Getting the most of the Campaign entity in Dynamics 365

When working on any marketing project with a client, I am most always posed with the following question: “How do I find out what my return on investment is for a given marketing effort?”. The end goal of every marketing campaign is usually the same – to generate leads and realise revenue. To understand what our ROI is for a particular campaign or set of marketing assets, we need a central location to house and calculate all of that data. This is where the Campaign entity from Dynamics 365 CE comes into play.

The Campaign entity in Dynamics is, in my opinion, often underutilized and overlooked but is a highly effective tool when looking to manage, analyse and report on a specific marketing effort. In this blog post I will take a look at some of the common ways the Campaign entity can be used.

What is the Campaign Entity?

But first, what is the Campaign Entity? Simply put: It is an out of the box entity that comes with the Sales app for Dynamics. I like to think of it as an umbrella under which a marketer can tie all of their different marketing assets together such as their marketing emails, web visits, generated leads. Once we have all of this information in one location, we can start to tie outgoing dollar values to our marketing efforts and compare that to our incoming or potential incoming revenue via generated leads and opportunities. For a more in depth look at the Campaign entity, I recommend reading through the CRM Book section on Campaigns.

An example of a customised Campaign record

How to Tie Records to the Campaign Entity

Now we’ve got a better understanding of what the campaign entity is, we need to start associating some data to the campaign record to realise its full potential. Out of the box, many different entities already have an established relationship to the Campaign entity. Some of these entities include:

  • Marketing Lists
  • Leads
  • Contacts
  • Opportunities

If you’re using ClickDimensions as your marketing tool of choice, all of their entities have a built in Campaign field that makes tying back Emails, Email Events, Web Visits, Posted Records super simple and means reporting is a breeze with no customisations required.

An example of an Email Send tied to a Campaign Record

If you have any additional entities that need to be tied to the campaign, these can easily be customised by adding a relationship from the custom entity to the campaign entity. Now let’s look a a few ways we can use this entity to our advantage.

Budgeting

The campaign entity can be used for keeping track of spending and revenue in a central location. Once your entities are tied back to the correct campaign, we can start to use a combination of Roll Up fields to track numbers of specific records (such as number of emails sent) and apply a dollar value to that number. This methodology can be applied to both costs and revenue. The campaign entity also has an estimated revenue field vs. an actual revenue field that can also be used to estimate pipeline. One way of doing this is to measure your estimated revenue by leads generated and actual by related closed opportunities

If your company is using the Price List functionality in Dynamics, you can also tie a specific price list to a campaign as a way of assigning special prices in the event of a special offer campaign.

Tracking Reach and Exposure

When all of your records are connected back to the same campaign, we can build out a picture of how our campaign is performing and how far it is reaching. I personally like to create a separate tab on the entity to build out a mini dashboard to display these numbers. This gives us a nice instant visual representation of our campaign at a glance.

Activity Planning

The campaign entity also has a section dedicated to planning. This allows a marketer to easily log what activities for the campaign have taken place and what is left to do. Having all of these in one central location allows for visibility across the team on activities planned and completed.

In Conclusion…

The campaign entity is a really easy way of tracking, organising and evaluating your marketing efforts in one spot. They’re quick and simple to set up and make reporting a breeze! In upcoming blog posts I will be exploring the Campaign entity in more detail including some tips on how to implement some of the processes discussed here.

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