True personalization — the kind that includes delivering 1:1 experiences to each and every customer at scale — is the key to driving results for your brand.

When done effectively, it’s what separates you from competitors in the mind of the customer. It can increase overall engagement, and lead to greater customer loyalty and CLTV.

Emarsys understands the importance of personalization, and it’s why we continuously strive to improve and innovate the personalization capabilities in our Customer Engagement Platform. In fact, for the third year in a row, Emarsys has been recognized as a Leader in the 2021 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Personalization Engines.

But why does artificial intelligence matter for personalization? And how can AI take your personalization to the next level?

Why AI Matters for Personalization

In a perfect world, you would personalize each and every customer communication yourself, even as your business scales from 100 to 1,000 to 100,000 customers.

But human-driven personalization doesn’t scale. And yet your customers are growing, and so are the number of channels they use to engage your brand. Now more than ever, uniquely tailored 1:1 communications are expected by all of your customers, so you’ll need to meet and exceed these expectations.

AI technology helps you with the heavy lifting of automating and executing across all your channels. With AI, you don’t have to be hindered by personalizing one channel at a time. You can personalize consistently, in real time, for the entire customer experience, across any and all channels.

Going from Basic to Superior AI

Simply having basic AI capabilities doesn’t mean much if the tech isn’t actually helping you achieve business results. You want AI that, when fully integrated into your customer engagement platform, can not only help you deliver the right message at the right time to the right customer (so that it’s more relevant, and thus, more likely to motivate an action), but also help you unearth actionable behavioral insights from your data.

Superior AI should optimize your marketing, taking you from reactive to proactive marketing, and also allowing you to better understand your customers.

True Personalization is Proactive, Not Just Reactive

It’s quite compelling when you can anticipate your customer’s needs before they’ve even articulated them. From a customer’s perspective, it’s the difference between “this brand is marketing to me” and “this brand truly gets me!” But for us mere humans, predictive marketing requires either a really good hunch, or a crystal ball.

On the other hand, AI — fueled by your data — uses self-learning algorithms and predictive analytics to inform and project events in the future, more accurately predicting customer behavior. It predicts the type of content that will be most relevant to a specific customer, and when and where it should be delivered, to make the most impact.

From your perspective as a marketer, this will look like advanced AI technology doing what it does best. From the customer’s perspective, it will feel like a uniquely tailored 1:1 experience with your brand.

Results Through Deeper Understanding of the Customer 

A personalized message or personalized piece of content takes on even more relevance depending on where the customer is in their lifecycle.

AI can be used to enrich customer profiles with predicted scores which tell you things about the customer, like when they’re likely to convert, churn, or simply remain inactive. This insight gives you a deeper understanding of the customer’s journey, and can be used to help support replenishment, re-engagement, churn reduction, and other campaign triggers.

Personalization in Action

It’s one thing to talk about personalization. It’s another when you actually hear real life brands incorporating advanced personalization into their marketing strategy to delight their customers and make a tangible, bottom-line impact.

We’ve seen first-hand the results our clients can achieve when using the personalization capabilities built into the Emarsys Customer Engagement Platform. We believe it’s the satisfaction and success of our clients that led to our recognition this year in the Leaders quadrant of the 2021 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Personalization Engines.

Here are just a few examples from the brands Orlebar Brown, The Home Depot, and JOY Shop:

[Personalization] applies to our business, but it also applies to how we speak to our customers on a day-to-day level as well. One of the very early difficulties we had when it came to personalization was just using basic information, such as a customer’s name, to be able to personalize our emails and other communications. But we’re able to do so much more now as a result of using Emarsys and looking at the different systems and how they integrate with one another. Really, I think it starts [with] where a customer is [at] in their life cycle. So you make use of whether a customer is new, whether they’re active, becoming unengaged, and when they become inactive as well.”

Sebastiano Elia Orlebar Brown
Sebastiano Elia
Head of CRM & Customer Insight, Orlebar Brown

We’ve been using [data] integration through the Emarsys suite [and] Emarsys has helped a lot in order to map all the different fields in the databases. We integrated services like invoicing systems. We integrated the CRM for professional customers. We integrated the website, newsletter, the blog that we have, social networks, and so on… We’ve been using this to deliver a personalized product offering [across] different channels. So [with] the help of Emarsys, we can put this personalization effort out there on our emails, on our website, on Facebook and Google with CRM ads feature. That’s how we’ve been approaching [personalization] for the last two to three years.”

Carlos Roberto Lopez Home Depot
Carlos Roberto López
Marketing + E-Commerce Director, The Home Depot Mexico

“That’s the amazing thing, that we can set this up with the tactics and the automation, [and it’s] easily done for us. But it still feels like it’s such a personalized and heartfelt JOY way of communication that actually becomes personalized… Emarsys really enables us to be personalized on a really true level. Of course, that demands that we actually do know a little bit more about the [customers], but that’s also part of the Emarsys setup … they help us learn even more about the [customers]. Then we can do this personalization. And then the second part is that it’s so efficient and I don’t have to employ a whole team of CRM agents who are going to sit and communicate. I can do it on my own just using the [platform].

sofia valentin JOY shop
Sofia Valentin
Owner and Head of Sales & Marketing, JOY Shop

Final Thoughts

Many marketers want to provide a superior degree of personalization to their customers, but not all of them can. Why? They are limited by their technology. 

Having the right tech and tools is a critical piece of the personalization puzzle. Without it, you as the marketer can’t provide the satisfying 1:1 experiences your customers expect and demand

That’s why we work so hard to make sure our clients have the best personalization capabilities possible. And although there are a multitude of reasons why we believe SAP Emarsys is recognized as a leader in the Gartner 2021 Magic Quadrant for Personalization Engines, our AI functionality is at the core.

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