During Microsoft Convergence 2014 in Atlanta, Microsoft presented Dynamics Marketing – a new end-to-end, cloud-based marketing automation suite offered as part of the Microsoft Dynamics product line. Dynamics Marketing is the offspring of Microsoft’s 2012 acquisition of Marketing Pilot and is expected to be available in Q2 2014. Microsoft Dynamics Marketing comes with a pre-configured connector to Dynamics CRM, so seamlessly integrating the two systems is quite simple.
This article provides a high-level overview of the functionality included in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing as well as pricing options.
Dynamics Marketing is provisioned through Office 365, exactly like Microsoft CRM Online and Microsoft SharePoint, and a dedicated, intuitive web portal enables administrators to set up permission rights and other settings for the Dynamics Marketing users. Office 365 and Dynamics Marketing use single sign-on, so once logged in, administrators and users can quickly switch between all Microsoft applications tied into Office 365. Visually, Dynamics Marketing looks a lot like Dynamics CRM 2013 with a simple top menu bar and color coded navigation buttons. The menu options and functionality for any given user are defined by that user’s privileges (set by the administrator).
Microsoft Dynamics Marketing comprises five major areas of functionality:
- Marketing Execution
- Assets & Media
The Projects section is all about internal organization of work; managing projects, assigning tasks to people, viewing project status and managing approvals. In addition, the Projects section offers a wide range of reporting functionality to provide visibility into job performance, ongoing project statuses and resource allocation.
The Marketing Execution section is the core of Dynamics Marketing. It’s from this section that marketers can set up marketing campaigns, manage leads, contacts and marketing lists, set up landing pages and forms, create email marketing campaigns, manage events, monitor social media sites and much more.
Dynamics Marketing has a solid marketing automation engine with intuitive and easy to use drag and drop functionality that allows users to easily set up complex and intelligent nurture programs that automatically interact with leads and prospects based on pre-defined rules.
In addition, Dynamics Marketing has a comprehensive lead scoring functionality that allows marketers to set up and configure lead scoring rules based on a prospect’s interaction with landing pages, emails, websites etc.
Assets & Media
The Assets & Media section is basically a complete resource management and media planning platform for managing the entirety of an organization’s marketing collateral and media placements. This section shares many of the features of Microsoft SharePoint such as file sharing, versioning and approval workflows, and allows marketers to efficiently collaborate with internal departments (e.g. graphic designers, copywriters, PR) as well as external marketing, advertising and media agencies. Dynamics Marketing supports virtually all file formats and allows users to add comments directly in the browser.
The Asset & Media section also offers rich media buying functionality allowing marketing departments to easily place ads with external media outlets.
The Budgeting section offers financial tools intended to provide day-to-day financial support to marketing professionals such as managing and tracking budgets, expenses, quotes, payments and invoices. The budgeting piece is not intended as a replacement for an actual ERP system but offers a wealth of financial functionality targeted specifically to marketing related activities and planning.
Performance is the reporting engine of Dynamics Marketing. The section comes loaded with a wide range of out-of-the-box reports to provide visibility into marketing campaigns, media activities, projects statues, marketing databases and calendars.
In addition, Dynamics Marketing supports Microsoft Power BI which allows users to slice and dice marketing data (from Dynamics Marketing) directly in Excel with no need for manual data transfers. The example below shows a dynamic time-lapse, visualizing the leads generated by different campaigns throughout the US over a defined period of time.
Initial Thoughts about Microsoft Dynamics Marketing
Microsoft Dynamics Marketing appears as a very solid and comprehensive marketing automation suite. The product has rich functionality within all areas relevant to marketing professionals, and the many ‘Settings’ options make it easy to configure the system in accordance with company specific needs and business processes. The automation engine allows for very complex nurture programs that are straightforward to set up and manage through an intuitive drag and drop user interface. The powerful reporting functionality provides marketers with efficient tools for measuring ROI across virtually all dimensions (geography, medium, campaign, demographics, etc.).
Aesthetically, Dynamics Marketing has a clean and modern look in line with Microsoft’s other online offerings. The single sign-on feature makes it painless to work across multiple Microsoft properties which makes Dynamics Marketing even more attractive for organizations already using Dynamics CRM Online and/or Microsoft Office 365. From a cost perspective (see next section), Dynamics Marketing is priced very competitively compared to existing marketing automation solutions – especially when bundles with Dynamics CRM Online.
All in all, a very promising product.
How Much Does Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Cost?
Along with the recent acquisitions of Marketing Pilot and Parature, the partnership with InsideView, and the new products and features they brought along (Dynamics Marketing, Social Listening, Case Management, Service Desk etc.), Microsoft is introducing a new bundled packaged called Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Enterprise.
The bundle is priced at $200/user/month and includes:
– Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online (including Social Listening & Analysis)
– Enterprise Marketing (Dynamics Marketing)
– Collaborative Case Management, Unified Service Desk, Live chat and more (Parature)
Microsoft Dynamics Marketing is also sold as a stand-alone package for $125/user/month. This package does not include Dynamics CRM nor the Parature features.
Contact FMT Consultants for more information about Microsoft Dynamics Marketing and Dynamics CRM.
Written by: Jakob Bechgaard, Marketing Manager