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CRM Journey Orchestration Showdown: AI vs. Manual

An Optimove client tested whether AI-based CRM Journey orchestration would beat human-led orchestration in increasing customer LTV. Spoiler alert: AI won (and it wasn't close)

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Obvious alert: The more granular your CRM journeys are, the more personalized your marketing becomes. It’s one and the same, basically, but bear with me.

As your marketing becomes more personalized, your messages become more relevant and effective, Right? And that leads to increased customer lifetime value.

And so, to increase customer lifetime value and deliver customers a more relevant experience, all you have to do is create more personalized campaigns, targeting more granular segments.

It’s all very logical, really, I know. But is it as easy to execute as it is simple to explain? Well, the short answer is: no. Not if you don’t have the right tools.

See, as you scale your CRM marketing, creating more and more elaborate customer journeys that account for every possible scenario in your customer’s relationship with your brand becomes humanly impossible.

Accurately mapping the customer’s journey, taking into account all possible outcomes and how customer behavior could change, is not something people can do at scale.

Since real life is not limited to just a handful of predictable scenarios, and customers can change their behaviors, preferences, and needs at any given moment, limiting your CRM marketing to pre-defined manually mapped CRM journeys means you’re missing out on opportunities.

Now you see that problem?

To solve this issue, we at Optimove came up with one of the most disruptive CRM technological capabilities ever – the Self-Optimizing Journeys (SOJ). With SOJ, you can enjoy AI-mapped CRM journeys that are autonomously scalable and highly personalized.

But trusting AI to do the job takes a mature, confident marketer. Luckily, many of Optimove’s clients answer this description to a tee. Some are even more innovative than others.

But instead of you just taking our word for it, in this blog post, we’ll show you how Funstage pitted the Self-Optimizing Journeys against manually mapped CRM journeys done by intelligent, experienced marketers.

Let’s dive in.

Our Promise: Scale your CRM marketing with AI–Mapped Journeys

With SOJ, Optimove’s AI will decide which campaign to send to each customer, at every touchpoint, based on the campaign’s predicted impact on Future Value (a predictive metric that Optimove generates to forecast a customer’s lifetime value) – and serve them the next-best-action.

That means that as a marketer, you don’t need to waste time mapping journeys and can focus on coming up with granular segments and creative messages to capitalize on more customer moments throughout a customer’s journey.

Funstage’s Goal: Improving Reactivation Rate with AI-Mapped Journeys

Funstage is a multi-platform gaming service provider offering more than 150 cards, boards, sports, and casino games in more than 20 languages.

The company’s flagship product, GameTwist, is one of the largest online gaming communities, attracting more than 4 million players per month worldwide. The company has been an early adopter of many of Optimove’s most advanced features, and as such, they were among our first clients to put SOJ to the test.

Funstage’s marketing team wanted to optimize their Dormant-to-Reactivated lifecycle migration rate. Meaning they wanted to find a way to reactivate their dormant users who are no longer playing. (such “lifecycle-based marketing strategy” is one of our main building blocks here at Optimove. If you’re interested in learning more about it, click here)

Testing, Testing

One of their ideas for improving the reactivation rate was to give up control over their manually orchestrated CRM journeys and test Optimove’s AI-mapped journeys instead.

To get scientifically accurate results, Funstage used another one of Optimove’s most unique features – Streams.

With Streams, you can test two multi-campaign treatments to measure which one has a more significant impact on a particular KPI or lifecycle migration rate.

And so, Funstage’s CRM Manager, Diana Parasmo, created two treatments: an AI-mapped one and a manually orchestrated one.

Each treatment included the same set of campaigns, creatives, and offers.

The difference was only the orchestration approach.

Spoiler Alert: AI Won (by 17%)

As results turned statistically credible, it was clear that treatment A (the entirely AI-mapped journey) outperformed treatment B, improving migration rate by 5%, and leading to a 46% increase in future value, 17% higher than the manually prioritized treatment.

Not only did the team save time by not manually prioritizing target groups, but they also improved results.

As you can imagine, Diana was delighted with the outcome. “Usually, I need to decide which campaign or series of campaigns to deliver to a group of customers. With Optimove’s AI journey mapping capabilities, I can target each individual customer within the segment with the optimal journey for them. This saves us plenty of time while also maximizing our customers’ lifetime value “, she said. And we approve this message!


Self-Optimizing Journeys help marketers create contextually relevant, personalized communications by leveraging next-gen AI. By combining the most up-to-date customer data with value predictions, Optimove determines the adequate campaign for each individual.

Furthermore, Optimove’s AI CRM journey orchestration capabilities maximize customer lifetime value by considering the immediate campaign and the ones following it, their probability of occurrence, and the expected potential gain from each resulting CRM journey.

As a marketer, this lets you focus on your messages, segments, and offers, saving you precious time that used to be spent on unscalable manual campaign prioritization and orchestration efforts.

This means there’s more time for other unscalable human activities, like enjoying an ice cream. And nothing beats that. Not even robots.

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Dani Amitay

As a Product Marketing Manager at Optimove, Dani's focus is on product adoption and retention among existing customers. She has a rich background at the intersection of product and marketing, leveraging both to create sustainable growth. And if you’re ever traveling to Tel Aviv and need any advice on the trendiest yummy spots, send her a message on Instagram.