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The biggest issue is stagnation. People are afraid of changing, and making things happen. If you are looking for a useful tool to increase revenue, I want to show you a noteworthy solution from Salesforce – Interaction Studio.

Investing in customer experience

Why is a professional tool important nowadays? According to Salesforce research, less than 25% of marketers are completely satisfied with their ability to deliver the right message using the right channel at the right time. These days, marketers want to do this, but they sometimes don’t know how and sometimes some people are just focusing on thinking of the known older way of doing marketing.

According to the last edition, State Of The Connected Consumer Report by Salesforce almost 80% of B2C consumers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services. The number increases to 85% in the B2B sector. This is clear as day that you don’t want to go losing your customers to the competition.

Interaction Studio – a real-time experience

Today I am going to introduce you to the Salesforce platform – Interaction Studio. You can use to improve your customer experience projects. Also, I will share with you an example of the architecture to better understand how all the pieces fit together in a platform like Salesforce Marketing Cloud. So, let’s get started!

Interaction Studio – one of the newest Salesforce’s app

Salesforce acquired Evergage in 2020 and rename it Interaction Studio. It is a solution that is part of Salesforce Marketing Cloud. It can be purchased as an add-on license and appears in the main Marketing Cloud menu.

For me, Marketing Cloud is one of the best platforms for creating a personalized customer experience. In the world of customer experience platforms, the ability to activate multiple communication channels such as email, mobile, SMS or digital advertising is critical but there was an important weakness within Marketing Cloud, and this is the connection with your website that is not the standard.

Fig. 2 Interaction Studio in the Marketing Cloud pannel
Fig. 2 Interaction Studio in the Marketing Cloud pannel

Interaction Studio is a web personalization tool that solves this issue in Marketing Cloud.

No doubt this is why Marketing Cloud has been recognized by Gartner as the best customer experience platform or digital hub.

It also serves to obtain a single view of the customer and to activate real-time different communication channels.

Everyone Wants to Be Treated Uniquely

As customers, we all wanted to be treated in a unique way when interacting with a brand or company. Up to 92% of customers and prospects expect a personalized experience. We are all unique and this need creates a major problem for marketing teams nowadays. As marketers, we can generate personalization but being able to do it in a scalable and consistent way and especially in real-time is difficult to achieve. We need to optimal tools to offer the best experience across digital and offline channels and use technology to make each interaction more relevant.

How can I create a personalized experience with Interaction Studio?

In Interaction Studio every User profile (Overview) have several different attributes which can be filled as the user is browsing or by any external system that’s sending data into Interaction Studio using one of the Identity Attributes.

Fig. 4 User profile in Interaction Studio
Fig. 4 User profile in Interaction Studio

You can think of Identity Attributes as almost as a digital wallet where you as a User might have been identified in a CRM system, let’s say with a Contact ID (you were created in Marketing Cloud and you have an SFMC Contact Key) or one of another specific internal identifiers. The important thing about this is that you can customize the attributes that are important to your business on a User-level and if that attribute is relevant for identification, you can mark it as an identity attribute.

The reason that Identity Attributes are so important is that we are looking for key attributes to merge user profiles that represent the same person. Often, we become disconnected in our marketer world because our customers are using different devices, they are coming back at different times, and we don’t have a way to join all those experiences together. With these Identities Attributes, we can merge profiles whenever we’re able to establish that link. This allows you to create a unified customer profile and segment your audiences in a way that makes sense and allows you to target specific groups of customers.

Here you can see which data is necessary as input data. What Interaction Studio does is just gather that data and process them into the output data which is the final product in a format of the next best action.

Input data vs Logic Engine and Output of the next best action

Some examples of input data are interactions from CRM, website page visits and Salesforce Marketing Cloud SMS or emails. This input is fed into Interaction Studio where it’s integrated and interpreted and then from there a decision is made and engagement happens.

In the engagement phase, a variety of messages can be communicated to the customer through preferred channels. This allows you to take into consideration past interactions and future decisions.

In this example above, you can see that Interaction Studio is connected to the website which will give you access to some new and improved functions. These new and improved functions include a unified customer profile (Unified User Profile), improve segmentation and targeting, improve journey builder features and trigger experiences and recommendations powered by Interaction Studio machine learning.

Creation an individual profil

Let’s have a closer look at the first and one of the most interesting functionalities of Interaction Studio which is the ability to create individual profiles and represent the user group data in a very visible manner.

This allows you to establish a discovery model and categorize individual data into affinities using social-demographic professional and engagement data as well as specific customer preferences. These functionalities are supported by data from other platforms like CRM, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, and websites. This is an excellent functionality for marketing teams as it provides data in a visual manner.

An individual profile
Fig. 8 An individual profile

Segmentation and targeting

Another important aspect of communicating with customers is segmenting them into specific groups for more meaningful targeting. The more sense your communication makes the more well-received it will be. Interaction Studio allows you to create segmentation and audiences without the need for coding which typically requires more technical expertise.

Add Segment
Fig. 9 Add Segment

Instead, it’s done simply by selecting attributes using the visual interface which is an appreciated alternative for non-technical teams. This segmentation for a customer journey can be done directly in the Interaction Studio module. This is something that can be done in Salesforce Marketing Cloud too, however, requires coding (SQL knowledge) and technical expertise.

Dashboard
Fig. 10 Dashboard

Interaction Studio provides a less technical solution. With clicks, you can create segmentation with data from all platforms. This segmentation can be done directly in Interaction Studio instead of Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

With analytics – even though you use Google analytics, the Interaction Studio platform is amazing at segmentation and allowed you to understand what types of people were visiting our site and their experiences will take next level with real-time interaction.

Use data and trigger tailor-made journeys

Another important feature of Interaction Studio is the ability to trigger journeys in Journey Builder Marketing Cloud. It is as simple as creating your segmentation and using it as an entry source for a journey in Journey Builder. If you add this to the ease of segmentation of the tool you can see that it allows much more agility when executing campaigns and customer journeys.

Fig. 11 Taylor-made journeys
Fig. 11 Taylor-made journeys

AI Recommendation ­– Interaction Studio Recipes

Interaction Studio receipts is the machine learning module of the Interaction Studio which provides the ability to create one-to-one personalization based not only on specific filters but also on algorithms with considering historical relationships. This allows us to personalize and optimize our interactions with customers. These recommendations can be used in the application of iPad, direct emails, Salesforce Marketing Cloud emails and other web platforms.

For example, retail companies can quickly personalize messaging that matches their audience’s needs, regardless of which channel they’re on and what device they’re using with AI to recommend the most relevant products to your customers based on previous purchase history, products they’ve shown interest in or articles they’ve read on your website – completely personalizing the customer experience and driving value to your business. Also, you will be able to give customer service the insight they need to optimize their interactions with real-time activity tracking for their concerns.

If a company already have a Salesforce Sales or Service Cloud users can benefit from seeing real-time recommendations or suggested next best actions when talking with customers directly from inside Sales Cloud or Service Cloud – ensuring all opportunities are surfaced, at the right time.

Finally, let’s review how Interaction Studio connects with Marketing Cloud, Sales Cloud and External websites.

Example architecture in Salesforce Marketing Cloud

To receive CRM data from the customers Interaction Studio connects with Salesforce Marketing Cloud. It uses CRM data together with Marketing Cloud engagement data to better segment customers and create personalized audiences. It also collects data from your website where it receives users’ activities.

Interaction Studio can activate different channels based on these data flow. For example, it can provide a unique and personalized experience for users browsing your website and synchronize with your email or mobile communications together. It can also launch new customer journeys for customers based on the customer’s affinities and preferences.

What cons of Interaction Studio have?

There’s not a ton to dislike about Interaction Studio. The prices are reasonable, the support is strong, and the platform has many features to allow a marketer to successfully conduct an A/B test, content, message customization, and more automated personalized ways of communication with one’s target audience. The whole platform is pretty complex, but it is understood that to use this type of platform you must have prior knowledge of A/B testing. For less technical users, there is a somewhat steep learning curve.

No one told that straight, but with Interactions Studio, you’re limited to using Chrome browser. If for any reason, Chrome isn’t working, then the extension that provides support for launching the Evergage Visual Editor at the website won’t be of much use if you need the visual editor.

And last that I notice in my short experience with Interaction Studio – UI is also very powerful but it can take time to learn. It’s definitely worth the effort, but it is something they need to improve.

Who can think about implemanting Salesforce Interaction Studio?

The most common users of Salesforce Interaction Studio are from Mid-sized Companies (51-1,000 employees) from such industries as Business Services, Finance, Manufacturing, Retail, Healthcare, Telecommunications, Hospitality and more. If you are looking for great software for real-time analysis that will help you to turn difficult tasks into simple ones. For example: help completely target and personalize your campaigns, and clients and predict their behaviours. It’s quite easy to configure and preview the experience.

You don’t need coding experience to create tests and experiences. The tool has a great support team, they are available at all hours and help organizations with strategy & everyday needs. Also, you will get assistance with the first campaign – we are with you every step of the way to make sure you leverage the platform as intended.

Basically, this is it! 😊 I hope that you have enjoyed this brief introduction and know more about Interaction Studio and Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

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Kamila Niziołek

Marketing Cloud Salesforce Consultant & Junior Software Engineer. She has a wide background in marketing with previous knowledge and experience in consultancy, digital marketing, UX, and frontend coding. For many years was associated with marketing but only when start working as Marketing Cloud Consultant she spread her wings, proving herself to be great at communicating with clients knowing how to understand the business needs in order to translate into technical requirements, an energetic team player with an eye for problem-solving and actually enjoy coding too. Privately, loves sports and travelling. In her free time, she likes action movies, inspiring books, music, and culinary discoveries.

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