This is Part 2 of an extensive interview with Michael Griffiths, Global Director, Retail and Distribution for Microsoft Business Solutions. We will look closer at the role of social media, marketing automation and Microsoft Dynamics CRM in Dynamics for Retail.
ERP Software Blog Editor: What impact do you see social media having in the retail industry and is Dynamics for Retail addressing that?
Michael Griffiths: Social is definitely a big part of what we are doing. We have native integration to Facebook and Twitter so that you can create promotions or campaigns specific to those sites. This makes sense knowing that retailers want to reach consumers how, when and where they shop. With 56 percent of consumers going to Facebook, as an example, to look for information or promotions or campaigns for their favorite retailer we give you the ability, from within Dynamics Retail, to promote on that channel. Where you find that's really interesting is that traditionally if you live at home you get flyers for different things that retailers want to notify you on. Now, if the consumer clicks “like” in Facebook to get access to a promotion then their whole network suddenly learns about it and it's sort of this exponential visibility that can be created. That being said, not all retailers have jumped in feet first, but they believe it's going to be part of the strategy. So with Dynamics for Retail we give you that out of the box. And then there are other investments we're making, things like social listing and, and others that will just further enhance and augment that experience.
We think of Omni Channel not as, Points A, B and C, but being able to add any marketplace, any online channel, any social network without limitation, and then be able to manage it centrally from within our application.
Editor: Does marketing automation play a big role for the retailers? For example, checking campaigns, tracking the success of different promotions within Dynamics?
Griffiths: Definitely. You can create promotions. You can create campaigns. You can drive loyalty from the operational side, and then the real strength of the Dynamics' portfolio is our Dynamics CRM solution which some retailers use as their customer master for a deeper level of analyzing metrics and the effectiveness of campaigns and doing some of the follow up. In fact, our own Microsoft stores actually use both the Dynamic Retail Solution as well as Dynamics CRM in that way to take the best of both worlds and leverage those capabilities in a combined fashion.
Editor: Is there CRM functionality inside the Dynamics for Retail solution?
Griffiths: There is a CRM component that lives inside of the Dynamics for Retail Solution. It's almost a good, better, best. We have a base CRM component that can capture customer information, can drive some clientelling scenarios and give you information about purchase history. When you want to go to that deeper scenario where you were talking about tracking the metrics and the effectiveness of campaigns, that's where our full-blown Microsoft Dynamics CRM system would be used to complement what Dynamics for Retail is doing.
Editor: Is there integration between Dynamics CRM and Dynamics for Retail?
Griffiths: Yes. It's a basic integration, and from an industry standpoint that is an area of investment that's important on our roadmap. Especially now that we've talked about the acquisition of Marketing Pilot and some of the good things happening on the Dynamics CRM side, we want to make sure they continue to complement one another. In Dynamics for Retail we offer loyalty; we offer clientelling; and then we want to make sure we have the right retail level of integration so that we can keep that sort of complementary relationship.
This ends Part 2 of the Interview with Michael Griffiths. Stay tuned for Part 3.
Read the full interview:
Read more about Dynamics for Retail:
By Anya Ciecierski, ERP Software Blog Editor, www.erpsoftwareblog.com