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Strategic Recommendations

For more than 10 years, we have worked exclusively with marketing in Dynamics 365. (Since it was called Microsoft CRM 4.0) In that time, we have seen a great many different approaches and ways of working with marketing in Dynamics 365. It can be difficult to come up with strategic recommendations that will suit each individual company, as everyone is in different places both in their approach to working with marketing and especially data, but especially because there is a difference in how they work with Dynamics 365. In this article, we try to come up with some general strategic recommendations, and you, as a reader, have to question yourself where your company is in relation to this.

Overall strategy

What about your business?? We can see that those of our customers who have set themselves overall goals are the ones who get the most out of their marketing solution. When they gain insight and knowledge about their data, they want more, and they begin to challenge and test more functions and automatic flows. It is especially around data that you need to create a strategy.
It is especially around data that you need to create a strategy
Your Paid media campaigns, Social Media postings, events and the general newsletter will not change significantly, but the data they create must have a plan. Data in Dynamics 365 can be a complex size. Data “from the outside in” in Dynamics 365, how should it be stored, who should have access to see the data and at what level? Which data is important and which data should not be used at all?
You can download our decision document. A central point in the document is about your strategy and the considerations you should make in connection with initiating marketing together with Dynamics 365. 

Data Marketing

In addition to the person having given their permission, a large number of other data points are collected in your marketing system in Dynamics 365. You must move from doing marketing to talking and thinking about data marketing. Data-driven marketing has been here for a number of years, but in order to really become data-driven, you must have a plan to convert knowledge from data into actionable activities. All activities and campaigns must be able to return data to Dynamics 365. You need to know which data points are to be collected and exactly what you want to use them for? Which insight means that a sales topic should go directly to the sales department, and which should instead be added to an automatic flow that is branched with different emails, so that the individual receives relevant and targeted communication for their specific needs. It creates new data that again has to be translated into insights and actionable activities. The recommendation would be to start simple and initiate a few initiatives that can quickly provide data insight and try to take action on these. Every time you plan a new campaign or marketing activity, also discuss the data from the activity. Just as you have a plan for executing the campaign, images, layout and Call to Action, there must also be a plan for data. Build an experience and slowly add and expand. Even small steps can quickly yield big gains, and in the longer term the experience and knowledge you build up will be very valuable.

Knowledge about the possibilities

With their Dataverse setup, Microsoft provides some completely new opportunities to work with. Not only about marketing but across different departments and data and especially insight into data and how you make use of that insight. There is a lot of focus on Dynamics 365, but it is just as much a hybrid of new possibilities. Microsoft Power Platform with Power Apps, Power Pages, Power Automate, Power BI and Power Agents are all tools that must be considered in the marketing department. Read here which tools we use and recommend at For A Fact. The recommendation will be to make even more use of networks and experience groups. Share knowledge andtake part in other people’s knowledge about what works or can be done. Get an internal culture created with some employees who have the desire to embrace and familiarize themselves with all the new opportunities and make a plan for how that knowledge is shared internally in your organization. A start can be to make use of external advisers who have insight into the new possibilities. Invite them to a visit and let them inspire you about the possibilities of working with data in Dynamics 365.

Internal ressources

Look at the internal competencies in your marketing department. Does your team cover the skills that must be used? If not, should you employ or find the right business partner? A great many companies do not have all the resources needed to work data-driven with marketing. It requires several different skills in the company and advice is needed from someone who understands the context of the business aspects. Take a look at our section Resources in the Marketing department and learn a little more about which skills you will need.
Vent diagram der viser For A Fact's strategiske anbefalinger

Interaction between sales and marketing

Marketing in Dynamics 365 differs in particular in one respect compared to general marketing activities. Data and the insights from the marketing activities must be able to be shared and displayed in the sales department, perhaps in real time. The sales department is often already far in the utilization and knowledge of Dynamics 365 and they have worked up certain ways and methods to display data and follow up on the sales items they work with. It can therefore be a challenge to get sales to change their ways of working and if they do not feel that new sales items are ready for sale, they will quickly reject the marketing department. At the start, the marketing department may be a little unsure of what insights they can deliver for sales? Maybe they don’t have the resources to analyze the results of the marketing activities? The recommendation is to quickly get someone from the sales department together with the marketing department so that sitting together they can set up some agreements on how to share knowledge and insight about sales topics and existing customers. Let sales provide input on what knowledge and insight can benefit them in their work and then the marketing department subsequently finds out how they can deliver that insight. Start with a few simple parts and build from there. Our experience says that as soon as the sales department really realizes that an insight gathered from the marketing department has helped them to close a sale, they themselves start to be more proactive and come up with ideas and requests for data from the marketing department.

Cooperation partners

The last point is probably a bit biased as we are the ones you should be working with on this matter. But the point is important enough for that reason. Where we create the best results is where there is a strong collaboration between the company and us as advisers and agency. A good business partner is someone who can contribute knowledge and insight on the right points and at a level that suits your company. Find out whether you need a business partner on a more strategic level in terms of the possibilities for your company or whether it is more about executing campaigns and securing data that gives you the insight you want? The recommendation from here is that you find someone who can share knowledge with you about the possibilities in your data in Dynamics 365 and how you best make use of both data and the marketing system. The systems and functions develop quickly and while you are sitting down in the engine room, a business partner often has knowledge of the new trends and possibilities in the systems and how this can be added to your future initiatives when you adjust and update your goals and strategy with your data. We are happy to make ourselves available, if only for a cup of coffee and simply to listen to what you are considering. Perhaps we can help you, alternatively we can probably guide you in the right direction?