Artificial Intelligence New Publishing Tech

Q&A: Selligent Marketing Cloud and how publishers are harnessing AI

Selligent Marketing Cloud is a marketing automation platform that enables publishers to engage consumers across all critical channels. Using a single code base and featuring artificial intelligence at its core, the solution is pioneering the concept of ‘universal consumer profile’. Used by more than 700 brands and publishers – including Hearst, Dennis and Future – WNIP caught up with Selligent’s Rochelle Fowler, Marketing Manager UK & Nordics, to discover more…

What business problem is your company addressing?

Publishers face the same challenge facing many industries: how to satisfy this new cohort of consumers who feel increasingly entitled. Relationships between brands and consumers have changed. The way we consume products, amenities – and even marketing messages – is no longer the same. The proliferation of smartphones and tablets, along with the rise in subscription economy services is leading this change. Consumers can no longer be considered in an online or offline state, they are perpetually hyper-connected.

Digital innovation has given consumers unprecedented levels of choice and has redefined expectations of what publishers can provide. Hyper-connected consumers are creating a mass of data and information. From demographic to social and transactional, consumers are happy to offer personal data in exchange for a more personal experience and a deeper relationship.

Selligent helps publishing brands meet and exceed the expectations of these entitled consumers through the following:

  • Delivering localised and relevant experiences

We enable publishers to always be where their readers are now – not two hours ago. Today’s consumers demand relevant and current content from their favorite media brands. Selligent helps publishers to take advantage of the latest geo-fencing capabilities, real-time hyper-localised dynamic content, and more.

  • Driving subscription and renewal

Automated communication flows that nurture new subscriptions and renewal are critical to every publishing company. Selligent’s journey builder helps publishers design complex multi-channel streams that are updated in real time with every click, purchase, or page view.

  • Re-engaging subscribers

Keeping consumers engaged with content is a top priority for any publishing company. Selligent enables targeted cross-channel messaging to prompt offline subscribers to come back and consume more content. And once there, we can help extend their stay by promoting additional content based on browse behavior.

What is your core product addressing this problem?

Selligent’s ‘Offer AI’ product which uses bespoke artificial intelligence algorithms to predict the behaviour of visitors. Offer AI modifies content to be displayed in real-time based on large volumes of data, which includes behavioural data, universal profile, context data and the company’s own specific business logic. By delivering personalised engagement, based on users’ preferences, publishers are able to offer a better service to customers and strengthen engagement.

Can you give some examples of publishers successfully using your solution?

We work with industry leading publishers such as Hearst, Dennis Publications, Roularta Media Group and Mediahuis – who all rely on Selligent Marketing Cloud’s platform to drive subscription rates.

Most recently we have partnered with Future – the global multi-platform media company with over 200 print publications, apps, websites and events. Our platform enables Future to consolidate multiple data sources to create a 360-degree profile of its customers. The brand attracts about 57 million cross-platform visits each month, with 250,000 digital subscribers worldwide. Future are using Selligent Marketing Cloud’s omnichannel capabilities to deliver customised and personal messages across website, email and mobile to connect with customers at the right time and on the right channel.

What are other people doing in the space and why?

Publishers are waiting for their competitors to make the first move with regards to data and contextual marketing. In a recently commissioned piece of research, 81% of CMOs admitted that they would not change their practices and use of customer data unless a competitor started first. This is a huge handicap in the battle to win subscriber loyalty. Context can make or break communication – and, ultimately, the relationship between a publisher and its subscribers.

Today’s entitled consumers expect relevant communications that speak directly to their needs in any given moment. The technology to deliver such messages exists – but adoption remains slow with research showing us that 76% of marketers have failed to use behavioural data in segmentation and execution. Recognising individual consumers across every communication channel and connecting these with existing consumer data (such as purchase history, lifetime value and location) will help marketers and publishers to improve engagement, increase subscription and renewal rates and ultimately strengthen brand loyalty – within context.

How you do view the future?

Intense competition, increasingly entitled consumers, tight budgets and continual pressure on margins. 2019 promises to be another challenging year for publishers.

Marketing to today’s hyper-connected consumer in the subscription economy requires a specialised approach that prioritises retention over selling. With consumers increasingly demanding access to the goods and services they want, whenever they want them, businesses across industries are looking for ways to provide ongoing value and better services to meet expectations, andthe publishing sector is no different.

Success in tomorrow’s media and publishing landscape is not only driven by giving customers great content but also an exceptional customer experience. By connecting all customer data, publishers are better able to uncover insights that drive subscription rates, click-throughs, referrals and more.

I also think we will see an increased adoption of AI within the sector. AI heralds a change in that it takes away the heavy lifting from marketers and can essentially deliver one-to-one marketing that had previously been talked about but was never possible before. AI-driven marketing solves the most nagging problem that publishers are facing: activating the plethora of customer data which is now available. AI will help publishers for example to customise content dependent on the channel and consumer profile, keeping the customer engaged and loyal.

If publishers want to find out more, they can visit www.selligent.com to see some of our publishing case studies – and to request a free demo.

Thank you.

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