Campaigns from start to finish
Marketing campaigns can span months, years, and dozens of tasks and activities. Here’s one
example of how a marketing team can use Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 to plan, run, and track
its campaigns from start to finish.
A new product launches
Benjamin is the marketing manager for Adventure Works, a company that designs and
manufactures a wide range of bicycles. Ben’s company is launching a new, affordable bicycle –
the AW1234 – targeted at urban and suburban commuters. To support the launch of this bike,
Ben and his manager Julia want a comprehensive marketing campaign with collateral for
mailings, print media advertising, and sponsorship of a local event. They also want to make sure
they can keep track of everything in one place.
Plan for success
It’s January, and the launch of the AW1234 bike is about six months away, at the beginning of
summer. Well-rested from the holiday season, Ben begins identifying the planning tasks he and
his team will need to perform in order to develop a successful marketing campaign.
Ben starts Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 and creates a new campaign. In the Marketing area of
the application, he clicks Campaigns, and then he clicks New. Ben names his campaign and
gives it a status of Proposed for now. With the bicycle’s product launch scheduled to coincide
with the beginning of summer, Ben sets the start date for the campaign to March 21 and the
end date to September 21 – he wants the campaign to coincide with the peak outdoor season in
For step-by-step instructions on the options available when you set up a basic
campaign, first click New on the Actions toolbar in the Campaigns area. On the Help
menu, click Help on This Page. In the Help pane, click Create or edit a campaign.
Scroll down to read the step-by-step instructions.
After saving the basic campaign, Ben can begin adding his planning tasks and campaign
Planning tasks are Microsoft CRM tasks associated with a specific campaign. For the collateral,
advertising, and events that are part of this campaign, Ben and Julia have identified the
following planning tasks:
• Identify collateral pieces to be created.
• Identify advertising channels and supporting materials.
• Contact media channels to reserve time or space for advertising.
• Contact local charity to confirm annual sponsorship of 25-kilometer charity bike race.
• Review and approve collateral and advertising.
Campaign activities are similar to tasks, but include additional, campaign-specific information,
such as budgets and vendor names. Ben has identified the following early campaign activities:
• Create or refine target marketing lists.
• Contact design agency to request creation of collateral pieces and advertising materials.
Ben will add additional campaign activities as he and his team mark these initial tasks and
activities as completed in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. As he creates his tasks, Ben delegates some
tasks by assigning them to other members of his organization. For example, he asks Adventure
Works’ PR representative to contact the charity, and Julia will approve the collateral pieces, as
For step-by-step instructions on creating new tasks, first click Planning Tasks in your
campaign and click New. On the Help menu, click Help on This Page. In the Help
pane, click Create or edit an activity. Scroll down to read the step-by-step
For step-by-step instructions on creating campaign activities, click Campaign
Activities, click New, and then click Help on This Page on the Help menu. In the
Help pane, click Add an activity to a campaign.
An important early campaign activity is to create or refine the marketing lists that each piece of
collateral and advertising will support. In the Marketing area, Ben clicks Marketing Lists,
reviews the existing lists to see how they might be reused for this campaign, and concludes that
no new lists are necessary – he’ll just use his “All Retailers,” “All Local Customers – E-mail,” and
“Repeat Customers” lists for now. (Ben knows he’ll need to create a new list to manage follow-
up responses to the campaign, but he can do that later, after the campaign has begun.)
Implement the plan
As Ben and his team complete each planning task and campaign activity, the campaign begins
to take shape. Ben and Julia can use the Campaign Performance report to track the progress
and completion status of tasks and activities in Ben’s campaign. Later in the process, Ben can
take advantage of additional information the report provides, including all the dates, targets,
definitions, responses, and financial returns from the campaign.
After six weeks, Adventure Works has worked with the design agency to create a range of
collateral and advertising items to support the campaign:
• Brochures for retailers
• Postcards for existing customers
• Two-page ad for the free weekly newspaper available at bus stops
• Branded water bottle labels for the charity bike race
• Multi-purpose banners for conventions, the bike race, and other events
• Booth design for events
• Posters for “guerilla” urban marketing
In Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0, Ben adds each of these items as sales literature. In the Sales
area, Ben clicks Sales Literature, and then clicks New. Ben can identify himself as the
employee contact for the materials, and he can specify an expiration date to make sure the
collateral isn’t used after the end of the campaign.
For step-by-step instructions on creating sales literature, in the Sales Literature area,
click Help on This Page on the Help menu.
Adventure Works has also partnered with a local charity to sponsor an annual 25K bike race in
the city. The event requires banners, a booth setup, and giveaway items such as co-branded
bottled water, postcards, brochures, and a two-page newspaper ad in glossy poster form. After
the event is over, Nancy, the sales manager for Adventure Works, and her sales team will follow
up on the phone with people who signed up to receive more information.
The campaign heats up
Summer is just around the corner. With many of the planning tasks complete and some
campaign activities well underway, Ben can begin creating and scheduling core campaign
activities. Based on the work he’s done so far, Ben wants to create the following campaign
Send boxes of brochures to retailers using the “All Retailers” marketing list in a mail merge in
Microsoft Office Word.
• Send postcards announcing the new product to the “Repeat Customers” marketing list.
• Send an e-mail blast about the 25K charity bike race to all local customers.
• Send the two-page ad to the newspaper.
• Hire college students to plaster posters in high-traffic areas downtown.
• Attend the charity bike race (with booth, banner, water bottles, posters, and other collateral).
• Follow up by phone with leads generated at the event.
Campaign activities in Microsoft CRM include a Type list you can use to distinguish between
many of these activities. For example, Ben can categorize his brochure and postcard mailings as
“Content Distribution” and telephone calls after the event as “Direct Follow-Up Contact.”
Ben can also create a Microsoft Office Excel worksheet of all the leads generated from the event
and then import the list into Microsoft CRM using the Bulk Import Wizard. To start the Bulk
Import Wizard, on the Tools menu, click Import, and then follow the on-screen instructions.
Track progress and measure success
On the first day of summer, AW1234 bikes arrive in bicycle shops throughout the region. The
campaign has been underway for three months already, and the salespeople say that interest is
high. They’ve begun sending out campaign responses using Microsoft CRM, and some leads are
being converted to accounts. The salespeople may be happy with how busy they are, but how
are things really going? What tools do Ben and his team have to validate the water cooler buzz
from the sales team?
Even though the launch is out of the way now, Ben has three more months of tasks and
activities planned after the AW1234 hits the streets to track and manage the marketing
campaign. For example, Ben and Julia need to crunch some numbers. In addition to the
Campaign Performance report described earlier, at each stage of the campaign, Ben has other
reports he can use to track progress and measure success:
The Campaign Activity Status report displays a summary for one campaign, including planned
and actual time parameters, parent campaign details, and definition status.
The Campaign Comparison report identifies Adventure Works’ most and least successful
campaigns. The report compares two campaigns based on parameters such as cost
effectiveness and number of responses.
For step-by-step instructions on working with reports in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0, in the
Workplace area, click Reports, and then click Help on This Page on the Help menu.
Wrap it up
By September, the AW1234 launch campaign is winding down. Sales continue to be strong. With
a successful campaign using Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 under his belt, Ben looks forward to
the holiday season campaign with confidence.