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Managing Multiple Brands in a Single CRM Environment

Some companies may need to manage multiple brands in a single Dynamics 365/CRM environment rather than having a separate environment for each unique brand. While this is certainly not an uncommon arrangement, if your organization chooses to go this route, you will want to make sure that each brand’s team is aware of one another’s operations and adheres to some CRM and marketing best practices.

In this example scenario, we will be using Farm Fresh Co. as our parent organization. They have a large marketing department that also manages three different child brands: Tomato Gardens, Harvest Grains and Green Ways Dairy.

As you configure your environment’s security, you may consider having separate business units for each brand and limiting the read (or view) privileges of certain users to the business unit of the brand they work for. This means that the Tomato Gardens staff would not be able to see the records of the Harvest Grains or Green Ways Dairy staffers. While that sounds like a quick and easy way to reduce clutter, it’s imperative that the staff have access to the same arsenal of leads, contacts and accounts to prevent the creation of duplicate records.

Keeping a clean CRM is good practice for both data management and marketing. Think of it this way: you should have a 1:1 correlation with a physical person and their digital representation in your CRM – be that as a lead or a contact. The same is true for account records. This isn’t just a ClickDimensions concept, but the principle around which Microsoft organized Dynamics 365/CRM. To help facilitate this practice, Microsoft built the duplicate detection and merge functionalities. This single record foundation, which uses a unique identifier (typically email), ensures all your data is readily available in one easily accessible place. So not only is the single record methodology important for keeping accurate data and statistics, but it makes navigating through CRM quicker and easier too. You can read more about Microsoft’s suggested duplicate detection here.

To circumvent the creation of duplicate records, you can create a business unit for your marketing department, then create CRM teams for each unique brand. So, if you’re sharing leads and contacts between teams, what’s the best way to segment your data by brand? Since ClickDimensions data seamlessly integrates into CRM, you can easily query all our records in CRM advanced finds and views.

First, set up email CNAMEs for your additional brands. Remember, the value stored in ClickDimensions Settings > DNS Settings is your default email CNAME. So, the CNAME for our parent brand, Farm Fresh Co., would go there. Our subsequent brands will have email CNAME records created under Settings > CNAMEs. More tips on configuring your CNAMEs in ClickDimensions can be found in this blog post.

DNS Settings

Next, create domain records for each of your websites.

Active Domains

Finally, create a custom field on your lead or contact entity form where you can capture lead source information.

Lead Source

We are going to use all these options to create a series of CRM views to segment our data. For this example, we are creating personal views. If you need these views to be accessible to multiple users or your brands’ teams, you can either share your personal view (you will find instructions on that process at the end of this post) or set these up as public views.

Let’s start with our sent email send records. By default, all your sent records will be in the Sent view together. Below, you can see that there is not a very discernable way to distinguish which email came from which brand, and all four of our brands are grouped together.

Sent View

However, you can set up a custom view to quickly and easily segment these records. We have versioned out views for Farm Fresh Co., Green Ways Dairy, Harvest Grains and Tomato Gardens. You can make as many views as needed for your company, too. To begin, start by clicking Create Personal View.

Personal View

Then, designate your view criteria. For email sends, we set:

Status > Equals > Inactive

Status Reason > Equals > Sent

Email CNAME > Equals > link.tomatogardens.org

You would change out the CNAME criteria as needed for your different views. Since the Farm Fresh Co. emails use our default email CNAME, you can set the criteria for that view to Email CNAME > Does Not Contain Data, since that field would be blank on the email send record.

View Email Sends

Be sure to use the Edit Columns button when making your own views to display any relevant statistics or related data. Once you have configured your columns to your liking, save your view and go back to your email send entity to check out the results.

View Email Sends

The same principle will apply for our web content records as well.

Views-Web Content

Here, we have set our view criteria for web content to the corresponding domain record.

Domain > Equals > greenwaysdairy.com

 

View Criteria_Domain

You could even customize this further with criteria for a certain record type, like Type > Equals > Form, if you just wanted to see forms for a given brand.

View_Web Content

The same principle would apply to any form submissions too. Set up a view to segment your posted forms, with the criteria being the domain record.

View Criteria_Posted Form

View_Posted Form

Now, we will revisit the Lead Source field that we mentioned at the beginning of this post. In all our Contact Us forms for each brand, we added a hidden field for lead source to update our corresponding field on the Contact record. That way, any new Contacts created from a form submission will be marked with the initial brand they expressed interest in. If you think your contacts will be submitting more than one of these forms, don’t set the form field to override in CRM. That way, you will retain the initial submitted value.

Hidden field

Configure your view to search for the desired contacts.

Lead Source > Equals > Green Ways Dairy

Lead source view

View_Contacts

These basic concepts can be applied to a variety of ClickDimensions records – posted surveys, events and even page views, just to name a few – and will help you operate more effectively across teams. To share any personal views you create with your CRM teams, click the Advanced Find icon to open the Advanced Find window, then click Saved Views.

Saved Views

Next, click Share.

Share

Click Add User/Team and add your desired collaborators through the Look Up menu.

Add

You can customize your collaborators’ privileges before finally sharing your view. Then, your team will see the same segmentation you built for yourself.

Happy Marketing!

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About the Author:

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Suzannah Howell is a ClickDimensions Marketing Success Manager.

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