Dynamics 365 Connects on a Deeper Level for Personalized Event Planning

Updated: Apr 22

To plan our biggest event of the year, we at JourneyTEAM relied on the insights, scalability, and agility of Dynamics 365 Marketing.


April 19, 2021


Gone are the days where companies could provide the bare minimum for customers and expect them to stay. Today’s consumers have all the power. With a plethora of options to choose from and a wealth of information available on the internet, customers are able to educate and decide for themselves who gets their business. No matter how good your product is, if your customer experience is poor, you’re missing out on customers.

So how do you create a dynamic customer experience? One that builds loyalty, drives revenue, and increases competitive advantage? Achieving this experience starts with customer data.




Data shows you how your business is doing with consumer experience. Regularly monitoring and following this data shows you which areas are performing well and which need improvement. Tracking information such as demographics, purchases, customer service requests, and online activity enables you to personalize your experience to more effectively satisfy the needs of customers.

The emergence of CX tools has increased rapidly, each equipped with a number of capabilities, all designed to allow businesses to better gather, analyze, and organize feedback to improve the customer experience. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing arms organizations with valuable data that enables them to create a more focused, targeted marketing strategy that provides a superior experience every time.


An Overview of Dynamics 365 Marketing


Part of the Dynamics 365 portfolio, Dynamics 365 Marketing is a marketing automation solution that enables businesses to provide a personalized customer experience at every stage. The solution allows you to do everything from converting potential clients, to aligning marketing and sales together. Included are a number of capabilities that help you analyze, plan, and execute marketing campaigns while increasing brand awareness and attracting new customers. This includes real-time customer engagement, personalized end-to-end journeys that boost customer loyalty, and a unified, adaptable platform designed to build customer trust. Additional features include:


  • Multi-channel campaigns

  • Event management

  • Scoring and nurturing

  • Lead tracking

  • Data visualization tools





Together, these features and capabilities enable users to plan, build, and manage interactive workflows that meet a customer’s needs, providing a highly personalized experience.

As part of the Dynamics 365 technology stack, Marketing integrates seamlessly with Dynamics 365 CRM and additional Microsoft solutions like Power BI, Office 365, and Teams. The Teams integration is especially beneficial as it allows for effortless digital event planning and execution.


How We Used Dynamics 365 Marketing to Coordinate Our Business Technology Summit


Every year, JourneyTEAM hosts a Business Technology Summit (BTS) where we discuss emerging trends, the latest Microsoft product offerings, and new software releases. These topics are covered in a number of breakout sessions held by the top consultants and industry experts.

Our 2020 event had over 600 participants that we targeted using the features and insights within Dynamics 365 Marketing. To show you how these features work, we’ll discuss how we used the solution and the subsequent insights to coordinate and plan our BTS 2020 event.





ClickDimensions


To ensure that we were targeting the right people, we relied on ClickDimensions. The platform contains a myriad of marketing tools, including campaign automation, social marketing, web forms, surveys, web intelligence, and email marketing. Using the data from ClickDimensions, we were able to use the intelligence and insights from ClickDimensions and implement it directly into our customer journey.

For example, we were able to see the specific times that individuals were opening our emails. We found that most people opened it first thing Monday morning or mid-morning on Tuesdays with fewer openings as the week went on. With that information, we began sending our emails first thing every Monday and Tuesday morning as this appeared to be when most of our leads were checking their email.


Web Forms


Dynamics 365 offers a few options for forms or form captures. First, forms can be built directly in the solution and embedded into a website. Second, you can use forum capture where a script is placed on a page. Dynamics can then read those forms using form capture.

To test the functionality of Dynamics 365 Marketing, we chose to use Power Automate for our registration form. Once a registration form was submitted, Power Automate created an event record for each one. Those records were then sent to Wix where our team could freely manipulate data and organize it appropriately. The integration allowed us to avoid the limitations of Wix forms and freely manipulate and map data to our own database.

In addition to using Wix to track registration, we utilized it with our payment processing. Because Wix has a reliable payment processing platform, we used that rather than creating one within Dynamics 365. However, because of the integration, Dynamics 365 was still able to track payment information and provide insight if needed.





Event Management


Because we had a large number of attendees, we relied on the event management tools to keep track of start and end times, streaming information, session information, attendance, etc., and create event records. These records were what enabled us to keep track of everything happening during the event and ensure that everything was running smoothly.

After the event, we loaded the information from the event records into Dynamics 365 which provided us with insights that we plan to use to improve next year’s BTS event.

The Positives and Negatives to Dynamics 365 Marketing

Setting up such a large event did not come without its challenges, and despite the agility and flexibility of Dynamics 365, obstacles did appear, including:

  • Integration: While Dynamics 365 does feature third-party integration, it comes with a certain level of difficulty. This was the first time we tried to integrate Wix and our JourneyTEAM website. Attempting to mesh these two platforms together was difficult, but possible.


  • Contact-level only targeting: Perhaps one of the biggest gaps within Dynamics 365 is customer journeys can only target the contact level, meaning you cannot market to a lead directly; there must be a contact record within Dynamics 365 Marketing. At JourneyTEAM, our data is stored in the form of leads and it’s only until we qualify them as contacts or accounts that we’re able to gather data.


  • Lack of time: Like any organization, we did not have the appropriate amount of time to devote to really testing and integrating Dynamics 365 with our Wix platform. However, we tried to ensure that everything was as streamlined as possible by providing hosts and attendees with everything they needed during the event, including links, survey presentation slides, and more. This enabled attendees to really engage with the event, which was one of our primary goals.


Despite these challenges, Dynamics 365 was truly the best platform for planning an event of this size. Some of the positives we found include:

  • Scalability: Whether we have 600 attendees or 6,000, we know that Dynamics 365 has the scalability needed to handle fluctuating workloads.


  • Streamlined decision-making: Because the solution gathered all event and attendee data into a single place, we were able to avoid jumping from platform to platform to get information, helping us to make faster decisions.


  • Insights: The insights gathered from event record data really helped us to improve our sales process. Essentially, it showed us how we were engaging with our clients, how our interactions were reciprocated, and make changes where necessary. Armed with these insights, we were able to significantly improve our customer journey and cater more personally to our prospective leads.

Ultimately, Dynamics 365 Marketing enabled us to avoid much of the manual, time-consuming tasks that come with planning a large event. The number of automated features available within the solution saved us a significant amount of time, and provided the valuable data and insights necessary to create a successful event.


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Why JourneyTEAM


JourneyTEAM is an award-winning consulting firm with proven technology and measurable results.

As a Microsoft Gold Partner, we have extensive knowledge of each of Microsoft’s products including Dynamics 365, SharePoint intranet, Office 365, Azure, CRM, GP, NAV, SL, AX, and can help you tailor the software to fit the exact needs of your organization. We have solutions for solutions for sales, marketing, productivity, collaboration, analytics, accounting, security and more. JourneyTEAM specializes in the industries of Finance, Media & Communications, Capital Equipment, Manufacturing, Installation, and Service. Whether you’re looking for total project support or someone to help you along the way, JourneyTEAM will provide the exact level of support you need. Contact us today to get started. www.journeyteam.com



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  • 2019 and 2020 Microsoft US Partner of the Year for Business Central and Media & Communications

  • Microsoft awarded us the 2020 Crystal Eagle Award (Top 5 in the world) for Business Central

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  • 2020 Inc Magazine Best Places to Work