Hackernoon logoAI-Powered Personalisation: Five Platforms to Try in 2020 by@pradyut-hande

AI-Powered Personalisation: Five Platforms to Try in 2020

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@pradyut-handePradyut Hande

Mobile Growth Expert, Digital Media Strategist, Author, & Appreciator of Puns

Voted by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) as the Marketing Word of the Year, 2019 personalisation is more than just a passing fad that has captured the imagination (and marketing budgets!) of digital brands across the globe.
Your customers need, demand, and expect to be treated as unique individuals. And, as marketers, you need to tailor-make highly
contextual and meaningful experiences across the entire customer journey, at every digital touchpoint.
A seamless, customised end-to-end experience on your website or mobile app that anticipates what your customers are likely to click, search for, add to cart, or purchase next becomes the foundation for driving higher conversions and retention.
Set in this backdrop, marketers have their job cut out to identify the right vendor to power their personalisation strategies at scale.
Here are 5 highly rated alternatives to take your personalisation efforts to the next level:
A leading AI-powered personalisation and multi-channel marketing automation platform, Smartech enables 5000+ brands to deliver hyper-personalised, contextual, and timely customer experiences at scale.
Smartech’s advanced solution allows marketers to go beyond personalising your marketing campaigns, and additionally empowers you to:
- Individualise the website or mobile app viewing experience:
Based on their demographic and geolocation data, past search and purchase behaviour, needs, and intents
- Personalise the entire website or mobile app navigational journey:
This can include elements such as the product display or listing page, drop-down menu, etc. so your customers find exactly what they’re looking for - faster!
- Embrace the power of patented AI algorithms:
To provide the most relevant predictive product or content recommendations based on their probability to search for, click on, add to cart, or purchase high-intent items
Based out of Somerville, Massachusetts, USA; Evergage prides itself in its real-time personalisation and Customer Data Platform (CDP) capabilities. Their platform leverages behavioural analytics and ML to deliver 1:1 engagement across channels.
Pros:
  • Strong user-level analytics suite
  • Good segmentation and targeting capabilities
  • Effective A/B testing capabilities for web-based personalisation and onsite messaging campaigns
Cons:
  • Heavy focus on e-commerce and retail as an industry vertical
  • Complex UI that can take time to get accustomed to
  • Limited timely creative assistance and inputs on personalisation strategy
  • Pricing model makes it unsuitable for startups looking to scale
A part of the Adobe Marketing Cloud, Adobe Target is an
AI-driven omni-channel marketing automation platform. A legacy player in a space catering to predominantly enterprise clients, Adobe Target brings with it its own set of pros and cons.
Pros:
  • Customer-level targeting and personalisation can be effectively driven
  • Strong predictive analytics capabilities
  • Mostly reliable A/B and multi-variate testing capabilities
Cons:
  • Works best when integrated with different products within the Adobe Marketing Cloud suite. There remain major concerns around which reporting tool to use or refer to: Adobe Analytics or the one offered by Adobe Target itself
  • Non-intuitive UI - particularly for those with no exposure to using Adobe products previously
  • High cost of implementation and product, in general
  • No KPI-focused approach
  • Limited timely customer support that particularly hurts SMBs
Headquartered in London, UK; Qubit is a personalisation platform that primarily caters to e-commerce brands. They aim to help “e-commerce teams match trading demands with customer affinities to turn a visit into a sale”.
Pros:
  • While their platform is primarily built for e-commerce as a vertical, they help resolve strong use cases for other online businesses as well
  • Easily navigable UI that allows for rigorous testing
  • Intuitive block templates to get started once integration is complete
Cons:
  • Integration and configuration can be a challenge in the absence of user-friendly documentation. The process also requires above-average human intervention
  • Below-expectation level clarity on conversion reporting and data visualisation
  • Limited marketing channel personalisation that can reduce the impact of the individual customer journey towards conversion
  • High cost might be a turn-off for smaller businesses looking for a cost-effective solution
Optimizely enables businesses to deliver continuous experimentation and personalisation across websites and mobile apps. They help marketers deliver targeted messaging, personalised offers, and recommendations
to their customers and users.
Pros:
  • Powerful A/B testing-driven platform that attempts to combine human expertise with ML
  • Above-average reporting and performance analytics
  • Strong online community to help resolve queries
Cons:
  • Clear focus on enterprise clients and prospects reflective in their constantly changing pricing plans. This is a major red flag for a large number of SMBs
  • Driving personalisation at scale across a large number of pages on certain websites can produce underwhelming results
  • Limited visual data representation while showcasing performance metrics

Parting Thoughts

Let’s face it - the perfect product doesn’t exist. Marketers need to evaluate vendors based on the following:
  • Monthly volume of traffic on your website or MAUs on your mobile app
  • Number of product or content categories
  • KPIs that require impacting based on industry benchmarks
  • Time and effort needed for integration
  • Complexity and flexibility of the platform and resources aligned to its utilisation
  • Ability to integrate with your existing martech stack to enable end-to-end customer journey personalisation
  • Suitable pricing plans that account for future growth
  • Availability of timely customer support
  • Time within which your KPIs start moving in the right direction
  • Quality of reporting to have complete visibility on the performance of your personalisation experiments
Personalisation is not a linear journey and requires periodic optimisation to boost conversions across a website or mobile app. And, to scale sustainable results, marketers need to make an informed decision while
locking down on a suitable personalisation solution.

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