It’s Time to Answer The Burning Question: What is the Real ROI of AI in Marketing?

While the hype and excitement around AI’s potential to transform marketing has grown, it’s remained largely a “black box” leaving many skeptical. We’ve all heard the promises that AI will usher unprecedented gains in productivity, performance, speed and scale, but where are the numbers to back it up?

In a first-of-its kind study, ROI of AI Marketing: 4 Levers for Cross-Channel Success Blueshift set out to finally answer that question by quantifying the real value of AI in marketing. We analyzed 3.8B marketing interactions from real-world campaigns across channels and verticals. The result? AI-powered marketing campaigns increase customer engagement by 7X and revenue 3X.



Insights from the benchmark analysis highlight that AI-powered campaigns can achieve:

  • 3X revenue relative to their use in the marketing mix
  • 3.1X-7.2X lift in customer engagement
  • Nearly 2X greater impact on engagement for mobile push compared to email
  • Continuously improve campaign performance as the AI engine learns from customer interactions, driving an additional 50% lift over initial results

For the full set of findings and real customer examples of how AI has driven revenue by helping them make better, quicker decisions about the “Who, What, When & Where” of cross-channel marketing, download the full report.

In upcoming blog posts we’ll explore how by harnessing all existing and real-time customer data, AI impacts the following 4 levers of marketing and best practices for getting started.

  • “The Who” with Predictive Audiences: Select the customers who should be targeted for a marketing campaign
  • “The What” with Predictive Recommendations: Determine the right piece of content, offer or product to show each customer
  • “The When” with Predictive Engage Time: Optimize the delivery of the campaigns to the times when each individual customer is most likely to engage
  • “The Where” with Predictive Channel-of-Choice: Deliver the campaign on each individual customer’s channel-of-choice


Download ROI of AI Marketing: 4 Levers for Cross-Channel Success


Growth Marketing

Building The Growth Marketing Team Of Your Dreams

A growth marketing team requires a diverse pool of skills. They come from different aspects of an organization.  Even when you have all the right skills, forming a team can be a daunting task. Here’s a look at the skill needed and the primary ways to build your growth marketing team.


The approach to creating your winning growth team starts with, quite simply, an inventory of the skills needed. These skills are often shared by many people across a number of departments. The key is to understand the importance of these skills for the long term success of your growth marketing efforts.

Product Management Know How: 
This individual has to have a comprehensive understanding of key elements of the product experience, the essential product metrics, and a basic understanding of technologies like tag management and API’s to integrate the product experience into marketing channels.

Familiarity with Data Science: 
This team member has to know the basic concepts around data science and statistics to ensure that recommendations and testing are based on sound principles.

Development of Creative:
Every team needs a designer to create templates for emails, push notifications etc, and coding the templates with the right variables.

Expertise in Marketing Channels: 
A guru of marketing channels is essential for a growth marketing team. They have to know the mechanics and metrics for each of the marketing channels being used in the marketing strategy.


With these different cross-functional skill set needed at one table, organizing such a team is a big challenge. Do we have the budget for it? Can we find the talent in-house rather than hire? Should it be organized under marketing or product? Who do they report back to? Should there be a stand alone team? Every business has varying requirements and depending on the stage the business is in and how mature their many organizations are, there can be multiple ways of structuring a growth marketing team. Here are some of the most popular options in organizing your team.

Marketing Oriented Growth Team:
Mature organizations with significant expertise and infrastructure for multiple marketing channels often choose to staff the growth team under the digital marketing organization. The strength of this model is the strong alignment with marketing and brand messages, but the challenges are around staffing the team with the right data science and product skills.

Product Oriented Growth Team:
Startups and product centric companies often choose to build a growth team within their product (or merchandising) teams. The biggest advantage in this model is the strong product knowledge delivering a personalized experience. The key thing to watch for in this setup is to ensure that the team is delivering brand experience while keeping true to their brand design and look.

Integrated Growth Team:
Reporting to the CEO – e.g. Facebook. Led by a versatile leader who has both the product, data, and marketing skills, this team brings together all the various growth skills into one integrated team. This is potentially the strongest model for driving growth, provided you can find that rare leading who can manage such a multi-function integrated team.

Distributed Growth Team:
In this structure, the growth team consists of members from different functional teams like data science, marketing and product, who come together around projects. This configuration is not a good long-term option, but might help you get off the ground with a few early wins in growth marketing.

Once you have the people with the right skills, it’s time to lay out the plan to bring everything together. From my experience, a growth team will evolve over time. The beauty of the growth marketer mentality is around striving for excellence based on results. Not only does this apply to campaigns, it also builds a center of excellence within an organization that drives results and change.

Watch out for more posts about growth marketing, and check out our comprehensive guide here for everything you need to know about the subject.


Industry Deep Dive

The 4 Best Growth Marketing Campaigns That Delight Travelers

This series of blogs goes into detailed campaigns that growth marketers can run for specific industries. These campaigns are tailored towards goals and revenue that growth marketers are responsible for. Our third industry deep dive takes a look at the digital travel booking industry and campaigns specifically tailored for growth marketers to move users along the buying cycle fast and keep them coming back for more purchases.

The digital travel industry has come a long way in the past decade. What started from a handful of booking sites has grown into thousands of websites all fighting for attention through price comparisons, user experience, loyalty benefits, convenience, etc. Everyone is working hard to differentiate themselves from their competition. What they all have in common is thousands of people coming to their site everyday, ever changing inventory and prices, and millions of unique searches of what people are looking for. This creates the perfect recipe for growth marketers to cook up something new in digital engagement campaigns.

Below are 4 personalized email and notification campaigns growth marketers at digital travel companies launch to reduce churn. 

Abandoned Search

For your known users who make a search on your site and do not make a purchase, you can recommend fares based on their recent search with the dates and location from the search. This has to be sent out 1, 3, & 7 days after the search since it is a time sensitive search.

Add a Hotel/Car

A great up-sell campaign for customers who have recently booked a flight on your site is a personalized offer to add a hotel or car to their booking on those same dates based on the flight location/dates. This has to be executed immediately or between 1 and 3 days of the customer booking the flight.

Trending Getaway Deals

This is a great evergreen campaign for all your users to send them the latest and trending weekend getaway deals personalized based on their specific location. It can be sent on a weekly or monthly recurring basis. below is an example using a visitors location to deliver weekend getaways within relatively close distance to them.

Location based recommendations



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Promotional Sale

Another great evergreen campaign that requires little work on the marketers part is a promotions campaign. Airlines and hotels put out promotional offers every now and then and those can be used to send personalized offers of deals from nearby airports/locations based on the user’s location to your active customers on a weekly or monthly basis.






Watch out for more posts about growth marketing, and check out our comprehensive guide here for everything you need to know about the subject.



Programmatic Relationship Marketing

Innovations in programmatic advertising have transformed online media buying, making the process more automated, targeted and measurable. Now programmatic is poised to revolutionize customer relationship marketing.

I wrote an article on this subject today at Adexchanger, titled “When Will The Programmatic Revolution Reach Customer Relationship Marketing?

In my mind, programmatic relationship marketing consists of the following elements:

  • Dynamic Audiences — No more lists. Audiences would be updated in real time, and inclusion won’t necessarily be all-or-nothing. Instead recipients can form an “engagement cloud” where some consumers receive more frequent communications than others based on their interests and previous interactions with a brand.
  • Real-time Triggers – Receiving an email “blast” feels exactly like it sounds. No one likes to be caught in a blast radius. With real-time decision systems, you can now trigger the right message to the right customer at a time that’s based on the customer’s engagement.
  • Dynamic Creative — Personalized template-based communication will help prevent consumers from feeling like they’re being talked at rather than to. This goes beyond acknowledging global variables like time of day, weather and location, and populating creative templates with truly 1:1 elements based on a customer’s interactions with your brand.
  • User-centric, not channel-centric — Channel-centric communication is out. Messaging consumers via their preferred channels — and intelligently across channels — is in.
  • Automatic Measurement and Optimization — Like human beings, marketing campaigns should sense whether or not they’re connecting with their audience. Campaigns that can self-optimize, reacting to what works and what doesn’t, what will deliver more relevant messages and what will do so when recipients are most likely to engage with them.

To read more about about the topic, head over to Adexchanger, or contact us at

Announcing the launch of Personalization Studio

Announcing The Launch of Personalization Studio

In today’s perpetually connected world, consumers are leaving behind richer and richer cues about their wants and needs, and are increasingly expecting marketing to be highly personalized. Marketers have always realized the importance of personalization, but find it highly challenging to deliver a hyper-personalized experience across every digital touchpoint. In fact, a study by eConsultancy found that only 5% of marketers are personalizing extensively.

Previous attempts at solving this challenge have been extremely limited: these solutions don’t adapt to the unique nature of each business, don’t customize easily to different audiences, and are hard to integrate with cross-channel campaign execution.

We are changing that today with the launch of Blueshift’s Personalization Studio. Built using  patent-pending technology, Personalization Studio now enables marketers to directly configure and deliver various forms of Hyper-Personalized Predictive Content, based on real-time streams of user interaction events. Read the full announcement here.

If you are ready to start on your hyper-personalization journey, give us a shout at!



Customer Journey

Why Marketer-Defined Customer Journeys are No Longer Adequate

I shared my thoughts on PerformanceIN last week on why marketer-defined customer journeys are no longer adequate in the new world of perpetually connected customers.

“..with the rise of the perpetually connected customer, consumer brands are quickly finding that marketer-defined customer journeys are no longer adequate to describe the different ways that customers interact with content or search for products. In this increasingly complex environment, marketers must change the way they conceptualize a consumer’s path to purchase, and adopt a new paradigm — real-time context is king.”

Read more at PerformanceIN’s website.

Announcing the launch of Personalization Studio

Welcoming Pete Cowing to Blueshift

I am delighted to announce that Pete Cowing has joined Blueshift as our VP of Sales. Pete brings a wealth of experience from the marketing technology domain, with previous sales leadership positions at Marketo & IBM. With his deep knowledge of the space, Pete has become a trusted advisor to marketers looking for next generation solutions that drive delightful customer experiences and strong RoI.

So why did Pete join Blueshift? In his own words, “Blueshift has set itself apart by focusing deeply on the needs of B2C marketers, and the personalized experience that today’s consumer demands. I’m excited to be joining a company that is setting the standard for personalization and automation in marketing.”

Read more here.

Blueshift Wins Stevie® Awards in Marketing & Big Data Categories

Blueshift Wins Stevie® Awards in Marketing & Big Data Categories


We are excited to share that Blueshift has won awards in 3 categories at the 2016 Stevie Awards. We have long been believed that the next generation of marketing will be powered by big data and machine learning. That’s why we are especially honored to receive the Stevie Awards in new product categories for both marketing as well as big data:

  • Silver Winner: New Product or Service of the Year – Software – Marketing/Public Relations Solution
  • Bronze Winner: New Product or Service of the Year – Software – Big Data Solution
  • Bronze Winner: Tech Startup of the Year

Read more here.

Luma Capital and Blueshift

LUMA Capital Partners Invests in Blueshift

I am excited to share with you that LUMA Capital Partners recently co-led our Series A financing round and that LUMA’s Carey Lai has joined our Board as an observer.

The LUMA team is led by some of the world’s smartest and most experienced mar-tech investors and advisors. We could not be more pleased by this alignment because it is validation of our category and market position. Carey brings incomparable experience helping scale companies like Sprinklr and Gigya.


LUMA’s team believe, as we do, that Cross Channel 1:1 Mass Personalization is one of the most important themes for mar-tech in 2016. Marketers know that mass personalization can drive substantial revenue through higher conversions, as well as deliver a delightful consumer experience. However, in order to reach this promised land, marketers need to be able to harness large amounts of real-time and historical data to understand the user’s full context in real-time, select the right content for that context, and deliver the personalized marketing message across different channels. The challenge is especially hard at scale for consumer (B2C or e-commerce) marketers who have a large library of content/merchandise, as well as millions of highly engaged web and mobile visitors.

Traditionally, marketing organizations have not directly been able to tap into the power of big data and machine learning to automate hyper-personalized marketing. As a result, most forms of automated marketing today feel too robotic with a generic message, and don’t communicate a personalized story.

Blueshift’s approach finally changes that. Blueshift enables marketers to create dynamically updating segments of customers based on behavioral & predictive factors, and with a few clicks, select various forms of personalized content ranging from collaborative filtering & retargeting to user affinity based content. Without any involvement from IT, marketers can now create sophisticated campaigns on channels like email, mobile push notifications, SMS, Facebook, display retargeting, and more. At the same time, the platform comes with powerful APIs that can be leveraged by large enterprises to enhance existing marketing technology systems. We are excited to be already executing on this vision at scale.

Look out for more exciting news ahead. If you’re as excited about personalized marketing as we are, and are looking to join a small, accomplished group building the future of this fast growing space, Blueshift is hiring! Head on over to