How marketing tech lets you get personal with your customers

Thor Olavsrud

Yesterday, HGGC doubled down on the investment by merging Selligent with another of its companies: U.S.-based email technology company StrongView. The integration of Selligent and StrongView will make the new Selligent the leading independent provider of digital marketing engagement technology in the U.S. and Europe, according to HGGC.

Selligent CEO Andre Lejeune will remain the company's CEO, while StrongView CEO Bill Wagner moves into an advisory role. Rich Lawson, CEO of HGGC will serve as the combined company's chairman.

"We originally invested in Selligent earlier in the year because we see the need for an independent omnichannel platform focused specifically on marketers," Lawson said in a statement yesterday. "Bringing StrongView's broad roster of U.S.-based enterprise and mid-market clients and its leading contextual email technology into Selligent makes the company the clear market leader. Clients will be able to select from a flexible set of consumer-first email and multichannel capabilities and enjoy top-tier service across both sides of the Atlantic."

Selligent, built on a native software as a service (SaaS) platform, combines a single view of the consumer, sophisticated campaign management and omnichannel campaign execution to give marketers the ability to create unique consumer experiences across multiple channels.

"Four years ago whenever we sent out an email, we sent the same version to everyone in our database," says Dominque Vanhove, head of Marketing Performance at Thomas Cook Belgium, subsidiary of U.K.-based travel company and Selligent customer Thomas Cook Group. "If the design team had some spare time they would maybe produce a second version, aimed specifically at families for example, but this meant making a completely new email. In our other online channels, such as display, we were used to hypersegmentation: banners that showed the product you viewed online, social ads that differed based on the age and gender of the user, etc. It frustrated us that we couldn't apply a similar segmentation strategy in email marketing, which plays such an important role in the lifecycle of a customer."

But the addition of Selligent to the toolbox changed all that, Vanhove says.

"Once Selligent was introduced at Thomas Cook, we were hit by the endless opportunities in segmentation and marketing automation," she says. "With less workload than it once took to produce one single email, we could now send 1,000 different versions of one email, completely automated. We set up several automated lifecycle campaigns that not only send out highly personalized emails, but also text (SMS) messages, triggered by our customers' actions. Not one email sent out is the same for two users. By linking Selligent to our CRM, we are able to combine booking data, personal data, click behavior and even search behavior on our website, culminating in a unique rich data profile for every customer and prospect."

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