Smart content

Written by Eric Stablow (Director Customer Experiences)

Over the years, there has been a steady drumbeat of a question that permeates every conversation digital marketers have pertaining to doing things better. How do I really send the “right message” to the “right person” at the “right time”? Is this even possible?

Sending contextual content makes perfect sense in theory and as a best practice to strive for. After all, who likes to get communications that have absolutely nothing to with what they care about at that moment in time, or at all? Not me, and probably not you either.

So why do we keep distilling down our marketing messaging to a one size fits all communication? The answer is a simple one that has been the unfortunate reality of our busy and compressed schedules –time, resources and technology constraints make it too difficult to do otherwise. How often have you started down the path of visualizing or creating a marketing communication that is highly dynamic and personalized but retreated to something much more basic when you realized the challenges in actually getting it done? If you are nodding, then you are part of the majority, so don’t feel bad because you are certainly not alone.

Like any challenge we face in our current technology crazed era, we innovate. We leverage technology. We find ways to shrink the gaps and compensate for where impediments have limited us.

In this post, we focus on how Cordial has applied state-of-the-art “Smarty” technology to make sending the “right message” both easy and efficient. “Smarty” is a robust open source template development toolkit revered by both marketers and developers. It enables everything from basic personalization like “Dear Eric,” to advanced programmatic logic for displaying top news feeds on your favorite sports teams. Easy for marketers, powerful for developers – how can that be possible you may ask?

Until now, content display and management was highly restricted by the limited data you could import into your messaging tool and the minimalistic logic made available to use that data within your creative design. “Smarty” changes that completely and opens up the possibility to design highly flexible and dynamic messages from content you store within Cordial, store within your own proprietary databases (and Content Management Systems) or access from external content sources like real-time news and social media feeds. Additionally, “Smarty” enables dynamic rendering of what content is displayed (or not) and to whom at a message-by-message level. Simply put, “Smarty” is the next generation template design tool for cross device content delivery.

We mentioned that “Smarty” is liked and appreciated by both marketers and developers, but let’s look at why this is true by pointing out a few reasons that makes “Smarty” so beneficial to both.

For Marketers:

  • Load, sort and format content regardless of where and how it is stored, e.g. news feeds, products, articles, travel destinations, etc.
  • Integrate social media feeds like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest right into your templates at send time.
  • Create rules to add and remove content blocks uniquely for each recipient based on their individual data and your custom logic.
  • Access data and content from outside sources unique to each person for added one-to-one personalization of each message, e.g. personal horoscopes, local weather, blogs, etc.
  • Build reusable content to streamline new message production.

For Developers:

  • Construct templates using the full Smarty programming and scripting libraries.
  • Access external feeds and endpoints to integrate and process JSON content and data at the time of send.
  • Neatly separate business logic, data and presentation code for simplicity, clarity and reuse.
  • Build code blocks that marketers can apply as reusable design elements.
  • Minimize excess data synchronization, security risks and processing time by pulling in data and content for display on demand.

With “Smarty”, Cordial virtually eliminates “that is not possible” from you’re creative process and empowers marketers and developers to harmoniously collaborate to build robust intelligent communications.

Cordial has removed the challenges of sending the “right message” and has empowered the marketer to think outside the box with “Smart Templates” – finally.

For more information on how your company can benefit from Cordial and “Smarty”, please contact your account team or Cordial for more information and assistance.

Let me give photo credit to Get Smart Content for the design thumbnail we used, was a perfect design for the discussion.


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