Karl Wirth

Evergage Blog

Personalization & Customer Data Platform Ideas and Strategies
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.

Evergage Named a Visionary in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Multichannel Market Hubs, 2019

We are excited to announce that Evergage has been named a Visionary in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Multichannel Marketing Hubs, 2019 (requires Gartner login). This is the third year of the Magic Quadrant in this technology category and the first year Evergage was invited to participate. Gartner defines a Multichannel Marketing Hub (MMH) as “technology that orchestrates a company’s communications with and offers to customer segments across multiple channels. These include websites, mobile, social, direct mail, call centers, paid media and email. MMH capabilities also may extend to integrating marketing offers/leads with sales for execution in both B2B and B2C environments.” The importance of personalization and unifying customer data, as inextricable components of the MMH, can’t be overstated. Per Gartner: “Marketers see personalization as key to multichannel marketing success. In response, MMH vendors are facilitating unified customer profiles, strengthening machine learning [...]

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Salesforce Announces It Is Now Building What Evergage Already Offers

As a customer data platform (CDP), we're often asked how Evergage compares with Salesforce. This is a fair question. Salesforce has been the leader in CRM for a long time, and the CRM was long considered to be the central repository of customer data in an organization. The CDP is a natural extension of Salesforce’s mission. Salesforce has just started working on its CDP In a recent post published on the Salesforce blog, Bob Stutz, CEO of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud, announced that Salesforce was working on a CDP. He said: We believe the time is right for a dedicated solution designed to help them manage their customer data better, using advanced technology, at the scale and with the built-in trust they can only get from a partner such as Salesforce. Allison Schiff of AdExchanger.com said in her article about [...]

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The Role of Identity Resolution in the Customer Data Platform

Businesses are turning to the customer data platform (CDP) to help them bring all of their customer data together in one place for analysis and activation purposes. One of the reasons that the CDP has taken off in recent years is that after spending years optimizing their strategies in each individual marketing channel, marketers are finally ready to turn their attention to the omnichannel customer experience. They are no longer content to view their interactions with customers in each channel in isolation. But marketers can’t do anything to improve the omnichannel customer experience until they have the ability to recognize individuals across channels. For that reason, the concept of identity plays an essential role in the customer experience — and therefore in any customer data platform. I’ll explore the concept of identity resolution as it relates to CDPs in this [...]

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McDonald’s Acquisition of Dynamic Yield: I’m Lovin’ It

Yesterday evening, news broke that McDonald’s is acquiring personalization vendor Dynamic Yield for $300 million. Not to mix fast food expressions, but that’s a whopper of a deal, with supersize importance for the industry. At first glance, this seems like an unlikely pairing. Do McDonald’s and enterprise software really go together like a burger and fries? Regardless, the deal underscores the critical importance of personalization for companies across industries: as a strategic competitive differentiator, integral customer experience driver and, increasingly, a necessity for doing business well. One size doesn’t fit all – customers, companies and the market at large understand this, and large deals like this one underscore how committed companies are to delivering a 1-to-1 future. According to TechCrunch, McDonald’s plans to use the acquired technology “to create a drive-thru menu that can be tailored to things like the [...]

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Evergage Named a Leader in Gartner’s Inaugural Magic Quadrant for Personalization Engines, 2018

We are excited to announce that Evergage has been named a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Personalization Engines, 2018. This is the first-ever Magic Quadrant in the category to be published by Gartner, one of the most respected analyst firms covering the technology industry. The report compares the 18 personalization vendors who met Gartner’s inclusion criteria for the category and, as part of the evaluation process, each vendor was required to submit responses to a detailed questionnaire, present a product demo, and provide numerous reference customers. Gartner analysts evaluated the vendors based on 15 different criteria across two dimensions: ability to execute and completeness of vision. Based on each vendor’s cumulative scores, they were charted into one of four quadrants – Niche Players, Challengers, Visionaries and Leaders. A Leading Platform According to the report, “Leaders are vendors that demonstrate a solid [...]

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Evergage Named a Strong Performer Among Experience Optimization Platforms

Evergage is thrilled to be included in The Forrester WaveTM: Experience Optimization Platforms, Q2 2018 report that was just published today. It is an honor to be included, of course, but it is even more gratifying to be ranked a “Strong Performer” — a testament, in our opinion, to our solution’s capabilities, position, and traction with enterprise customers across industries. Here’s a summary of my main takeaways from the report, but I encourage you to download the full report for additional information and context. The Platform Approach This report recognizes that companies are increasingly moving away from customer engagement tactics that rely on isolated point solutions. Instead, they’re looking for solutions that “optimize the experience of digital customer experiences across the entire digitally transformed life cycle of customer engagement.” As our customers can attest, companies can achieve operational efficiencies and [...]

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How Evergage is Working with Clients to Enable GDPR Compliance

If your company has an online presence, you are probably already familiar with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, otherwise known as GDPR. We want to be clear about how Evergage is thinking about GDPR and how we are helping our clients to enable GDPR compliance in this blog post. We are deeply committed to helping our clients provide a relevant experience to each customer and prospect, while complying with the law and respecting each individual’s privacy and specific wishes for the usage of their personal data. Evergage has supported customer opt-in and opt-out from the start, and recognizes the privacy requirements of our varied customer base. Over the past 12 months, we have been working closely with our clients to ensure compliance with GDPR. What is GDPR? The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a European Union (EU) [...]

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After Six Years of Broken Promises, Adobe Now Taking a Page Out of Evergage’s Book

Last week Adobe hosted its annual Adobe Summit in Las Vegas. As is the custom, the event lasted nearly the full week and featured big-name celebrities such as Sir Richard Branson (entrepreneur), Leslie Jones (comedian), and JJ Watt (NFL player). We actually sponsored the event a couple years ago, but starting last year, our offer to sponsor was denied since Adobe (accurately) identified Evergage as a competitor. So last year, we took the opportunity to make a little noise outside the summit by promoting our differentiators and Adobe’s flaws on t-shirts, on a mobile billboard, in a funny video, and on social media using the hashtag #AdobeAlternative. This year, though, I simply registered and attended the event. I also used the opportunity to speak with marketers and Adobe customers and partners about their needs and perspectives. The most interesting thing [...]

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A/B Website Testing Is Dead. It’s Been Reborn with Personalization

Optimizely recently announced that it will no longer support its free A/B testing plan starting at the end of last month, leaving around 70,000 websites without a testing tool. A recent guest article from Yvonne Koleczek at Venture Beat suggests that “Optimizely has finally decided to call time of death on oversimplified CRO attempts. After all, bad results reflect badly on the tool itself, and with Optimizely X the company seems eager to distance itself from its past.” She suggests that by focusing on its enterprise offering, Optimizely X, it is throwing its efforts into personalization instead. I completely agree with this assessment, and I’d like to expand on it a bit in this blog post. The Power of Personalized Experiences A/B testing had been heralded as a cure-all for marketing. With A/B testing, you don’t need to guess what [...]

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The Answer is Clear for Toys R Us: Hyper-Personalization

Last month, large children’s toy retailer Toys R Us announced that it would be closing one-fifth of its store locations as part of its bankruptcy reorganization plans. For most consumers, this news isn’t surprising. It no longer makes sense to go to a Toys R Us store or even to visit the Toys R Us website when you can find any product you want on Amazon — often at a cheaper price with better shipping terms and helpful reviews. Company chief executive Dave Brandon said in a letter, “The reinvention of our brands requires that we make tough decisions about our priorities and focus.” Realistically, Toys R Us needs a radical business strategy change to stay in business going forward. To me, the path forward is clear and compelling. The answer is hyper-personalization.   1. Understand toys more deeply than [...]

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International Expansion News — Welcome, Evergage GmbH

After sharing the exciting news of our acquisition of MyBuys last week, I am very excited to announce another major development this week. Evergage is expanding its international presence with the launch of Evergage GmbH! The new organization will be focused on selling and delivering Evergage’s personalization platform to companies in the DACH region, encompassing Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein. Evergage has many customers outside the U.S. — such as Walmart Mexico, Matalan, Exact Software, Lottoland, Hexaware, Reebonz and others — that have been leveraging Evergage for years to drive one-to-one experiences for their prospects and customers. Headquartered in Stuttgart with an additional office in Berlin, Evergage GmbH will be building on the success we’ve seen in Europe and in the DACH region in particular, and allow us to acquire and better serve more customers by helping them achieve their [...]

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Evergage Announces Acquisition of MyBuys Business from Magnetic

I am excited to share the news of our acquisition of Magnetic’s website and email recommendations business, formerly known as MyBuys. This acquisition brings the benefits of Evergage’s next-generation personalization platform to a large number of retailers who’ve now become Evergage clients. I have kept my eye on MyBuys for many years. The company, which was founded in 2001, became one of the foremost product recommendation engines by the time Evergage was founded in 2010. They established relationships with hundreds of leading retail e-commerce companies, delivering product recommendations on websites and via email to millions of shoppers. Personalized experiences and recommendations are key to effective and successful customer experiences and e-commerce optimization. Retailers have known this and executed on this premise for a long time. MyBuys recognized this demand early on and built an excellent business serving these clients. The [...]

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The One-to-One Personalization Dream Is Now a Reality

Over the years I have spoken to thousands of marketers and digital professionals about their personalization efforts and their ideas for one-to-one personalization. Throughout those conversations, one important thing has stood out: marketers have a dream. They want to communicate with their customers and prospects as individuals at the one-to-one level across digital channels. They have had this dream for at least 25 years, when the term “one-to-one marketing” was formally articulated in the book The One to One Future, by Don Peppers and Martha Rogers, Ph.D. While Peppers and Rogers provided a fascinating view of the potential for one-to-one marketing, it simply was not yet possible in the 90s with the existing technology. To complicate the situation, since then, vendors have put out solutions promising to help marketers provide one-to-one personalization. But their definitions of “one-to-one” have not aligned [...]

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