In this blog, you’ll find the following sections to help you use Microsoft Flow to automate tasks in Dynamics 365 for Marketing:
The solution proposed in this blog has the following prerequisites:
Within organizations today we increasingly see staff diversify their roles to cover activities which may not be their core discipline. This situation often leads to challenges for the individual to learn an area which may only be used on occasion, and to receive training in applications which are used sporadically. For occasional users of Dynamics 365 for Marketing, the terminology and controls used in the application would be unfamiliar and could lead to resistance to adopting processes that span multiple applications or that are not explicitly tailored to their tasks.
Consider a scenario where a company desires to implement a process in which on a quarterly basis, on-the-road salespeople need to trigger email communication to the primary contact of accounts which have had orders fulfilled in the last quarter. These salespeople work primarily on tablets and want to retain ownership of the action so to align with their needs, goals and targets but are unfamiliar with the Segmentation process in Dynamics 365 for Marketing. For this user scenario, there are only a few parameters which are changing (start and end date of the quarter) but creation such segment, would require the salesperson to traverse the data model. Instead, providing a simple input dialog for the key variables would allow segments to be created quicker and correctly.
Using Microsoft Flow, it is possible to automate the creation of records in Dynamics 365 for Marketing, including those that can drive key functionality like segmentation and customer journeys. The example below illustrates a possible solution aimed at allowing a minimal effort on behalf of the salesperson, following a simple setup by the Marketing team.
In this area, when selecting Customer Insights Sync in the Marketing Settings section, we are able to view the entities which are currently synchronized. These are the entities that can be used in segmentation.
For more information, see this article: Marketing settings.
After the relevant entities are added, publish the changes. For this scenario, we added Order only because the entity already connects to Contacts.
2. In the Marketing app, create a segment to be used as a model for the dynamic segments to be created by users. (See Working with segments.)
Using the Explore view, we can confirm the data model is being navigated correctly by the created segment.
PROFILE(salesorder).FILTER(datefulfilled >= DATE(2019, 4, 1, 0, 0) && datefulfilled <= DATE(2019, 4, 30, 0, 0)).TRAVERSE(salesorder_account_customerid).TRAVERSE(account_contact_primarycontactid)
At this point, our Dynamics 365 for Marketing app has the necessary building blocks enabled. Order has been added as entity that can be used in the segmentation and we have obtained the model of the segment we will creating in an automated fashion.
In this section we have now defined a Flow process which will prompt the users for key parameters that need updating on each segment creation. Our Sales Hub App is also ready to consume the Dynamics 365 for Marketing functionality we have decided to expose to the salesperson.
With the configuration in the solution, users working on a tablet, will be able to view segments and also trigger Flows to allow for the creation of new segments based on the input criteria. Lets take a look:
Through this process we have created a code-free extension to our Sales Hub App to expose targeted Dynamics 365 for Marketing functionality to our salespeople. In addition, we have simplified the segment creation process by using Microsoft Flow to reduce the learning curve and the potential for errors by users who are not focused on marketing activities. Finally, this was made available for on-the-go users in their mobile devices.
An alternative approach to the one described could be to use Microsoft Flow to create a copy of the model segment but leave it in a Draft state by changing the value of the Status Reason. The benefit of this approach would be that users would not have to interact with the Microsoft Flow input dialog and could change any other parameter in the segment. In this approach, it should be considered that the end users would need to become familiar with the segment creation controls and understand the activation process to complete the task.
We hope you find this approach a useful scenario in addressing cross-app and automation scenarios.
Thank you for the interest in the topic and feel free to comment and give your feedback.
Principal Solutions Architect,Microsoft Dynamics FastTrack
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