It has never been more important for organisations to deliver the right message, at the right time, using the right channel. With enhanced AI and analytics capabilities, Dynamics 365 Marketing makes it possible.

What is Microsoft 2021 release wave 1?

Microsoft’s 2021 release wave 1 is for Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Power Platform. It is a series of automatic updates made across all applications and the platform at large, creating hundreds of new features, changes and opportunities. Automatic production deployment for the 2021 release wave 1 begins April 2021, continuing through to September 2021.  

In this article, Incremental will explore the new AI and analytics features for Dynamics 365 Marketing. 

New AI for Dynamics 365 Marketing

Microsoft is enhancing the AI capability in Dynamics 365 Marketing by introducing new features: 

AI-driven channel optimisation

Using historical data to determine the preferences of individual customers, the AI model suggests the best communication channel for each customer. This functionality helps to optimise the customer journey and improve engagement, without any intervention from the marketing team. This saves the marketing team time and effort, with AI functionality that learns and gets more efficient over time. 

Use natural language to create conditions for branching customer journeys

To help simplify the creation of customer journeys, users can now use natural language to build customer journey conditions in Dynamics 365 Marketing. Users can utilise simple words to express customer profile attributes, segment names and events. This update is supported across five languages: English, German, Italian, French and Spanish. 

AI-generated customer segments

Customer Insights is complimentary solution within the Microsoft suite that can effectively organise unstructured data. It gives users the ability to unify (map, match and merge) data from multiple data sources with ease. It then provides users with a complete 360-degree view of the customerCustomer Insights allows users to create different metrics and measures for customer segmentation.  

Integration between Dynamics 365 Marketing and Customer Insights has been enhanced so that Insights will recommend AI-generated customer segments that identify high-value customers, based on recency, frequency and monetisation attributes. This enables marketing teams to focus their effort on high-return customers.  

New Analytics for Dynamics 365 Marketing

Analytics has been enhanced across Dynamics 365 Marketing to help end-users better understand their data and performance. 

New built-in analytics dashboards and cross-journey insights

Analytics capabilities have been an advantage of the Dynamics 365 Marketing solution since day one. Dynamics offers a range of dashboards, charts and colourful visualisations that help users understand the performance of their marketing campaigns 

With the new release wave, this capability only gets better and more intuitive. Dashboards and cross-journey insights present metrics, views and insights summarised across single or multiple journeys. This means that users can get deeper understanding of marketing performance effectiveness across journeys, channels and content. 

Set business goals for journeys and measure progress to the goal

This is a feature that allows marketing teams to measure the success of their customer journeys by defining goals.  

Most customer journeys are created to drive a specific customer behaviour (like a purchase, event sign up, or subscription renewal). Users can now define this intended behaviour as the goal of the customer journey and measure the campaign performance against this target. Users can also optimise A/B tests and channel selections based on the journey goal. 

Experiment with the next action in a journey to optimise for results

End users will be able to optimise customer journeys by creating more advanced A/B tests. The feature will allow messaging to be tested across different channels and testing of next actions within customer journeys. This enhancement will enrich analysis of customer journeys.  

In real time, monitor your customer journeys and channel KPIs

Having real time insights is key to responsive marketing. With the real-time analytics feature, users can evaluate a customer journey’s effectivenessusing the built-in chart to highlight the flow density of journey participants at each stage. With this view, users can analyse channel performance using the deliverability funnel and undelivered category pie chart breakdown. They can also measure goal accomplishment using the goal attainment chart, enabling valuable real-time reporting. 

Optimise your Dynamics 365 Marketing solution

If you are an existing Dynamics 365 marketing user, you may now have access to these exciting features. To ensure you are optimising your use of Dynamics 365 and to discuss extending the capabilities of your current solution, speak to a Microsoft expert