Data

Salesforce Interaction Studio

Personalisation at scale to deliver data-driven Next Best Actions (NBA) and Next Best Offers (NBO) with automated customer journeys using Salesforce Interaction Studio.
8 minute read
By Bede Feltham

Article written by:

With every new phase of technology led marketing there are new buzz words and acronyms for us to take on board, digest and decide their relevance and validity to our cause. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning are two such terms thrown around with abandon promising to deliver part of the new marketing landscape. When wedded to terms such as ‘journey orchestration’ and ‘decision engine’, we are promised delivery to the nirvana of, ‘the right message to the right person, in the right channel at the right time’.

This promise is being taken on by tools such as Salesforce’s Interaction Studio, previously Evergage, who they acquired in Q4 2019, as a core part for their Marketing Cloud, that would enable brands to enhance their multi-channel journey offering by delivering 1:1 personalisation at scale.

Salesforce Interaction Studio

Interaction Studio empowers marketers to visualise real-time journey analytics and personalize the consumer experience at scale on all owned channels, both online and offline.

With Lifecycle Insights, brands can view the macro consumer-led journey and drill-down into touchpoints for deeper touchpoint analysis to see what is working and what needs improvement.

Real-time offer management allows marketers to deliver the most valuable consumer offer, content or message when it matters most to the consumer...immediately. Campaign Orchestration connects messaging and next best actions across all touchpoints while allowing brands to amplify critical messages by pausing less relevant offers, messages and journeys.

Where are you on the Personalisation Framework?

Whilst there is ambition for many organisations to deliver automated journey orchestration it helps to understand where they are on this personalisation framework. Very often there can be a misperception from Senior Management within the organisation that they are ‘running’ and ‘ready to fly’ when in fact they are still just ‘walking’. It is our job as strategic partners to navigate this and to work with customers to identify where they actually are and how we can get them to where they want to be by combining technical know-how with customer strategy and vision.

Personalisation Framework

Figure: Personalisation Framework

Crawl

The first gate is entry level, for those organisations who are just getting going with their MarTech, usually typified by a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) such as data triggered journeys or communications. In the Salesforce Marketing Cloud world these would be served by Email Studio applying simple campaign led communications.

Walk

As we build on that initial foray in to targeted email campaigns, we enhanced this with multi-channel data triggered journeys, using Journey Builder, developing a more sophisticated approach to managing customer relationships through the smart use of first party data. Most clients are in this space, developing proposition and supporting these with technical, data, analytical and marketing teams.

Run

For those clients that are really running, where they are using other Salesforce Marketing Cloud Studios and Builders such as Advertising studio to support conversion funnel paid for media as well as the GA360 Connector to develop ‘nudge journeys’ to improve the Customer Experience (CX) based on their interaction with content on their respective websites. This limited Next Best Action (NBA) naturally leads towards the use of AI and a decision engine to start personalisation at scale.

Fly

So where does this leave us for those organisations that are ready to fly? If they are indeed already ‘running’, then personalisation at scale with Interaction Studio can be a natural next step. Interaction Studio delivers Next Best Action (NBA) and a central decision engine using AI to ‘learn’ from customer data so that, the right message can be delivered to the right person, in the right channel at the right time.

Image: Personalisation Framework with SFMC

Image: Personalisation Framework with Salesforce Marketing Cloud

You have to Start somewhere and we Start with a Hypothesis or Use Case

One of the first things we ask are questions about our client’s business.

“If I personalised my offer will it impact my numbers?” or “Will this blog article lead to higher registration page CTR?”

This approach is used to improve and measure the success of our customers marketing efforts. Interaction Studio is real-time personalisation and interaction management that help your customers learn what improves their marketing efforts whilst providing a better Customer Experience (CX).

A View of the Salesforce MarTech eco-system

Most organisations know which channels their customers and business come through and which ones they serve them by. A simple mapping exercise through a simple conversion funnel and loyalty ladder, by channel, shows those touch points where customers engage. You can see below how each Salesforce Cloud including Marketing Cloud supports each of these touch points in their customers’ journey with their brand.

Figure: Conversion Funnel and Onboarding Ladder with Channel Touch Point

Figure: Conversion Funnel and Onboarding Ladder with Channel Touch Points

Whilst each organisation’s channel mix is unique, this model can be applied to most companies especially when we overlay the different Studio’s and Builder’s that make up Salesforce Marketing Cloud and how they support each of these channels.

The key focus for this article is Interaction Studio, which as you can see in the diagram below can become the decision engine for your marketing efforts enabling real-time decisioning on optimal journeys for each individual customer based on their data and interactions with your brand across numerous touch points.

Figure: Conversion Funnel and Onboarding Ladder with SFMC over laid

Figure: Conversion Funnel and Onboarding Ladder with SFMC over laid

In Summary: Your path to Personalisation at Scale

So, what are the key takeaways for you and your customers as you think about your path to personalisation at scale? Here are the takeaways from a number of webinars we have hosted:

  • It's all about the data and without good quality data and insight, you're just another person with an opinion. Interaction Studio is no different and relies on good quality data. A key advantage for Interaction Studio is that it utilises data from the broader Salesforce Marketing Cloud MarTech stack.
  • Customers need help on their 'journey' through the Crawl, Walk, Run, Fly Framework which was presented. Where are your clients now? Where do they think they are now? Where do they want to get to?
  • How they do that can be supported with experienced partners like Gravitai for the Technical Implementation and ekino Havas for the Customer Strategy, Customer Experience (CX) and strategic vision.
  • A turn-key Centre of Excellence model works best with the knowledge asset being developed in-house by the customer supported through the initial set up by Partners such as Gravitai and ekino.
  • It's still early days for most organisations with Personalisation at scale and Next Best Action being aspirations but they know they have to and want to get there.
  • A good implementation Partner knows how to implement Interaction Studio the right way. An outstanding Partner knows how to take a client from crawling to flying.
  • Interaction Studio is a very powerful, versatile tool, but it can be easily underutilised. For an Interaction Studio programme to succeed it's always key to define a roadmap that ensures the client will be making the most of it, both in terms of functionalities and ROI.

If you would like to find out more about how ekino and Gravitai can help you with your path towards Personalisation at scale with Interaction Studio, then please contact us.

Bede Feltham
Digital Strategy Director, ekino London.
Data-driven, digital marketing professional who has passionately followed a hybrid career path, focusing on where technology and marketing meet.