Get to know Salesforce Interaction Studio

Evergage was found in 2010 by Karl Wirth with the vision of building the next generation customer experience (CX) platform – one that not only collects and analyzes data but acts on it in real time. Evergage was acquired by Salesforce in February 2020 and now is positioned as Interaction Studio within the Marketing Cloud platform. This personalization engine provides the solution of using individual user’s context to select, tailor and deliver immediate messaging across digital channels, which enables hundreds of leading companies to realize the dream of one-to-one personalization.

Today we say that we deliver personalized customer experience when it is designed using the collected customer data (such as past behavior, known attributes, etc.). Whereas one-to-one marketing was envisaged in 1993, how many marketers today could honestly say that they are delivering a truly personalized and one-to-one customer experience?

Whether you only consider building a solid personalization strategy, or already deliver personalized cross-channel experience to your customers, it is essential to have the right technology to support it. There are plenty of personalization platforms and tools on the market to choose from. 

According to Gartner’s “Magic Quadrant for Personalization Engines, 2020” Salesforce (Evergage) has been named a Leader for 3 years in a row.

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Personalization Engines 2020

Other Gartner Leaders should be also mentioned: Dynamic Yield and Emarsys.

Dynamic Yield is a platform that focuses on offering robust digital commerce personalization capabilities.

  • This personalization engine is quite strong at automatic creation of ‘predictive audiences’ based on deep learning algorithm that analyses customer past web behavior, delivers personalized recommendations, and even predicts customer’s next action or potential product interest.
  • Nevertheless, support of other marketing personalization use cases (despite digital commerce experience) is below average. There is also lack of data transparency – visibility into how data is used as well as verification of some specific recommendations. This data is cited by client references.

Emarsys is a personalization platform that provides a wide variety of customizable templates and supports creation of automated campaigns to accelerate time to value for the clients.

  • Among the strengths of the platform might be considered its machine learning models used for marketing personalization campaign optimization and product recommendations, as well as various out-of-box, vertical-specific reporting possibilities.
  • Emarsys has some issues with extensibility of the platform, due to some integration challenges between the platform and other MarTech stack. Moreover, customer experience touchpoints such as chatbots or digital kiosks are supported via APIs, and it also does not support native survey creation capabilities. 

Having this Leaders comparison information, let’s see how Interaction Studio differentiates on the market and how it could support your personalization strategy and optimization campaigns.

Interaction Studio – Evergage (Salesforce) can be purchased as a standalone solution as well as a part of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC). Therefore, in case you already use SFMC or Salesforce Service/Sales Cloud, it could be beneficial for you to take advantage of native integration within the Salesforce ecosystem.

Interaction Studio is particularly strong in delivering real-time (up to 30 milliseconds) decisioning and granular one-to-one optimization. In the list below you can find the main Interaction Studio capabilities and components.

Data Science support

Interaction Studio includes a data science environment to help citizen data scientists develop and test recommendation logic (recipes) that include a mixture of prebuilt or custom developed models and algorithms, along with business rules.

Machine-Learning algorithms

Sometimes there is a confusion between the terms ‘artificial intelligence’ (AI) and ‘machine learning’ (ML). Whereas AI is a broader field, including both ML and computer science, and performing tasks that normally require human intelligence (like speech recognition or language translation), ML in the context of personalization is used for computer programming to make intelligent decisions about which experience or engagement to show each person at the one-to-one level.

Interaction Studio uses ML algorithms in Einstein Decisions and Einstein Recipes.

  • Einstein Recipes – provide powerful personalization campaigns and product recommendations using Ingredients, Inclusions/Exclusions, Boosters and Variations.
  • Einstein Decisions – deliver next best action (NBA)/next best offer (NBO) for each individual engaging with the brand at any channel based on combination of rule-based decisioning and machine learning (ML).

Rule-based personalization

In Interaction Studio marketers can manually create and manipulate with business rules to deliver experiences and engagement to specific groups or segments of people. The simplest way to think about rule-based personalization is in the form of IF/THEN statements: IF a person falls into segment A, THEN show them experience X.

Cross-channel delivery

Interaction Studio supports preparation and delivery of personalized campaigns and product recommendations for the following channels:

  • Web – website optimization through Web SDK.
  • Email – open-time email campaign delivery.
  • Mobile App – in app personalization.
  • CRM – NBO/NBA for contacts and accounts.
  • Server-side – personalization campaigns at the server-to-server level.
  • Call Center
  • In-Branch: ATM, Kiosk, IVR, Console events

Integration possibilities

In the Salesforce ecosystem, Interaction Studio can be natively integrated with SFMC, Service/Sales Cloud, Commerce Cloud, Pardot, Tableau, Datorama and Einstein Analytics. You can bring in data from other third-party source with the help of ETL, API, or Interaction Studio Gears – pre-built connectors and webhooks.

It is not that easy to select the best mix of technology to execute a marketing strategy, whereas there will never be a single solution that marketers can use to address all their needs and drive all their activities. Now we see that customer data platform and personalization engine emerge as the latest cornerstone MarTech solution. Interaction Studio from Salesforce is one of the driving and growing leaders that not only collects and stores a huge amount of digital data, but also interprets it and activates it across channels and systems to deliver truly one-to-one personalized customer experiences.

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Ekaterina Obolenskaya

6x Salesforce certified Marketing Cloud Solution Architect and Developer, named Salesforce Marketing Champion 2020. Ekaterina is recognised as a tech-savvy leader and a real-time optimization expert (Evergage, Thunderhead).