Salesforce Products
December 21, 2022

Sharpen Your Customer Recommendations With Interaction Studio

Taking a closer look at Einstein Recommendations (embedded in Marketing Cloud) and the more robust Interaction Studio.

When most people cook at home, they likely use cutlery they purchased somewhere like Target or Walmart. That is because the knives you find there suit your needs. You’re a home cook, afterall. You don’t need anything fancy.

But if you were a chef in a Michelin-star restaurant, your needs would be different. Your priorities would shift. If cooking were your vocation — your livelihood — you would almost certainly place a high value on the tools you used every day, all day. You would need something with greater precision.

When it comes to marketing, if you want to ensure your campaigns resonate with customers, you need something that cuts like a razor, the Damascus steel of software, that can slice activity on your site anyway you want it. You need Interaction Studio (currently known as MC Personalization).  

The Starter Set

Einstein Recommendations are embedded in Salesforce Marketing Cloud and are mainly useful for cataloging products and content. If you operated a bobblehead e-commerce site, you would use Einstein Recs to catalog your inventory, organizing your bobbleheads — lumping your Gandalf the Gray, Jon Snow and Harry Potter figures into “medieval fantasy” while separating Malcom Reynolds, and Faye Valentine into the “space western” category.

Meanwhile, you would also use it to catalog your blogs and call-to-action links in a way that is easy to find.

Einstein Recs can’t, however, show the next best action. You can only leverage the content and behavior then provide the customer with suggestions based on the information you have as opposed to being able to give them deductive, hyper-specific options that may not be related to sales or viewed items.

Recommendations come to customers via two channels: email and web. Once you have the data, you can start saving it, which goes on the website. Einstein Recs simply gathers information from users — who is going to your site, who is clicking, what they are purchasing. Once this is done, you can send customers prompts such as cart abandoned or wish list items.

In other words, it only gives you basic information, which might be fine for some businesses. But if you want a more in-depth analysis, one that gets more into granular detail and allows a more sophisticated understanding of the data you’re gathering, you should consider supplementing Einstein Recs with Interaction Studio.

A Cut Above

With Einstein Recs, once your website – like for instance our e-commerce example from above – is set-up, you will be able to give suggestions to customers regarding their purchases. But those recommendations will only be based on past purchases or viewed items.

Interaction Studio is distinct. It is a more finely honed tool that allows for increased variability in what it can accomplish. With its advanced AI models, it can formulate advanced recommendation recipes. It captures data in more flexible formats and creates segments that offer different experiences to customers in a more specialized way.

By using beacons that narrow in on activity from users that haven’t shared their email address or even their name, Interaction Studio is able to follow every click or scroll across the site, giving you a 360-degree view of your customer.

This leads to a more personalized website experience, enabling marketers to fine tune content with the aid of an algorithm. Use of the algorithm minimizes the guesswork for marketers, empowering them to tailor what the customer sees on the site. The beacon records past browsing history to provide unique content — an offer, let’s say — that is more likely to strike a chord with the customer since it is predicated on more information about their preferences.

Not only does Interaction Studio display content that is relevant to customer preferences, but it also does so based on the site they are browsing. With our above pool player, Interaction Studio could also suggest pool cue cases via an Open Time email.

Sharpening the Experience

To make the most out of Interaction Studio’s layers of sophistication, your marketing team needs to classify each page on your site. This way, the algorithm understands the content.

An experienced partner can help ease this set-up. Further, Interaction Studio — which acts like automated A/B testing — can also contextualize previously collected data. It just needs to be fed into the system.  

So, cut through the nonsense of testing out hypotheses. Sharpen your marketing skills. Get Interaction Studio.