The News: This week, at the Microsoft Business Applications Summit, a new integration between Dynamics 365 Customer Insights and Microsoft AdvertisingOpens in new window was announced. Advertisers can now bring their customer segments from Dynamics 365 Customer Insights into the Microsoft Advertising platform to target on the Microsoft Search Network and Microsoft Audience Network using Customer Match targeting. The company also shared that its Customer Match targeting is now generally available to all advertisers. Read the full news from Microsoft.
Analyst Take: Microsoft continues to make its solutions more extensible, in this case, tying together vast tools and resources to deliver competitive solutions for users attempting to drive revenue through its ad platform.
What immediately jumped out to me about this news is the sticky nature that this has for Microsoft Advertisers to adopt Customer Insights. As customer data platforms (CDP) continue to gain momentum, Microsoft uses its expansive capabilities to win adoption. This was evident in the depth of integration and the specific features being delivered for customers that use both platforms: (Per Microsoft)
- Access to rich, unified first-party data to help boost performance through better targeting.
- As cookies are phased out, first-party data will become even more of a priority for delivering personalized advertising experiences to help you better reach your customers.
- Easy to manage customer segments.
- Access and manage your most up-to-date audience segments all in one place, making it easy to share to many destinations, including Microsoft Advertising.
- Efficient scaling across ad platforms.
- Create a unified and consistent audience approach across ad platforms, including Microsoft Advertising, to make targeting your most valuable customers easier.
One of the key considerations that we have focused on in recent times is the transition from easily accessible third-party data to a growing need for first-party data and opt-in from users. The Apple updates to its IDFA and continued GDPR enforcement have served as a wake up to advertisers that have oversubscribed to easily accessible and enterprises that haven’t been lagging in building community through opt-in and deeper first party integrations.
Integration and Export Friendly Data in Focus For Microsoft CDP
In terms of the offer itself, I believe that this Microsoft offering will provide enterprise customers a new and improved approach to leverage audience and engagement insights from Microsoft’s Customer Data Platform, Dynamics 365 Customer Insights. The expanded toolset will enable companies to export high-value insights such as segments, churn analysis, and product recommendations directly to Microsoft Advertising (and other popular third-party destinations). The exportation feature is invaluable for various advertising tools that CDP users expect from the platform–Third-party destinations including Google Ads, Marketo, MailChimp, dotdigital, SendGrid, and Autopilot.
To be a bit more specific on the integration capabilities, this new integration between Dynamics 365 Customer Insights and Microsoft Advertising provides advertisers the flexibility to create and export virtually limitless customer segments and split data from Dynamics 365 Customer Insights into the Microsoft Advertising platform to target on the Microsoft Search Network and Microsoft Audience Network using Customer Match targeting.
Overall Impression of Dynamics 365 Customer Insights Integration with Microsoft Advertising
We have been outspoken about our expectations for the CDP market, especially in B2C industries, as the best in class customer experience continues to be the holy grail for market leadership. The complexities arising from more restrictive data practices are putting pressure on CMOs and IT to figure out how to continue to deliver personalization while abiding by the rules. Tools that power first-party data segments to enable advertising to reach the most accurate personas.
This announcement by Microsoft deepens its capabilities and makes the D365 Customer Insights platform more compelling. I expect this space to be competitive with the likes of Segment, Salesforce, Oracle, Treasure Data, and Adobe all participating. However, I am confident that Microsoft will execute against the market’s needs, and its platform will see considerable growth as CDP adoption rises.
Futurum Research provides industry research and analysis. These columns are for educational purposes only and should not be considered in any way investment advice.