Microsoft held its annual partner community conference – Microsoft Inspire, in the end of July 2023. During the conference Microsoft shares their roadmap for the coming year, gives out partner awards and gives insights into new things coming for their products and services.
This year was no different.😁
The main theme of course were the products that Microsoft is adding AI to. Dynamics 365 Sales and Field Service co-pilots were announced. So was Power Automate process mining, Microsoft 365 copilot pricing and of course Microsoft Sales copilot. The last one being Viva Sales, that has got a new name and branding.
Renaming is always difficult for the audience. It is change and not everyone is good with change. 😉 Although I have only crazed the surface of Viva Sales, it wasn’t the only product that will be renamed.
Microsoft had also huge announcements for Dynamics 365 Marketing. Or from 01.09.23, known as: Dynamics 365 Customer Insights – Journeys.
Yes, everything regarding the Dynamics 365 Marketing real-time and event functionalities will be joined together with Customer Insights under the same name. To be fair, there have been rumors about that for a bit now. As long as the fact that at some point Microsoft will combine their outbound and real-time features under one combined customer journey experience offering.
It was the name that surprised me, and still does. It doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, not easy to shorten and there is so much more to Dynamics 365 Marketing than Journeys. The name just seems limiting to me.
Now that I managed to get that out, let’s see what the change actually will contain 😊
What will change?
From 01.09.23 Dynamics 365 Marketing will be renamed to Dynamics 365 Customer Insights – Journeys. And what was known as Dynamics 365 Customer Insights before, will be renamed to Dynamics 365 Customer insights – Data.
The idea is that the experience should not change for users that have been using real-time marketing before. The two products will still be 2 different apps and the only thing changing is the name on the top of the App.
- Outbound Marketing will no longer be (as default) offered to new customers.
Only real-time marketing functionality and event module will be part of the new Dynamics 365 Customer Insights – Journeys offering. It is still possible to get access to outbound, but that needs to be requested.
With combining the product names under the same umbrella, the licensing will also be unified. All will still be licensed per tenant per month. You will pay for base SKU that will contain 10k interactions known as marketing contacts (people interacted from 01.09.23) and 100k unified profiles (people unified in 01.09.23).
Marketing contacts are currently a part of the licensing of Dynamics 365 Marketing and unified profiles a part of Dynamics 365 Customer Insights.
As you have been able to now, it will still be possible to buy extra interactions. All license info with prices will be released publicly 01.09.23. Reach out to your partner or Microsoft contact for more information.
What if I am using outbound marketing?
If you have been using outbound marketing so far, then now is the right time to start migrating over to real-time. There have come a lot of updates to the real-time area and features that outbound doesn’t have. And there is no need to panic that everything will be lost when September hits. It won’t be.
For all existing customers, there will still be time to finish off your journeys / events / social media posts. That is actually something that Microsoft recommends for all interactions, instead of migrating everything to real-time.
You will still have the possibility to stay on your old offering for a year. But then, you will be moved over to the new offering of Dynamics 365 Customer Insights – Journeys and -Data.
For a smoother transition from outbound to real-time, Microsoft has also created a playbook with their recommendations on how and what to migrate. This playbook is updated as more features / information come, so I recommend to bookmark the link 😉
The playbook: https://aka.ms/OutboundtoRealtimeMarketingPlaybook
There you can also find best practices and suggested timelines of your migration process.
Is there something that we won’t get in Real-Time marketing?
Recently I made a small poll in LinkedIn, asking my network whether or not they used the Social Posting feature in Dynamics 365 Marketing. There was a reason for that😁
From all the documentations and plans that I have managed to see, Social Posting will not be a feature in real-time marketing. And therefore also not in Dynamics 365 Customer Insights – Journeys.
And the reasoning is that it is the least used feature of the product. I didn’t want to believe it, but it actually seems so also in my network. You all had a week to vote and the result came back that 83% of the people that voted does not use the functionality.
Thank you everyone that voted and commented. It was great to read the reasoning and ideas that were posted there. If you are interested, make sure you read them here!
Apart from Social Posting, there aren’t any other specific functionality that will be completely removed. But there are features released continuously to work together with real-time marketing. The latest so far is the Lead scoring feature 😉
More information & Summary
- Microsoft Sales Copilot, Dynamics 365 Customer Insights, and cloud migration reshape the future of business – Microsoft Dynamics 365 Blog
- Transition to real-time marketing and transform your Customer Experience – Microsoft Dynamics 365 Blog
There are changes coming and fast. So make sure you start looking into real-time marketing already today. As more information come to light and functionalities, I will keep you updated.
Until then, feel free to reach out to me on social media or firstname.lastname@example.org, if you feel that I can help you make sense of the journey 😊