Case Study

Leveraging Direct Data Access, MessageGears Transforms Marketing for Enterprise Retail

There is too much at stake for an enterprise retailer to let legacy tech  come between them and their data

Especially at the enterprise level, effective marketing for retail is incredibly challenging and competitive. There are so many talented, experienced people doing it well for their companies that you can’t afford to deliver a below-par customer experience or someone else will draw the loyalty of your customers.

That’s why it’s never been more imperative that retailers invest in technology that will empower their marketing teams to put their talent and creativity to use rather than bogging them down in operational tasks that don’t bring in revenue. Our data-first customer engagement platform is perfect for marketers who want to deliver a richer, more personalized customer experience, and we have deep familiarity with the challenges enterprise retailers face every day. Here are a few examples of how MessageGears’ customer engagement platform can transform retail marketers’ work.

Key Outcomes

Smarter cross-channel journeys

Easily build single customer journeys that take into account email, mobile push, and SMS

Timely triggered messages

With no data lag issues, send abandoned cart campaigns at the right time to bring customers back

Deeper personalization

Reach customers with highly relevant messages on the channel they prefer every time

Increase revenue, reduced costs

Direct data access means no paying for storing data, and the ability to create better customer experiences

The Problem: Lack of direct data access causes numerous problems

For enterprise retailers using one of the typical marketing providers — Salesforce, Adobe, Iterable, Braze, etc. — the problems may not be evident right away when they begin the process of sending campaigns. But the moment they start trying to utilize their customer data for personalization of messages, the problems are going to add up quickly.

In many cases, it starts with having to make a copy of the data they want to use, then shipping that copy up to the marketing cloud in order to segment audiences and build campaigns. This is the foundational issue from which most of the other problems arise. This one data disconnect leads to a host of difficulties for retail marketers.

The data they’re actually using to build audiences doesn’t reflect their live data that’s in their database. For small retailers, this may only be a minor nuisance, as they don’t have nearly as many records and their data doesn’t change too rapidly. But for enterprise retailers, that data is changing at a dizzying rate as customers conduct business on the company’s website, on mobile, and in stores. This creates a massive amount of data lag.

Having to sync this live data with the ESP takes time, and often only happens once a day, perhaps overnight. That means that marketers can’t get access to any changes to the data they’re working with — whether that’s changes in customer status, updates to campaigns, or QA fixes — until that sync is complete.

Enterprise retailers are paying twice to store the exact same data — once in their own database and once in the ESPs cloud — effectively doubling their storage costs.

It also means that campaigns whose success depends heavily on timing — such as abandoned cart — are plagued with problems, from reaching customers with reminders after they’ve moved on or after they have already returned and purchased the item on their own, to messages that don’t accurately reflect the company’s current inventory. This damages the customer experience.

Even if all these data friction issues weren’t such a problem for enterprise retailers, cost would still be a sticking point. Every time they store data, there’s a cost involved. That goes for the ESPs too. Much of the value to a company like Salesforce when it comes to doing email is all the data they get to store — and then pass those costs on to the customer they’re storing it for. That means enterprise retailers are paying twice to store the exact same data — once in their own database and once in the ESPs cloud — effectively doubling their storage costs.

In addition, most ESPs force enterprise retailers to build email, mobile push, and SMS in separate campaigns, often even in completely different UIs. This effectively creates channel silos — in addition to the data silos from shipping copies of their data — with the various channels delivering often redundant, conflicting, and annoying messages to their customers.

The Solution: Connect directly to their data to change how the team operates

MessageGears’ biggest differentiator is that we connect directly into enterprise retailers’ database, allowing them to put their actual data to use, live and in real time. There’s no separate marketing cloud to ship data out to. MessageGears doesn’t store any data. Instead, we allow the retailer to use the data where it lives, accurately reflecting any changes that are made to it as they happen.

MessageGears has built all its products — Segment, Message, and Engage — around the philosophy that enterprise marketers should be able to utilize the live data they’ve often invested significant resources in getting organized

This one change is a hugely consequential one for enterprise retail marketers working with massive datasets. And when they see the way it actually works and the difference building audiences and campaigns with their live data makes, they never go back to the old way.

MessageGears has built all its products — Segment, Message, and Engage — around the philosophy that enterprise marketers should be able to utilize the live data they’ve often invested significant resources in getting organized, in many cases partnering with a modern data warehouse like Snowflake or Google BigQuery.

We deliver to enterprise retailers a product that’s designed to have the technology get out of the way and allow them to just do their jobs in the best way they know how, using customer data to deliver highly personalized campaigns that bring results. That philosophy carries over to cross-channel campaigns too, as we provide a drag-and-drop visual journey builder that lets marketers build campaigns across email, mobile push, and SMS in one campaign. This allows marketers to — in one single journey and UI — specify the correct channel for a campaign, based upon customer preference or their own, ensuring that customers always receive the right message on the right channel at the right time.

The Results: Connecting directly to their data transforms their marketing strategy

When enterprise retailers begin working with their own data, the change they see tends to be pretty immediate. For those who have been doing things the old way for years, it can be a paradigm shift in how they think about the way cross-channel messaging works. Looking at their biggest initial problems, here’s how everything changes:

As all that data changes at a dizzying rate, enterprise retailers are now able to take advantage of it, sending customers campaigns that are highly relevant up to the minute. Because the messages reflect the most recent customer behavior, as well as updated inventory and pricing, they’re assured that the relevance to the customer will be high. Previously, they might have been hesitant to send an email with customer loyalty points and potential rewards included, but now that they’re working with live data, it’s as easy as setting up the campaign and letting it run, improving the customer experience and loyalty at the same time.

With no more syncs, enterprise retailers don’t have to wait for any changes they make to be reflected in the data they’re using for campaigns. They can update a record or add a field, and immediately put it into a campaign. If QA finds a problem, make the change and it’s available for use. All of this saves significant time and frustration for the team.

It also means that those abandoned cart campaigns can be sent at whatever interval works best for the marketing team, without any dependencies on sync times. Retail marketers can experiment on what timing converts at the highest rate — whether that’s two hours, one, or even less — and be confident those triggered campaigns are going to reach inboxes at the time that’s most likely to bring that customer back to complete the purchase.

Because MessageGears doesn’t store any of the enterprise retailer’s data, there’s no charge for data storage. Ever. It’s that simple. That alone saves the retailer a tremendous amount of money they can put toward whatever needs they might have. And when the name of the game is keeping spend under control while increasing revenue, cutting extraneous costs that have nothing to do with revenue generation is a huge win for every enterprise retail team.

Building true cross-channel campaigns is a significant step forward for the enterprise retailer, allowing them to confidently reach customers with coherent campaigns that take into account customer preferences and the potential of each channel. If one customer wants their transactional messages via email and another via SMS, enterprise marketers can simply put those customers in the correct segment via an easy drag-and-drop builder. Customers feel like the retailer is listening to and understands them, and is more likely to purchase from them in the future.