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Each season, Braze shares an exclusive look at our platform's new features and functionality. This fall, Braze is introducing seven new and updated features to help brands build resilient customer engagement programs.

Marketers are no strangers to dealing with seismic shifts within their industries—from the rise of television to this century’s mobile revolution—but they typically observe those changes unfold over the course of years (or even decades). This year, however, all of us have seen our personal and professional lives fundamentally reordered by the global pandemic over a matter of weeks or months.

Over the past decade, there have been many reasons for brands to invest in increasingly digital, agile, and cross-channel approaches to marketing. But since the rise of COVID-19, it’s become clear to many straggling brands that fundamentally transforming business models and marketing programs is the only way forward—in fact, according to a recent survey conducted by Fortune magazine and Deloitte, 77% of CEOs reported that the COVID-19 crisis has accelerated their digital transformation plans.

This need to keep moving forward in a highly challenging environment has made resilience the “it” factor that will determine brands’ success going forward. That’s why we’ve been so hard at work here at Braze over the last few months building new features and updating existing ones to help marketers build resiliency into their organizations and customer engagement programs. We believe that the recipe for resilient customer marketing lies in the combination of accessible and actionable data, a flexible and adaptable tech ecosystem, and cohesive cross-channel experiences.

(Don’t have time to read all about our new features? No problem! Download and share our Fall Launch Product Brief with your team to get up to speed.)

Get More Insights, Faster With Real-Time Data

Unprecedented world events often lead to major shifts in consumer behavior. To respond to those shifts quickly and thoughtfully, resilient marketers make a point of leveraging real-time customer behavior data to understand and serve their customers’ preferences—new or old. The Braze platform’s new data and reporting improvements were built to provide you with enhanced user insights, more easily measure the impact of your customer campaigns, and adapt your marketing programs so they can continue to resonate with consumers today, tomorrow, and long after the pandemic is over.

The Braze platform’s Report Builder feature
  • Understand the Results of Your Campaigns with Report Builder: Data is essential to resilient customer engagement because it allows brands to shape strategies and respond to changing customer and market dynamics. Braze Report Builder makes that simpler by allowing marketers to easily measure and compare the results from multiple campaigns in a single view directly within Braze. Our user-friendly interface allows you to spin up, save, and share reports that are as granular or high-level as you want. You and your teams can access the insights to understand which engagement strategies support your KPIs and stay aligned for your future planning.
Identify Trouble Spots with Braze Funnel Reports
  • Optimize Campaign Outcomes with Funnel Reports: While Report Builder provides a fantastic first stop for reporting needs, marketers who need to dive deeper into conversions to better retain their hard-won customers should look no further than Braze Funnel Reports. This feature makes it easy to visualize and plot out different user actions after someone receives a campaign or enters a Canvas, allowing marketers to optimize outcomes wherever they see drop-offs.
  • Unify and Act on Customer Data with Braze and Tealium: This year has showcased the power and resilience of digital channels, making them indispensable to brands. It also highlighted the importance of ensuring that marketers have the right tools to harness their data across different platforms, channels, and technologies. To make this easier, Braze has partnered with leading customer data platform (CDP) Tealium to help brands unify all of the rich customer data being created across different touchpoints, platforms, and devices—supporting a single view of each customer and allowing marketers to personalize the customer experience in real time.

Break Boundaries To Reach Customers In New Ways

This year has broken the boundaries associated with office work by forcing billions of us to adopt new work rituals, processes, and tools. And while these shifts have been disruptive and difficult at times, they’ve also opened up new possibilities for resilient brands to challenge the status quo and reimagine their business practices and strategies. In keeping with this shift, Braze is introducing new features designed to help you roll with today’s punches by expanding the familiar boundaries of your technology ecosystem and reaching your customers in new and effective ways via our newest partnerships, SDKs, and segmentation enhancements.

Gather in-game insights with our new Unreal Engine SDK
  • Connect With Users in Real Time As They Play Games Across Platforms: With so many people around the world spending most of their time at home, the gaming industry—which supports 2.7 billion gamers worldwide—has been booming. In the US alone, Nielsen has reported a 46% increase in time spent gaming this year. To help resilient marketers respond to this opportunity, we’ve launched a new SDK that will allow brands to identify, understand, and engage users based on their behaviors within games built using Unreal Engine. The Unreal Engine SDK powers further segmentation, personalization, and messaging that speaks to your users as they game, supporting a more cohesive, meaningful customer/brand relationship.
Get more granular with Braze segmentation enhancements
  • Build More Precise Segments with Segmentation Enhancements: While the Braze platform’s native dynamic segmentation feature already allows marketers to target and identify users in real time across all of the different platforms and channels we support, we’re not stopping there. Braze is launching new updates to segmentation to allow marketers to build even more precise segments and to look back over longer time frames to enable more nuanced, granular targeting. These new capabilities allow you to drill down deeper to identify and reach users who have completed any custom event or purchase in the last year, supporting greater flexibility over your segmentation time window and the frequency of the activities included in your segmentation approach.
  • Deliver Comprehensive Customer Engagement Built on Microsoft Azure: The rise of cloud computing has allowed brands to overcome the cost, scalability, and security barriers associated with traditional corporate computing. This quarter, Braze is pleased to announce that we’re now partnering with Microsoft Azure to offer brands the option to host and process Braze data on Microsoft Azure. For brands who prefer or have already assembled their technology stack on Azure, this announcement makes it possible to align your overall technology strategies and investments with the effective use of Braze, allowing you to build greater resilience and cohesion into your organization.

Maximize Your Impact With Cross-Channel Strategies

In today’s challenging business landscape, we’re seeing more consumers responding to personalized, cross-channel campaigns—and more brands leaning into these key tactics to bolster their customer engagement results. While cross-channel programs have been part of marketers’ toolkit for a while, 2020 has undoubtedly accelerated the pace of digital transformation and forced marketers to reimagine their messaging strategy. To help brands as they navigate these likely irreversible changes, Braze is providing marketers with an expanded lineup of channel options, including a new dedicated transactional email channel.

Dependable, lightning-fast transactional email with Braze
  • Deliver Continuous Value with Transactional Email: Many marketing teams have historically ended up using different tools for their marketing and transactional messages because their marketing platforms aren’t configured to support both while meeting their speed and performance needs. Thankfully, our new transactional email support lets you close the loop and send customers critical time-sensitive alerts on everything from purchases and shipping, to billing and security updates, and much more—all with the speed and scale you’ve come to expect from Braze and all from the same dashboard and within the same workflow.

Final Thoughts

The shifts in consumer behavior brought on by COVID-19 are dramatic—and there will be more to come before we see the end of this global pandemic. Those changes will likely persist into the future, but marketers can support not just short-term resiliency, but also long-term success by having new processes and products in place to respond effectively to those changes today and going forward.

To learn more about each of these product updates and how they can support a more effective, more resilient customer engagement program, check out the Braze Fall Customer Webinar. Join our product marketing team as they explore the ins-and-outs of these emerging products, key use cases, and essential best practices in a single, informative session.

Nazgul Kemelbek

Nazgul Kemelbek is a Senior Product Marketing Manager at Braze. Outside of work, her time is split between parenting her teenage son and overcoming her anxiety of not accomplishing enough with a few “writing” projects.