Innovation Series: Movable Ink
Innovation Series: Movable Ink
This is the second episode of the Innovation Series -- where we will highlight marketing experts to learn how they are innovating in Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
In this episode, hosts Bobby and Cole chat with Kyle Schroeder and Mike Dietz from Movable Ink. Movable Ink is a personalized content platform that helps digital marketers create personalized, visual experiences across email, web, and display. They take data and context and turn it into creative that is generated in real time, or at the moment of engagement for the end user.
In this episode, Kyle and Mike share:
+ Solutions Movable Ink has created for Marketing Cloud
+ What the most widely used feature is on the Movable Ink platform
+ How their clients have helped push them to innovate in the Movable Ink platform
+ Innovative customer examples
A big thank you to Movable Ink for being a sponsor of Ultraviolet. Be sure to check them out in the session, “Personalization Tactics to Excel in a Changing Landscape.”
Speaker 1: Welcome to the In The Clouds Podcast. In The Clouds is a Marketing Cloud Podcast powered by Lev, the most influential marketing- focused Salesforce consultancy in the world. Lev is customer experience obsessed and podcast hosts Bobby Tichy and Cole Fisher have partnered with some of the world's most well- known brands to help them master meaningful one- on- one connections with their customers. In this podcast, they'll combine strategy and deep technical expertise to share best practices, how- tos and real life use cases and solutions for the world's top brands using Salesforce products today.
Bobby Tichy: Welcome to In The Clouds Podcast, Bobby Tichy and Cole Fisher back with you. And we're really excited because not only for the podcast today, but also upcoming is Lev's first ever conference, ultraviolet, which you can check out at ultravioletconference. com. And why we're so excited about this podcast as we continue our innovation series, is one of the sponsors of our conference, inaudible Movable Ink. So Kyle and Mike are on from the Movable Ink side. Guys, if you guys wouldn't mind just doing a brief introduction of yourselves and Movable Ink, that'd be awesome. We'll get right into it.
Kyle Schroeder: Sure. Thanks Bobby. I'll start out. I'm Kyle Schroeder, Head of Global Partnerships here at Movable Ink. I'm based in Indianapolis and have been working for Movable Ink for a little over six years now. I have a background of working at Salesforce and ExactTarget prior to joining the team here at Movable Ink, where now I lead a team globally that builds out partnerships with great partners like Lev, like Salesforce, many of the other partners we work with today from an integration standpoint as well. And I have my colleague Mike on the phone. So I'll let him introduce himself next.
Mike Dietz: Yeah. Hi everybody. My name is Mike Dietz, Director of Solutions consulting with Movable Ink. Been here now for a little over six and a half years, so pretty long time now I guess, in the grand scheme of things. Prior to this, I came from Experian Marketing Services now known as Cheetah Digital, and my team are the ones that are going to come in primarily during the presale process. We are the technical experts of Movable Ink, and we can really kind of show off the ways that marketers can leverage our technology. Funny way that I like to kind of compare ourselves is we're the hot models that come in and make sure that you sign up for the gym membership before you actually sign your name on any contract. So really, really excited to be here today and talk things Movable Ink.
Bobby Tichy: What a great analogy. crosstalk That's awesome. Well, before we dive into the innovation portion of the concept for the podcast, just wanted to highlight that Movable Ink, like I mentioned, will be a sponsor for the Ultraviolet Conference and we'll be hosting a session with Movable Ink on Wednesday, April 7th at 12: 30 Eastern, covering personalization tactics across email mobile, and really to help folks think about how to continuously improve their personalization efforts in the ever- changing landscape. So it'll really focus on actionable takeaways that folks can use to provide more personalized experiences for your customers by leveraging your existing tech stack, as well as Movable Ink. So really excited for that session, but really just kind of first jumping into a brief overview of Movable Ink and what you guys do, and the key features and capabilities for folks who aren't familiar.
Kyle Schroeder: Yeah. So Movable Ink is a ten- year- old New York startup, and we've built out a personalized content platform for digital marketing. We take data and context and we turn that into creative that we generate in real time or at the moment of engagement for that end user. And we deliver this through a client's existing tech stack. So something like Salesforce Marketing Cloud, in order to drive these enhanced experiences across any of the messaging channels that they use Movable Ink in. We're working across 700 of the world's largest brands that are using Movable Ink to help increase these customer experiences and drive revenue, and ultimately, impact engagement that they see across their messaging channels. This comes to life in a lot of different ways, a number of use cases, as you can imagine, as to how the technology can be implemented, which I think we'll get into a little bit more as we go. But part of it is actually seeing us. And so it is tough in this medium format to understand the true power of the technology. So I would encourage anybody listening to check out places like our YouTube channel or any of our published content to actually see some of the visuals of how we're able to make these game- changing experiences for brands.
Mike Dietz: Yeah. And as Kyle mentioned, you really need to kind of see it to believe it. And that's usually where my team comes into play. So this is going to be new for me to kind of articulate all of the really cool stuff, how we do it through words versus showing you on a demo screen today. But ultimately, as kind of Kyle mentioned there, this is such a game- changing technology for marketers out there because we know that data exists in all kinds of different silos out there. And it's just always been such a challenge to get them kind of married up and together in one harmonious, little place. And that's where I think really clients are seeing the benefit of using a software like Movable Ink, is its kind of using us to act as that intermediate that can surface all those different types of data, and then present it in a really cool and engaging way for our customers.
Cole Fisher: Yeah. And you mentioned you guys have been kind of behind the scenes of a lot of Salesforce Marketing Cloud emails for several years now, kind of pulling the strings on some really cool real time integrations and content population and things like that. And I remember when I was actually at Salesforce, every time I would find out that one of my clients was using Movable Ink, I was always like," Yes, let's see what kind of cool stuff we're doing here." So I'd love to hear a little bit more about some of the coolest solutions that you guys have come up with, with Marketing Cloud customers?
Kyle Schroeder: Yeah. So just to start out, we've partnered with Marketing Cloud for probably five years now. We're one of the top Marketing Cloud ISV partners out there. We have 230 plus shared customers with Salesforce, and many of those also shared with Lev. So at the core, let me let me just lay out the foundation and then I know Mike's got a couple that I think he wanted to share too, but we're ultimately going to take our content that we are going to power for our brand, put that into a Marketing Cloud in this example campaign. And as they deploy that out, then we're going to be able to power that personalized experience. So Movable Ink is not sending any communications, but we're helping create and generate that experience at that moment that the end user, customer, subscriber, is actually looking at that piece of creative. And so that unlocks a lot of different use cases that we're able to power across different channels. So even if you think of something like a loyalty experience, empowering loyalty data that is visualized at that moment of open around your status within a particular program, or your progress towards a reward, those types of content modules, we can power and update over and over again in real time. Either by unlocking data that lives in Marketing Cloud or by making API calls to third party or first party systems that hold that data about that particular subscriber.
Mike Dietz: Yeah, and I think one of the key things to focus on too when you talk Movable Ink is just boiling it down to the real- time aspect of what we power. So I always like to kind of convey what our web prop technology can do to a customer, just to kind of get them familiar with the concept of this. If you typically look at email, email has been kind of seen as a more or less a stale component where the message is sent and then you're opening it. And whatever has been sent at that given send time is what you're going to see. Whereas, Movable Ink has this capability to literally update the content of that email when that email is opened. And then if the user closes out and reopens, that we're going to see potentially an updated experience based on whatever source that we're bringing that content in from. So more or less, you can envision it as the content on your website changes, it's also changing in your email or potentially in another avenue as well.
Bobby Tichy: Out of these different solutions, because I like the different things you just talked about around content, where people are getting something different each time they open, or things like countdown timers, that sort of thing. What's the most widely used feature on the Movable Ink platform?
Kyle Schroeder: To think over time, we got our roots in what we would kind of bucket as contextual targeting. And so I think that's where you see things like timers and maps, and social feeds and scratch offs, and some live polling which use the ability to kind of understand where a subscriber's at. That's in terms of the time, their location, et cetera, to then power a piece of content that they can engage with. But over time, we've really evolved into more content generation, which is really taking in that data from external sources in order to build and generate images. And so whether that be through a web crop, like Mike just mentioned, or through an API data feed from an external source, that really has become kind of the anchor of what most of our clients are doing, because that's where the most value is being seen, which is taking in all of that external information and creative and content, in order to build that really powerful experience.
Mike Dietz: Yeah. So a perfect example that I can think of for that, is we integrate with Salesforce Commerce Cloud, which is an API feed that obviously a lot of Salesforce customers are using. Typically, will house a lot of inventory feeds for retailers out there. So what we're able to do is in real time, when the email is opened or the images requested on the Movable Ink side, we're pinging that API and understanding what are the current inventory levels for the image that we should be showing. And that image at the end of the day could ultimately be predetermined through business logic that the client would pass to us. We do have a very large children's retailer that is also pairing up that data with our stories product at Movable Ink. And Movable Ink has its own bespoke product where we're able to understand and listen to real time web behavior, and have that act as a decision- maker in terms of what product or what image piece of content somebody should see? So in real time, we'd be pinging the Commerce Cloud API to look at potentially a recent shirt that I was looking at on this website. From there, we can understand if that shirt has inventory at my local store, and then craft an image in the email that shows me that shirt that I was literally just looking at. And then it could be different obviously for the next year that opens up, that was maybe browsing dresses or hats.
Bobby Tichy: Yeah, I imagine too, just being able to... One thing I always like doing is looking at these different solutions that someone like yourselves offer, but then also reverse engineering some of those different features as well. So being able to display that content based on that real- time call is really cool. But the other piece that I imagine too, is that we could leverage that same technology to be able to share a back in stock type of a message, or trigger different journeys based on different types of products or fulfillment orders, that sort of thing. So I think that one thing I was thinking about is not only what the features are on its face, but then also what you could do to really kind of build or kind of go beyond the boundaries of the nomenclature of those main feature sets?
Kyle Schroeder: Yeah. I think one of the reasons clients love working within our platform is the flexibility of just what you described Bobby, which is there's the core functionality in technology that's there, but the ways in which you can apply it and use it, and expand upon it around a specific set of business needs, really expands that universe quite considerably. And so, you take one kind of app or feature within the platform and could implement it 50 or a 100 different ways based on how you think through what you're trying to accomplish. And so, especially with enterprise brands who have really defined business needs, it's important for that flexibility, and I think that's something they've really valued with us over time.
Mike Dietz: Yeah. And like Kyle just said there, I think some of the best use cases have literally come directly from our clients. And again, just speaking from experience, it's peak year now for the better part of a decade. We didn't get to where we are without our clients kind of taking advantage of the way that you can kind of bend our platform. I think I first saw it kind of come to life, from my own eyes, when we had a major airline in the US craft, a live seating chart that was displayed in an email that would update based on your seat selection, and then the other sheets that were available for an upgrade. You think about some of the different sports teams that we work with, they're doing live scoring in email, where they're powering us a live feed of a particular game that was going on that evening. And as you're opening up the email, not only is the score changing, but there might be a subsequent block in that email where we're actually powering the players that are on the court or on the field at that given moment when you open up the email showing you their stats. And then once the game is over, we're flipping out to show you kind of like a recap of what that game might look like again, all real time as the game is going on.
Cole Fisher: Yeah. It's funny how that feedback loop works. So kind of bouncing back on what the customer knows about their needs and what's going to really appeal to their end user. And then as well, what you build it for and what you think you're building it for, and all the cool ways you can bend and flex it. And to Mike, your point there, one of the things that I was hoping you guys would bring up was that that sports use cases. And I saw one when I was at Salesforce, this was several years ago, that there was even directions to and from the stadium and what was the fastest route, and what was to block traffic, and just really cool stuff.
Mike Dietz: Yeah. Again, so if the data is out there, chances are, we're able to sync with it and then craft the experience that the customer might want to see. And I know exactly which one you're referring to, major basketball team that may or may not reside in the state of Michigan, I believe. In that case, we paired up with, I believe Google's traffic API, and we were able to craft kind of the live traffic conditions around the palace to show what traffic was like getting to, and from the game.
Bobby Tichy: Do you guys have a favorite solution, it kind of sounds like that might be one of them, that you've seen someone implement specifically on Salesforce Marketing Cloud?
Kyle Schroeder: Yeah. We've done so many creative things over the years. Outside of the sports example, I think we've... I remember in the early days... One of the ones we can do is where you have brands that can essentially take... If they have recommendations such as like a Netflix queue, it's not specifically Netflix, but that concept of serving up your preferred content or recommendations, the ability to bring that in and personalize that for an individual. We have a few other, you know, brands that have those types of recommendations around content in more of the media technology space that we've been able to serve up. And I think when done really well, you just feel that personalized experience firsthand. So it's not only signing into a device or into an account and seeing that, but then that carrying over to a piece of media such as email has been really interesting. Even things like how far into a show you've watched. So showing like," Hey, you made it 22 minutes into this 45- minute episode. Come back and join us." And being able to show that type of recommendation as well as progress into a show, I think is pretty cool. And something as just a consumer of that type of media, especially over the past year, you come to appreciate.
Mike Dietz: Yeah. I think one of the ones that just came into mind that I don't know if I'm allowed to talk about, but I'm going to talk about it anyway, is one of the year- end reviews that you typically see that get sent out. And we did one for a major music streamer out there, that are actually no longer a client, but I want to say that we invented it with them and then they kind of like ran with it, but right. So at the end of the year, you're going to get your year in review, recap of how many minutes of music you listened to, your top artists, your top genre, and they had all these additional rules that were built into it to show you if you fell into the top 1% of a specific band or artists listener. I'll let you inaudible myself here, there was one year where I was just really into the Hall& Oates for some reason. And I remember in that email...
Bobby Tichy: Who's not into Hall& Oates?
Mike Dietz: I like to start my morning with them. I think it always kind of cheers me up in the morning, especially given these days. But yeah, there was that one email...
Bobby Tichy: I'm just picturing when Mike gets up in the morning, he's woken up by Alexa playing Kiss On My List and it really gets his day going.
Mike Dietz: Yeah. Wife absolutely loves that when Alexa goes off in the morning full blast, but yeah. So we can work with the marketers to understand their business and obviously kind of craft those experiences that are so unique to what they do at the end of the day. For me, that was one of the coolest ones that I think I've ever seen kind of come to life in my tenure here.
Bobby Tichy: Well, I think what's so cool about that too is just the multitude of different types of solutions you can come up with, with the technology. That's such a great one, right? People love to see what their ranking is. How excited were you or embarrassed that you were the top 1% of listeners while Hall& Oates notes on whatever that streaming platform was? But same thing, right? I'm sure people would leverage that as a talking point with trends. Like," I was the top 1% of Justin Bieber listeners in the last year," because obviously Justin Bieber and Hall& Oates are right on cue together. But I just love the fact that people are thinking about, and you guys are thinking about different types of solutions for this type of technology, and leveraging it for their own business cases. What's next for you guys? What are the kind of key roadmap items that you guys are excited about?
Kyle Schroeder: So our customers are driving a lot of this and that's largely into integrations, which is how do we connect to more platforms, more systems out there that have data in them already in order to create more of these use cases that are out of the box? And so, especially being on the partner team and partner world, we're constantly looking at what are the other major platforms that the brands are investing in, and how can we standardize integrations and continue to extract more value from those? So that's a big part of our focus from a partner side. And then maybe I'll let Mike talk a little bit about maybe from a product standpoint.
Mike Dietz: Yeah. Again, without giving too much away on what's on the product roadmap, but I think it's just continuing to expand across the different channels that we can power. Movable Ink has historically been an email company. We now have a foray into mobile Beta and web and display right now as well. So it's our vision at least, wherever there are images that are being powered, Movable Ink can technically power those images. So I think for me, it's all about expanding into some of these other newer channels that are not typically under Movable Ink's wheelhouse, and we're already seeing some really, really cool results kind of coming out of some of these new channels.
Cole Fisher: Well, thanks for sharing that guys. I think we're going to go to jump over to completely unrelated. And so we originally were going to ask a question of what is your favorite podcast, but clearly we're all going to say this one, right? So we'll pose the question of what is your second favorite podcast that you listen to?
Kyle Schroeder: Yeah. So I do love jumping around and I feel like I'm one to listen to one episode and then bail and move to the next. But one I consistently come back to is Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard. I think the interviews and folks that he gets on his podcast are interesting, and span all different topics from business to celebrity, to scientists. And so I feel like I can always find a quality episode there.
Mike Dietz: I'll be honest, I only listen to Hall& Oates.
Bobby Tichy: Just Hall& Oates inaudible We should look at this up right now in real time. crosstalk.
Cole Fisher: You've got to work hard to be a top 1% er, it's not easy. There's only so many hours in a day.
Mike Dietz: You know what? We were seeing them in concert that year. I definitely remember going to a show at MSG and that was the buildup at least, to daily Hall& Oates playlists, but yeah.
Cole Fisher: That's great.
Mike Dietz: I think second inaudible I'm being serious. I don't listen to many podcasts. I'm more of a music guy myself. If I did have to choose one though, I'll choose one that I was actually on. The last podcast that I did, my first foray into podcasts was the one that my buddy runs, it's called Trophy Dad Podcast. And I can say it's pretty much the exact opposite of what this podcast would entail. It was pretty much me and about four of my best friends sitting in the basement of one of our favorite bars in New York City recording this thing. I have no idea how many listeners it has, maybe six, but...
Cole Fisher: So twice as big as this one?
Mike Dietz: Yeah. But no, that was fun. We kind of all just sat there and we shared stories about... Some of them were already dads, I was about to become a dad. So kind of talking about the expected and unexpected things of parenthood in real time.
Cole Fisher: Oh, that's cool.
Mike Dietz: It made for pretty good conversation.
Bobby Tichy: I actually just listen to this podcast on repeat. So I don't listen to really any other podcasts, but if for some reason this podcast isn't working, the repeat is broken or something like that, I'll typically dive into the Bill Simmons Podcast. I'm a big NBA fan, and then also SmartLess with Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes, and Will Arnett, is really good too. And I think the reason I like that is because it kind of reminds me of Cole, you and I, where we just dig on each other the entire time. The three of them just make fun of each other for basically the whole hour. And they have some other person that's very well known, that's just on the podcast too. It's a really good listen, but nothing in comparison to In The Clouds.
Cole Fisher: Not really. No, of course not. I kind of realized that I really only listened to podcasts when I was like in the airport or traveling, which used to be every week for us. But now that there's basically no travel. It hasn't been for the past year. Plus I basically just stopped listening to podcasts, but I used to listen to all the time, which I just kind of dawned on me. I was like," Man, I really haven't got any podcasts lately," just because there's always something to do at home. So when I was walking around the airport or waiting to board a flight or something like that, it was just kind of plug them in and listen to your earbuds, and you were good to go. But what I always tended to listen to is... Kyle, and kind of like you, is I would listen to a few episodes of everything, but probably the ones I was most hooked on were psychology geared sort of podcasts, like Hidden Brain was one of them. It was just like all little studies and little cool tidbits and things like that.
Bobby Tichy: Oh, snooze fest. crosstalk
Cole Fisher: I probably should have made something up really cool to build up my street crosstalk.
Bobby Tichy: "I prefer listening to self- help podcasts. I want to know how to become a better person." Get off your hight horse Cole.
Cole Fisher: Yeah. Well, like I said, I only did it in an airport when I'm trying to sleep, and it works.
Bobby Tichy: Awesome. Well, thank you guys so much for coming on. We really appreciate it. This was a blast, really looking forward to having you as part of the Ultraviolet Conference as well. Thank you for sponsoring and we'll talk to you guys soon.
Cole Fisher: Thanks guys.
Kyle Schroeder: Thanks everyone.
Mike Dietz: Thanks.