Using Predictive Intelligence in Salesforce Marketing Cloud

By Chester Bullock, Mark Pollard

Of all the tools in the Salesforce Marketing Cloud platform, the predictive intelligence tools are probably the least known. Recently, Salesforce has begun integrating AI tools in all its products in an effort called Einstein. You might be able to see how features currently in development as well as some long-standing capabilities fit into this overall direction of the software.

The main tools that already exist in Marketing Cloud for predictive intelligence capabilities are the Personalization Builder tools for email and the web. These tools can dynamically select content in an email or a web page based on the subscriber’s purchase history, items viewed, shopping cart, and more.

To get to Personalization Builder, log in to your Salesforce Marketing Cloud account, pause your mouse pointer over Personalization Builder, and select Predictive web or Predictive Email from the list that appears.

Personalization Builder needs to know the following to make an intelligent decision about what content to use:

  • Data about the subscriber’s behaviors and preferences. Like Mobile & web Analytics, Personalization Builder makes use of the Collect feature to monitor events on your website and gather this information.
  • A catalog of content from which to select just the right piece for this particular subscriber. You can upload three kinds of catalogs:
    • Product catalog with a list of your products
    • Content catalog with articles, videos, or whatever content you have available to view
    • Banner catalog with heroes, calls to action, and offers
  • Rules that you define in Personalization Builder to decide what content to present to the subscriber in what circumstances.

Implementing Personalization Builder is not a casual task, and you might need to enlist the help of a developer. And you won’t be able to do it quickly: Marketing Cloud’s best practice is to observe your website behavior for at least 30 days before introducing content based on predictive intelligence.

However, these exciting tools will see continued emphasis and development from Salesforce. They are a powerful way to make your customers feel like you know them — even when you aren’t available to talk to each one of them personally.