Jim Nakashima - Partner Head of Product, Microsoft
I am thrilled to share an overview of the exciting new capabilities coming in the 2022 release wave 1 for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing, and more importantly, the value that these new capabilities will bring you because we’ve tailored it to meet, and exceed, the needs of today’s marketers and their customers.
Marketing has always been a team sport and is even more so in today’s landscape.
Marketers are being chartered to think about the entire customer journey and to champion across the organization to elevate end-to-end customer experiences. They’re asked to be more agile in responding to market conditions, to be more efficient in content creation, and to deliver it all with higher quality, greater impact, and proof that they’re delivering business impact. With the upcoming release wave, Dynamics 365 Marketing can help you meet every one of these challenges head-on.
It will give you the flexibility like never before to easily collaborate across people, departments, and applications, to personalize customer interactions across the entire customer journey, and to design custom experiences to happen in the moments that matter, thanks to real-time customer journey orchestration.
Here are a few highlights of some of the exciting new innovations that will be released for general availability over the next few months and what they can mean for business users and marketers alike.
Easily collaborate to leverage the full power of your team
Marketing teams need to respond to market conditions quickly in order to create impactful moments. This has gotten more complicated with hybrid workplace scenarios and the fact that more and more marketers are engaging with colleagues in other departments to land the right engagement across the end-to-end customer journey. To keep these cross-functional teams (and frankly all of us) productive, we must avoid context switching, and instead, keep people in the flow of work.
With this release, we bring Microsoft Teams chat natively into Dynamics 365 Marketing to allow you to easily collaborate with your team without leaving the flow of work. Because each Teams chat is tied to the individual work item, it enables everyone involved with the project to have the same context and increases focus so they can create the highest-impact journeys, emails, and other content more efficiently.
For Dynamics 365 Sales and Dynamics 365 Customer Service users, the new unified customer activity timeline will bring cohesiveness across the end-to-end customer journey. The timeline is interwoven with activities from these Dynamics 365 customer engagement apps, so you don’t need to leave your flow of work to view your Dynamics 365 Marketing real-time marketing interactions. With the full picture of engagement history at their fingertips, customer-facing teams can better create impactful journeys, plus easily search or filter to find the relevant interaction history.
And to offer the ultimate in flexibility, in addition to the comprehensive list of out-of-the-box triggers, you can now trigger journeys or measure goals from common customer data changes across any Dynamics 365 customer data. Each interaction, such as a completed application, a renewed contract, or a closed service ticket, represents an opportunity to engage more deeply with your customers. Those interactions can now be used to kick-off, drive, and measure customer journeys in just a few clicks, without requiring developers or customizations.
Hyper personalize experiences with ease
Personalization is no longer a luxury. It is critical to increase the likelihood that customers will make an initial purchase, repurchase, and recommend your products or services to others. Personalization drives impact. Companies with significant growth generally have a higher usage of personalized marketing.
One of the first steps in personalization is to create compelling content that will resonate with your customers. To make this easier, we are introducing reusable content fragments to allow your team to quickly assemble beautiful emails with just a few clicks. These content fragments can include layout, advanced elements, and personalization, so there is no limit on the content you can create and save for reuse. With a library of reusable content, you can simply mix and match different pieces to create your messages.
Next, personalize your emails to delight your customers. Personalization within the email editor is also faster and easier than ever before. You can use pre-defined dynamic text to personalize your emails without the need to know the underlying data model to do it.
You can also personalize and customize your emails by creating conditional content with an easy-to-use, no-code experience. Use any mix of personalized text, images, and layouts, and create rules for selecting the right content, using segment membership, attributes, or triggers. For instance, members of the Contoso Winery Red Wine Club will receive the images/text/layout for red wines, while members of the White Wine Club will receive those pertaining to white wines instead. You will also get detailed analytics to help monitor how each variation is performing.
Build personalization into customer-centric journeys that can boost your return on investment (ROI) with the help of AI-powered next best content. In addition to allowing you to specify manual rules for content/offer selections, you can leverage AI-based optimization to tailor content/offers to match the preferences, interests, and motivations of each of your unique customers. After all, compelling content and offers are powerful tools in getting customers to engage or keeping them from churning.
And for Dynamics 365 Customer Insights users, when it comes to getting your message out to the right customers, you can choose to use customer insights data from your own Azure Data Lake Storage to build segments, specify conditions, and personalize messages to build rich, real-time journeys while maintaining full control over the underlying data.
Design custom experiences with flexibility and agility
Customer expectations of today demand that businesses rise to a new level of customer obsession to meet them. Winning and keeping customers is becoming increasingly more competitive. Brands must provide the best experience possible when customers engage. This is why we continue to invest in building out more and more real-time engagement capabilities into our Dynamics 365 applications.
In the last Dynamics 365 Marketing release, we introduced native support for SMS providers Twillio and Telesign to enable organizations to connect around the world via SMS. Capabilities in this release enable you to continue the conversation with your customers by taking action on SMS keyword replies. You will be able to create custom keywords for use in SMS replies that will guide the journey based on the response to ensure flexibility and agility are built into your customer experiences.
Additional capabilities allow you to trigger journeys more selectively based on qualifying conditions to better drive customers to action. We eliminate the need to create cascading branches or specifying conditions with more than two possibilities. For instance, to re-engage buyers who have abandoned carts, you may want to qualify buyers who have more than $100 in their cart for a journey that gives a $10 coupon incentive to complete their purchase. This empowers your marketing team to engage the right audience in the most impactful way, and to have more flexibility by re-using the same event trigger for a variety of scenarios. These capabilities increase a marketer’s productivity by simplifying, not only the journey logic and creation, but also the analysis when journeys are live as well as the readability and maintenance of more complex journeys.
And finally, if you can dream it, you can do it. With a seamless integration between real-time marketing journey orchestration and Power Automate, we enable you to have limitless customization possibilities and fine-grained control of your customer experience by leveraging a wealth of connectors and actions. This allows semi-technical marketers to automate journey steps quickly and easily leaving deep technical resources to be more focused on complex needs.
Leading the next generation of business applications
We are excited to be delivering so much value in the 2022 release wave 1 for Dynamics 365 Marketing, value that will enable you to elevate end-to-end customer experiences, be more agile in responding to market conditions, be more efficient in content creation, and to deliver it all with higher quality and greater impact.
The capabilities highlighted above are planned to be released from April 2022 through September 2022. Consult the release notes for the most up-to-date details.
I’m excited to take you on this exciting journey with us—as always, there will be more to come.
Learn more about Dynamics 365 Marketing
To learn more about how your organization can elevate your customer experiences, visit the Dynamics 365 Marketing webpage and sign up for a free Dynamics 365 Marketing trial to explore real-time customer journey orchestration and the other rich capabilities offered in Dynamics 365 Marketing.