Comparison of Emarsys and the SAP Marketing Cloud

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Reaching customers with the right message at the right time on the right channel – that’s the big goal of every marketer. At the end of 2020, SAP expanded its customer experience portfolio with a marketing solution by acquiring the marketing platform Emarsys. But the question is how different Emarsys is from the SAP Marketing Cloud already in the SAP portfolio. A solution depends primarily on its users’ needs. The second step is to select the software. The strengths of the SAP Marketing Cloud and those of Emarsys, and how the two solutions compare, are best determined with concrete use cases.

Let’s start with the basics: What is Emarsys? What is the SAP Marketing Cloud?

Emarsys is an “omnichannel customer engagement platform.” Originally, Emarsys was created from a mailing execution tool, so the solution has a lot to offer with regard to process. Predefined workflows for a personalized address to the customers are a specialty of Emarsys. Thus, the so-called time-to-value can be shortened and the NPS increases. In the classic B2C environment in particular, this enables a greater competitive advantage in retail and e-commerce. Companies can increase their brand awareness faster with predefined strategies and measure and monitor their activities more accurately.

In addition to the B2C sector, the SAP Marketing Cloud is exploiting its full potential in the B2B sector. Lead marketing and account-based marketing are the two main keywords here. The Marketing Cloud is data-driven and therefore embodies a classic SAP property. Complex, large, and comprehensive data structures and decision-making processes in the purchasing process of B2B customers are in good hands there. For example, even if there are multiple brands to be managed, the SAP Marketing Cloud offers opportunities to address these appropriately. Standard integration packages are available for interaction with the long-established solutions in the SAP Customer Experience portfolio (including the SAP Sales Cloud, SAP Commerce Cloud, and SAP Customer Data Cloud).

A comparison: Emarsys and the SAP Marketing Cloud 

The easiest way to compare systems is to compare special requirements with use cases in both solutions.  

Use Case 1: B2B, B2C, and complex data structures

The requirements: A company already has several systems in place to collect customer data and to sell tickets for events under different brands. Private customers (B2C) make independent purchases in the ticket shop via a SAP Customer Data Cloud (CDC) login. Corporate customers (B2B) are created via the SAP Sales Cloud and ticket purchases are handled in the back end. The marketing solution should be able to send e-mail newsletters to all customers and execute targeted e-mail campaigns based on historical purchases.

The solution with Emarsys: Due to the need to separate the data (B2B, B2C, and two marketing requests), a total of four Emarsys tenants are required. This affects the complexity of the integration, as it is important to clearly define when which data should be loaded into which tenant. The data model also has to be extended via a relational database. This is where transactional data that is required for segmentation is stored. Based on predefined templates, all the necessary data could then be used for segmentation. Net promoter score software is crucial for assessing customer satisfaction and loyalty.

The solution with the SAP Marketing Cloud: By using marketing areas and defining the match&merge logic, the data can be stored within an SAP Marketing Cloud tenant. The standard integration packages are used as a basis for connecting to other SAP systems (SAP Sales Cloud and SAP CDC). However, these have to be expanded in order to obtain all the necessary information. The transactional data can be stored as interactions in the SAP Marketing Cloud and can also be updated. The segmentation has to be extended to include the customer-specific fields but remains close to the standard and allows flexible segmentation of all data.

Use Case 2: Classic B2C e-commerce case with own online shop and app

The requirements: Here we look at a company that generates a large part of sales through its own online shop (Web and app). Transaction data (for example page visits, product views, changes to the shopping cart) and transaction data (purchases, cancellations, complaints, etc.) are to be sent as events to the marketing system in real time. This data should be combined in a 360-degree user profile, regardless of the source system. In addition, classic e-commerce use cases, such as a reminder about the filled shopping cart, are among the requirements.

The solution with Emarsys: Fulfilling typical e-commerce requirements and mapping use cases is one of the strengths of the new SAP engagement platform. The Web Extend and Mobile Engage SDK capture all the customer’s digital interactions in real time, which are used for segmentation, personalization, and as triggers for execution. Product data can be supplied as a feed that is updated daily. With the “tactics”, Emarsys provides the marketer with a powerful collection of out-of-the-box use cases that can be activated with just a few clicks. Thanks to artificial intelligence, the tool independently recognizes which actions and use case should be triggered at the right times and issues these as recommendations. In order to assess the success of campaigns, Emarsys includes useful dashboards with the most important e-commerce KPIs, which are enriched with so-called “smart insights.”

The solution with the SAP Marketing Cloud: If the customer’s IT environment includes not just SAP products (in which case, much of the data integration could be addressed with standard connectors), the relevant transaction data is imported into the SAP Marketing Cloud as interactions (for example, via the REST API). Customers can then be segmented, and marketing campaigns (incl. budget plan) planned using this database.

Bottom line: Conclusion 

Which of the two systems is better? The answer is simple: “It depends.” The use cases show: It depends on the company’s processes and goals. If the individual requirements in both solutions are compared, taking into account the existing IT environment, it is easy to determine which solution is ahead of the curve.

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