Lori Lamkin - Vice President, Dynamics 365 Marketing
Customer engagement professionals still need to build relationships, trust, and loyalty to be successful, but how we achieve these outcomes has fundamentally changed. Those changes offer the opportunity to be more effective than ever at driving these results.
To meet customer expectations, marketers are looking to create end-to-end customer experiences that are customer-led, highly personalized, and that reach their customers wherever they are, across all physical and digital channels. Data and AI make all these things possible and bring us into an exciting new frontier—from the reactive to the predictive era.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing brings together the worlds of customer experience and marketing automation, empowering businesses to orchestrate individualized journeys across all touchpoints to strengthen relationships and earn loyalty.
With the 2021 release wave 2, we focused on improving processes and capabilities for creating moments-based customer journeys that span all customer touchpoints, and on taking personalization to the next level, all with less effort. Here are a few highlights of these exciting new innovations that will be releasing over the next few months and what they can mean for marketers and business users alike.
Engage your customers in moments that matter across all customer touchpoints
To truly embrace customer-led journeys you must be ready to engage and respond when the customer wants to engage, in the moments that matter to them. Here are new ways Dynamics 365 Marketing will help you do just that.
Send SMS messages using Twilio and TeleSign integration. Engaging customers in moments that matter means that connecting with mobile users is a must. Dynamics 365 Marketing enables you to utilize the SMS channel to send fast, transactional communications and marketing messages. In this release, we have extended these capabilities by enabling integration with Twilio and TeleSign for the ultimate level of flexibility.
Reach more customers with a 10X increase in the scale of interactions in real-time marketing journeys. To reach your customers in moments that matter to them, you must be able to scale. Prospects and customers are starting to take the lead on how frequently they want to interact with companies they do business with. Companies must be able to respond to customers whenever they want to engage. We now support up to 100 million outbound interactions (email, SMS, or push notifications) per month to a maximum of 20 million contacts using real-time marketing journeys. With the added interaction capacity, you can communicate as much as you need to help move prospects and customers along their buying journey.
Personalize engagement for each customer
Engaging your customers in an individually personalized way is easier than ever thanks to the innovative new capabilities added to Dynamics 365 Marketing.
Deliver rich customer experiences by raising custom events from journey steps. Because every business is unique, you may need to define custom processes to enhance your journeys. By using Microsoft Power Automate Flows, you will have limitless customization and precise control of your customer experience.
You can call a Power Automate Flow from the journey canvas to connect with proprietary and external business systems. This end-to-end integration allows you to leverage the entire Power Automate ecosystem of connectors and controls to deliver the unique experience your customers demand. And what’s even better, is that anyone, from citizen marketing developers to pro marketing operations teams, IT professionals, or partners, can create very advanced custom scenarios in only a few clicks.
Personalize emails to include lists of related data. To save time and to further personalize your emails, you can now include lists of related data that are specific to the individual receiving the email. For example, you can add a list of sessions in a conference registration email or a list of items purchased in an order confirmation email. The ‘helper tool’ in real-time marketing generates the code for conditional statements and lists for you, making it easier to ensure your syntax is correct.
Gain more control over journey branching conditions through increased attribute support. Creating personalized journeys for customers based on their demographics and behaviors can help increase engagement. With this release, you can now create journey branches based on any attribute associated with the customer or event trigger that started the journey. In addition, for attributes based on date and time, you can create branches based on relative or partial dates.
Make faster and better decisions leveraging the power of analytics and AI
A deep understanding of your customer coupled with knowledge of what has worked before can bring amazing customer experiences to life.
Use AI-powered ideas to automatically generate content for emails. Looking for the right email copy to catch a customer’s eye? Use Content Ideas to help you get writing inspiration and move faster from concept to execution. No more needing to start from a blank screen. This new capability uses powerful AI technology to generate custom text ideas in your Dynamics 365 Marketing email editor.
We’re taking an intentional approach to integrating our responsible AI principles by building this experience with transparency and control, while boosting value for you. The automated ideas are based on your key points and recent emails sent by your organization. Now you can take advantage of this breakthrough technology to deliver the most impactful content to your audience.
Optimize the performance of emails in the new outbound marketing email editor with A/B testing. A good way to create an email that resonates with your audience is to test different versions with subsets of your recipients, and then analyze interaction records to determine which one is better received. The new editor in Dynamics 365 Marketing now can A/B test your emails, allowing you to optimize the performance of your emails.
Use natural language to create targeted segments. You can also use natural language sentences to build segments faster in Dynamics 365 Marketing. We introduced a preview of this capability in our previous release and have been working to refine, enhance, and continue the AI model training, so it’s better than ever before. Just use simple words to specify the attributes and logic for the segment you want to target, the AI-powered model does the rest for you. For example, using natural language, you can create a segment of “Contacts who were born between 1970 and 2000 and make more than $50K”, the correct query fields will be filled in for you and the segment will be generated automatically.
Leading the next generation of business applications
The innovations in this 2021 release wave 2 for Dynamics 365 Marketing support our Dynamics 365 vision to build data first, AI-enabled applications. Starting from data, we bring new insights and automation to your business processes and customer experiences. We power those processes and experiences with AI and next best actions while upholding Microsoft’s commitment to building AI responsibly, using our six principles as a lens for innovation. I’m excited to take you on this exciting journey with us—as always, there will be more to come.