Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing: All Features

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing is a powerful solution for businesses looking to elevate their customer experiences and strengthen relationships with their customers.

The app allows you to orchestrate personalized journeys across all touchpoints and provides the tools to make faster and better decisions using the power of data and AI.

Dynamics 365 Marketing consists of two primary modules, Real-time marketing, and Outbound marketing, along with event management. Both modules include capabilities to create graphical email and design interactive customer journeys to support marketing initiatives.

Real-time Marketing

  • Also known as customer journey orchestration. It includes trigger-based customer journeys that use email, text message, and push notification communication channels to reach customers.
  • Allows you to trigger customer journeys in real-time based on the signals and rich profile data you collect from your customers, pick the right channel for everyone, and connect in the moments that matter.
  • Responding to customer actions in real-time is a key feature of real-time marketing. With trigger-based journeys, you can respond in the moments that matter with personalized messages that contain dynamic text and images from a flexible set of data sources.
  • Allows you to connect with customers on the channels they use the most, including mobile channels, to create text messages and push notifications to reach your customers where they are.

Outbound Marketing

  • Provides email marketing, customer journeys, lead scoring, marketing pages, and social posting, allowing you to seamlessly connect your marketing and sales processes.
  • With Outbound marketing, you can capture leads, qualify the hottest leads with automated lead scoring, and manage your leads through a custom business process.
  • Social media is an important part of Outbound marketing. You can post messages to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and capture leads from LinkedIn. Dynamics 365 Marketing also includes Customer Voice surveys, which allow you to create online surveys and build customer journeys based on responses. This feature is bundled with the Marketing app but is also available separately as an add-on for other Dynamics 365 products.
  • Outbound marketing also includes advanced in-person and webinar event planning features. With Dynamics 365 Marketing’s event planning features, you can manage all your event needs in one place, including contact, registration, and attendance management features in one system.
  • You can host webinars on Microsoft Teams or on other webinar providers and meet your audience where they are. You can also continue the conversation with webinar participants after hosting a webinar by sending personalized registration materials, sending surveys, and more to drive awareness and engagement.

Real-time marketing is the next generation of Dynamics 365 Marketing features. As real-time marketing continues to evolve, almost all the current capabilities and features of outbound marketing will become available in real-time marketing, along with many more modern and enhanced capabilities. It is recommended that businesses utilize real-time marketing unless there is a dependency on a specific feature or limitation that has not yet been addressed in real-time marketing.


Dynamics 365 Marketing offers a free 30-day trial. After a quick sign-up, you’ll have access to many of the app’s key features. The trial allows you to test the app with sample data and even try out your own customer data.

  • Environment-management operations are a standard feature of Dynamics 365 Marketing, but there are extra considerations to keep in mind when the app is installed. The app has a different licensing model, and businesses can deploy it on multiple Dynamics 365 environments with multiple Marketing app licenses.
  • To install Dynamics 365 Marketing, you need to first purchase a base license. Which base license you choose depends on whether you already have a qualifying Dynamics 365 application.
  • If you have Dynamics 365 Sales, Dynamics 365 Customer Service, Dynamics 365 Field Service, Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, Dynamics 365 Finance, or Dynamics 365 Commerce with 10 or more users, you can purchase the reduced price “attach” license. Otherwise, you’ll need to purchase a standard Dynamics 365 Marketing license.
  • The Dynamics 365 Marketing app is built on top of the Dynamics 365 platform, and businesses should follow the environment and development strategy recommended by the platform when adopting Marketing. Customers often maintain a development environment, a test environment, and a prod environment to set up security boundaries, test upcoming features, and address DevOps issues.
  • Once you have a core license, you can purchase additional production or non-production instances. You can also purchase additional contact or interaction packs. 

How to manage multiple apps & environments?

Dynamics 365 Marketing offers several components that work together to streamline your marketing operations. However, each Dynamics 365 environment requires a dedicated Marketing app license, meaning that you need to purchase multiple licenses if you want to set up multiple marketing environments. While this may seem inconvenient, it is essential to ensure that your marketing processes run smoothly.

If you need to follow the best practices of having a dev, test, and prod setup but don’t want to buy additional Marketing app licenses, there is a solution-only license available.

However, there are some common pitfalls that you may face when working with multiple Marketing apps or environments.

  • This license doesn’t support Marketing processes such as segmentation and email sending but supports Marketing metadata such as marketing entities that you can use for extensibility purposes. The solution-only license also allows you to enable ALM (Application Lifecycle Management) operations across your environments.
  • For instance, if you encounter an error about missing components when importing a custom solution build from a source environment containing a Marketing app to a target environment that does not contain a Marketing app, you might think that the source environment Marketing solution is the cause of the problem.
  • Instead of removing or uninstalling the Marketing app from the source environment, deploy the solution-only Marketing app on the target environment so that both the source and the target have the same level of solution level metadata.
  • Uninstalling and reinstalling the Marketing app from one environment to another hoping to reuse one Marketing app for multiple Dynamics 365 environments is incorrect and can result in broken systems.
  • Noting that when a Marketing environment is installed as solution-only, no Marketing processes (such as customer journey or segmentation) will execute is also essential. The solution-only environment only supports Marketing entity availability and extensibility. If you require marketing process execution, the full Marketing app should be installed.
  • When working with Marketing, you must adhere to specifics to these operations when using the ALM capabilities such as copy, backup, and restore. Some of the common pitfalls include incorrectly if ALM operations will move with the Marketing apps from source to the target, not preparing the source and target environments for the necessary ALM operation, and unnecessarily uninstalling and reinstalling the Marketing app in the source or target environments against the recommendations in the documentation.

Security Roles & Access

Dynamics 365 Marketing also provides several security roles to manage user access and permissions within the system. The core marketing security roles include Marketing Professional-Business, Marketing Manager-Business, Marketing Business App Access, Marketing Services User, Lead Score Modeler, and Lead Score Viewer.

Each role provides specific access to the Marketing work area, such as segments, customer journeys, emails, marketing pages, and marketing lists, with varying degrees of access to the Settings work area.

  • Marketers who require access to Dynamics 365 Marketing’s core features but don’t need to configure the system can use the Marketing Professional-Business role.
  • Marketing managers who administer the system can use the Marketing Manager-Business role, which provides access to all views and settings in the Settings work area.
  • Lead Score Modelers, who are responsible for building lead-scoring models, can view and edit lead scoring models, view lead scores, and customize the lead-to-opportunity marketing business process for leads using the Lead management section of the Marketing work area.

Dynamics 365 Marketing is a powerful tool for managing your marketing efforts. Understanding the different app types, adhering to best practices when working with multiple Marketing apps/environments, and using the appropriate security roles can help you make the most of the system.


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