Microsoft for Marketing

Posted on Tuesday, April 09, 2019
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By Charlotte King
Microsoft Licensing Specialist

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Brand identity is key for ensuring differentiation. Every organisation wants the competitive edge, and digital transformation seems to be a factor in staying at the top of your game. Using the most effective and efficient technology in the right way can help with planning and creating successful marketing campaigns to ensure your organisation thrives. Here at Softcat we know how important it is to keep ahead of the curve, and how effective Microsoft’s modern workplace can be to support this.

What can Microsoft do for marketing teams today? 

Collaborating on campaigns is becoming increasingly challenging, with many different people, ideas and priorities involved. It can be a struggle to connect all these elements in order to develop strong campaigns and meaningful projects. We recently helped one of our customers who was putting together an internal campaign across several different departments and employees within the organisation. They were finding it frustrating to keep track of all the communication across different platforms and long email chains, and needed one easy platform to work from where everyone involved could communicate and work on documents together, with one central version. We introduced them to Microsoft Teams, and it really helped improve this collaboration.

Collaboration and communication

Microsoft Teams is part of Microsoft’s modern workplace which integrates with Office 365 (O365), making it easier to work with your teams across different applications. Our customer already had access to Teams through their O365 plan, but weren’t using the function. We showed them how to set up specific channels for their campaign, inviting only the relevant people to be members of the group, where they could share and work on documents together, search for conversation topics and use other features to bring the team together in one place. In addition, external users could be invited to the Teams channel with secure access as guests, making it a seamless experience for collaborating with their partners. They now use Teams for all internal campaigns and find that not only are they more efficient and productive but they can strategically drive innovation, giving them a competitive edge.

Teams isn’t the only collaboration tool available; lots of our customers are using products such as Yammer, Microsoft’s social networking tool, to help stay on top of what’s important to them and communicate easily. And OneDrive, an online storage tool where you can share folders with others, makes it easier for them to collaborate on documents.

Data and Dynamics 365

Data is integral to marketing and we have found that organisations can often feel they are drowning in the amount of data they need to sift through, particularly with the advent of big data, some of it not even relevant to the task at hand. Intelligent tools that help source relevant data can help in the quest for understanding your customers and building strong relationships. We think that Dynamics 365 is a great tool to help achieve this, with a range of business applications to support all aspects of your organisation - it’s a combination of CRM and ERP solutions. One function available with several of the applications is ‘Relevance Search’ which provides you with comprehensive results across multiple sources in a single list, matched by relevance to the words you input into your search navigator. It highlights all words matched, giving you only the data you need so you won’t need to sort through data from multiple sources, saving you time to focus on other tasks.

Dynamics 365 has a marketing app that can help with building long-lasting relationships with customers, through customising emails, designing interactive customer journeys, securely sharing information across teams and developing a deeper understanding of your market. You can track your results, making each campaign more relevant to your customer and, therefore, more successful.

GDPR and marketing

With all this talk about data, the giant elephant in the room is GDPR, as data storage and protection is required for GDPR compliance. As marketing teams focus on interacting directly with customers, it’s critical that protecting customer information is top on your list of priorities when developing campaigns. Lots of organisations are now using Microsoft’s Modern Workplace which has built-in tools that can support you with the ongoing journey to compliancy in the cloud. All Office 365 plans have access to the Microsoft Security and Compliance Centre, a one stop hub for protecting data with industry-leading security capabilities. Office 365 Advanced Data Governance is also a great tool, helping you monitor and understand the volume of data you receive. You can set custom policies based on organisation values or legal requirements to secure the data that’s most important or relevant to you, limiting risk in the event of a data breach.

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We have seen these products work well across many organisations, however there are many more excellent solutions available. If you would like to hear more about Microsoft’s Modern Workplace tools and how they can help your organisation thrive, get in contact with your Softcat Account Manager.

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