(Last Updated On: September 26, 2022)

HCL released a major update to Unica 12.0 in 2020. The upgraded Unica is sexier than ever. So, we just assumed all Unica users would upgrade.

But no.

Sadly, many, including some of our clients (Oh! the shame!), have not. Even though it has been 2 years since Unica released this update.

Are you already using Unica Campaign for marketing automation? Then it’s a no-brainer to upgrade to 12.X? But if you are still dragging your feet, this article will give the clarity (if that’s what you need) to justify it.

Here are 9 main reasons why it’s imperative you upgrade to Unica 12.x. We break down each headline into top features and show how you benefit. By the time you finish reading through, you may concede Xerago is an expert at all things Unica. Maybe you will even schedule a time to talk to us about using Unica to manage your brand marketing!

Let’s get to it.

The delight is in the details….

1.Superior Workflow Management

Using automation to manage workflows is at the core of modern campaign management. After the new Unica 12.x Campaign Plan module upgrade, all marketing activities, from planning to execution, are much easier. Workflow Management no longer depends on other support platforms.

Easier to prioritize tasks and collaborate

Contents

In earlier versions of Unica Campaign Plan, managing workflows was cumbersome. Particularly with scheduling daily activities among project teams. Users depended on added email support to address questions, track progress, and receive status updates.

The newly updated Campaign Plan module has an improved UI. It has features for collaborative work management that don’t depend excessively on emails. There are 3 new project workflow views - Spreadsheets, Gantt Charts, and Campaign Calendar views.

New views in the Campaign Plan module make it easier to manage tasks - make changes, prioritize, and manage overdue tasks with color coded indicators. And visually plot the entire process sequence as a flowchart. Project managers and teams love the new To-Do Checklist. It allows them to collaborate in creating, editing, rejecting, and adding notes.

Campaign Artefacts - Handled internally now

Every campaign creates artifacts you need to maintain. During the campaign planning stage, these can be worksheets, approvals, and checklists. In earlier versions, campaign program teams opened third-party applications outside the platform to create, edit, and manage such artifacts.

In the updated version, you can do all this from right within the Campaign Plan module. Directly import or copy content from external Word or Excel documents to your project’s operational artifacts.

You can also copy approval forms and checklists from external applications. How about jazzing up plain textual content with Rich Text Attributes like colors, fonts, and bullets? Now, you can.

Benefits from the upgraded module – One Universal View. In Real-time.

The new interface now has a visual depiction of all activities. Program-wide. It is accessible to all teams, managers, and executives. But you can set permissioned need-to-know access for various levels in the hierarchy. How cool is that?

Permits real-time tasks handling and inter-team collaboration. Depicted visually as a map! The updated Campaign Plan module is now a single source of truth. There is no miscommunication or need for external communication tools. Overall, the new Plan module offers a holistic view of all enterprise marketing projects

2.Cut Campaign cycle time

Unica’s Campaign Module now has added features in the Offer Management and Flowcharts modules. For quick execution of campaigns with precise targeting.

Offer Management - All in one place

Unica has always allowed you to create offers across multiple channels, segments, and campaigns. And to reuse Offers. It’s scope was earlier limited to only reuse. It did not allow for logical comparisons of how a specific offer performed for different segments or campaigns.

Unica has now combined all offer management functionalities into the Centralized Offer Management module. You can now compare an offer’s performance against various scenarios before adding it to a campaign. You can see how a particular offer performed on a specific channel, or a specific segment, and so on.

One CMS to rule them all

Earlier Unica had not united Campaign modules with Content Management Systems (CMS). You completed various creatives and landing pages for building campaigns on separate platforms. And then used a Link for connecting to Content Management System. That worked outside the module.

The new upgraded Unica Campaign has built-in integration with CMS. You can now hitch platforms such as AEM, WordPress, your Digital Asset Management systems, and Unica's Digital Experience DX to the CMS platform.

This way, creative teams have a choice to work while still being within the Campaign module. The updated version can also import digital assets from Bing and Google search engines, via the new URL Picker tool.

Losing work on Flowcharts? Not anymore

Flowcharts depict the entire campaign process. Everyone can access it. At all times. As a result, when many worked concurrently with Flowchart, it was unable to save all information. Rendering the multi-use access infructuous. This was a problem with earlier versions of Unica.

Not anymore. The updated Flowchart highlights the current user. Now everyone else knows who is making changes. Flowchart sends everyone an email on the latest status updates. So now, others are aware that their work will not save till the highlighted user is done. Information loss due to concurrence is a thing of the past.

What you get from the updated Campaign module?

The new Centralized Offer Management does not have to depend on data analysts. You can now create, or tweak best offers by analyzing offer performance on past data.

The updated CMS is an integrated platform. It is easier for campaign executors and creative teams to collaborate on the same platform. The new efficiencies in the Campaign module significantly cut campaign cycle time.

No more information loss due to concurrence. Flowchart highlights the active user and sends automatic updates to all other campaign collaborators in real time. Everyone is in sync with the campaign flow process.

3.Faster optimization with improved response rate

Campaigns are perfected by making changes to offers, segments, and delivery channels. The idea is to reduce customer fatigue, increase campaign performance, and revenues.

ALL Optimization is now part of Campaign

In the earlier versions, you run all campaign sessions in a separate Optimize module. You then import these sessions into the Campaign module, to run them in Flowchart. Jumping through multiple screens. And sometimes duplicating processes.

Also, you manage customer fatigue and offer collisions in separate modules. And then go through the same routine of importing optimized sessions into Flowchart and run that again. For sure, this caused delays to optimize and run campaigns. You had a tough row to hoe, but you managed.

No longer. With the new update, you will not need a separate module for optimizing sessions. The good folks at Unica have dropped Unica Optimize as a separate module.

Read that again. Slowly.

All Optimization capabilities are now part of the Flowchart. Where all optimization sessions eventually land up. You use a new Optimize Process Box to run optimization sessions directly in Flowcharts. Inside the Campaign module itself. Oh, the joy!!!

New Contact Central combined with Campaign

Unica's new update introduces a new Contact Central module that directly links to the Campaign module. You can now manage customer consent from within the Campaign module itself.

You can also tailor campaigns for regional preference, like specific time zones. Optimize capacity to calibrate the number of campaigns sent to a contact in a period, without imperiling fatigue.

Benefits from the new updates

You optimize more efficiently, now that both Optimize, and Contact Central are within the Campaign module. So, you can take care that offers from different campaigns do not confuse customers. Also, you contact customers at pre-determined frequencies.

4.Engage customers with better strategies

You personalize campaigns by managing content, customer profiles, and engagements through the Interact module. You then implement such personalization as Strategies. Simply, Strategies are predefined treatment rules for segments, zones, and offers with which a campaign is executed. You know this.

Strategies – overview and drill down, a click away

As a long-suffering user of the pre-update Unica, you have difficulty viewing the treatment rules tied to a strategy. You go through multiple clicks to find the segments, zones and offers associated with a strategy. There is no feature to group filtered strategies. So, you go back-and-forth some, before executing the strategy for a campaign.

What if we told you Unica updated the Interact module to now include a Strategy tab? That it takes just one click to know the various segments, offers and zones linked to that strategy? What if we also told you that with the introduction of filters, you could now categorize and choose strategies that match campaign requirements? Well, we ARE telling you.

Automate personalization with new treatment rules

It makes sense to reuse successful strategies. Why fix something that’s not broken? It’s likely last year’s successful summer offer campaign will work this year as well. The Interact module incorporates this logic - you can define rules to automate periodically run campaigns. Without manually intervening each time.

Centralized Offer Management Meets Interact

Unica brings the Centralized Offer Management (COM) into the Interact module. How does it help? You can now dynamically trigger the best offers based on their earlier engagements. Cool, isn’t it?

Benefits from the latest updates

New strategy interface, new treatment rules, and the integration of offers into the Interact module. The ability to engage with customers, and improve their experience just got a boost.

5.Integrated tools to deliver Omni-Channel messages

Unica Deliver. A completely new module to make Unica 12.0 truly “Omnichannel”. The Deliver module manages all message channels

More inbuilt Omni Channels

Pre-update Unica is not “Omnichannel” in the right sense of the word. It only has email as an inbuilt channel. For all other channels, you integrated third-party APIs. Scaling your campaign for multi-channel or Omnichannel marketing takes some doing. And a lot of toing-and-froing between the Unica Campaign interface and the third-party interfaces.

With version 12.0, the new Unica Deliver has SMS, WhatsApp, and Push message services as new inbuilt channels, in addition to e-mail. These channels support Android and iOS devices. With Unica Deliver, in-app notification campaigns, and Omnichannel campaigns run seamlessly.

Newly added features and their advantages

Send time Optimization

Now that Unica Deliver supports multiple channels, Unica also has Send-time Optimization. You can time campaigns so that recipients receive messages when they are most likely to look at them.

Quick Builder - WYSIWYG editor

The new Quick Builder. It composes creative messages across channels with an easy drag and drop interface. It has multiple features to create, sort and manage message templates across channels. And an extensive collection of emojis, social media icons and templates for easy creation of landing pages, push and email messages. So, What You See Is What You Get. Your messages just got hipper!

Litmus testing for Multi-device Preview

The new Deliver module has a Litmus testing tool. It confirms that your marketing messages are rendered exactly how you want them to be. On devices, browsers, and operating systems. Making your messages compatible across 50 + devices in just a click. No more sloppy mistakes on creatives when testing multiple devices. Your brand standards are consistent across channels, devices, and interfaces.

Two Way SMS feature

Traditional campaign management tools use the SMS channel for one-way communication. Mostly with a link for a customer action. Customers cannot reply to that message. They can either click on the link, or - Yikes! - opt- out.

You look at delivery reports to check the number of SMS links opened. Even after that, reporting the customer interest level is a bit of a toss-up.

The Unica 12.X upgrade has Two-Way SMS. Customers can reply with keywords, which the Deliver module tracks. You can record customer interest at once, and more accurately.

Deliverability testing

The nifty deliverability testing feature predicts the number of campaign messages that are likely to be delivered to inbox or marked spam. This helps make changes to message contents to reduce their chances of being marked spam.

Inbuilt URL shortener and link tester

The Deliver module comes with an inbuilt URL shortener. And you can test the short URLs from within the module itself, before adding them to campaign messages. Earlier, you were depending on a third-party service provider to shorten those links.

Platform-wide Integration

The new Deliver module supports easy integration with Journey, Campaign, Interact, and Contact Central modules. It’s easy now to reuse / cross-use message templates across channels. Integration with Contact Central also aids the compliance with regulations and standards.

6.Easier customer journeys

Unica 12.0 introduces a new and dedicated Journey module. For executing goal based omni-channel customer journeys.

Reasons for a dedicated Journey module

You, as a pre- update infidel, are still managing to organize Journeys the old way. Not through a delicious and dedicated Journey module (that’s only for the chosen ones on this side of the 12.x update :-P) but muddling through with Flowcharts and the limited capabilities of the Campaign module. And struggling with excessive processing load on the Campaign module.

The latest 12.0 update comes with a dedicated Journey module. It includes many new channels and data sources. With better functionalities and automation features.

It’s time to leave the dark side. Come into the light! Upgrade today!

Key features of the Journey Module

Journey Module works in two modes

Journey maps are usually messy and complicated. It has multiple decision points and data sources. To keep the production environment clean and fast, Unica decided to have journeys in production as well as non-production modes.

You plan the whole journey in the non-production environment. And import into production when needed. A single click and voila! journey map, data sources, logical functions, and outbound channel details, everything gets imported to Journey module. Ready to roll.

New Journey module works with old journeys made on Flowcharts

Are you fussing about having to re-do all your old journeys, to make them compatible to the new Journey model? Or worse, lose them all? No worries.

Unica has created the bridge. Earlier version users can pull Campaign Flowcharts data and process flows to the new Journey module. In three ways

  • Configure a Link connection between both modules
  • Create a process box in the Campaign Flowchart
  • Create a touchpoint in the Unica journey application.

Integration with the Interact module

Unica links Interact with Journey. Mainly to enable Interact’s Triggered Message functionality to engage with customer events (or absence thereof), instantly. And always pick the right time and channel to do so.

Let’s say your campaign is for cart abandonments. By linking a cart abandonment journey map with the Interact module, you now have a choice to trigger real time messages through Journey, to any outbound channel.

Readymade industry specific journey templates

Let us rub it in. Earlier versions of Unica did not have a dedicated Journey module. It certainly didn’t have readymade Journey templates. It now has both. 😛

You deliver engaging customer experiences with ready-to-use Journey templates. Templates for specific industries, no less! Like, for Retail, Telco, Banking, Pharma, Hospitality/Entertainment Healthcare, Pharma, Loyalty Club Points and Cross Channel Welcome Journeys. Whoa!!

Protect your customer data by masking PII information

You know it is mandatory to protect customer PII. But when working with Unica Solutions partner for campaign execution, the onus was on enterprises to mask PII data when shared.

With the 12.x upgrade, Unica has taken it upon itself to hide customer PII information when sharing databases. Such as credit card numbers, phone numbers, and email addresses. Not only is your customer data secure, but it also complies with Privacy Regulations like GDPR.

Message previews and journey archival

Do you have a lingering suspicion if you’ve added the right message, at the right touchpoint, in a customer’s journey?

Now you can be sure.

Unica Journey previews messages assigned to each touchpoint. Also, the Journey Module archives contacts who successfully end the journey, to a separate table. So that you can focus on improving performance in all touchpoints and journey controls.

7.Integrate external applications with newly added connectors

Do you depend on expensive and erratic third-party IT programmers to manually integrate Unica with other applications? Unica 12.x has yet another compelling reason to upgrade. A new module called Links.

Links are built-in readymade connectors to simplify Unica’s integration with other tools, so they work in tandem. Low code. Initial one-time configuration, by the user itself, to fetch information or execute. No depending on external coders. Or on your own IT infrastructure.

Advantage of the new Unica Link module

No additional efforts needed from users to execute or fetch information after the initial one-time configuration. Less dependency on IT infrastructure to establish and execute process.

8.Generate insightful rapid reports

Earlier, you generated reports using Unica Insights. Supported by IBM Cognos BI.

Post upgrade to Unica 12.x you get BIRT reports (Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools) as well!

BIRT comes with 90+ report templates. Which you can generate for every module in a multi-dimensional approach. Without leaving the Unica platform. Your marketing MIS just got supercharged!

9.Unica supports On-Cloud deployment

Maybe you have got all your marketing platforms and tools on the cloud. Except Unica. Because it was a traditional On-Premises offering. And you are wondering what to do.

Simple. Upgrade. To Unica 12.x

The Unica marketing automation solution is now cloud native. You can deploy in any environment - on-premises, cloud, or hybrid. Also, Unica’s dockerization feature makes it technology agnostic. It supports multiple cloud service providers like AWS, CGP, Azure or even a private cloud hosted in your own IT infrastructure.

You can install and deploy the platform in minutes. You can do it yourself. Using Docker and Kubernetes capabilities. There is no need to call the IT guys.

Summing up

Not just an upgrade. It’s a leap forward

The Unica 12.x upgrade is the best version to date. Unica has taken a quantum leap over earlier version with this one.

Unica 12.x has 25+feature upgrades. 4 new modules. Enterprises are seriously cutting time to scale campaigns. And happy with the results. New personalization features have ratchetted response rates.

New look and feel

The new user interface has stacked column views. That are expandable and collapsible. Hover enhancements. Multiple data visualization charts. There is never-before clarity in information flow. And never so easily accessible.

Beefed-up data security

Security features for customer PII data. AWS Secret Manager integration for password encryption. Actively enables amenability with privacy and compliance standards.

Choice of Deployment

On-Premises. On-Cloud. Or hybrid. HCL SoFY Cloud based Sandbox environment to test and run new features and modules. Easy integration between discrete applications.

Unica is responsive to customers.

Unica listens. And addresses customer requirements. In fact, the new Centralized Offer Management module is born out of customer requests.

After all is said and done….

If you still have questions on, or reservations in, upgrading to Unica 12.x we’ll be happy to help. Please schedule a time when can talk.