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Pillars Of Personalization: 5 Ways To Drive Personalization At Scale With AI

Pillars Of Personalization: 5 Ways To Drive Personalization At Scale With AI

AI has been hot, hot, hot! Since late 2022, it’s been all the rage in the news, and the whirlwind of articles and controversy and hype hasn’t let up.

There’s even been a new EU AI Act recently released (and you can read our perspective on it here).

Here’s the thing, though: AI isn’t new.

Since 2014, our Predict feature — which supports email, web, and mobile channels — has used machine learning to better understand buyer behavior and produce product recommendations to enhance marketing campaigns, making them more relevant and meaningful. We’re helping brands analyze their data and turn it into actionable insights, so they can continuously optimize customer experiences to drive loyalty and revenue.

We cover AI as one of the core foundations to omnichannel personalization in our latest ebook, but read on to find out what’s new in the world of AI-driven personalization. Also, get real examples of how brands are putting AI into action to create personalization experiences across channels, and do it at a scale that’s beyond what manual human labor can reasonably achieve.

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5 Examples of Applying AI Personalization in Marketing

Perhaps the greatest benefit of applying AI in marketing is the ability to provide personalization that would be completely infeasible for a human to accomplish at even a small scale, let alone at the enterprise level.

AI is an enhancement to everything you’re doing already. It can help you predict who, when, where, and how to engage your customers.

1. Drilling into AI analysis of the customer journey, with Total Tools

Total Totals, an Australian retailer for professional tools, serves an array of customers engaged in different types of trade. To personalize their marketing campaigns and reach the right customer with the right message, Total Tools uses Customer Lifecycle Analytics to develop more engaging, more relevant messages for different customers, based on where they’re at in the customer lifecycle (e.g. lead, first time-buyer, active customer, etc.). They saw a 16% increase in open rate on optimized campaigns in comparison with non-optimized campaigns.

AI Insights and Customer Lifecycle analysis
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You can catch the complete story from Total Tools.

2. Toe-tally awesome AI-based recommendations, with Happy Socks

In small, store-based businesses where a sales representative recognized and knew their regular customers, they could easily recommend products based on their knowledge. However, scaling up doesn’t mean you have to tone down your personal touch. With AI personalization, you can make relevant product recommendations, so your global customers feel like they’re one of your regulars.

Happy Socks is committed to providing that personal touch. This ecommerce brand makes personalized product recommendations based on AI analysis and region. Taking it a step further, they used Emarsys Scripting Language (ESL) along with personalization tokens to ensure messages were even more relevant, adjusted for language, currency, and location information available about the customer.

Happy Socks uses personalization to engage customers

Check out the Happy Socks story here.

3. Preventing customer churn by design using AI, with BrandAlley

BrandAlley is a retailer for designer clothes. They were able to get clear insights into where in the customer lifecycle their customers were lapsing, and they wanted to avoid the challenge of winning back lapsed customers.

The answer to preventing churn was AI, which helped BrandAlley identify the pivotal time to draw that customer back and engage them with personalized messages or offers. Their program for preventing churn saw a 24% increase in conversion thanks to AI-driven personalization.

“What AI did was to tell us when to communicate with those people, having a 1:1 conversation, having that freedom of actually reaching customers in that really great moment in time… it has delivered us a lot more revenue.”

– Head of Marketing, BrandAlley

Watch a 2 minute video on BrandAlley’s story.

4. Cue the in-store AI product recommendations, with CUE Clothing

AI is a digital wonder. It’s a game-changer for how we interact with brands online. But the name of the game in modern marketing is omnichannel personalization, which includes both offline and online channels. Fortunately, AI isn’t confined to e-commerce alone.

CUE Clothing is blazing the path forward to bring AI-driven personalization to life in-store as well as online.

“Being able to implement these customer experiences really comes down to the foundations we had in place with a unified e-commerce solution, and its ability to execute marketing automation across all touchpoints. It’s about bringing the recommendations in-store so we can create sticky retail experiences post-visit. It’s about providing upsell opportunities with the AI recommendations for click and collect and within our styling sessions to make sure that we have a curated product range ready for the customers. And it’s our key partners that enable this.”

– Chief Innovation Officer, CUE Clothing

Additionally, during our Power to the Marketer Festival last year, Tom Bird, Head of Customer Engagement for Emarsys, shared a little about how CUE Clothing is empowering sales associates to help customers create wish lists on the spot in stores. Using data from these wish lists, CUE Clothing created a predictive model enabling smarter decisions around when and what to stock.

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Learn more about the strategies CUE Clothing is using to drive business forward.

5. When in Rome, use AI for email personalization, with Luisaviaroma.com

Luisaviaroma.com is an Italian luxury fashion retailer, and the brand achieved a 900% increase in automated email revenue. That might be difficult to accomplish under normal circumstances, but the brand used AI to reveal key information about their customers. Luisaviaroma.com uses data processing and Smart Insights to uncover key customer information, such as purchase history and optimal send time, which they map to email automations.

In the single customer view below, note the data available on optimal timing and purchase intent. These predictive analytics enable automated segmentation and personalization, so that the brand can provide more relevant and timely communications, which customers today expect and demand.

AI at SAP Emarsys: Features and Insights

We’ve been empowering marketers with AI for years, and it’s only getting better. One of our company values is “we never settle,” and for that reason we’re always looking to expand our capabilities and deepen our knowledge.

Existing AI capabilities 

Our AI capabilities aren’t theoretical. They’re being used by marketers today, right now, every second that commerce and campaigns are happening. Our predictive AI is helping provide advanced, actionable insights about customer behavior that then inform the AI-driven segmentation, so your customer segments can stay current and your messages on-target.

Plus, we’ve made sure to weave this functionality throughout our customer engagement platform for ease of use.

Emarsys includes pre-built Tactics that, quite frankly, just make life easier for marketers. These Tactics are automations designed by the Emarsys team, and each one is based on best-practice programs created by hundreds of our customers. They’re easy to apply and also customizable.

Newsflash: AI and Tactics go hand-in-hand.

Many of our Tactics have an AI version that uses an AI segment relevant to the use case. AI supports personalization by applying segmentation based on predicted customer behavior with channels and content. Neat, huh?

Available AI tactics include Welcome (New Contacts), Abandoned Cart, Abandoned Browse, anniversary-related tactics, numerous post-purchase tactics, tactics for first-time buyers, lead engagement, winback, just to name a few. Tactics that are AI-led or AI-supported are available for every stage of the buyer journey.

AI tactics

New AI features coming soon

Our product release for February included AI Subject Line Generator, currently in pilot stage. This feature doesn’t just take one inputted subject line and throw back some slight alterations at you – it’s much more than that. The AI Subject Line Generator analyzes the content of your campaign so it can generate multiple engaging and relevant subject line options. Furthermore, in the spirit of empowering marketers, it alsoThe feature also gives users the ability to input natural language prompts and set baseline instructions to fine-tune subject lines that fit their use case perfectly.

And, we’ve just announced the pilot for another new feature, AI Product Finder.  With it, marketers will be able to intuitively search their brand’s product catalog via keywords and/or natural language prompts (e.g. find the top three best-selling products that are on sale). Not only will it quickly locate the most suitable products, even from an extensive catalog, but it will enable marketers to seamlessly incorporate them into their campaigns with just a click. This feature will be usable out-of-the-box for any template-based email.

New study results: Looking at current AI trends

Alongside with our announcement about Product Finder, we also shared the results of a new survey of more than 2,000 US consumers, in which we asked their thoughts on AI in marketing.

We found that:

  • 64% of shoppers think artificial intelligence has improved their retail experiences (up from 51% in 2023)
  • 35% of consumers believe AI has made shopping easier (up from 32%)
  • 31% feel that AI is helping to make their retail experiences more personal (up from 27%)
  • 35% say AI helps them to find new products (up from 33%)

Consumer sentiment has increased on every one of these points.

We also looked into marketer sentiment regarding AI:

  • 72% of marketers are allocating more funds to AI in 2024 than in previous years.
  • 37% of marketers say accurately targeting customers is one of the most beneficial aspects of AI.
  • 65% of marketers have seen some degree of increase in customer loyalty since the introduction of AI into campaigns.

AI: Just One Part of a Complete Omnichannel Strategy

AI really is amazing, and it’s only going to get better as we innovate for greater personalization and also as we incorporate new regulations like the EU AI Act, which empower marketers to handle data ethically and build trust with consumers. But AI is only one part of a complete omnichannel strategy for creating personalized customer experiences. Download our guide for tips and insights that will help you knock the (happy) socks off your customers!

This article originally appeared on Emarsys and is available here for further discovery.
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