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Thursday, January 10, 2019

Highlights of the D365 for Marketing December 2018 Update

Posted by Alex Fredrickson

As promised, Microsoft has been more rapidly releasing updates for their Dynamics business applications, including Dynamics 365 for Marketing. The December 2018 release for D365 Marketing brings some new functionality, existing functionality improvements, and some major quality-of-life updates for maintaining and administrating the Marketing tool.

For existing users of D365 Marketing, I hope this post brings to light some of the new features and improvements that are now available. For those who may still be evaluating the tool as a replacement for their current ClickDimensions, Hubspot or ActOn platform, this post can help highlight Microsoft’s continued investment in the D365 Marketing tools and their commitment to this platform.

Marketing Portal Improvements

The D365 Marketing portal is now available to be downloaded, and backed up, as an Angular JS project! This is an enormously important update for system administrators and customizers. Prior to the update, any portal customizations were saved to the default Angular project in D365 Portals and would be overwritten with subsequent updates to the platform. Now, any customizations made can be downloaded and backed up for simple system management.

This improvement will also allow system customizers to take a more streamlined approach to customizing the portal, testing new functionality, and publishing changes back to the production environment. In addition, allowing the download of this project means that Dynamics 365 for Marketing customers now have the option of hosting their Marketing portal on their own web server rather than the default, a site on D365 Portals. For organizations leveraging both a Customer and a Marketing portal, this could lead to some immediate cost savings on their Dynamics licensing.

Locked Containers Within Email and Marketing Page Templates

D365 for Marketing now supports the locking of sections within email and marketing page templates. This helps prevent user error and ensure brand consistency by only allowing content creators to edit certain sections of the email or marketing page. This can be very useful in helping you make sure every outbound email contains the proper header, footer and social links, while still giving your end users some freedom in how they design the rest of the email content.

New Insights for Customer Journeys

Customer Journeys are a useful automation tool for marketers, but it’s not always easy to understand how impactful each journey may be. Thanks to this new release, you now have a bit more visibility into your Customer Journeys with additional insights that shed light on which contacts aren’t completing the journey, and why. The Contact insights now provide details on why messages went undelivered, whether it be due to duplication in your marketing lists, invalid reply-to addresses, GDPR compliance issues, or one of many other reasons tracked by Dynamics.

I hope this article was useful in explaining some of the more significant changes to Dynamics 365 for Marketing in the December 2018 release. If you are already using Dynamics Marketing, applying these updates couldn’t be easier. Microsoft provides step-by-step instructions here.  

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