The recent Fall Update has brought about an arsenal of powerful tools for users across marketing, sales and customer service. With today’s constantly evolving and turbulent environment, it has never been more important for business owners to be able to accurately measure the impact that the marketing department has on their bottom line. There have been several improvements to the marketing functionality of Microsoft Dynamics CRM which allow users to move from planning to execution with confidence and agility using the power of office 365 and Power BI to allow to measure marketing performance across multiple channels from start to finish, to enable users to turn their marketing ideas into reality. It is now possible to build a sales pipeline and evaluate the impact of your marketing efforts in real-time, allowing users to make adjustments according to live data.
There have been a number of areas in Dynamics CRM that Microsoft have targeted with the recent fall update, and the marketing functionality of the solution has been greatly improved. These improvements include;
- SMS Marketing – opt in/out, SMS blast campaigns and campaign integration.
- Campaign Management – Email scale for large volume sends, email editor and campaign console.
- Modern UI for Digital Asset Management – Replaced Silverlight with HTML 5 controls for annotation and asset explorer.
- Analytics – Role based Dashboards for campaign manager.
- Compliance – ISO 27001 certification.
The most significant investment has been in making SMS marketing part of the overall marketing campaign management capabilities. SMS marketing is based around building and nurturing a database of high quality, opted in customers. The nuts and bolts of SMS marketing are quite simple, the company needs to acquire a short code, which is usually 5 – 6 digits long, this is where marketing messages originate and terminate. They then need to specify a keyword which differentiates marketing campaigns and customers and determines what messages go to what group of customers. Then the actual SMS, which contains the marketing message (i.e. text “gold” to 23456 for your chance to win a year’s supply of free bananas).
The Fall Update will enable marketing professionals to go from planning to delivery utilising the immense power of office 360 and Power BI to measure the effeteness of marketing campaigns on specific channels from the inception of the campaign to the end in order to see what is working and what is not. This will further enhance the ability of the user to turn their marketing ideas into reality.
The benefits of integrating SMS marketing into the overall marketing campaign framework are extensive. A report from Smartinsights.com highlights these benefits.
- It is an extremely direct channel with a 97% read rate within 15 minutes of delivery, which is much higher than email.
- It can work very effectively as a standalone channel, but can be even more effective when integrated with other marketing mediums.
- It is a fantastic channel to learn more about customers, research show that 31% of customers respond to surveys via SMS.
SMS marketing is an effective way of increasing overall engagement across the entire customer lifecycle, and response data is a fantastic way for those wishing to incrementally improve their communication efforts to monitor, adapt and improve.