plug-and-play with their customers’ existing Microsoft Dynamics CRM implem
entations. This integration makes Dynamics Marketing more powerful with the capability to easily and automatically transform marketing communications and responses into actionable Leads.
2. Campaign Design is now easier than ever
Microsoft Dynamics Marketing has effectively removed the technical hurdle from campaign design. Now, anyone that can drag and drop in a browser can design multi-stage, multi-channel campaigns without the need for intervention from a super-user or technical resource.
3. It was designed as an end-to-end solution.
Microsoft Dynamics Marketing is certainly not the first marketing planning and automation tool to hit the market, but it may be the most comprehensive. Unlike most of the other solutions currently available, MDM extends across your entire marketing organization, feeding directly into your BD organization’s Dynamics CRM application as your campaigns turn into real Leads and Opportunities.
4. It has great built in Analytics.
One of the strengths of the Dynamics platform has always the multitude of options that Microsoft has provided to get your data out of the system – traditionally one of the toughest parts of implementing any ERP, CRM or Marketing solution. In Marketing Dynamics product, Microsoft has once again leveraged the power of built in dashboards and reports to allow users to view pre-built analytics as well as develop their own customized outputs. Additionally, users can export their data directly into Excel with one click and utilize the Excel PowerView app for even more options – all for no additional cost
5. It's online only - for now.
At release, Dynamics Marketing is only available in a hosted, Software-as-a-Service (Saas) model from Microsoft. While this does significantly simplify deployment and costing of the solution, it will understandably raise some eyebrows of those Dynamics customers that are currently deployed on-premises. The good news is that the cloud-based Dynamics Marketing solution can integrate almost as easily with existing CRM on-prem Dynamics CRM solutions as it can with those already in the cloud through the use of a special connector provided by Microsoft. While there are certain limitations of the connector, it doesn’t appear to significantly handicap those customers who choose to keep their CRM data in-house. Microsoft is supposedly working on an on-prem version of Dynamics Marketing also – stay tuned for more details on that.
So that’s our quick run-down. We’ve had some time now to look at the solution in both beta and finalized form, and we’re excited at the potential benefits it offers to our customers. The Dynamics platform continues to grow in both scope and capability, which is great news for everyone who relies so heavily on these products to get work done.