Karl Wirth

Evergage Blog

Ideas and Strategies for Real-Time Personalization
Karl Wirth

About Karl Wirth

Karl is the CEO and Co-founder of Evergage. Passionate about helping businesses improve conversion rates through relevant, in-context communication, Karl leverages his background to support leading companies in retail, financial services, technology, travel, media and gaming drive measurable benefits from real-time personalization.

What Evergage Is NOT

When evaluating personalization vendors, you may notice that many are using the same language and making the same claims. At Evergage, we know that we have the leading real-time personalization platform. But what does that mean? Sometimes it’s easier to understand something when you know what it is not. Here’s what Evergage is NOT: We are NOT a point solution, offering only one piece of your personalization strategy. We are NOT a few lines of JavaScript plus some consulting masquerading as a solution. We are NOT a solution for personalizing just a single channel. We are NOT a “frankencloud” trying to pass off a bunch of acquisitions as a unified platform. Some vendors like Adobe claim to offer a single platform, but it’s made up of acquired point solutions. We are NOT a recommendations widget confined to a [...]

A (Completely Unbiased) Guide to Picking a Personalization Vendor

“Personalization” is a term you hear a lot in marketing these days. Research analysts regularly release great new findings that indicate customers want personalized experiences. For example, according to Forrester, 77% of consumers have chosen, recommended, or paid more for a brand that provides a personalized service or experience. And marketers are doing their part to create personalized experiences. As concluded in our our own report earlier this year, 85% of companies are now implementing some form of personalization. This is great news for both marketers and customers. But since personalization is so hot right now, every vendor is looking to incorporate it into their solutions to stay on trend. But when everyone is calling everything “personalization,” it can be overwhelming and difficult to decipher truth from marketing claims. So we have written this handy, totally unbiased, humorous guide to [...]

Try Evergage for Free with 15-Day Proof of Concept

I talk to marketers all the time who have wanted to personalize their digital experiences for months but still haven’t gotten started. They know that personalization will provide better experiences for their visitors and customers and drive results for their businesses, but they’re hesitating. They worry it will take too long to set up and that they will need to put in a lot of time and money before seeing any benefits. They worry that vendors are over-promising and will under-deliver. And they are reluctant to commit to a personalization initiative without proof of success. Companies facing all these concerns, therefore, often get stuck and do nothing. We understand the hesitation. It isn’t easy to wade through all the marketing claims out there to find the truth. Talk is cheap. We know that you’ll believe that Evergage is the best [...]

Oracle Copies Evergage’s Marketing: 3 Takeaways for Digital Marketers

This June, Evergage launched our new positioning around The Power of 1. We made considerable investments developing the messaging to accurately convey the ideal state of a marketer’s relationship with their prospects and customers – at the 1:1 level – and our vision for it. The phrase that encapsulates this, of course, is The Power of 1. We also thought long and hard about how to best describe the Evergage platform and how it stands out among a sea of wannabes, outlining our differentiators in a clear, concise way. These became the key elements of The Power of 1. When we launched The Power of 1 messaging, we updated our homepage, “Why Evergage” page and company description, released a new whitepaper, produced a new video, published a seminal blog post, conducted extensive outreach campaigns, and much more. The Power of [...]

Sorry Optimizely, You Can’t Strap Wings onto Your Car and Expect Marketers to Fly It

Real-time data-driven personalization is key to marketing success. It’s top of mind for every marketer. So it is no wonder that Optimizely has become the latest A/B testing vendor (after Optimost, Maxymiser, and others) to add some personalization features to its A/B testing solution and enter the personalization market. Optimizely has built an easy-to-use and widely adopted A/B testing solution. So, one might assume that a natural next step would be to add personalization to its product, right? Well, no, it is not. Think of this car as Optimizely’s A/B testing solution. It runs well and gets you where you need to go. Optimizely’s engineers have spent seven years honing their product’s functionality and ease of use. To their credit, they’ve done a great job. Now, think of Optimizely’s executives coming to these engineers and telling them to build a [...]

6 Personalization Challenges and How to Overcome Them

This summer I hosted a group discussion of 20 VPs and Directors of Marketing from e-commerce, finance, travel, B2B, and non-profit backgrounds. All of these marketing leaders were interested in personalization. They understood the value and didn’t need to be convinced that it would move the needle for their businesses. But they all felt overwhelmed. They wanted to pursue personalization but didn’t know where to start. Here’s what I told them: things have changed, and it’s not as hard as you think. With the right solution, you can get started today and iterate your way to the future.   While their concerns were certainly valid, they could all be addressed. Here are the top personalization challenges I heard from this gathering of marketers and others I’ve met, and my advice for overcoming them. Marketing Skill Set How do I find [...]

3 Ways Marketers Get Personalization Wrong

Business success depends on customers having great experiences. What makes a customer experience great? The answer is simple. You need to treat the customer as a unique, important, valuable person. People want to be remembered, understood, supported and even surprised and delighted – not treated like a everybody else. Companies who put these rules into practice can vastly outperform their competition. Over the past 6 years, I’ve talked with leaders of retailers, banks, travel companies, insurance companies, and technology companies, and none of them needs convincing of this. Everyone agrees that personalized experiences are critical, but many believe that it is too hard to do in the digital world. As a result, here are the three most common personalization pitfalls. Learn from these mistakes! Miss Obvious Cues to Personalize The first and most common way to get personalization wrong is [...]

3-Step Approach to Using Big Data for Personalization

Last week I spoke on a panel at the MITX eCommerce Summit entitled “Turning Mountains of Data into Streams of Revenue.” Along with other experts in the e-commerce space, I addressed the big data and attribution challenges involved in improving conversion rates. One of the key challenges we discussed was how to uncover relationships within data and how to act on those relationships. In this post I’ll share highlights of that discussion. 1. Find a problem you want to solve and begin exploring the data Rather than approach a mountain of data blindly, you should begin with a specific question. This means that you must be able to access to your data in a way that you can ask questions of it, such as within your web analytics tool, data warehouse, or a solution like Evergage. For an example, let’s [...]

Sorry Adobe, Marketers Do Need to Pay Attention to What is Behind the Curtain

The importance of delivering great, personalized customer experiences was the focus of the recent Adobe Summit. As I watched the massive stage, slick videos, and live interview with none other than George Clooney, I found myself reflecting on the Wizard of Oz. If delivering a unique, personalized, digital experience to individuals in your site, app, and emails is important to your business, you need to take a look behind Adobe’s curtain. While Adobe’s marketing smoke and lights show is unquestionably impressive, even a glance at what’s behind it reveals that – when it comes to personalization – there’s just not much steak behind the sizzle.   Why is it so important that you look behind Adobe’s curtain? Before I explain, let me be clear about something. Adobe is a good company with some strong products (like Adobe Analytics and, increasingly, [...]

Four Rules for Elevating Your Digital Customer Experience

Ever since I started working in the professional world, I’ve needed to buy new suits and dress clothes about every six months. I used to go to the department store and wander around frustrated. I didn’t know the current trends or the inventory – and didn’t want to invest the time getting to know them – and I had a hard time selecting and matching fashionable clothes. Furthermore, even though I’d been shopping in the same store for years, the sales associates couldn’t easily help me because they didn’t know anything about me. I was on my own, wasting my time, and limiting my selections to blues and greens. […]

Funding Announcement – An Awesome Start to 2016

Today we’re announcing that we’ve closed our Series B venture capital funding. This investment will help accelerate our growth and validates our vision for making Evergage the standard platform for personalized digital experiences. In the announcement I talk about how Evergage is poised to become the preeminent platform for digital customer engagement just as Salesforce has become the preeminent platform for in-person customer engagement. Let me go into more detail on what I mean by that. For many companies, Salesforce is the central hub for in-person interactions with a customer, collecting data entered by sales, support, customer success, marketing and finance teams and combining all of this important information with inputs from other enterprise systems – data warehouses, call center platforms, marketing automation, ERP systems – to provide a multi-dimensional view of the customer relationship. These same team members then [...]

Social Shopping: Make the Most of Your Online Customer Communities

In a previous blog post we talked about making the most of your socially active customers. But what about the groups of people shopping on your website right now who have interests in common with your brand and each other? How can you help these customers connect socially and at the same time enhance the power of your online community? The truth is that in today’s digital marketing environment your customers are already social. But if your website is not social, you are forcing your customers to migrate elsewhere in order to be part of a community. What you lose is the ability to provide customers with a way to connect with each other on your website and essentially integrate a sense of community within their shopping experience. After all, people have always liked being able to shop together as [...]