How Evergage Crashed the Adobe Summit This Year

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Ideas and Strategies for Real-Time Personalization
How Evergage Crashed the Adobe Summit This Year

April 13, 2017 by

If you didn’t hear, we weren’t invited back to the annual Adobe Summit in Las Vegas. It seems Adobe has caught on that we’re a competitor! So, instead of exhibiting inside, we decided to do some street marketing outside the venue — a little “guerrilla marketing,” if you will.

Why did we do this, you might ask? We wanted to raise attention about claims Adobe makes about its solution for personalization – which is not truly real-time and not really 1:1. Evergage is, and we felt the Adobe Summit audience ought to know! You only have to look at the scope of the Adobe Summit and Adobe’s overall marketing programs to see that we’re not exactly evenly matched in resources. So we wanted to do something to get our name out there and to encourage marketers to look at the best alternative to Adobe for personalization. Our main goal was brand awareness, and to have a little fun, of course.

On-the-Ground Tactics

Since we were focused on awareness, most of our tactics focused on catching people’s attention while being playful, yet respectful.

To start, we had a giant mobile billboard on the back of a truck drive up and down the Last Vegas strip. With the aim of catching the eye of Adobe Summit attendees, it coincided with the event, of course. As you can see in the image below, we highlighted Evergage as the #AdobeAlternative for personalization, while casting some shade on Adobe’s approach.  

Adobe Summit

We also spray-chalked our logo and the #AdobeAlternative hashtag in a few locations on the sidewalk near The Venetian, this year’s event venue. (Don’t worry...it comes off easily with water — we’re not vandals!)

Adobe Summit

A few members of our team (Shauna, Francesca, and Catherine) were hanging out outside the Adobe Summit each day handing out cards with more information about Evergage and promoting a Twitter contest. They wore shirts with different messages each day to capture attendees’ curiosity — many, indeed, wondered “what are the Evergagers up to today?” In this image below, you can see Shauna promoting the fact that we were banned from this year’s summit...to stir up a little controversy.

Adobe Summit

On the second day, Shauna dressed up as a turkey and posed with various mascots and characters on the strip. Why the turkey, you ask? Adobe is portrayed as a turkey in our humorous video comparing Evergage and Adobe. Plus, it was funny! In this picture, she and Catherine can be seen posing with an Elvis impersonator!

Adobe Summit

On the last day of the summit, the team passed out water bottles and wore shirts that said “Personalization Hangover,” because the last day of any conference can, of course, be a little rough.

Adobe Summit

On Social Media

We also had a lot of complementary activity going on social media the week of the Adobe Summit. We created a Snapchat filter that proclaimed Evergage as the #AdobeAlternative. In the image below, Catherine and Francesca take a quick selfie.

Adobe Summit

We also published several animated GIFs that playfully called out Adobe’s solution as rather difficult to use compared to Evergage.

To get people involved, we had a contest running on Twitter. Anyone that tweeted the #AdobeAlternative hashtag and followed @Evergage was entered into a raffle to win an Amazon Tap and a year’s subscription to Spotify. (We’ve already notified the winner, but thank you to everyone who engaged with us!) We also promoted the contest on the ground, handing out postcards with the same graphics as on the video, memes and mobile billboard to reinforce the message and tie all the campaign elements together. Throughout the week, we also promoted our Adobe vs. Evergage video, blog post and web page.

The Results

We were kicked off the Venetian property on the second day due to “complaints,” so we know that Adobe took notice!

In terms of building awareness, our main goal, we saw a major impact from our efforts. We received over 2,500 views on our Adobe vs. Evergage video in just a few days. We were covered in the press. Dom Nicastro covered our marketing campaign in his CMSWire article, acknowledging that tactics like ours do get attention. Then, in another article published just yesterday, he referenced our campaign again, this time in the context of our recent recognition in “The Forrester Wave™: Digital Intelligence Platforms, Q2 2017.” He highlighted all the categories where Forrester rated Evergage either higher or equal to Adobe, sharing that “Forrester pitted Evergage as 'closely behind’ Adobe.” Clearly, while our campaign may have been playful, our positioning as an #AdobeAlternative is serious.

Neil Hughes featured our CEO, Karl Wirth, and myself in his podcast, and wrote an article for TheNextWeb about our campaign. He noted that “the startup succeeded in their mission of delivering a message that there is an alternative solution out there that is marketer-friendly, easy to implement and offers true real-time personalization.” He also stated that “broadcasting a message that there is more than one way to empower marketers to turn the dream of 1:1 customer engagement into reality can only be a good thing in the name of competition.”

Final Thoughts

We may not have set any records or became a trending topic on Twitter, but we did raise awareness among our target market (our impressions and engagement on Twitter skyrocketed by a factor of 10 during the campaign), and that was our primary goal. In today’s crowded media landscape, you need to be creative to break through.

If you want to learn more about how Evergage compares to Adobe, here are some resources you can leverage:

And for a humorous video recapping some of the wacky hijinks the Evergage team got into that week, take a look at this video.


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