Meaningful Customer Interactions with Salesforce Marketing Cloud Personalization

Salesforce Interaction Studio is now Salesforce Marketing Cloud Personalization (MC Personalization). This post covers some personalization basics, then explains what the product does, its benefits and use cases, and how Search Discovery can help our clients take full advantage of all the platform has to offer.
Salesforce Interaction Studio is now Salesforce Marketing Cloud Personalization (MC Personalization). This post covers some personalization basics, then explains what the product does, its benefits and use cases, and how Search Discovery can help our clients take full advantage of all the platform has to offer.

Search Discovery offers a Quickstart solution designed to reduce time to personalization. We help you implement and power Salesforce Marketing Cloud Personalization in as little as six weeks!

What is personalization?

Personalization is challenging. It relies on data from and interaction across multiple channels and on sundry customer data including behavior, attributes, attitudes and preferences, and context, e.g., where they are at the moment they’re interacting with your brand, what time of year it is, or what the weather or traffic is like.

Plus, when personalization goes wrong at scale, it can go really wrong. Imagine sending out a million emails that have been incorrectly “personalized.” Imagine receiving a message on your phone that seems too calculated, too personal, too creepy. Ew.

For these reasons, personalization has remained aspirational for a lot of brands.

However, marketers have seen incredible results with personalization, including increased engagement, increased conversions, better response to discount offers, increased clicks per email, and increased email open rates as demonstrated by the chart below.

Powered by Salesforce Marketing Cloud Personalization (FKA Interaction Studio), personalization can lead to increased brand engagement, conversions, response to discount offers, clicks per email, and open rates.
Source: “Marketing Personalization: How CMOs Can Elevate Their Company’s Approach”

And consumers, increasingly, want to have the meaningful experiences that personalization can provide; they expect that brands understand and anticipate their needs; and they feel emotional connections to the brands they buy from most.

Customer attitudes demonstrate preference for personalization like the kind powered by Salesforce Marketing Cloud Personalization (FKA Interaction Studio).
Source: “Marketing Personalization: How CMOs Can Elevate Their Company’s Approach”

Tools like Salesforce Marketing Cloud Personalization are helping more brands get personalization right and to deliver personalized digital experiences at scale.

The platform, in combination with a certified Salesforce Partner like Search Discovery, can ensure that all of your relevant data sources are securely connected and integrated to deliver 1:1 interaction benefits at scale and across channels.

Not only can we easily stand up Personalization for clients, we can also help you integrate it with the rest of your martech stack and use it effectively and to scale. 

What is Salesforce Marketing Cloud Personalization (Interaction Studio)?

First, let’s clear up confusion about the platform’s name. ‘Interaction Studio’ is the name the tool has gone by for a while, but that name changed in April 2022 to ‘Salesforce Marketing Cloud Personalization’ or ‘MC Personalization’ and sometimes just ‘Personalization’ for short. We use those names interchangeably throughout this post, since the industry still hasn’t given up its affinity for ‘Interaction Studio.’

Whatever you call it, MC Personalization is a part of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud. It’s distinct from Marketing Cloud CDP (formerly called ‘Salesforce CDP’), but it does integrate with MC CDP and with other Salesforce Marketing Cloud Solutions, like Journey Builder and Email, Mobile, and Social Studio.

Salesforce acquired Evergage in 2020 to power its Interaction Studio solution for real-time personalization, offering marketers a single platform built on artificial intelligence (AI) to improve customer experiences, engagement, and loyalty. These capabilities made Interaction Studio a 2021 leader in Gartner’s Personalization Engines Magic Quadrant for the fourth year in a row.

Today, MC Personalization empowers real-time, one-to-one personalization and real-time interaction management (RTIM). This means that marketers can use Interaction Studio to deliver the optimal experience, targeted messaging, maximally relevant recommendations, or the next best action or offer to individual customers or prospects—at scale and in the moment.

What type of data does MC Personalization capture?

In order to deliver individualized interactions, MC Personalization captures data from your website, mobile apps, service/sales/call centers, email/campaigns, and on-property technology like ATM, kiosk, IVR, or console events.

The tool “listens” to all data from those inputs, “understands” the data, then “acts” to deliver personalization.

On your site, “action” might look like content or offers that move a prospect/client along the sales funnel. On mobile, that might look like in-app personalization or push notifications. Service/sales/call centers will get insights delivered, leads pushed, or tasks defined. Email and campaign actions include content personalization, funneling to the next best campaign or to an optimized Salesforce Journey. Finally, on-property actions might include a personalized ‘next best’ conversation or offer.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud Personalization (aka MC Personalization, fka Interaction Studio) draws from multiple data sources including Salesforce Marketing Cloud CRM to stage and operationalize data that you can activate across channels for one-to-one personalization at scale.

What does Marketing Cloud Personalization do?

The solution is a powerful decision engine that has four primary functions, which can be applied across email, website, and other use cases.

Capture Individual Insights

Deep behavioral tracking and data ingestion from various sources enables companies to truly understand each person’s affinities & intent.

Optimize the Experience with AI

Marketer-friendly, customizable algorithms are used to interpret all of that data and make decisions in real time so that every interaction is relevant at the 1-to-1 level.

Coordinate Engagement Everywhere

Everything you learn about someone by their interaction on one channel can be immediately factored into the next interaction in any other channel, whether online or offline.

Test & Analyze Experiences

A key to success is optimizing your personalization campaigns and customer engagement efforts through ongoing A/B testing, reporting and analysis, another key part of the MC Personalization solution.

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What are the benefits of MC Personalization?

Marketing Cloud Personalization offers benefits across the customer lifecycle. From the awareness through engagement and acquisition, the tool

  • Encourages discovery,
  • Improves engagement, and
  • Increases conversions/sales.

Once you’ve earned a customer, the tool helps you support them, cross-sell and upsell to them and enhance loyalty as it

  • Decreases cost to serve,
  • Drives cross and upsell opportunities, and
  • Improves retention.

Search Discovery offers a Quickstart solution designed to reduce time to personalization. We help you implement and power Salesforce Marketing Cloud Personalization in as little as six weeks.

What are some use cases?

Personalized omnichannel experiences

Marketing Cloud Personalization gathers data about your individual customers across channels and matches it to their unified customer profile (UCP), to listen, understand, and act to deliver personalized content in real time.

Data like current and past behavior and propensity to purchase trigger machine learning to automatically optimize relevant content to your customer, no matter how they are interacting with your brand or where they are in their journey.

Also, you can export customer segments from Interaction Studio for use in Marketing Cloud Journey Builder to place individual customers into journeys based on their actions or behaviors.

Personalized website experiences

Especially when a customer or prospective customer visits your site, you want to wow them by anticipating their needs and delivering relevant content.

With MC Personalization, your static website becomes dynamic. For example, it can show customers a customized home page or blog content that’s based on their page view or purchase history. Or, as they signal intent to exit a page, Interaction Studio can deliver customers popups or signup messaging.

Personalized email campaigns

According to a September 2021 survey conducted by Sapio Research for Airship, customers are more willing to share their email address than other personal information for the purposes of receiving personalized interactions and special incentives. Further, data show that personalized email content results in 41% increased clicks per email and 41% increased email open rates (source). Email personalization works.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud Personalization can adapt emails at open time informed by the customer’s latest actions, product purchases, or browsing history. This is huge, and possible to do whether your brand leverages Marketing Cloud Email Studio or not.

Reporting & analysis

Data collected by Interaction Studio can be used by Einstein AI to create “recipes” that power meaningful interactions based on customer profiles. Plus, automated optimization drives a/b testing that delivers real-time insights that you can leverage (also in real-time).

Customer service interactions

With the power to create, curate, distribute, share, monitor, and source your content with machine learning, data-driven customer service interactions extend beyond digital channels. Brands can use the MC Personalization console to provide teammates with customer data and next best recommendations, including content, product information, or offers.

How Search Discovery can help

Search Discovery is a certified Salesforce partner and has Accredited Personalization Professionals. We offer a breadth of services across data transformation to help brands use their data with purpose to drive business impact. Not only can we easily stand up Personalization for clients, we can also help you integrate it with the rest of your martech stack and use it effectively and to scale.

Our MC Personalization Quickstart solution is designed to reduce time to personalization. In about six weeks you’ll be able to

  • Implement personalization campaigns on two of your web pages and one of your marketing emails using Marketing Cloud Personalization’s OOTB templates, AI/ML recipes, and Recommendations
  • Show value in the first 90-days while gathering critical information to develop your roadmap to a complete personalization implementation.

When you’re ready to bring in more data to activate across marketing channels, our team—including experts in data engineering, business intelligence, digital marketing, data science, optimization, and analytics—is available to help enhance and customize your program.

It’s rare to work with a firm that understands system architecture, understands the analytics and AI powering the solution, and understands how to craft a long term personalization and optimization strategy. Search Discovery can be that unique, capacity building partner for you.

Connect with me today to take full advantage of all MC Personalization has to offer.

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