26 March 2021

Microsoft has heavily invested in the Marketing app in the last few years. This is coming to fruition as we've seen a lot of changes over the last year. Just last year, we've seen lots of new improvements, bug fixes and capabilities such as a new interface for customer journeys and designing emails, integration with Teams for events and more.

We now have the roadmap for this year with the Wave 1 2021 Release Plan. We would like to point out however, that final features can change before commercial release, but it's a good indicator of where we are heading.

Broadly speaking, Microsoft wants to introduce more personalisation features to show more relevant content to audience segments. They are also expanding communication channels to include SMS sends and pushing notifications to mobile devices (iOS/Android). We also saw a preview towards the end of last year of using AI-powered technologies to assist marketers in creating segments with Natural Language Processing (NPL). This basically means you can create a segment using CRM data by typing in a Google-style search such as "I want to create a segment based on people from London."

More of that is coming. NLP is now coming to customer journeys. AI-driven contextual search for looking for content is also on the way, plus segment suggestions based on business metrics you want to improve.

The full list of Microsoft planned features are listed below:

AI-powered

AI-POWERED
Feature Enabled for Public preview Early access* General availability
AI-driven recommendations for image, video, document, or fragment Admins, makers, marketers, or analysts, automatically Apr 2021 - -
AI-driven run-time channel optimization Admins, makers, marketers, or analysts, automatically Apr 2021 - -
Use Customer Insights AI-powered segment suggestions to improve your business metrics Admins, makers, marketers, or analysts, automatically Apr 2021 - -
Use natural language to create conditions for branching customer journeys Admins, makers, marketers, or analysts, automatically Apr 2021 - -

Analytics

Analytics to improve results and achieve your business goals.

ANALYTICS
Feature Enabled for Public preview Early access* General availability
Experiment with the next action in a journey to optimize for results Admins, makers, marketers, or analysts, automatically Apr 2021 - -
Improve journey effectiveness with a new set of built-in analytics dashboards and cross-journey insights Admins, makers, marketers, or analysts, automatically Apr 2021 - -
In real time, monitor your customer journeys and channel KPIs Admins, makers, marketers, or analysts, automatically Apr 2021 - -
Set business goals for journeys and measure progress to the goal Admins, makers, marketers, or analysts, automatically Apr 2021 - -

Channels

More channels, power, and ease to reach your customers with the right messages.

CHANNELS
Feature Enabled for Public preview Early access* General availability
Create and send SMS messages to any mobile phone Admins, makers, marketers, or analysts, automatically Apr 2021 - -
Deliver push notifications to any Android or iOS app Admins, makers, marketers, or analysts, automatically Apr 2021 - -
Search, version, manage, and tag your digital assets with a new centralized asset library Admins, makers, marketers, or analysts, automatically Apr 2021 - -
Create emails quickly with low effort and without compromises Admins, makers, marketers, or analysts, automatically -  Mar 1, 2021 Apr 2021

Moments-based

MOMENTS-BASED
Feature Enabled for Public preview Early access* General availability
Event catalog with built-in and custom events for triggering customer journeys Admins, makers, marketers, or analysts, automatically Apr 2021 - -
Real-time, event-based customer journey orchestration Admins, makers, marketers, or analysts, automatically Apr 2021 - -

Personalization

Deeper personalization to engage your customers.

PERSONALIZATION
Feature Enabled for Public preview Early access* General availability
Author dynamic content with ease through a new point-and-click interface Admins, makers, marketers, or analysts, automatically Apr 2021 - -
Create deeply personalized emails with a more flexible set of data sources Admins, makers, marketers, or analysts, automatically Apr 2021 - -
Hyper-personalize customer journeys using data and insights from Dynamics 365 Customer Insights Admins, makers, marketers, or analysts, automatically Apr 2021 - -
Use continuously updating, multidata source segments from Customer Insights in your marketing campaigns Admins, makers, marketers, or analysts, automatically Apr 2021 - -
Use customer journeys to target leads in addition to contacts Admins, makers, marketers, or analysts, automatically Aug 2021 - -
Participant engagement-based communication for online events powered by Microsoft Teams Admins, makers, marketers, or analysts, automatically - - Apr 2021