A New (CRM) Hope: 12 Reasons You Need PowerPack Add-ons for Marketing Automation

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away you dreamed of becoming a true master of marketing automation. While most organizations have the marketing part down—the automation part can get tricky. (Search your feelings, you know it to be true.)

We can help you get your marketing in CRM automated with our powerful suite of PowerPack Add-ons that will take your marketing to the next level. From bulk email to lead scoring to surveys to web forms – we’ve got just the tools you need, young Padawan!

Here are 12 reasons why you need PowerPack Add-ons for marketing automation:

1. Never wonder if your emails will reach the Rebel Alliance when you use PowerEmail! You can track what emails are opened and which URLs were clicked by the recipient all within CRM.











2. Become a master of bulk email with PowerMailChimp and track statistics back to contacts, leads, and accounts in CRM. Size matters not.










3. Put those campaigns on autopilot! You can easily create drip campaigns in CRM with PowerNurture and watch the add-on automate everything for you.









4. Stay on target with PowerScore! You can automatically score CRM leads and contacts based on their behavior and ensure you’re following up with the right people.










5. Pass on your wealth of knowledge with the PowerShare add-on, which allows you to bundle and share documents with contacts and then track when they open them.










6. Use the Force…or PowerSMS to send text messages to contacts, leads, or other custom entities all within CRM!









7. Keep the CRM conversation going on Twitter and post directly from CRM with PowerSocial.










8. Use PowerSurveyPlus to build, configure, and send surveys from CRM so you can understand how your leads and contacts really feel about you.










9. Need a creative way to engage an audience at an event or for a promotion? You can build and track a trivia game from contacts or leads in CRM with PowerTrivia—just remember to let the Wookie win.











10. With PowerWebForm you can put forms on your website and pull information straight into CRM—eliminating the need to export/import lists from other databases.










11. Don’t underestimate your web traffic data! Combine the power of website analytics with the power of CRM by using the PowerWebTraffic add-on. #UnlimitedPower










12. Throw the perfect event and capture all of your RSVPs in CRM by using PowerZapEvent for your online event registration management in CRM.










What’s great about our PowerPack add-ons is that they are developed based on the needs and feedback from our customers. These add-ons are not just simple customizations for sales force and marketing automation, but offer true features to help you get the most out of your Microsoft Dynamics CRM investment.

Our PowerPack add-ons for marketing automation will set you on the right path to becoming a marketing automation master. Each of our PowerPack add-ons help reduce manual processes, and streamline many marketing-related procedures. Another great benefit is that you can pick and choose which tools will work best for your organization—wherever you are in your CRM journey. As your operation grows, you can add on other tools as you see fit.

Start a free 30-day trial of any of our add-ons today!

Happy CRM’ing and “May the Fourth” be with you…



Dynamics Marketing Crash Course: Creating Job Templates and Social Media Management

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing is a great tool that helps you maximize your marketing efforts within Dynamics CRM. In today's blog, we are going to give you two handy tips for using MDM: how to create job templates within MDM and how to manage your social media with MDM. It's marketing madness today! Let's begin!

How to Create Job Templates in Dynamics Marketing

Organizations often need to manage routine jobs and the tasks associated with completing those jobs. The jobs and tasks are often the same, but the individual who is assigned to complete the task could be different based on their availability at the time.

You can manage these types of routine jobs and task assignments through Microsoft Dynamics Marketing by using Job Templates and Virtual Teams.

1. To create a new Job Template, first navigate to the Projects tile, then click on Job Templates.

This is the main page for Job Templates. Here you will find all of the Job Templates currently in the system.

2. Create a new Job Template by clicking the + button in the upper right hand corner of the page.

3. On the Job Template creation form, specify the required fields to get the Job Template started. Set the status to In Process, create a name for the Job, and select the Company, Start Date, Due Date, and any additional information to help identify the Job.

4. After you complete all of the required fields, click Save at the bottom of the screen. Notice that below the Specifications text box, there is a dotted line with the word Details underneath it. This is the entity selector dropdown. In the Details section, you can specify additional information about the Job. For example, if this Job is related to a marketing program, you can specify that here.

For now, click on the entity selector (Details dropdown) and select Tasks. To create a new Task, click on the + sign. A new screen will open and prompt you to set up the Task.

5. Specify a name for the Task. In this example, the Task is to create a brand logo for the website, so we created a name accordingly. Specify your required fields. Notice that in Assigned to, we've added the name of a Virtual Team called Graphic Design, rather than User. When we use this Job Template in the future, we'll be able to specify the User who is responsible for Tasks assigned to the Graphic Design Virtual Team.

Note: To set up Virtual Teams in Dynamics Marketing, navigate to Settings, My Company, and then Virtual Teams.

6. Now, save your Task and return to the Job Template form. Continue to add tasks until all of the required tasks to complete your job are entered into the Job Template.

Now that all of our tasks have been entered, we need to specify the teams that are involved in this job.

7. Click the entity selector and select Teams. Then we will add in the teams that we have included in our tasks and select Assigned to for each role, since we'll be assigning tasks to these teams. When the job is created, this is where we will go to select a specific contact to assign the tasks to for each team.

8. We are now ready to use the Job Template to create a job. Click Submit, then navigate to Projects and then Jobs. Click the + button to create a new job.

9. After clicking the + button to create a new job, Dynamics Marketing will prompt us to either create a new job or select from an existing Job Template. We're going to create the job using the Job Template that we just created. After selecting the Job Template, click Submit.

10. You will notice that the job form looks almost identical to the Job Template form. Edit the Start Date for the job and click Save. A pop-up notifies us that the job duration has changed. To adjust the dates for the tasks as well, click Shift job and task dates.

11. Now we're ready to assign the tasks to specific contacts in the system. Click the entity selector and select Teams.

12. Next, replace the Team Name with a Contact Name and click Save.

13. A message will ask whether we'd like to reassign all tasks to the new contact. Click OK.

14. Click the entity selector and select tasks. Notice that the tasks that were previously assigned to the Copywriting team are now assigned to a contact.

That's it! As you can see, using Job Templates and Virtual Teams can be very helpful when assigning tasks to get routine jobs done!

Managing Social Media Accounts with Dynamics Marketing

Setting up your social media account is the first step to managing social media in Dynamics Marketing.

1. First, navigate to the Assets & Media tile in the main navigation and select Media Outlets.

2. Add a new Media Outlet by selecting the + icon at the top right hand corner of the screen. Notice the different types of media that you can manage within Dynamics Marketing. To manage a social media account, select Social Media and click Submit.

3. Specify Twitter or Facebook and the Account/Login/URL for the account.

If you have Programs or Campaigns that have their own social media account, you can specify those here as well. When you look at your Programs or Campaigns, you'll be able to toggle through the Social Media outlets that are related to the Program or Campaign. You can also include an expense and billing account, events or jobs.

4. When you have completed entering the information, click Save, click Authorize Access, and follow the prompts by the social media network to access the account.

Now that we have authorized access on our social media account, we can begin posting to it from Dynamics Marketing.

5. To create a social media post, navigate to the Marketing Execution tile, select Social Media, and click Social Media.

6. On the main screen for Social Media Messages, click the New button in the upper right hand corner.

7. Now you're ready to compose your post or tweet. Select whether you want to send the post now or at a specified time in the future, and check which site you'd like to post to. Enter your post in the large text box and specify hashtags, tags and links within the message. You can also upload a photo or video by clicking the upload icon.

8. When you have finished composing your message, click Post, and then head over to your social media site to see your published post.

That's all for the blog today! You can learn more about Microsoft Dynamics Marketing on our website. And as always, happy CRM'ing!

JoeCRM's Top Marketing Buzzwords

 If you've ever worked in, or even been around marketing people, you will quickly realize our penchant for using the latest buzzword. That makes sense when you consider that marketing is all about generating buzz. If you're unfamiliar with the latest jargon marketing people are using, here is a list of 9 marketing buzzwords complete with definitions. If you are a marketer, try to see how many of these you use daily.

 If you look into Dynamics CRM and its connected marketing solutions, you'll spot some of these in practice. Buzzwords have more meaning when they're driving real measurable results.


Native Advertising

What it means: Paid media that is designed to follow the form and function of the hosting platform, which ensures a natural user experience.

In a statement: I found a great new way to reach our audience! Native advertising. All we have to do is create content in the same way as (insert publisher). People will see our content and think we are amazing!

Native advertising is a form of paid media that is growing in popularity. There are some questions about how users feel about the practice though. Some may feel deceived when they realize a story was sponsored, but brands maintain it's clearly labeled.

Spotted: Putting native advertising into your campaign plans in Dynamics Marketing can accelerate awareness. Add it to your media plan and track ROI back to closed opportunities in CRM. And did you know you can approve content, distribute for review and mark-up files in Dynamics Marketing too?

JoeCRM's Top Marketing Buzzwords



What it means: Create a positive consumer experience by putting consumers at the center of your brand or business strategy.

In a statement: If we implement customer-centricity into our company culture we will beat our competition!

Customer-centricity is really the way businesses should have always operated. Instead of asking what the ROI will be, the questions are now being centered on what will best benefit the users.

Spotted: With CRM integrated with Dynamics Marketing, your customer-centricity comes to life by treating your audience (prospects - > customers - > raving fans) with campaign content that meets their need, wherever they are in the buyer's journey. This means multi-step, multi-channel campaigns in Dynamics Marketing that adapt to people's behaviors.

JoeCRM's Top Marketing Buzzwords

Social Learning

What it means: Learning through social influences rather than behaviorally or on-the-job.

In a statement: If we include social learning in our training plan for new employees our on-boarding process will work more quickly.

Social learning is relatively new. There have always been mentors and groups, but today the role of consuming content to deepen your knowledge base is growing. Social learning provides a way for people to learn skills that may not directly impact their day-to-day, but will build out a knowledge base.

Spotted: Set up your search topics in Microsoft Social Engagement to track social sentiment and trendsetters. If you haven't tried Social Engagement to do social learning, there's no telling what you're missing.


Brand Storytelling

What it means: Your brand is telling your story to your target market.

In a statement: Our users are compelled by stories. It would be wise to incorporate brand storytelling, so they fully understand our brand.

Brands are realizing they have a brand story to tell users. This is leading to more successful marketing efforts, especially with the new technologies that users can leverage.

Spotted: Knowing your market means having data-driven insight, which is fueled by CRM. Building personas using demographic, digital behavior, purchase history and more is a powerful way to build stories that matter.

JoeCRM's Top Marketing Buzzwords

Conversation Marketing

What it means: Using new messaging technologies to have conversations directly with consumers.

In a statement: Conversation marketing is the next great evolution in how we reach and interact with our target demo. We need to leverage Kik!

The popularity of messaging apps with the younger audience is responsible for this term. It is not to be confused with engagement marketing, this is a completely different way of reaching an audience. Kik introduced promoted chats, which have seen great return.

Spotted: Adapting to new conversations shouldn't mean losing sight of conversations and business results. Tie your campaigns and results back to CRM via its open integration platform and be ready to make the business case for the next big trend in Conversation Marketing.


Culture of Content

What is means: An organizational structure, or focus, that allows a business to create high-quality, timely, and original content.

In a statement: There's too much bureaucracy around here. We need a culture of content to truly be successful.

Thanks to the Altimeter report "A Culture of Content" marketers have been using this term to help create a more easily navigable framework for success. Bureaucracy is the enemy of successful content marketing.

Spotted: Use Dynamics Marketing to organize the work of the marketing team around content, then track results back to CRM. A culture of content built around measuring results will help keep the team focused and thriving.

JoeCRM's Top Marketing Buzzwords


Dynamic Content

What is means: Tailoring different content pieces on your website based on who is looking at it.

In a statement: Our homepage should feature some dynamic content to better target key demographic segments.

Technology and data can allow sophisticated marketers to completely tailor the experience on their website based on set criteria. Personalization yields greater returns, so dynamic content will continue to skyrocket in importance.

Spotted: Dynamics Marketing can do dynamic content in emails and CRM can provide the raw materials for a data-driven content approach.

JoeCRM's Top Marketing Buzzwords


Customer Relationship Content Management

What it means: Seamless integration of managing customer relationships and content.

In a statement: Customers are interacting with all of our content. We need seamless customer relationship content management to ensure that we are being as productive as possible across disciplines.

I've only seen this one very recently, but I think it captures a very important idea. This really speaks to the complete integration that can happen across all marketing disciplines while being integrated company-wide. Leveraging technology to improve a business.

Spotted: If Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a strategy first and a technology second, then "CRCM" is no different. Build your content strategy around a true understanding of customers, and use CRM to guide the content roadmap to match the levers for results. Is a particular video or interactive asset unlocking more conversions? Then your customers are sending you a signal that your content is making a difference.



What is means: A message sent through the Snapchat.

In a statement: All the cool kids snap, so let's target them.

Snap is used as a verb much the way "tweet" is used for Twitter. It also has a very clear age separation. I haven't met a single person under 25 that doesn't use Snapchat. I've only met a few over that age using the app.

Spotted: Snap is popular with a particular age group today, but who knows what will be next for the markets you're serving? Identify trends in your industry segment in Microsoft Social Engagement, get visibility to campaign effectiveness in Dynamics Marketing, and see how your channels are moving the needle with results tracking via CRM. The full solution will help you stay on top of the next big thing.


That's our list. I'm sure there are terms missing and controversy abound. Is there a word that we missed? What buzzword are you most tired of hearing? Let us know in the comments below. If you are interested in learning more about Microsoft Dynamics Marketing (MDM), make sure to check out our main page! Or listen in to our MDM webinar: CRM for the CMO!

Happy CRM'ing!

Improve Response Rates with A/B Testing in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing

A new feature of Microsoft Dynamics Marketing is A/B Testing or split testing. A/B Testing is a feature that can help you determine the best email design / content to use when you have two strategies to choose from. Using this feature, you can determine a winning strategy on a small sample of email addresses based on a criteria (Opens, Unique Clicks, Hard Bounces, Soft Bounces, Forwards and Unsubscribes). When the testing duration is complete, the system can either wait for you to review the results or send the winning email to the rest of the mailing list.

To create a new A/B Testing, do the following:

  1. Go to Marketing Execution, then click on A/B Testing.Improve Response Rates with A/B Testing in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing

  2. Click New.

    Improve Response Rates with A/B Testing in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing

  3. Input a name, Designation (Commercial or Campaign Automation), Company (Company cannot be changed once saved).
  4. Choose the Test recipients (if marketing list is chosen, type the name)

    Improve Response Rates with A/B Testing in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing

  5. Choose the criteria that determines a winner (If more than one is chosen, weight is distributed equally among the selected options).

    Improve Response Rates with A/B Testing in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing

  6. Choose the email design / content in Version A and Version B, Subject and From email address.Improve Response Rates with A/B Testing in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing

  7. Choose whether to send the winning email or not.

    Improve Response Rates with A/B Testing in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing

  8. Click Save, then Submit.Improve Response Rates with A/B Testing in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing

    We hope you found this blog helpful! Take a peek around for other great blog content or for a deep dive of Dynamics CRM education, you can sign up for one of our great training options!

    Happy CRM'ing!

Design Visually Rich Emails with Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2015

Did you know you can now create visually rich email messages in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2015 using the graphical editor? This new feature allows you use drag and drop features to create rich email marketing content without HTML or CSS skills. Here's how to use the graphical editor.

When in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2015, click Home > Marketing Execution > Email Marketing Messages. Click the + button to create a new email marketing message.

Design Visually Rich Emails with Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2015

Select a template to create the new email message. Select Blank email to use the graphical editor. If you have HTML and CSS experience, the option Blank Email with HTML editor will allow you to put those skills to work.

Design Visually Rich Emails with Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2015

After clicking Submit, you'll reach the Email Marketing Maintenance page. There are three tabs on this page:

Enter the required fields in the Summary tab, then click the Edit Content tab to go to the graphical editor.

Design Visually Rich Emails with Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2015

The graphical editor layout is divided into two panes: the Layout Pane and Control Pane. The Layout Pane is where you'll construct your email marketing message. The Control Pane holds the content blocks you'll use to create your message. The Control Pane is split up into three sections: Content, Styles, and Settings.

To get started, choose a Layout in the Content Pane and drag it into the Layout Pane. I want to create a header, so I'll use a 1 Column block. Next choose a content block from the content section and drag it into the Layout Pane. You can choose Text, Image, or HTML. For this example, I'll choose image.

You'll then have an option to select an image. Double click here to see images in your Media Library.

Note: To upload images into MDM, navigate from the main area to Assets & Media > Files. Upload your file into the Email Marketing folder. All files in the Email Marketing folder are available on a public content delivery network (CDN).

Design Visually Rich Emails with Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2015

Once your image is uploaded into the message, you can customize it with an image title, additional text, and a click through hyperlink. You can also click into the Styles section to select a background color, adjust the alignment, and add borders and padding to the image.

Now that the header image is in place, you can click the backwards arrow in the Content Pane to return to the default Content Pane screen.

Next add the text. Drag 1 Column layout block to the layout pane, then drag a text block into the layout block. Click onto the block where it says "Please input your text here…" You'll notice that the content pane changes to allow you to input and format your text. Here you can also insert a hyperlink, dynamic field, or a plugin.

Design Visually Rich Emails with Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2015

Finally, don't forget to click the Preview tab to check out how your email marketing message will look on a mobile device, tablet and laptop. Looks pretty good!

Design Visually Rich Emails with Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2015


We hope you enjoyed our blog. Dynamics Marketing is a fantastic tool to further streamline your marketing efforts so make sure to stop by our page for more information!


Happy CRM'ing!

Marketers at Microsoft Convergence 2015: Your Must-See Marketing Content Schedule

Every year PowerObjects gears up for the annual Microsoft Dynamics conference, Convergence. This year is shaping up to be another great event with content for IT, sales, and customer care leaders. There will also be more sessions than ever before specifically geared for marketing professionals. Our Marketing Solutions Practice Director, Nick Wassenberg, has hand-picked some favorites in the guide below.

Marketers at Microsoft Convergence 2015: Your Must-See Marketing Content Schedule
Learn more and register: https://powerobjects.com

If you're a marketer that will be with us in Atlanta, check out these must-see sessions and content (it was hard to select favorites – there are many more marketing sessions beyond this list!):

Opening Keynote Satya Nadella and Kirill Tatarinov – March 16, 8:30-10:30, Phillips Arena: It's a great idea for marketers to see the bold vision from Microsoft leadership, especially related to how technology can help shape their business.

Invisible or Remarkable with Seth Godin: Tips from Seth's bestselling books – March 16, 3:30-4:30, Phillips Arena: Seeing this legendary marketing author and thought leader is a can't miss.

Modern Marketing with Allison Watson and Christopher Capossela – March 16, 5:00-6:00, Sidney Marcus Auditorium: Get a live look into the reinvention of Microsoft's marketing from the CMO and Corporate Vice President.

Market Smarter with Microsoft Dynamics Marketing (MDM) – March 16. 11:00-12:00, Room B216/217: This session will provide details about customers using this marketing system connected to CRM and provide a preview the next release. Once you get this overview, go deeper in other sessions or come see PowerObjects in the exhibit hall to learn more.

Get Engaged: Closing the Loop from Microsoft Social Listening to engagement and CRM – March 17, 9:00-10:00, room B406: Social is everywhere, meaningful measurement isn't – yet. See the vision for bringing social engagement and lifecycle to life through integrated technology.

Aligning marketing with IT for integrated marketing management key objectives – March 17, 2:00-3:00 in Room B312/313: In the modern era of digital marketing, IT and Marketing need to work together. Get an overview of how Microsoft supports marketing technologists and IT, including key challenges for CMOs and how they align with IT leaders.

Marketing analytics: Bring your customers into focus with data visualization and predictive analytics – March 18, 11:00-12:00, Room B310/311: Data keeps getting "bigger", so let's see how visualization and prediction has evolved to help drive marketing strategy.

Sales and marketing working together: Lead management and nurturing best practices – March 19, 11:30-12:30, Room B310: Another hot topic for businesses of all shapes and sizes, this will be a great view into the latest best practices.

While you're there, don't miss the PowerObjects booth #1134– we're going big again, with a new twist on last year's CRM fun. If you have specific questions about how marketers succeed with Dynamics CRM, contact us today. See you at the show and as always...

Happy CRM'ing!


The Art of Campaign Design: Marketing Automation in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing

With the Microsoft Dynamics Marketing campaign design, you will become a marketing campaign Van Gogh. Campaign building couldn't be easier using the visual designer, and just like the old masters, you'll soon be creating amazing works!

Let's get started. Navigate to Marketing Execution > Campaign management > Campaign. First, fill out the campaign Summary information; here you can select things like the Division, Department, Start and End Dates, Category and Lead Scoring Model for the campaign. Once you save your summary information you are ready to start crafting your campaign.

The Art of Campaign Design: Marketing Automation in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing

Select the Automation icon to access the visual designer canvas. Begin "painting" the canvas with a selection of actions, lists and response types. Simply drag and drop to quickly build powerful campaigns.

The Art of Campaign Design: Marketing Automation in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing



Ok, but let's say you want to change things around. No need to cut off your ear. Just click on the multi-selection mode icon located at the top right of the canvas and drag your cursor around the items you want to select; those items will then become outlined. Simply right click to Delete, Copy or Paste the selection.

The Art of Campaign Design: Marketing Automation in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing

Need a bird's eye view of your master work? Just click on the Zoom Icon. In this view only the icons are visible, not the icon activity description.

The Art of Campaign Design: Marketing Automation in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing

Leave the tortured artist stuff to the old masters, today's campaign artists do things with ease. Click here to learn more about how to create and manage your campaigns.

Happy CRM'ing!


What’s New for Marketing in Microsoft Dynamics CRM: Fall 2014 - Part 1

What's the greatest part of being a marketer these days, besides being more data-driven, demonstrating more impact and getting more budget?

It's getting fresh infusions of technology that help you get more measurable, more digital, more social, more mobile and above all, more effective. For our marketing customers using Dynamics CRM and other products "in the family" – another infusion is coming this fall.

Here's a quick summary, for more details on the impact for marketers, contact our Marketing Solutions Practice Director, Nick Wassenberg. The screenshots below are borrowed from the release preview guide [Download PDF]:

Product Families and Cross-sell Suggestions
Updated Product Families will let operations managers configure product offerings to bundle related products, set up price lists and serve up suggestions to sales for cross-sell suggestions. (Does defining Products mean marketing? According to one of the oldest definitions in the book, Product is Marketing – so in many case, yes!)

What’s New for Marketing in Microsoft Dynamics CRM: Fall 2014 - Part 1

Hierarchy Visualizations
Understanding how accounts and territories are lined up is key to driving revenue and is vital for marketers as they define segments and analyze results. This fall, account and territory structure get a visualization facelift that helps keep marketing, sales and service all on the same page.

What’s New for Marketing in Microsoft Dynamics CRM: Fall 2014 - Part 1


Sales Collaboration Panel from Microsoft Dynamics Marketing
There will be plenty to cover about the Dynamics Marketing product in Part 2 of this post, but here's a piece that will be found directly in CRM. The Sales Collaboration Panel raises the bar on sales and marketing alignment by giving sales a first-hand look at campaigns, messages, and digital engagement for key accounts or segments. It also gives sales more control over the volume of messaging and self-service alerts. Sales and Marketing, better together in CRM.

What’s New for Marketing in Microsoft Dynamics CRM: Fall 2014 - Part 1

Service and Case Management
Let's not forget the enhancements that let marketer's customer care colleagues provide better service and create more raving fans. In an era where every customer has more reach than ever, the health of your brand's image depends on satisfied, loyal customers. In short, marketers should definitely care about customer service. In this release, CRM delivers a better way to manage customer service cases with flexible Service Level Agreements (SLAs). This functionality builds on what was launched in the spring, adding pausing and resuming SLA tracks. As these features get added to how customer needs are met, impact on loyalty will help marketers and the business win.

What’s New for Marketing in Microsoft Dynamics CRM: Fall 2014 - Part 1

Stay tuned for the highlights in the adjacent products Microsoft Dynamics Marketing and Microsoft Social Listening. Fall 2014 Update Part 2 is coming soon!

What’s New for Marketing in Microsoft Dynamics CRM: Fall 2014 – Part 2

In Part 1, we looked at some key highlights coming this fall for marketers directly inside Microsoft Dynamics CRM. But as most marketers know by now, there are two other integrated products that bring Dynamics customers' marketing to the next level: Microsoft Social Listening and Microsoft Dynamics Marketing.

First let's review what these two products do for marketers (in 35 words or less):

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing is a web-based marketing automation platform for project management, marketing execution (multi-channel, multi-step campaigns) and analytics that integrates with Dynamics CRM, either online or on premises.

Microsoft Social Listening is a web-based tool that listens to Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, News and more to help see trends, key influencers and the impact of social media on their offers, surfaced in Dynamics CRM.

Both of these products are already being used by marketers and this fall their features and benefits get an additional boost. Let's take a look at what's coming, with some screen shots for the release preview guide [Download PDF]:

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing
Dynamics Marketing's email editor is updated to have a drag and drop interface for content and layout, and automatic preview for multiple devices. This makes creating professional looking emails and templates even simpler:

What’s New for Marketing in Microsoft Dynamics CRM: Fall 2014 – Part 2

The existing drag and drop campaign flow designer in Dynamics Marketing also adds three key benefits: intuitive A/B testing, integrated offers for campaigns and programs, and even more flexibility in lead scoring to include events like webinars. This means marketers will have more confidence their campaigns will hit the mark with their audience and that leads will be ready for sales to connect:

What’s New for Marketing in Microsoft Dynamics CRM: Fall 2014 – Part 2

Speaking of connecting marketing with sales, the Sales Collaboration panel is another key piece of functionality that is updated for Fall 2014. Now marketers will be able show the sales department which campaigns are in progress and coming for key contacts. In turn, Sales will have access to this calendar, provide input on campaigns, and have the ability to set alerts for activities like web visits, email clicks, and more.

What’s New for Marketing in Microsoft Dynamics CRM: Fall 2014 – Part 2


To put a marketing plan into action, Dynamics Marketing has a robust functionality for project management as well as vendor and media management. That functionality also gets enhanced in the next release with a new look for the marketing calendar:

What’s New for Marketing in Microsoft Dynamics CRM: Fall 2014 – Part 2

Now marketing teams can see which campaigns are planned and active, and drill in to manage assets, events and tests. Alongside this calendar, marketers can also use a drag and drop interface to design approval flows, track project status and make sure that campaigns are ready on time:

What’s New for Marketing in Microsoft Dynamics CRM: Fall 2014 – Part 2



Microsoft Social Listening

Similar to the way Dynamics CRM users can pull Social Listening visualizations into their CRM accounts or contact, Dynamics Marketing now has the same functionality. This means that marketers can plan, execute and analyze their marketing efforts while keeping tabs on key social influencers, market trends and even get alerted to negative or positive comments. Making sense of the deluge of social data help shape messages and bridges making connections with the audience to social selling best practices.

What’s New for Marketing in Microsoft Dynamics CRM: Fall 2014 – Part 2


So there you have it – between Part 1 (CRM specific) and Part 2 (Dynamics Marketing and Social Listening), marketers have a lot to get excited about for the fall release. PowerObjects will continue to update this blog and our customer resources to help marketers get started and get smarter with these tools. If you have any questions, let us know!

Five Steps to Making Smarter Choices for Marketing Technology in Dynamics Marketing

Modern marketers have a lot on their plate. The speed at which marketing technology has changed and continues to adapt is no less than mind-boggling at times. Marketing has evolved into something that puts the customer and buyer in firm control. It's not enough for brands to just market… they have to be publishers as well. They have to be where the audience is… and for many brands, selecting the right tools, channels and tactics to connect with their audience is more difficult than ever.

So what's a savvy marketer to do? Luckily, we have a lot of great resources to help navigate the tricky waters of today's marketing technology, whether it be our blog, events or our webinars. The most recent webinar recorded as part of the MSDynamicsWorld.com series was created for those out there looking for a best practices framework to place around their marketing technology strategies. While this blog serves as a high-level overview of the 5 Steps, we hope it piques your interest to download and listen to the full webinar for a more detailed and thorough explanation and how-to's.


What's Inside the Mind of the Modern Marketer?


To start out, let's look at the number of ideas and topics that marketers could be thinking about at any given moment. This infographic from Scott Brinker at his blog is one way to frame the complexity:


While this may look like a tangled web to anyone outside of marketing (and even to those in it), most marketers will be able to recognize all the multi-channel and multi-device avenues that are out there. If not, than this webinar will be even more helpful to you! Let's take a look at a five-step process to understand an organization's marketing needs and make confidence choices in which technology is the best fit:

The Steps


Have a Framework

  1.  This is where you reflect on the age-old adage of "Who? What? When? Where? Why?" This is the simplest step and yet this is where you will spend a good majority of your brain-storming time. To ensure you begin your strategy strongly, you'll need to put a plan in place around these:






Understand Your Requirements

2. A good place to start after you've set up the framework is to understand what types of inbound and outbound marketing checkpoints you'll be needing. The chart below shows us what marketing "requirements" are necessary right now. Do you and your team find yourself using some or all of these tools? If these are not at the base of your strategy, worry not. Use this as a checklist as you go through your plan and let CRM help you build the strong foundation you need before moving on to the next step!



Understand What You Have

3. CRM has a multitude of built-in marketing tools that have the capability to take you and your team to the next level. Unfortunately, some of these great tools are under-utilized or not used at all! Make sure to take advantage of all the possibilities! If you aren't exactly sure the potential, here is an example of what advanced marketing can look like, with CRM as the foundation: 


Understand What is Available

4. There is no "one size fits all" market solution. Granted, while there are many different options to make your marketing strategy a success… know that technology alone doesn't make your strategy. Taking all technologies into account, and then applying them where they make the most sense for your business is what smart marketers do. Always remember that is your business and your strategy, technology is only as smart as you allow it to be. Ensure you are always in full control of your CRM marketing technology by continuing your education. For example, our CRM book is a great way to keep up to date!


Do Hands-On Trials

5. As with any new system, there is always going to be a "trial and error" period. It's necessary to have a pre-defined set of use cases, then evaluate any new tools based on how your team will actually use them. Whenever possible, a hand-on trial is your best bet to really understand usability.


The most important take-away is to remember that nothing is set in stone. Creating success in your marketing strategy doesn't lie in a one-time implementation, a single email blast or a few tweets. Taking it to the next level requires foresight, planning and a commitment to analytics via Dynamics CRM. If you are ready to take on the challenge, please download the full webinar and take the next step in becoming a marketing ingénue! Happy CRM'ing!