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You know, we've been talking a lot lately about how much the world has changed.  And this remains a fact.  But as I have been talking to marketers all over the world about the issues they face, I have to admit that what keeps marketers up at night are the same two concerns that they have had for a long time – marketers need to be able to justify their marketing spend, and they need to ensure that they are passing qualified leads to sales. 

There are a couple of key things that have changed that impact those two concerns.  First of all, customers need to be engaged earlier, and across more channels. As a result, marketing budgets are growing, but with that increase comes the added responsibility of showing the return on investment.  Gone are the days when a marketer could say, "I know half of my marketing budget had a positive return, I’m just not sure which half.”  Now they need to be able to prove their results to the board. 

The other thing that has changed is the criticality of delivering qualified leads to sales.  The sales process as we used to know it has changed substantially.  The days of cold-calling a prospect and then walking them down the “funnel” are over.  Now prospects are educating themselves.  They are reaching out to peers and their broader social network for input.  Marketers need to be able to engage prospects during this process—getting their content in places where their audience can find it, listening to the social conversation to know what the sentiment of their brand is, finding and developing advocates who can tell their story.  And they need to be able to track a prospects journey through this world, so that their sales team can understand where their prospect is on this journey before they engage.  These are the behaviors that marketers need to be able to track as they pass leads to their sales department.  

My message to marketers?  Rest easy.  With the launch of Microsoft Dynamics Marketing, we are giving you the tool that makes it easy to justify your return on your marketing investment and enables your team to deliver qualified leads to your sales department.  From robust planning capabilities that help you easily collaborate, route approvals, track your spend and your assets… to the drag and drop visual campaign designer to help you nurture your prospects through a customer journey that spans all channels…with the robust analytics that ensure you get a clear overview of campaign results so you can quickly examine performance and continuously improve. 

Learn more about Microsoft Dynamics Marketing here

Stay tuned to this blog to learn more about what we are delivering in the spring wave of releases from Microsoft Dynamics.  See our Microsoft Social Listening blog here.

Bob Stutz

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