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Microsoft Industry Blogs

As the retail industry focuses on customer-centricity, retailers and brands are looking at ways to transform the end-to-end customer shopping journey by delivering personalized customer experiences across every touchpoint.

As a CPG manufacturer, we too have the same goal. And as a technology provider we are focused on helping businesses take advantage of today’s technology innovations to transform their customer experiences.

As we all look at ways to deliver experiences that are personal, relevant and engaging, I wanted to highlight some recent Microsoft partnerships and initiatives that will help make it easier for retail and consumer goods marketing teams to do that.

Easier integration and more effective use of customer data.

At Adobe Summit, Microsoft and Adobe announced a built-in integration to allow Dynamics 365 and Adobe Marketing Cloud to work together seamlessly to help transform customer experiences.

This is great news for retailers as this integration makes it possible to share and access all the marketing history of each individual customer from within the CRM system—gaining an unprecedented visibility into the customer journey across brick-and-mortar, online and mobile, and the ability to personalize content and offers. You can learn more here.

Together, we’re also working on developing a new data model for understanding and driving real-time customer engagement. It involves a new approach that will standardize how data is structured and expedite your ability to gain insights from massive amounts of data. We’ll be sharing a progress update in May at Microsoft Build 2017.

Cognitive marketing intelligence.

In a different partnership with Publicis, one of the world’s largest creative agencies, it will be combining its robust marketing and data capabilities with Microsoft Azure and Cortana Intelligence Suite.

This is bringing together a powerful combination of technology innovations—from predictive analytics, deep learning, natural user interfaces, and the cloud—to create a new class of AI capabilities. When applied to the retail industry, and rich data from things like store sensors and behavior, it can help learn, reason and predict the customer journey, and opens the door to exciting new levels of personalization potential. This Wall Street Journal article shares a scenario for a cosmetics company. You can also read the announcement and watch this video to learn more.

Increased sales & marketing effectiveness.

In a third collaboration, Microsoft is working with Versium, a leading predictive analytics company, to integrate automated predictive targeting into Microsoft Dynamics 365. With this capability, you can generate a list of brand new customers with the highest propensity to buy your product, by comparing them to the profile of your historically high-return existing customers.

This is an incredibly exciting new innovation that is now available and changes the game for how brand marketers think about personalization, customer acquisition and how they use data to target customers—not only based on their online behavior but also offline behavior, social behavior, purchase interests, and financial data. This has tremendous potential for cost-savings and campaign effectiveness. You can learn more in this how-to guide.

Separately, we have another new helpful how-to-guide for retailers, offering guidance on how to apply machine learning analytics to predict customer churn rates, available here.

New, more powerful methods for marketing data visualization.

From a visualization perspective, part of the Microsoft Adobe partnership will offer enhanced ways to see and understand the impact of your marketing campaigns through the combination of Adobe Analytics and Microsoft Power BI. Retailers can more quickly and easily understand which customer touchpoints are most effective, and how to turn this insight into a successful outcome.

Also at the Adobe Summit event, Adobe unveiled how Microsoft HoloLens can be used to change the way retail data is visualized. Because of its spatial mapping capabilities, HoloLens can allow retailers to visualize and layer data from Adobe Marketing Cloud over real-world objects in a store environment, helping adjust promotions based on customer demand. Exciting stuff! You can see for yourself in the below video.

LinkedIn: Tracy Issel