Microsoft Dynamics 365 Blog

As Bob Dylan would say, the times they are a-changin’. When he wrote that song in the 1960s, multichannel marketing meant designing a direct mail campaign, a billboard, and maybe a commercial. Just like many of Dylan’s lyrics, these individual marketing efforts didn’t really need to correspond to one another.

Navigating today’s marketing landscape takes a bit more expertise. Thankfully, the tools we use to create complex marketing campaigns haven’t exactly been standing still since Dylan’s career began a half century ago. Whether you’re new to today’s fast-paced, multichannel marketing strategies or you’re an old hand at this sort of stuff, it’s always good to keep your finger on the pulse of the industry. Here, with apologies to Mr. Dylan, are five ways automation can help maximize both your productivity and impact.

1. “The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind.” By searching for products like yours online, visiting your website, and chatting about your brand on social media, customers are leaving you little clues about how they like to be marketed to. Plucking this data out of the online ether and using it to create better targeted campaigns would take ages if you had to do it yourself. Thanks to tools like Social Listening and Power BI, you don’t. That’s good news, because you can no longer easily rely on your “marketer’s gut feel” due to the enormous stratification of today’s customers.

2.  “Chaos is a friend of mine.” If you don’t have any help, managing the many facets of a multichannel campaign can feel a bit like taming a hydra. Thankfully, marketing tools now exist that allow you to manage everything (from traditional media to social, email, and events) at a glance. Gone are the days of relying only on your trusted email database tool. You’ll miss out on all the other channels that your customers choose to use. Time to embrace tools that integrate all channels—and that let you link each campaign channel to assets, giving you a clear picture of the impact you’re having.

3. “There is nothing so stable as change.” While Dylan clearly didn’t have social media in mind when he spoke these words, they couldn’t be more apt. To keep abreast of the ever-changing landscape that is social sentiment, you need a little automated help. Social engagement tools aren’t just for a quick reply to a tweet or liking a Facebook post. These tools help you to quickly collect and report any change in online sentiment, alerting you in time to see what all the fuss is about. With advance knowledge of these changes, you can turn potential challenges into new opportunities.

4. “May you stay forever young.” The moment-to-moment shifts of opinion on social media aren’t the only trends you should keep your eye on. Despite the best planning, sometimes your message just doesn’t land as it should. With marketing analytics that show how your campaigns are performing, you open up new ways to improve sagging sentiment. These same analytics also show you which of your campaigns are under budget, allowing you to reallocate the funds you need to get the most out of each of your current projects.

5. “Well, the future for me is already a thing of the past.” The ultimate goal of marketing, of course, is contributing to sales—and it’s here that automation really comes into its own. From your dashboard, you’ll be able to set specific parameters for generated leads, ensuring that only the strongest prospective customers are forwarded to sales. You can also track which campaigns and channels generated each of these leads, developing a better understanding of marketing ROI.

To learn even more about how automation can aid your marketing efforts, check out this e-book.

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