Microsoft Dynamics Marketing recently went through a major update. This update, codenamed Electra, had a significant number of improvements and changes added. But before we go through these, let’s take a few moments to review what Dynamics Marketing is and what it’s for.

Dynamics Marketing is a platform solution for marketers that manages the full marketing lifecycle. Based around three pillars, Resource Management, Execution and Performance, Dynamics Marketing is built for the modern marketer.

Resource Management includes all the items marketers need to track and manage, from Jobs and Tasks, to file approvals, incoming project requests, time spent on campaigns, event details, budgeting, and more. Allowing teams to get off of spreadsheets and collaborate in one system is vital in order to keep up with the changing marketplace.

Planning and management is great, but managing the actual execution of campaigns in the same tool allows marketers to adjust quickly. The ability to set up nurturing campaigns, email broadcasts, social media, and even events and execute them from the same system in which you planned them is very efficient.

Once you’ve executed a campaign, you want to know how it’s working. Dynamics Marketing’s goal is to be a closed loop system. So you can take the results of campaigns and adjust for the future based on feedback, results, and leads generated. Having the ability to monitor behavioral data, report on campaign results, and integrate all of that data with third-party systems gives the marketer an advantage they desperately need.

Now with some background, the latest update adds some new exciting features to each of these areas.

Resource Management:

A visual workflow builder for approval/review routing has been added to this release. This allows marketers to drag and drop blocks to build an approval process in a very visual manner and quickly and easily build even the most complex workflows.

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A visual campaign calendar has been added so that marketers can easily see where campaigns are scheduled and all the pieces involved with their execution.

Execution:

Along with the ability to create A/B testing on emails, the email editor has been updated to be fully responsive and also features drag and drop building blocks. With built-in preview capabilities, you can now see what your email looks like before you do any test sends.

The Seller Collaboration and Engagement Panel allows marketing to share campaign details and results with their counterparts in sales. Through the collaboration portal that is included in Dynamics CRM, sales can see upcoming campaigns planned for the contacts and the email creative that is part of the campaign. They can also easily see the engagement their customers have had with the campaign and use this information for context when following up directly.

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Performance:

The ability to get data in and out of a platform is crucial for integration in any business environment. This release expanded both the API for manipulating data in and out of the system, as well as the Odata feeds that allow a user to build custom reports using a tool like Microsoft PowerBI. With PowerBI, a user can build detailed reports and dashboards right inside Excel using data from both Dynamics Marketing and CRM.

Overall, Microsoft has a very aggressive release schedule of two major releases per year, and if Electra is any indication, Dynamics Marketing’s robust features will give modern marketers the ability to get much more out of their marketing campaigns and investments.

Interested in learning more about how to leverage the power of marketing automation tools in your organization? Check out the replay of the webinar, “A Day in the Life of a Modern Marketer” http://bit.ly/Dynamics-Marketing.

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