In the past year, marketers have faced a remarkable amount of change. From upending their carefully crafted marketing plans to transitioning to entirely digital strategies and leveraging new technologies, marketers had to skillfully adapt to a new pandemic-induced reality to meaningfully connect with customers.

Now well into 2021 – and more than a year since the onset of the pandemic – marketers whose organizations use Microsoft Dynamics 365 have begun to shift out of COVID survival mode and are now looking ahead, strategizing to address the challenges of today’s new business landscape where digital everything is here to stay. In order to craft an impactful marketing strategy that engages customers and impacts the bottom line, marketers should dedicate attention to five key elements this year.

1. Focused Tactics

Microsoft Dynamics marketers today are using a wide variety of marketing tactics, resulting in a wide range of effectiveness. By examining tactics deployed in the overall strategy – including what is and isn’t working – marketers can identify opportunities to expand their audience engagement efforts, achieve their goals, and better contribute to organizational performance.

According to a recent ClickDimensionssurvey, 99% of Dynamics marketers point to email marketing as the most impactful tactic supporting overall success. Other impactful tactics include content marketing, marketing analytics, events and campaign automation. Ultimately, marketing leaders should prioritize goal setting and determine the best tactics that support those goals.

2. Marketing Budget

With an abundance of tactics at a marketer’s fingertips, every marketing dollar must be thoughtfully allocated. This is especially true in 2021, as many organizations have faced pandemic-induced marketing budget cuts in the past year. While that alone is challenging, there’s reason to be hopeful for the future. Gartner’srecent Annual CMO Spend Survey uncovered 73% of surveyed CMOs expect COVID-19’s negative economic impacts to be short-lived, meaning that while budgets took a cut in 2020, they are expected to bounce back in 2021.

This year, it is important to evaluate marketing budgets both realistically and carefully, while identifying the items that contribute directly to revenue. A few buckets to consider include marketing technology, lead generation, brand awareness and management, content creation, and website and e-commerce.

3. Team Integration

While sales and marketing have worked together over the years, it is no longer enough to be merely aligned. To thrive in a post-COVID era, sales and marketing must now become integrated. This means tools, tactics and technology must work together to drive revenue. According to MarketingProfs, organizations with tightly aligned sales and marketing functions enjoy 36% higher customer retention rates. Additionally, sales and marketing alignment leads to 38% higher sales win rates.

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