The marketing world is becoming increasingly saturated with tools that promise automation and personalization, but often, one comes at the expense of the other. It’s counterintuitive, right? The more you personalize for individual consumers, the more time and resources it requires to create segments and rules.
But actually, automation and personalization can be two sides of the same coin — it is possible to achieve smart and predictive personalization without making all these sacrifices.
Let’s start by understanding the differences between marketing automation tools and personalization engines.
What Is Marketing Automation vs. Personalization?
Marketing automation tools allow you to save time on repetitive processes — like sending emails or newsletters, updating websites, and creating reports or dashboards. The main benefit of marketing automation (or what’s marketed) is that it frees up time and resources so you can focus your energy on planning, thinking strategically, and being innovative.
Some common examples of marketing automation in consumer marketing are:
- A simple welcome email when a consumer is registered in the CRM or through transactions/receipts
- A/B testing and pre-scheduling campaigns with enterprise marketing automation tools
While the benefits of marketing automation are clear, it does, unfortunately, have limitations when it comes to offering personalized content. Many of our partners are brands that offer pantry and personal care staples, and the obstacles they face with automation clouds (like Salesforce, Adobe, and Acoustic) are quite common:
- Creating customer segments isn’t scalable
Most automation clouds can create maybe 10 segment variations across 1 million unique users. This is just an average, but even if they can do more, it’s impossible to personalize to individual users, and they don’t have any predictive capabilities.
- Optimizing content creation and curation
Creating and curating content variations is a very manual process. The more segments you have, the more content variations you have to create. While predictive personalization can’t make creative for you, it can help you optimize the creative you have for different experiences to make sure that time isn’t wasted. It can also help you predict more specifically what type of creative you need for different segments and experiences. Unfortunately, most marketing clouds aren’t able to do this.
- Integration with other marketing tools
It’s difficult to find marketing automation solutions that integrate easily with other useful tools like personalization engines. So you end up having to choose between scalability with no predictive personalization and great recommendations from predictive personalization that aren’t scalable.
Because of this, marketers are now looking for ways to fuse automation tools with predictive personalization tools.
So how does predictive personalization work then?
Predictive personalization uses data science and the power of AI to help you create 1-to-1 experiences for your consumers. So you don’t have to use segments or create all those rules, and you can find something that’s compatible with the marketing automation solutions you’re already using. You can finally create more meaningful, relevant experiences because the AI can see patterns that are difficult for humans to find while analyzing data.
For example, I tend to make purchases quite sporadically and spontaneously, but near holiday seasons, when I shop for friends and family, I do a lot of research and make my purchases in advance. So it’s time-sensitive and important for brands to try to get ahead of my interests and habits to optimize conversions. Using a predictive AI tool (like Breinify) would enable retailers and businesses to send me recommendations and promotions in a timely manner so they can optimize my customer journey. Plus, I can take advantage of sales and be a happy consumer — so it’s a win-win.
Predictive personalization helps brands and retailers make the seemingly intangible aspects of consumer behavior more tangible, like changing interests or the impact of external events and time (as seen in the above example).
The trade-off with marketing automation tools is that while they make repetitive tasks more efficient, this level of personalization isn’t possible. However, using a marketing automation tool in conjunction with predictive personalization makes it possible to have the benefits of both — and helps companies engage with consumers in meaningful, effective, and relevant ways.
As marketers, we’re all aspiring to connect with our consumers in the most personalized and efficient way. There are many effective marketing automation tools out there, but as you think about personalizing experiences for consumers, it’s definitely a good idea to explore predictive personalization to complement your automation capabilities.
AI-driven predictive personalization tools like Breinify not only capture opportunities for conversion and engagement that are impossible for us humans to see — they also help you create relevant, meaningful relationships with your consumers.
To learn more about how Breinify can help you personalize digital experiences in an easy way, contact us today.