The challenge

SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management, creates better workplaces where employers and employees thrive together. As the voice of all things work, workers and the workplace, SHRM is the foremost expert, convener and thought leader on issues impacting today's evolving workplaces. With 300,000+ HR and business executive members in 165 countries, SHRM impacts the lives of more than 115 million workers and families globally.

With this mission, SHRM needed to shift its marketing efforts from product-centric to an audience-centric approach. The organization realized a decisioning tool was necessary to help improve retention and personalize engagement with its members. SHRM partnered with Merkle to implement Salesforce Interaction Studio and design use cases to highlight the platforms capabilities.


Lift in clickthroughs of the content and benefits recommendations


Lift in clickthroughs for the most popular HR news recommendations

The goals

  • Implement Interaction Studio to serve up the right recommendations and improve user engagement.
  • Grow member base via smart lead generation tactics.
  • Enhance the customer journey.
  • Improve customer lifetime value.
  • Ultimately improve member retention.
The personalization we can now deliver in real time allows SHRM to continue to help create better workplaces for a better world.

Faheem ul Afaq

Director, Business Intelligence and Marketing Technology, SHRM


The approach

Merkle conducted interviews with key team members to determine where Interaction Studio could be most impactful. After understanding SHRM’s business and its objectives in depth, the team drafted several multichannel use cases to be implemented in phases. To further understand site visitors and better inform campaign decisions, we leveraged transactions and user demographics data from SHRM’s ERP platform to enhance segmentation and deepen machine learning capabilities. Interaction Studio was also integrated with SHRM’s email marketing automation platform to further enhance the user identity and streamline user journey across channels.

The initial phase consisted of personalization occurring in four key placements:

  • A smart lead generation modal that offers a download of topic-specific PDFs based on the affinity the visitor has demonstrated during their site activity.
  • A personalized onboarding journey that navigates new SHRM members through their initial month of membership.
  • A content recommendation widget showing the most popular content on the HR News pages via Einstein Recipes. The title and recipe of the widget was A/B tested to get optimum results.
  • Another content recommendation widget on the content pages showing personalized recommendations via Einstein Recipes. The 1:1 recommendation broken out between two audiences based on their relationship with SHRM and their access level.

The latter two were designed to keep visitors engaged, who are mostly arriving from web searches that inherently had higher bounce rate. Early analysis showed these machine learning campaigns are keeping not only returning but also new site visitors more engaged.

The outcome

Utilizing the full power of a decisioning tool, SHRM is now able to serve existing and potential members the right message at the right time and place.

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