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    Dynamic Content and Velocity Scripting in Marketo – Solidifying the Move Towards Personalization

    In this competitive landscape of creating superior marketing campaigns, personalization emerges as a potent force that propels success.

    The use of personalized content allows marketers to transition from batch and blast emails to more targeted email communications.

    However, delivering personalized content at scale requires automation. Marketo’s native Dynamic Content capabilities provide a gateway to unparalleled personalization, while Velocity Scripting elevates your efforts to new heights.

    With AI leading the bandwagon on how businesses operate, there are plenty of other tools to help your personalization efforts.

    By combining the power of AI with Marketo’s features, designed to streamline your day-to-day operations, you can make your business grow better.

    In this article, we’ll examine both Dynamic Content and Velocity Scripting, their uses, and emerging AI trends.

    Dynamic Content

    What is Dynamic Content?

    Dynamic content is any digital content that changes based on data, behavior, preferences, and the interest of the users. It refers to websites as well as email content and is generated when a user requests a page.

    Limitation of Dynamic Content

    Dynamic content in Webflow enables you to add, update, and import content whenever you want. However, it has some limitations. These are:

    • You can only create five slots in the production view.
    • You can only add 20 collection list elements per page.
    • You can have only one nested collection list per page.

    When to Use Dynamic Content

    With Dynamic Content, you can customize how different prospects see a landing page or email. It is a great way to provide personalized content based on your persona’s industries and target markets. You can use Dynamic Content when you:

    • Want to have a content block standardized but with multiple variations that can be substituted for one another (branding elements, contact information, executive bios, etc).
    • Want to maintain consistency across email communications because you want the recipients to recognize the emails as coming from a single organization.
    • Insert brand lockups at the top of the email template as well as for the email footer content such as the boilerplate content or any important piece of information about your brand.

    What is Velocity Scripting?

    Marketo’s Velocity Script Tokens (these are just another type of program Token in Marketo like Rich Text Tokens or Add To Calendar tokens) offer an additional opportunity to personalize your email marketing campaigns, resulting in more personalized experiences for your prospects and customers.

    Limitations of Velocity Scripting

    Velocity Scripting has some limitations. These are:

    • It cannot nest program or script tokens within script tokens. It can only reference fields on the contact record/custom object.
    • It cannot use script tokens within Snippets or Dynamic Content sections.

    When to Use Velocity Scripting?

    Velocity Scripting provides an HTML-based alternative to Marketo’s Dynamic Content feature. This means that you have more control over your tokens. The most familiar case where you’ll want Velocity Scripting as your go-to alternative to the Dynamic Content feature is when you want to go beyond an either/or scenario.

    Also, Dynamic Content and segmentation have some technical limitations when it comes to creating personalized experiences. Marketo limits the number of segmentation within a single instance to 20. For businesses with a lot of audience targeting variables, this limit can be reached quickly. Additionally, Marketo limits the number of segments within each segmentation to 100.

    You can use Velocity Script tokens when:

    • You need to reference multiple attributes on a contact record at the same time. For example, you want to merge a name field + age to create a single dynamic Hi [Name] Age token.
    • You need to hide/show a content section based on user preferences or other attributes. For instance, show a specific piece of content to customers if they’re located in a specific region.
    Velocity Scripting

    For example, you run a pet care company that provides products for a range of pets. Your leads and prospects own cats and dogs, so they show interest in multiple topics.

    You can give them the option to explore multiple product areas such as healthy pet diet tips, pet grooming tips, and adoption best practices. With traditional segmentation, it may be hard to send leads a personalized follow-up email, because creating segments for each product area might be complex and time-consuming.

    That’s where Velocity Scription can help. You can send follow-up information to the leads about the topic they were interested in, by using Velocity Scripting. This way, they’re getting the personalized experience they want, without being hit with extra information.

    Tips to Use Velocity Scripting Tokens in Marketo

    Now that we’ve established when to use this feature, here are some best practices you can keep in mind while using Velocity Scripting.

    1. Maintain an Offline Archive of Tokens

    Keep an offline archive of your tokens and try to maintain history (as Marketo does not maintain a history other than the date that the token was updated). This way, you can always revert back to the previous version of your token if needed.

    2. Document Changes to Tokens

    Along with documentation of the new versions of tokens, always keep notes in the offline files documenting what changed in the logic/code with the new version. Also, you can use comments to document changes right in the token logic itself.

    3. Store Tokens Where You Intend to Use Them Inside Your Programs

    Tokens can be stored in a Marketo Activities Folder or an individual program. You can access the tokens from all sub-folders and programs below the folder where the token is created. So, make sure you’re creating tokens knowing where you intend to use them inside your programs. Also, tokens that will be used globally should be placed in the top level of the folder of your Marketo instance.

    4. Be Aware of Field Types

    Marketo’s read-only and CRM fields all get converted to a string when they are used in Velocity Scripting. For instance, if you want your script to compare numbers (greater than, less than, etc), you have to convert those fields back to numeric values in your Velocity Script before you do the comparison.

    How to Take Your Personalization Game Up a Notch With Marketo + AI

    Velocity Script Tokens in Marketo give users an additional opportunity to personalize their content other than segmentation and Dynamic Content.

    Here’s how you can use Marketo with AI to take your personalization efforts a notch higher. You can:

    • Create personalized HTML emails (using AI tools like ChatGPT) with placeholders (default values) for dynamic values.
    • Create promotional codes (to attract more leads and convert more sales) using random number generator functions.
    • Tailor orders to your customers by creating emails that include personalized orders and product content.
    • Use it to create web applications/emails as a direct replacement for JSP (Java Server Page).
    • Personalize subject lines, data, and announcements, and optimize your overall content to boost your visibility on search engines.

    Top AI Trends That Will Revolutionize Personalized Content Creation in 2023 & Beyond

    Content is a crucial part of marketing to drive visitors, leads, and revenue. And creating content is time-consuming and resource-intensive. However, AI software will help anyone on your team ideate, create, and share content in a breeze. If you’re a tech-savvy marketer, it’s crucial for you to stay apprised of the latest and greatest from the realm of content AI trends. Here are the top trends.

    • Top tools like ChatGPT & Bard will take the world by storm.
    • AI-powered personalization will take the front seat.
    • AI-based content optimization will help businesses improve their search rankings.
    • AI-based multilingual content creation will allow for more accurate translation and more natural-sounding language.
    • AI will revolutionize the generation of highly realistic and complex visual content.

    The Bottom Line

    If implemented correctly, Velocity Scripting can help you create personalized content that reaches beyond simple segmentation and drive those one-to-one experiences that inspire action. And that’s not all! By teaming up with AI-powered tools and Marketo’s feature-rich arsenal, you have the potential to delight customers with tailor-made encounters at every interaction.

    If you’re ready to become a Marketo marketing pro and want an extra set of hands to implement the Velocity Scripting functionality in your Marketo assets, feel free to drop us a line at [email protected], and we’ll take it from there!