Kathy Gibson reports from Reimagine 2015 – Dynamics Marketing is a massive solution that can help companies re-imagine their marketing operations.

Chris Barry, CRM director at Mint Management Technologies, explains that marketing departments need to understand the multitude of channels that are now available – and multichannel marketing is becoming key.

To do that, he says marketers need to plan using the digital asset library together with workflow and collaboration; it then needs to execute in a multi-channel environment and then nurture and measure sing behavioural analytics and customer segmentation.

Marketing resource management falls in the planning stage, with the media buying and planning spanning planning and execution; campaign management helps to execute effective campaigns, while spend management operates in the nurture and measure segment.

Among the top challenges faced by marketing are segmentation, prioritisation and optimisation while targeting a diverse customers set.

Marketers have to understand their customers, dealing with fragmentation and breaking through the clutter.

Insights and analytics is also important, to put all this information together and make it meaningful.

Barry demonstrated how Microsoft Dynamics Marketing can be used to segment the customer base accurately; and to better understand the customer. The analytics allows for realtime reporting and dashboards which allow a marketing campaign to deliver qualified leads to sales.

Barry points out that before any event there is a lot of planning and budgeting that needs to take place, and companies can use Dynamics Online, Dynamics Marketing and Dynamics Social Listening in this stage.
Once delegates are identified, it’s important to ensure a good pre-event experience, value and service and Microsoft Azure and Mobile are added to the tools used in the previous stage.

During the event, companies would give regular updates, maximising the experience, adding value, offering service and analysing feedback. The tool now added to the others is the Unified Service Desk.
After the event is when critical work takes place, Further analysis is complementing with an understanding of the customers, lead generation and follow-up action. Power BI joins the other Microsoft tools to complete the journey.

Carel du Toit, MD of Mint Management Technologies, points out that a CRM Online campaign is effectively impossible to carry out without the cloud. Using the Azure platform lets companies quickly enable technology, he says.
Barry shares some tips for a successful marketing campaign:
* Filter your ideas before the event– make sure you’ve for the right tools for the job
* Plan for the unexpected during the event – keep it simple and let your customers experience life
* Analyse everything after the event – and then analyse it again; and imagine it again
* Importantly, understand your customers’ needs and value across the lifecycle and keep your objectives in mind.