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Want to be a better data-driven marketer? Your Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a great place to lay that foundation!
Let’s get started by talking about what makes your perfect CRM record. This will be unique for every business, but there are some guidelines you can use to start your thinking and planning processes:
- Sales and Marketing Alignment—how closely are the sales and marketing teams working together right now?
- CRM Architecture—is there a person who can help you understand how your CRM is structured right now, and why it’s structured that way? Learn more about your CRM advocate here.
- What are your key marketing goals for this year?
- Do you have insight into how your marketing efforts are influencing sales success?
- What campaigns are on your agenda for the coming year?
Now Let’s Talk Data!
Once you have answered the above questions, the next step in your data-driven marketing journey is to understand your Customer Journey. Gather your sales, marketing, and customer success teams for a mapping session (you can use our handy map to get started). This can get pretty unwieldy if you try to map all of your journeys at the same time, so we recommend starting with your most successful lead source—is it conferences? Paid search? Referrals? The journey will be unique to each source.
As you map your Customer Journey, you’ll probably notice there are gaps or sticking points where things aren’t working quite as well as they should. Take note of this, marketers! This is where you can apply marketing automation tasks to address those problem areas.
With your problem areas in mind, you can create a data map that addresses the following items for each campaign type you want to run:
- What do you want to achieve with this campaign?
- What will data points do you need to run this campaign?
- How are you going to get these data points?
Let’s Make the Perfect CRM Record!
Out of the box, your Microsoft Dynamics CRM records will have a standard set of contact fields—but the beauty of Microsoft Dynamics is that you can also create custom fields designed to capture the data points you need for your unique business.
Before you ask for new data fields, talk to your CRM and sales teams to understand what fields are currently capture and which of those are required versus recommended versus optional. In general, a marketing team will need the following fields:
- The basics (name, company, title, email address, etc.)
- Marketing Lists
- Lead Source (required field!)
- Source Campaign (required field!)
- Record Owner and email address
- Contract dates
- Competitor Entity data
- Purchase data (Product Entity or custom fields)
- Status data (Opportunity, Lead, etc.)
Should You Use the Lead Entity?
That’s really a personal question—B2B organizations might find it easier to keep track of the sales qualified lead to opportunity pipeline using the Lead Entity, but plenty of other organizations struggle with the fact that the Leads Entity doesn’t translate as well to the Opportunity stage—if, for example, you have three or four leads attached to a single Account and Opportunity, it can be difficult to “qualify” all associated Lead records in a single batch.
There are lots of opinions on this, so try to let your sales process guide the conversation and make the technology match what you need to track rather than the other way around.
Other Than Custom Fields, What Do You Need?
Once you create the custom fields you need to power your marketing campaigns, you may want to look into workflows, flows and process to automate your data from Microsoft Dynamics to your marketing automation platform. You might base this off of:
- What’s the current path to conversion in Microsoft Dynamics? Does it match your desire path on the Customer Journey?
- Where are there opportunities to automate data flow?
- What fields are required to move a record forward?
- What data points are captured after the Lead record—and can you access them for customer-facing campaigns?
Need a new marketing automation platform to help you on your data-driven marketing journey? Check out the emfluence Marketing Platform for Microsoft Dynamics >
Congrats, Now You’re a Marketing Genius!
Once you have your data structure in such a way that you can pull reports on campaign successes (with sales data!) and easily automate segments of your CRM into your marketing automation platform, you have a great foundation for proving out your worth as a marketer. Now you can:
- Improve your strategy with a better budget informed by data from Lead Source and Source Campaign
- Improve targeting with data-informed segments
- Improve conversion rates with contact scoring (from your marketing automation platform) to reengage cold leads
- Engage marketing qualified leads at the right time with sorts on what is and is not in Microsoft Dynamics
You’re well on your way to becoming a better data-driven marketer! If you have more questions or want to see how emfluence can help, be sure to visit us at emarketingplatform.com.