Building Strategies for Successful Customer Engagement

Research shows that fully-engaged customers increase total brand revenue by nearly 23 percent. Brands need to communicate with consumers in a relevant and timely fashion to implement an effective engagement strategy. By doing so, companies can better understand their consumers and leverage past and in-session interactions to predict their requirements for future engagements. However, as it stands, organizations fail to use solutions that leverage data to manage and execute campaigns on the cloud. Typically, engagement data resides in multiple places, and solutions cannot access it to manipulate the data to deliver the best results more effectively. Embel Assist, a consumer-engagement consulting company, solves this issue through its application. The company delivers its services to help organizations establish the connectivity between data, predictive analytics, marketing technologies, and reporting to drive relevancy and help brands stay updated with the consumer’s needs. In an interview with CIO Applications, Ryan J Vaske, founder, and CEO of Embel Assist discusses his company’s capabilities in implementing successful customer engagement strategies. Vaske has more than 20 years of experience in CRM and marketing and was instrumental in the growth of Embel Assist as a viable and reliable consultancy and product development organization. In addition to leading the organization, he also plays an active role in all major client projects by providing oversight, resource allocation, and overall client and account management.

Could you give us an overview of Embel Assist?

Embel Assist was founded in the year 2000 to help organizations implement successful customer engagement strategies. Our focus has always been in the consumer engagement space. In our early years, we focused primarily on implementing CRM applications and executed email management platforms for call centers. Now, we focus more on the marketing automation enablement space, to help organizations create, build and operationalize consumer engagement platforms while using CRM as an interactive engagement channel. Our primary clients consist of Fortune 500 companies, but have very favorable experiences and successes with mid-market companies, especially with our proprietary cloud marketing automation product, EALink. Our goal is to help our clients create value; internal business value and external customer value that leads to loyalty.

Tell us more about the company’s capabilities.

We use the term “predictive marketing” as a holistic consumer engagement ideology. The premise is for companies to establish a strategic roadmap focused on delivering a value-based consumer engagement ecosystem using a crawl,walk, run approach. We will help clients identify use cases that will move the needle on either generating incremental revenue or saving operational costs; both of which have direct impact on the bottom line. With our services and products, marketers can send streamlined and targeted messages to their customers. Whether that be a batch communication, or what our clients are finding to be exciting and extremely beneficial, are real-time/near real-time communications. When the consumer is engaging with a call center representative, interacting on the website or at the point of sale, we can present the next best action based on historical and in-session data. It is the holy grail of 1-1 marketing; combining message relevancy and timeliness to deliver an experience that can be second to none. In addition, we can take it one step further by leveraging predictive analytics and scoring to help organizations prioritize next-best actions for a particular customer. We encourage companies to focus on driving value through use cases rather than building capabilities. The capabilities will be built as a product of deploying the use cases.

How can organizations use EALink application to manage consumer data successfully?

Typically, a company’s consumer data resides in one or many databases or applications. Cloud marketing automation platforms need this data to manage and execute campaigns. Today, consumer data must be replicated to cloud marketing automation platforms to define the target population. We wanted to change that narrative and make data accessibility easier from such cloud marketing automation platforms. Our application EALink, acts as a smart interface between an organization’s customer data sources and cloud marketing automation platforms. The application allows campaign analysts to have on-demand and direct access to external data sources using our seamlessly integrated EALink wizard. The application enables campaign analysts to define the target population directly from the UI. EALink reaches out to the data sources and applies the defined criteria to establish the target population. More importantly, the query is processed at the data source ensuring sensitive and/ or protected data are kept safe in the source of truth and reducing the need to unnecessarily replicate the data to the cloud marketing automation platform. EALink is now available for Eloqua and Salesforce Marketing Cloud with plans to expand to other leading platforms in the near future.

Could you narrate an instance that highlights the benefits brought to one of your clients, after implementing Embel’s platform?

One of our clients wanted to improve their outbound marketing and engagement efforts. Upon engaging with them, we understood that data accessibility was their primary challenge. Through EALink, the client successfully connected Eloqua to NetSuite allowing their marketing analysts to access product and contract data. Prior to EALink, accessing product and contract data and trying to match, sync, and replicate it in Eloqua data schema was a complicated and labor-intensive process. So much so, that it was often times deprioritized for other opportunities that were much easier to accomplish, but not necessarily as valuable. With the EALink application, we established a direct connection to the NetSuite data schema to process queries and synchronize contract records based on user-defined criteria configured directly within the Eloqua UI. This enabled the analyst to discern product gaps and contract renewal dates without having to move the data to the Eloqua data schema. Executing more targeted engagements due to great accessibility to more data points from an external data source, our client experienced increases in new product sales among existing customers and contract renewals. By bridging a functionality gap, EALink has brought tremendous business value for our client.

What differentiates Embel Assist from its competitors?

Our niche is succinctly focused on helping our clients enable consumer engagement platforms through people, process, data and technology. We look at their current environment and help them envision a path forward to provide a better consumer experience which ultimately can lead to loyalty. Our approach is to focus on establishing business value and let that drive the consumer engagement platform needed to support the success of the defined use cases. Using a crawl, walk, run cadence, we have been able to deliver with expectations exceeded. As a result, our clients have increased revenue, improve efficiencies, and decreased cost.