The Power of Effective Marketing Automation You Didn’t Know About

It’s no doubt that we live in a time when technology changed the world and our lives particularly. In a good way. It’s crucial for the businesses to adapt to the changes and improve the existing processes to stay successful and profitable.

At ITCL we think that human approach with the right tools can make the businesses succeed, one of those tools is marketing automation. Cloud based software designed to streamline the marketing efforts on targeting prospects and existing customers. There are so many great use cases for marketing automation available that would be hard to describe in one single article. However, I will try to briefly cover a few topics that might spark your interest in this technology.

To start, one of the most important goals for client-faced businesses is to optimize human resources engagement on repetitive tasks but still have contact with a customer. Let’s imagine that someone is organizing a big conference with multiple well-known speakers that bring quite a big audience. Managing the process of registration and supplying relevant information might not be an easy task. Marketing automation professional services can help to collect, organize and spread the information among the audience of attendees. The whole process, easily. In addition to that, keeping engagement and customer satisfaction at a high level is another task that can be accomplished with providing relevant personalized information to the selected audience. Only useful, easily readable, only relevant information from the business to the customer with minimum efforts from the customer’s side. That would be a well-designed email easily readable across mobile and desktop devices, with information about speaker’s sessions that the customer subscribed to, organized in the right way based on start/end session time, and quick intro per each session. The list of enhancements is limited to imagination only, for example, add the functionality to add to the calendar, create a path plan on the exhibition floor to navigate the customer how to get from one session to another; when is the lunch break and what are the options and food/drink location on the map; provide the recommendations on the other speakers sessions based on customer’s persona/profile; etc. It’s also possible to include relevant advertising in these communications to further benefit the business and customers needs.

The successful setup and execution of this campaign will minimize the organizer time and effort in managing inquiries and responses from/to the clients. And let’s imagine the impact on the subsequent setup of such exhibitions down the road, when everything is pretty much defined and just small details would require adjustments and revisions.

Using Artificial Intelligence to Drive Content Personalization

Business results are not why personalization is important, people are.

A human-centered approach to value creation is key

In an era in which data analysis drives strategy, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that each unique visitor, page view, goal conversion, sale, and marketing automation ID has a person behind it. And with personas and segmentation initiatives used to create customer profiles and group “like profiles” together, it’s effortless to forget that, in reality, people are a segment of 1 in which one person’s values, motivations, tastes, desires, and interests are unique and altogether different from those of the next person.

While demographic, geographic, psychographic, behavioral, and benefit data can all be important in understanding the personalities, circumstances, and consumption patterns of those you create value for, what’s often missing is a deeper level insight into the specific interests, decisions, and intentions that individuals have, all of which dynamically change over time.

Gaining a profound understanding of each person’s true interests as well as the information they’re looking to obtain and the problems they’re seeking to solve is key to providing value that ultimately helps them achieve their goals.

Since people naturally turn to the internet and search engines in order to conduct research on their passions and predicaments, understanding each person’s digital body language can unveil insights foundational to personalizing value creation for that unique, incomparable, one and only, individual.

AI-powered content personalization facilitates the customer journey

With recent developments in the fields of natural language processing, predictive analytics, and machine learning, sophisticated algorithms that make sense of content pieces, create actionable insights from engagement behavior, and automate content delivery enable marketers to understand deeper level insights about consumer interests and personalize content at scale.

One application of artificial intelligence to content personalization is through the use of natural language processing algorithms that crawl through companies’ blog posts, articles, and whitepapers and synthesize topics that are consequently tagged to each piece of content. This process takes unstructured data in the form of written sentences and structures it into topic-level data that gives meaning to each piece of content.

Then, when visitors engage with the content pieces, each visitor absorbs the topics that the content pieces are about, therein creating an “interest profile” of each visitor’s favored topics to consume. As each visitor continues to engage with additional pieces of content, the visitor’s interest profile updates based on the recency and frequency with which s/he consumes content on specific topics.

Content personalization takes place through algorithms that match the topics tagged to the content pieces with the topics the visitor is interested in, based on weighted probabilities in real time. In this way, firms can serve personalized content based on individuals’ interests in order to drive thought leadership and position the firm as a valuable and trusted resource through which visitors can gain information on topics of interest.

For the firms that advance personalization initiatives, business results often include increases in click through rate, improvements in the number of lead conversions that drive unknown to known visitors, and enhancements in content utilization percentages, often amounting to multiples of a positive return on investment.

Natural language processing algorithms tag content at scale, based on keywords and context words

By using natural language processing algorithms, firms can tag hundreds of thousands of pieces of content, almost instantaneously, with topic-level data that drives the content classification side of the personalization engine. The way this is achieved is by running such algorithms through content repositories so that the algorithms synthesize topics, based on keywords and context words, that are consequently tagged to each piece of content.

As an example, if your firm were to write a piece of content on the company Apple, the algorithms would recognize that the content piece is about “Apple” the technology firm rather than “apple” the fruit based on metadata, keywords, and context words used in the content. Identifiers such as “Cupertino”, “iPhone”, and “computer” increase the probability that the keyword “Apple” is referencing the company, whereas words such as “tree”, “pie”, and “Granny Smith” would increase the probability that the keyword “apple” is referencing the fruit.

If the tagging process is performed correctly, the result will be a content repository in which every content piece is tagged with the appropriate words, weighted based on how relevant each topic is to each content piece. For instance, a content piece that briefly mentions Apple might yield an Apple-tag weighting of 6/100 or no tag at all, whereas a content piece that is focused on Apple might yield an Apple-tag weighting of 97/100.

With this said, using natural language processing algorithms to tag content is not always without challenges. In order for such an initiative to be successful, the algorithms must have a database reference that contains the verbiage that the content employs while the content must have a format that can be understood by machines.

Issues arise when niche content that uses esoteric language has no reference in the algorithms’ databases and when content pieces lack enough words for the algorithms to synthesize meaning correctly. Additionally, content pieces might mistakenly be associated with tags that the content is not actually about.

The good thing is that all these issues can be mitigated. Additional encyclopedias and databases can be added to ensure coverage of niche topics, under-expressive content pieces can be enriched with descriptive metadata, and patterns of mistakenly tagged data can be scrubbed in aggregate. The end result? A taxonomy of content topics along with correctly tagged content that heightens precision in content understanding and future personalization.

“Interest profiles” drive a deep understanding of people’s interests and intent, fueling content personalization

In the words of an AI executive who transformed the meaning of Oscar Wilde’s quote: “you are what you read”, meaning that the content people consume is indicative of their interests and the decisions they are seeking information on as well as predictive of their future purchase intent. Thus, if we create visitor profiles that capture the interests of people based on their content consumption, we can identify their inclinations and intentions and use this to personalize content going forward.

The way this is possible today is by cookie’ing visitors upon site visit and associating the tags from the content they are reading about with their cookie IDs, therein creating “interest profiles” of each visitor’s favored topics to consume, weighted based on how recently and frequently the visitors consume content on specific topics. Using a financial services example, an unknown visitor might visit an asset management firm’s website and read a piece of content on “Small Cap Investments”, then a piece on “Best Investments in Emerging Economies”, then a piece on “Top Equity Investments for 2020”, and finally a piece on “Equity Investments in China.” Each time the visitor consumes a piece of content, s/he absorbs the topic tags the content is about which, in this case, results in an interest profile that indicates an interest in small cap equities within emerging markets, specifically China.

With knowledge of the asset class and fund type the visitor is interested in, the asset management firm can personalize content based on an intersection of probabilities in which content with descriptive tags is served to visitors with corresponding interest profiles.

Similar to what we saw with using natural language processing algorithms to tag content at scale, personalization based on interest profiles is not without challenges as well. Issues can arise when a first time visitor does not have an interest profile or when a visitor removes cookies from previous sessions. Such issues can be mitigated by pre-populating interest profiles with neutral topic interests as well as by data stitching one profile to another for a visitor that has multiple cookie ID’s. When performed correctly, the result is a deep understanding of each consumers’ interests and content personalization tailored to each individuals’ preferences.

2 AI-powered personalization use-cases that illuminate potential benefits

Fortune 500 B2B Technology Company

Problem: with over 90 product lines, it was difficult to funnel prospects and customers to the respective products that would help them solve their business problems. Additionally, the firm’s goal was to increase the number of leads generated and make use of the content it had already put dollars behind to create but that had not received much engagement.

Solution: content personalization on the company’s blog that recommended personalized content that aligns with each visitors’ unique interests. As the visitors clicked through the top of funnel content they are interested in, the algorithms gained a better understanding of each individual’s interests and eventually served middle funnel and bottom funnel whitepapers and product pages that aligned with visitors’ interests and contained lead capture forms to convert visitors from unknown cookie ID’s to known contacts.


  • 50% increase in content utilization
  • 280% increase in click through rate
  • 160% increase in leads generated

Global Asset Management Firm

Problem: with an array of fund offerings, it was difficult to funnel investors to the appropriate funds and bounce rates on their blog were substantial. Additionally, the firm wanted to understand the investment interests of retail and institutional investors in order to enable their sales team to determine the appropriate asset classes and fund types to pitch.

Solution: content personalization on the company’s blog that dynamically segmented visitors based on the asset classes and fund types they sought information on. Additionally, predictive analytics data based on the content consumed enabled their sales team to pitch funds that aligned with investors’ interests.


  • 100% increase in content utilization
  • 60% increase in click through rate

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Segmentation and Dynamic Content Fuel Email Personalization

Leverage list segmentation, dynamic content, and dynamic fields to drive email personalization.

Research from Experian Marketing Services indicates that personalized emails drive 6x greater transaction rates than their non-tailored counterparts while Data Marketing Association evidences a 760% uplift in email-attributed revenue from segmented campaigns. However, with less than 50% of retailers sending personalized product recommendations through this high-performing channel, it’s clear that there are low hanging opportunities for enhancement. Because of this, we’ve put together some actionable insights on how to tailor emails with the aim of increasing relevancy, boosting performance, and ultimately earning subscriber satisfaction.

Utilize segmentation to drive personalization at scale and enhance performance outcomes

According to Mailchimp, segmented emails drive 14.31% more opens, 9.37% fewer unsubscribes, and 100.95% more clicks than non-segmented campaigns. Thus, in order to partake in the performance gains, it’s important to divide your contact list up based on distinct and meaningful consumer attributes provided during opt in and to augment that data with other first party data sources, such as that from your marketing automation platform, CRM, and beyond. Segments can be created based on surface-level characteristics such as demographic, geographic, and firmographic data as well as based on deeper-level attributes such as psychographic, behavioral, and benefit data. For example, if you were a cosmetics company, you could segment based on data points including age, gender, number of past purchases, and product category interest in order to send offers and discounts for items in related product groups to customers who have expressed loyalty and met a threshold of repeat purchases. Additionally, automation based on triggers and stages in the customer lifecycle can help increase relevancy. With this, you’ll be better equipped to send the right message to the right person at the right time, based on an understanding of customer insights, past purchase behavior, digital content consumption, and events driven by goal conversions. Segmentation that is performed correctly facilitates personalization at scale, resulting in outreach that better aligns with consumers’ motivations, preferences, and desires.

Leverage dynamic content and dynamic fields to ensure relevancy

Writing tailored emails to everyone on your contact list would take an exorbitant amount of time while writing generic, catch-all emails would fail to achieve relevancy. Thus, in order to increase efficiency without reducing personalization, it is beneficial to employ an email strategy that leverages both dynamic fields and dynamic content that adjust based on the recipient’s profile. Dynamic fields that tailor messaging to the recipient’s name, location, company, and beyond engender a personalized feel, indicating to the subscriber that the personal information they handed over was not for nothing. Dynamic content that customizes blog posts and product recommendations to recipients’ preferences adds value, facilitating their achievement of goals surrounding decisions they are seeking information on and purchases they are looking to make. To ground dynamic fields and content in an example, if you were a cruise line coming up to the winter holidays, you could write an email such as “Hi [name], how enjoyable would it be to bask in the sun rather than chill in [location]’s [temperature] weather?” and include blog posts and offerings that populate based on the recipient’s content consumption on specific coastal regions and prior purchase history.

When utilizing dynamic content and fields, it is important to have correct, up to date subscriber data, else the attempt at personalization and relevancy will be received as prefabricated and careless. Used correctly over time, click through rates and the overall return on your email marketing strategy will increase as subscribers come to recognize your emails are tailored to them.

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NY Email Marketing

A lot has been going on at ITCL and this post I would like to make a little different. It will still be industry focused (because we live and breathe technology and innovation) but it will be more personal. In the time when most of it can be done by an AI assistant it feels right to take a moment and jot a few words myself. 

A couple years back we had the honor to be represented at Forbes Under 30 conference as well as at NY Tech Week. More detailed posts on each to follow. This year we have big plans for our small company. In addition to our consulting and software development services (web, mobile) we are expanding our email marketing services, which will be consumed by digital marketing services. We have been working hard on establishing this line of business last year and are thrilled to finally “get it off the ground”.  Please welcome NY Email Marketing, your go-to digital agency for all things email marketing and what I like to call a digital marketing hub. It also means that we are hiring to expand our strong team of Salesforce Marketing Cloud certified professionals and experts in other digital marketing platforms, such as IBM Marketing Cloud, Adobe Marketing Cloud, Oracle Marketing Cloud and others. Because Digital Marketing is such a buzz word and because there is a plethora of marketing cloud platforms out there and because it is very easy to get confused which platform would work best for your business and because we would like to share our expertise with those in need, we are preparing a very cool case study on the subject. We will review top 10 digital marketing platforms and rate their features to give you a good grip on the current offerings and to empower you to make informed strategic decisions on which digital marketing solution would be the best option for your business.

Excited to congratulate the team on the launch of a new email marketing hub!

Digital marketing solutions provider.

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