The new Customer Insights offering – a name change or a true game changer?

Agnieszka Tomczyszyn Agnieszka Tomczyszyn August 17, 2023

On September 1st, Dynamics 365 Marketing will experience a significant change as the name D365 Marketing disappears and is replaced by Customer Insights – Journeys. However, it’s not just a name change, which Microsoft tends to favor. D365 Marketing becomes part of a comprehensive solution that combines functionalities present in both applications while placing even greater emphasis on real-time actions based on data.

“Dynamics 365 Customer Insights and Dynamics 365 Marketing are coming together in a solution called Dynamics 365 Customer Insights, powered by artificial intelligence, that will revolutionize customer experiences,” wrote Jim Nakashima of Microsoft in July.

As a result of these changes, the new solution will consist of 2 applications:

  • Customer Insights – Data, which will primarily function as a Customer Data Platform, providing organizations with a 360-degree view.
  • Customer Insights – Journeys – formerly Dynamics 365 Marketing, but in a modernized form as a real-time marketing (RTM) tool.
Microsoft has previously announced plans to phase out the older Outbound Marketing module in Dynamics 365 in favor of newer solutions. For some time now, the emphasis has been on developing and improving all functionalities based on real-time actions (Real Time), with no significant changes in Outbound Marketing. At this point, we have reached a situation where Real-Time Marketing has essentially absorbed all outbound marketing functionalities.

“Customer Insights – Journeys” is a continuation of this plan. The change in usage suggests that within the next year, Marketing customers will ultimately transition to the RTM approach.

Learn more about transitioning to Real-Time Marketing: Link

“Real-time marketing already surpasses traditional outbound marketing in terms of functionality, effectiveness, usability test results, and satisfaction survey responses. Additionally, our innovations and upcoming artificial intelligence features are exclusively available in real-time marketing,” wrote Nakashima, Partner General Manager of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing and Dynamics Customer Insights.

As you can see, it’s not just a name change but a strategically significant move by Microsoft. By merging both products, the company is offering users a comprehensive, highly modern platform that takes marketing activities and personalized customer communication in real time to a whole new level. The integration of these two products combines the customer data platform (CDP) in CI with real-time marketing (RTM). This combination ensures a full range of data that organizations need to optimally engage their customers in events, behaviors, and actions that reflect their interests and preferred ways of interacting with the company.

If this approach is well executed, it will enable the building of cohesive customer experiences based on interactions and data from multiple sources. This opens up new opportunities to create personalized communications at any point along the customer journey, actively respond to their actions, and reach them through the most suitable channels.

What does this change mean for current and new users of D365 Marketing?

Starting from September 1, 2023, new customers will only have access to real-time marketing functionalities. Existing customers can still use outbound marketing, but Microsoft will not introduce any enhancements to this module. If you actively use the functionalities being phased out, there’s no need to worry. Microsoft allows for license renewal under the existing terms for at least another 12 months (3 years for Enterprise licenses). Marketing departments have time to familiarize themselves with the new solutions and implement them in their work.

More about the combined Customer Insights offering: Link