Dynamics 365 – Unknown Unknowns

The Dynamics 365 MVP Summit recently wrapped recently in Bellevue, and there is a huge wave of new stuff coming on the 1st of April. Unfortunately, I can’t talk abut any of it. But I can talk about some issues that will be addressed for Small and Midsized Businesses (SMB).

The Concept of “Knowns”

I did not create this concept, nor was it created by some highfalutin Philosopher, instead it was a quote by Donald Rumsfeld, a former US Secretary of Defense, decades ago, as the “Cold War” was winding down. The specific quote was:

“Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”

Known Knowns

Within that short paragraph above, are the keys to your business’ potential demise. Starting with the Known Knowns. You go to work each day with a set of “Facts” that surround your business. The fact that you have a payroll obligation, the fact that a customer signed an agreement this week, the fact that your made or lost money on some deal. You are literally enveloped in Facts. Whether they are good or bad, Facts are actionable. Many facts are predictable. The fact that you historically close 30% of your opportunities, can be used to predict the future. Known Knowns are certainly not all good. For example, knowing that your main competitor has advertised a permanent 50% price reduction. But at least Knowing this, allows you to take some action… even if it is just to throw in the towel.

Known Unknowns

Everyday, somebody visits your website and submits a Contact Us form. At every event, people put business cards in your fishbowl. People call your toll-free number to request information. People submit cases with your helpdesk. People engage with your online chat tools to ask questions. While you may not “Know” these people, you at least know who they are. These are the Known Unknowns. Knowing who they are allows you to take action. You can respond directly to them… in context. You can add them to your marketing database, send them a brochure, respond to their chat or ticket. We count on these Known Unknowns to grow our businesses.

Unknown Unknowns

Also everyday, somebody visits your website, and just looks around. People read your posts without commenting. Your product or service is being discussed on social media, by people with handles like @youdontknowme. Recently James Phillips, head of Dynamics 365, has been keen to say, “Dynamics 365 allows you to do things that were not possible previously“. One of those things, in Dynamics Marketing, is the ability to track these Unknown Unknowns, across the entire spectrum. Turning what was previously in-actionable, into actionable intelligence. It really is quite amazing.

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing is just now rolling out to customers, to learn how you can “Know the Unknown” start here: https://dynamics.microsoft.com/en-us/marketing/overview/

Add your thoughts below, just don’t pimp your stuff on my blog 🙂


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