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Achievement Unlocked: How a Gaming Retailer Upgraded Its Customer Personalization Strategies


As one of the largest video game and electronics retailers in the country, this retailer was facing the decline of in-store traffic and ever-changing customer expectations. In order to find relevance in the experience economy, the brand partnered with Merkle to implement a solution that would efficiently provide personalized marketing at scale.

As the partners began to collaborate, they found a key insight: Gamers want to know about the latest releases before they happen and that means receiving communications at optimal times during promotional periods, like the holiday season.


To execute large email sends and connect with gamers through relevant messaging, the brand needed a robust technology program and strategy that would provide a singular view of the customer. Merkle analyzed how the retailer’s current marketing platform was handling its email deployment workload.

Due to the lack of efficiency in send times and reporting, the first step was migrating the brand to Salesforce Marketing Cloud. The enterprise platform would allow for the game retailer to integrate its marketing messaging with data tools to send relevant, personalized communications to its customers. Next, Merkle dove into the brand’s in-store transactional data over the last five years. Through an RFM (recency, frequency, monetary) analysis, the agency provided a strategic framework for future targeted communications based on detailed customer behavior and the lifecycle of a game.

The retailer relied on the expertise of Merkle’s certified SFMC team to implement Marketing Cloud and integrate and activate Audience Studio as the brand’s data-management platform. The implementation and migration of SFMC included building email templates – with dynamic content areas using Content Builder – IP address warming, and data integration trigger messaging.

kid playing video games

Merkle also activated Salesforce products Ad Studio, Einstein, Social Studio, and Datorama; provided strategy; built data dashboards; uncovered customer insights; conducted campaign analysis; and made recommendations for marketing communications. The messaging recommendations included building customer journeys, based on segmented audiences, and a cross-channel integration of messaging for abandoned cart, browse, win-back, and lifecycle-of-a-game communications.

Finally, Merkle built a new game-playbook concept for marketing three types of games, which details pre- and post-release messaging and recommendations for when it’s optimal to scale down or scale up email sends, depending on the popularity of the game.


The brand and Merkle launched the new SFMC platform solution in one of the smoothest and largest implementations the agency has ever done. Using Audience Studio and SFMC in tandem, the solution unifies offline and online data from all channels, including the retailer’s mobile app and commerce site, to activate personalized messaging in nearly any channel and medium.

Armed with an intelligent, experience-driven, human-centered program – with a first-party data asset and insight-rich messaging strategy – the company now has the ability to send targeted campaigns with relevant content to its customers. That’s next-level marketing.

Keys to success

  • Leveraging Merkle’s place as one of the world’s top Salesforce Marketing Cloud partners to migrate the retailer’s ESP and integrate its marketing with additional Salesforce tools – such as Audience Studio, Ad Studio, Einstein, Social Studio, and Datorama – for more personalized messaging
  • Developing a strategic framework for future targeted messaging based on detailed customer behaviors and product lifecycles.
  • Creating playbooks for three types of games with messaging at various stages and recommendations for when to scale up or down the email sends.

Discover how we did it. Contact us today.

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