Exclusive: New AI-powered Iterable features help brands cut through the noise

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We live in a noisy world. Brands of all kinds are vying for customer attention, 24/7. 


Marketers can often find it difficult to make themselves heard — particular in this age of AI when that clamoring will only intensify. 

Customer engagement platform Iterable says it can help brands rise above all that noise. The company is today announcing several AI-powered capabilities at its annual Activate Summit

“All of us are consumers, we have brands that we love,” Andrew Boni, Iterable CEO and co-founder, told VentureBeat. The goal is to help brands communicate in ways where they’re “not just shouting at us.”

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“It’s all about empowering marketers to be more agile, more strategic, and leveraging AI to do that,” he said.

Marketers have FOMO when it comes to generative AI

Iterable and Wakefield Research recently performed a survey of 1,200 marketers around the world to gauge their sentiments around AI. The overwhelming majority (91%) said they were already using AI in their work and 49% said they thought gen AI will make their jobs easier.

“The AI revolution is going faster than any technology revolution we’ve seen before,” Bela Stepanova, Iterable’s SVP of product, told VentureBeat. “Marketers are looking to adopt more AI capabilities in their day to day work; they feel like if they’re not, they’re missing out or getting left behind.”

This has provided significant opportunity and rapid growth in the AI-powered customer engagement platform market that Iterable competes in. According to Markets and Markets, the global customer engagement solutions market will grow to $32.2 billion by 2027, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of roughly 11% over 2022. 

Also, according to ReportLinker, the global market for retail omnichannel commerce platforms will reach $16.9 billion by 2027, showing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.4% from 2020. 

The multitude of companies competing for market share include Pega, MoEngage, Adobe Marketo Engage, HubSpot Marketing Hub, Constant Contact and OneSignal. Iterable was founded in 2013 and recently reached $200 million in annual recurring revenue (ARR). The company counts among its customers Priceline, DoorDash, Box, Redfin, Calm, Zillow and Volvo. 

Using AI to create customer journeys

Customer journeys are critical for marketers — mapping that path helps them understand customer interactions and can provide important insights on next steps. Brands can personalize communications based on past behavior, attributes and preferences. 

However, the process can be complicated because marketers often have to sift through thousands of data points. To help simplify this process, Iterable is today unveiling Journey Assist, which allows users to quickly create new customer journeys — or enhance existing ones — with just one prompt. The platform will then pull up commonly used templates. 

Boni compared customer journeys — whose stages include awareness, consideration, purchase and advocacy (or when a customer voices opinions about a brand) — to flow charts. For instance, a customer might sign up for Priceline deals, initiating a welcome message; a flow chart on the company end might then contain 200 steps that they can take to keep them interacting

“Journeys allow them to create a sequence of messages,” said Boni, noting that the process can quickly become “really complex.” With Iterable Journey Assist, journeys “now can be done in a minute.”

Stepanova pointed out that the first month of the customer experience is “incredibly important.” In that timeframe, brands are looking to drive conversion beyond a first purchase. 

“Journey Assist can help them with any use case that they describe, in simple language or more technical language,” said Stepanova. “AI will automatically generate the journey flow for them.”

Building specific segments with Smart Segmentation

Marketers often complain that they spend too much time chasing data, and that they are also interacting with complex data systems. This can make it difficult to access and use customer data for segmentation purposes, Boni noted.

With Iterable’s new Smart Segmentation feature, marketers can quickly build segments with more attributes and event signals. This can help them make more accurate decisions based on which specific audiences they’re engaging with, said Boni. They receive contextual information about where data is used and how, as well as users’ behavioral data. The system also provides smart recommendations.

“They have so much data — making decisions fast with context is very helpful,” he said. 

Selen Kucukarslan, senior CRM and marketing automation manager at food delivery platform company Wolt, praised this capability, saying that “previously, we required data scientists to build audiences based on a smart data model. 

With Iterable, “we discovered a scalable method to craft intelligent audience segments. This enabled us to target users more effectively, focusing solely on those likely to achieve specific goals that are key for our business.”

Another customer, Josh Geiser, senior manager for CRM, lifecycle and mobile at Redbubble, commented that “the most exciting benefit of Iterable AI is giving us more time to daydream. When we can take a lot of that busy work away and let our minds wander, that’s when we come up with our best ideas.” 

Enhanced customer affinity insights, WhatsApp integration

Iterable is also today announcing enhanced features to Brand Affinity, which helps brands gauge customer sentiment. The tool translates cross-channel engagement into user labels, allowing marketers to review historical trend analysis supported by explainable AI. Now, they can see scoring and insights at the aggregate campaign level, revealing how customer affinity changes over time based on interactions between audiences, content and messaging. 

Stepanova pointed out that a brand may have more than 400 campaigns running all at once. “It can be difficult to tell customer sentiment overall across campaigns,” she said. “We focus on data — it is what makes AI unique for different businesses.”

Finally, Interable is today launching WhatsApp on its platform. Owned by Meta, WhatsApp is the world’s number one messaging app, with more than 2 billion monthly users (representing 33% of the world’s population). 

Iterable users will now be able to send personalized messages based on customer preferences, have interactive communication with quick-reply messaging and automate campaigns across the customer lifecycle. 

“They can engage with customers globally on one of the most popular messaging platforms today,” said Stepanova. 

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