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Turn your Data Warehouse into a Marketing Platform: Part 2

MessageGears Accelerator is a data app where both data and marketing professionals will feel at home. Not only does it connect directly to your data warehouse, allowing you to write templated SQL for data extraction, but it also allows you to build and configure the content and no-code orchestrations for your marketing campaigns. Because the application can access your data, it typically lives behind your firewall or inside your virtual private cloud (VPC).

Under the Hood

The Accelerator marketing workbench is a lightweight web application that leverages a MySQL database for application state. The application database doesn’t sync customer data from the customer’s data warehouse — its main purpose is to store audience definitions, message templates (e.g. HTML/CSS), and schedules for your campaigns and orchestrations. The Accelerator application receives a quarterly major release — MessageGears customers are free to choose when they want to upgrade their application to get access to all the latest product features.

Accelerator Functionality

Audiences

As a warehouse-agnostic data app, Message and Segment audiences can be created using a drag-and-drop builder for data-adjacent roles, or advanced SQL templating for data/analytics engineers. All SQL is passed through to the data warehouse of choice — you’ll get to use the SQL syntax you’re accustomed to.

Audiences (SQL or drag and drop) can be templated using Apache Freemarker, an open-source, Java-based templating language. Freemarker allows for a wide range of functionality, giving data-first roles the ability to create “data variables” for data-adjacent roles. It also allows for conditional joins to tune queries at run time and customized SQL triggers to streamline your data staging.

Blueprints

SQL isn’t always the first choice for the marketing team, which is why Accelerator has Blueprints. Here, marketers can start with an existing model/audience, or create a brand new one, to create visual segmentations and data transformations that enable personas, customer journeys, and orchestrations. All segments created in a Blueprint are mutually exclusive, giving you the ability to prioritize your criterion. Accelerator powers the rules engine for Blueprints and records all transformed data back into your data warehouse directly when the Blueprint is used in a campaign. 

Content

While Accelerator is a data app by design, it carries the full functionality and flexibility of a traditional Email Service Provider (ESP) when it comes to content creation. It can use either the drag-and-drop template creators, or Freemarker + raw channel content (HTML/CSS, SMS text, and JSON payloads for Push Messaging). Freemarker is even more powerful for content templating, giving you a full toolset to design data-driven marketing campaigns. It especially handles semi-structured data extraordinarily well, giving you complete control over how to model your data for personalization.

Marketing and External Campaigns

When you’re ready to schedule your Audience/Blueprint data and/or content for delivery, Accelerator carries a rich scheduler, allowing you to easily orchestrate campaigns throughout the day. Marketing Campaigns join data and content to delivery via one of our native channels: email, push notifications, and SMS. External Campaigns extract the data and sync it to your destination of choice. The next article breaks down Cloud delivery and destinations, but it all starts with a campaign schedule from Accelerator.

MessageGears Engage

Accelerator uses the direct data warehouse connection to orchestrate the full replace and incremental refreshes for your Engage models that sync into the MessageGears Cloud. We’ll talk more about the full power of Engage in the final next entry.

Up Next

The last entry will feature the multi-tenant component: MessageGears Cloud. The direct connection to the data warehouse is just one part of a data app. In the next post, we’ll talk about how each product has near-endless scalability.

About the Author

Luke Ambrosetti

Luke is the Head of Solutions Engineering at MessageGears. His mission is to make our clients successful in every possible way – primarily through new client onboarding. You’ll often see him in industry Slack channels or banging on his drumset.

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