The Dynamics 365 Marketing update 1.35.10071.2017 Preview has powerful capabilities that will help marketers save time and be more productive. It's accessed via a new area in the Marketing application called 'Real Time Marketing' with the old 'Marketing' area being renamed to 'Outbound Marketing'
The release provides an AI-assisted asset library that automatically tags images related to the content. This supports marketers when producing email content as they will be given image suggestions based on their content keywords, saving time if they have a large library of assets. This is undoubtedly a welcome improvement.
In addition, we can now try SMS sends to end-users as well as push notifications to Android and iOS. Currently, these are free whilst in preview, but there will be a charge once it goes live (costs yet unknown).
These extra channels can be leveraged in a new customer journey interface that has a new 'setup wizard' for predefined goals such as driving a purchase or building customer loyalty. With the updated interface, you can choose if you would like it to be based on a segment you've created or triggered from an event, such as a contact taking a specific action.
The new customer journey has an AI feature that optimizes which channel to choose to send to end-users which drives performance and saves time. This is like benchmark testing in real-time, but the AI gets to decide immediately what the best action to take. Some marketers would prefer to retain control, which is fine, as A/B split testing still exists, but this is another useful tool available.
Customer journeys can be created either by using an existing audience segment or an event trigger such as a lead creation. Many event triggers are available off the shelf, such as email bounces or Customer Voice Survey Responses, but you can also create your own.
Also as part of the 'real-time' marketing is a new analytics dashboard via Power BI showing the performance of customer journeys. The data in the report gets refreshed every few hours. Currently, this dashboard isn't modifiable, however, this could change in the final release.
If you would like to see these new capabilities in action, please watch the video below: