Dynamics 365 Marketing overview

Dynamics 365 Marketing elevates customer experiences, allowing you to orchestrate personalized journeys across all touchpoints to strengthen relationships and earn loyalty. The Dynamics 365 Marketing app works seamlessly with Dynamics 365 Sales, Dynamics 365 Customer Insights, Microsoft Teams, and other products and allows you to make faster and better decisions using the power of data and AI.

Dynamics 365 Marketing consists of two primary modules, along with event management. Both modules include capabilities to create graphical email and design interactive customer journeys to support marketing initiatives.

Real-time marketing

Screenshot of an real-time marketing event-based journey.

Also known as customer journey orchestration, real-time marketing includes event-based customer journeys, custom event triggers, and SMS and push notifications. It allows you to trigger customer journeys in real time based on the signals and rich profile data you collect from your customers, pick the right channel for each individual, and connect in the moments that matter.

  • Respond to customer actions in real time: Respond in the moments that matter with real-time, event-based journeys.
  • Hyper-personalize your messaging: Personalize messages with dynamic text and images from a flexible set of data sources.
  • Connect with customers on the channels they use the most: Use mobile channels to create text messages and push notifications to reach your customers where they are.

Outbound marketing

Screenshot of an outbound marketing marketing page.

Provides email marketing, customer journeys, lead scoring, marketing pages, and social posting, allowing you to seamlessly connect your marketing and sales processes.

  • Turn prospects into leads: Capture leads, qualify the hottest leads with automated lead scoring, and manage your leads through a custom business process.
  • Leverage the power of social media: Post messages to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Capture leads from LinkedIn.
  • Get customer feedback with Customer Voice surveys: Create online surveys and build customer journeys based on responses. This feature is bundled with the Marketing app, but is also available separately as an add-on for other Dynamics 365 products.

Note

Dynamics 365 Customer Voice is included in the Marketing standalone application, but not included in Marketing attach.

Outbound marketing also includes advanced in-person and webinar event planning features.

  • Manage all of your event needs in one place: Dynamics 365 Marketing's event planning features allow seamless contact, registration, and attendance management features in one system.
  • Meet your audience where they are: Host webinars on Microsoft Teams or on other webinar providers.
  • Continue the conversation with webinar participants: Stay in touch with your webinar participants after hosting a webinar. You can send personalized registration materials, send surveys, and more to drive awareness and engagement.

When to use real-time marketing and when to use outbound marketing

Real-time marketing and outbound marketing have a lot in common. Both can be used for marketing automation to send personalized emails, can help you be compliant, and provide analytics that generate insights to help you take the right action.

So, what’s the difference?

Real-time marketing

Real-time marketing is a scalable platform that allows you to engage with customers at specific moments. Engagement takes place through email and mobile channels and is based on customer signals and rich profile data. In other words, journeys are customer-led. Communication starts when a customer takes a specific action. For example, a customer scanning a concert ticket or connecting to in-store Wi-Fi can trigger delivery of personalized messages.

You can start journeys with predefined event triggers, or you can create custom events. Custom events give you the flexibility to bring in data from other systems with just a few lines of code. With this flexibility, you can design personalized experiences as customers interact with marketing, sales, service, and other departments across your organization.

Real-time marketing also supports segment-based journeys, allowing you to orchestrate traditional marketing activities such as seasonal campaigns targeting loyal customers. Learn more about real-time marketing.

Outbound marketing

Outbound marketing thrives in B2B marketing automation. You can send emails and newsletters, create forms and landing pages to capture leads that you can score, grade, and then hand off to sales. It also has a great feature for managing in-person events and webinars that includes seamless integration with Microsoft Teams. Out of the box, outbound marketing provides email and social channel capabilities, but you can also build you own custom channels. Learn more about outbound marketing.

Outbound and real-time comparison.

As Dynamics 365 Marketing continues to evolve, the Venn diagram above will eventually merge, so you won't need to make the choice between outbound and real-time features. But until then, the following guidelines can help you decide which features to use and when.

Which is right for your business?

The approach will be different based on your current situation and what’s best for your business. You don’t need to choose one over the other, and will most likely use both modules to get the best from both sides.

If you are new to Dynamics 365 Marketing:

  • Explore the real-time capabilities and determine if they fit your needs. The real-time module is flexible and supports both event trigger-based and segmented-based customer journeys.
  • If you are looking to collect new contacts or leads, use the forms and pages features in outbound marketing together with real-time marketing without the hassle of integration.
  • For lead capture, scoring, grading, and seamless hand off to Dynamics 365 Sales, start with outbound marketing.
  • Layer in real-time marketing to continue digital interactions with your customers in combination with the human interactions provided by your sales or service organization.

If you are using Dynamics 365 Marketing today:

  • You may discover that real-time customer journeys unlock experiences that were difficult to realize using outbound marketing customer journeys. Don’t worry, existing customer journeys will continue to be supported!
  • Layer in real-time marketing to continue digital interactions with your customers in combination with the human interactions provided by your sales or service organization.
  • As the real-time and outbound areas gradually merge, you will find capabilities that will make it easy for you to move and reuse the assets that you have already built.

Check out our latest release plans and the What’s new page to learn about our monthly releases.