Evergage - Feed https://www.evergage.comf Real-time behavior-based personalization Fri, 24 May 2019 19:05:54 +0000 en hourly 1 When One > Two: Why Choose a CDP that’s a System of Insight and Engagement https://www.evergage.com/blog/when-one-greater-than-two-why-choose-cdp-system-of-insight-and-engagement/ Fri, 24 May 2019 13:45:46 +0000 https://www.evergage.com/?p=49735

Keep on reading: When One > Two: Why Choose a CDP that’s a System of Insight and Engagement]]>

Companies today are increasingly moving from a customer-centric vision to a customer-centric mandate – one overseen by a company’s most senior-level executives. Delivering on this promise and executing it at scale in a multi-channel world is difficult. Between your stores/branches, email system, loyalty program, call center, website, mobile app, DMP, social/adtech platforms and more – each containing valuable customer data – the challenge is daunting.

Customer data platforms (CDPs) hold the potential to help companies gain a deeper understanding of their customers by aggregating and synchronizing data sources into a single view that can, in turn, be used for conducting comprehensive customer analysis, creating and monitoring segments, and, potentially, taking action on the data.

I’ve spoken to many marketers about their future plans surrounding CDPs and customer data. I’ve found that many of them are so caught up in the project of bringing their customer data together and creating unified customer profiles, that they don’t consider how they will use that data until much later in the process. I think there is a lot of danger in this approach, as it often leads them to purchase two solutions (a “system of insight” and a separate “system of engagement”), when they should only be purchasing one combined solution.

In this blog post, I’ll describe systems of insight and systems of engagement and outline the pitfalls of keeping these two systems separate.

Systems of Insight and Systems of Engagement

Typically, your end goal when you purchase a CDP is to activate your CDP data (i.e., put it to use) to deliver more relevant experiences to your customers and prospects. Accomplishing that goal requires two types of functionality: insights and engagement. Often, these functions are performed by two systems.

  • System of insight: Aggregates customer/prospect data and enables analysis of that data.
  • System of engagement: Delivers experiences to customers/prospects in one or more channels and enables measurement of the outcome.

Organizations sometimes break up their CDP purchasing process into two parts. They may decide to purchase a CDP that serves as a system of insight initially, while they decide to purchase or connect it to system(s) of engagement six to nine months later after they have made progress with the first solution.

This is a short-sighted approach. These companies will ultimately be disappointed (and will likely have over-spent), as the separate systems won’t be able to work together to enable real-time activation, nor will they allow for activation/personalization at the 1-to-1 level.

Two Platforms = Two Brains

There are two main problems with separating CDP and personalization functionality into different systems.

1. Limitations of Segments

Systems of insight are primarily designed to evaluate and identify audience segments (e.g., high-value customers, those who have purchased leather boots in the past six months, etc.) and then pass the data to a separate system of engagement. Segment data is undoubtedly valuable in many situations (such as when sending an email to your high-value customers), but when the CDP can only pass segment-level data to another system for engagement, you’re not able to deliver 1-to-1 experiences or 1-to-1 content. As a result, your only option for greater relevance is a greater number of smaller segments mapped to specific campaigns, forcing you to trade off relevance with increased complexity.

2. Suboptimal Architecture

Having two platforms – a CDP and a separate personalization platform – effectively creates a technology environment with two “brains.” Systems of insight are a type of advanced, centralized brain full of customer data that generates insights from that data. The reality, though, is that to execute campaigns that engage audience members at a 1-to-1 level (and in real time), a system of engagement must also act as a brain. It needs to leverage machine learning to sift through the vast amount of customer data and make the best decision about which experience, content, promotion, message or recommendation to deliver to each individual at any given moment (e.g., a person who just landed on your website, is opening your most recent email, is calling into your call center, etc.) and in what channel.

It doesn’t make sense to have all of your customer data live in both of these systems, nor does it make sense to feed your system of engagement the limited data it receives from the system of insight in order to make a decision about which experience to deliver.

Common Use Case Example

To uniquely communicate to individual customers – at scale – requires a CDP that can both understand and activate at an individual level. Let's look at an example through the lens of two different customers, Susan Jones and Susan Smith. Their profile data is seen below. 

systems of insight and engagement

Let’s say you want to engage both of these consumers via an email campaign to remind them that they have loyalty points to spend. You might begin by putting both Susans into a segment (of customers that have outstanding loyalty points) and send them an email campaign with the same creative reminding them that they have loyalty points to redeem.

systems of insight and engagement

The campaign may have some impact, but it is not particularly relevant to each person. Instead, you might decide to make additional segments for each kind of category affinity. In this case, let’s say Susan Jones has a preference for seasonal furniture while Susan Smith has a preference for household goods. This would result in emails like these below where each recipient receives creative content associated to a known affinity.

systems of insight and engagement

These loyalty points reminder emails are more relevant and compelling because they have a more relevant banner and offer.

Trying to accomplish all of this with segmentation alone will quickly result in large, unmanageable number of segments you must set up in a CDP and then map those segments to a large number of campaigns in your ESP.

For instance, you would need to make a “have outstanding loyalty points” segment for every major product category (e.g., seasonal furniture + have outstanding loyalty points; household goods + have outstanding loyalty points, etc.) and map it to a matching campaign in your ESP. Likely, you won’t just have one campaign. You will also want to engage customers who are not in the loyalty program, who are active loyalty members, who are likely to churn, etc. More still, you may want to differentiate among customers not just by category interest and loyalty status, but also by their tendency to respond to offers (and what type of offer they respond to). With these complexities, the number of segments you must set up and manage grows and grows and quickly gets out of control.

And this is just one example on one channel, so you can see how the problem expands exponentially with different campaigns across channels. As a result, most companies end up curbing their ambitions and instead settle for some group-level relevance – falling way short of a customer-centric mandate.

Unlike CDPs that are solely systems of insight, Evergage can activate at the segment level and at the 1-to-1 level. Evergage can enable far greater individual relevance in every touchpoint and let a business scale with much greater simplicity.

With the machine-learning capabilities of Evergage’s real-time personalization and customer data platform, it is possible (and easy) to deliver truly personalized emails like this:

systems of insight and engagement

What I have outlined is just one use case example on one channel, but the same points apply across websites, mobile apps, call centers, in-store (kiosks/POS/clienteling), in-branch, and other channels.

Final Thoughts

Evergage is the only solution purpose built to be a unified CDP/personalization platform (a system of insight PLUS a system of engagement) that understands customers at an individual (and segment) level and then activates that data – at both levels – across your channels.

Why go to all the trouble of integrating and aggregating vast amounts of data at the individual level, if you’re not going to act on the data at the individual level?

Talk to Evergage before making such a mistake. And check out our latest white paper, “Why Your CDP Vision Must Include Engagement at the Individual Level” for more information.

Karl Wirth
5 Things You Can Look Forward to at The Personalization & CDP Summit 2019 https://www.evergage.com/blog/5-things-you-can-look-forward-to-at-the-personalization-cdp-summit-2019/ Wed, 22 May 2019 12:55:36 +0000 https://www.evergage.com/?p=49693

Keep on reading: 5 Things You Can Look Forward to at The Personalization & CDP Summit 2019]]>

Registration is open for The Personalization & CDP Summit, now in its sixth year! This year, over 300 marketing, e-commerce, customer experience and product management professionals will gather at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center September 18-20, 2019 to explore the current and future state of personalization and customer engagement.

The Personalization & CDP Summit is the industry-defining event for personalization and customer experience strategy, planning and execution. This year’s theme is “Connecting in the Age of Machine Learning,” and the event will be bigger and better than ever before.

For those planning to attend The Personalization & CDP Summit 2019, here are the top five things you can look forward to.

1. 30+ Sessions Across Multiple Unique Tracks

The event’s agenda features 30+ total sessions and 4 unique tracks per day covering the hottest topics in personalization and customer engagement. Through a variety of panels, workshops, presentations, and real-world case studies featuring leaders and practitioners across industries, you’ll learn proven strategies and solutions to solve some of the biggest challenges your company faces.

Roll up your sleeves as you dive into topics such as:

  • Bringing data sources together to create a single picture of each prospect or customer
  • Making the most of your data within a customer data platform
  • Delivering individualized experiences across web, email, mobile, advertising and in-person channels
  • Discovering successful strategies for personalization campaign development and execution
  • Enabling developers to support business users with templates, integrations and more

There will be something for everyone, so bring your campaign managers, strategists, data analysts, and developers with you!

2. Three Keynotes this Year!

We have amazing keynote speakers lined up including Karl Wirth, CEO and Co-founder at Evergage, Abhishek Dalmia, Director at The Boston Consulting Group, and Sheryl Kingstone, VP of Customer Experience & Commerce at 451 Research.

They’ll be addressing the challenges marketers face in building real human connections in the digital age and they’ll offer tips and best practices for successfully leveraging customer data, machine learning, and more. You’ll walk away from these keynotes well-prepared to face the future of marketing.  

3. 1-on-1 Training and Strategy Sessions

During the event, grab some time with product experts in the Evergage Lounge. You’ll be able to schedule time in advance and enjoy a one-on-one deep dive to discuss your company’s pain points and receive complimentary strategy and advice on next steps.

And if you’re an Evergage customer, you’ll enjoy exclusive access to the Evergage Client Operations team during Live Lab hours. Interact with the team that gets it all done behind the scenes. Consider this the Evergage “Genius Bar.” Bring your challenges and get concrete solutions.

4. New Venue + Location

If you’ve attended in the past, you’ll notice the event has moved to the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC). Located in Boston’s new and innovative Seaport District, you’ll have access to Boston’s top restaurants, shopping, fitness classes, harbor views and more.

Immerse yourself in the full Summit experience and stay onsite! Our hotel room block is through YOTEL Boston. Located just a short walk from the BCEC, YOTEL is unlike other hotels in that it is uncompromisingly designed around its guests, taking the essential elements of luxury hotels and placing them into their cabins (YOTEL speak for hotel rooms). Enjoy panoramic views of the Boston skyline and harbor at the hotel’s SKY BAR on the 12th floor of the hotel. Immerse yourself in signature tech-driven services like check-in at self-service kiosks or even get meals to-go delivered to your cabin by YO2D2, the resident robot butler.

5. Networking Opps

Don’t miss this year’s Welcome Reception on Wednesday, September 18th at Legal Harborside to kick off Summit. Enjoy waterfront views, indulge in hors d'oeuvres and sip on cocktails as you mingle with fellow personalization and customer experience gurus, expert speakers and the Evergage team.

On the first official day of the event, September 19th, engage in morning and afternoon networking breaks, roundtable discussions during lunch, and an early evening cocktail reception to celebrate the conclusion of Day 1 at Lawn on D. The networking continues the next day with breakfast, a morning break, lunch and a closing reception in the afternoon.

Join Us for the Event!

Don’t miss out! Register today and visit The Personalization & CDP Summit page for more information on the agenda, speakers, venue and more!

From now through May 31st, tickets are just $299 each (a $200 savings) when you use discount code SUMMIT299. Want to save even more? Contact the Evergage Summit team for group rates.

Questions, suggestions, comments? Contact the Evergage Summit team!

Cara Sidoti
It’s a Conversation: Engaging with B2B Prospects on the Marketing Site https://www.evergage.com/blog/its-a-conversation-engaging-with-b2b-prospects-on-the-marketing-site/ Fri, 17 May 2019 13:40:33 +0000 https://www.evergage.com/?p=49684

Keep on reading: It’s a Conversation: Engaging with B2B Prospects on the Marketing Site]]>

If you talked only about yourself with every person you met at a party, you’d quickly find that people start moving away from you in search of better, more engaging conversations. The same can be said about your interactions with your customers. They can’t be one-sided and self-serving.

Building a relationship requires conversations. From a person’s initial entry point into your funnel and throughout his journey to becoming a loyal customer, it’s important to remember that building a successful relationship requires a mutual exchange. You can’t just push your own agenda (e.g., use this feature, buy more product, etc.) and expect a happy customer.

In the B2B world, the conversation doesn’t usually start when a salesperson has an initial meeting. It starts well before that in the digital world with a website visit. And the website offers an ideal venue for delivering a personalized experience based on listening to visitors’ needs and reacting with relevant and helpful digital interactions.

In this blog post, we’ll cover some of the ways you can move away from a one-sided delivery of information and start building true, mutually beneficial relationships.

Start the Conversation

To begin, think about why each visitor comes to your site in the first place. You’re missing out on a huge opportunity if you’re not reacting to what the visitor tells you the second she arrives at your site.

Visitors can come through a myriad of sources such as digital ads, organic search, referring sites or direct. If you present the same hero image, headline, and offer for all these individuals, you essentially asked what they wanted to see and then ignored the answer.

For example, let’s say a visitor clicked on a digital ad for your security monitoring solution for automotive manufacturers and arrived at your site. Why talk about your breadth of products and services for companies across a variety of industries rather than address the needs she already demonstrated? This is the perfect time to start the conversation off on the right foot and present information about your security monitoring solution for automotive manufacturers! Continue the conversation from the ad to the site so the visitor feels like you genuinely understand her needs.

Continuing the Conversation

In grade school, I was taught that listening was extremely important for building friendships. The same can be said for your website. You can “listen” as visitors consume content and browse product pages, blog posts and resources. Their journey tells a story of their pain points, interests, and what they are looking for, so you can learn from that and react accordingly.  

Below are some tactics you can use to personalize an individual’s journey on your site by continuing the conversation:

  • You can respond to a visitor reading a blog post by recommending another article that is not only relevant to the contents of the current blog post, but also to her product interests, industry, use case or company size. And, most importantly, you can avoid recommending any article she has already read before.
  • If a customer comes back to your homepage after engaging with a solution page, you can provide a hero image relevant to that solution and recommend a related resource for her to learn more about how to address her pain point.
  • If a visitor has already watched your demo, seen your intro video, or downloaded your introductory white paper, you can stop asking her to take the action again. Use the space to prompt the next best action for her such as contacting a sales rep or starting a free trial.
  • We all have been on sites that ask you to fill out the same 10 questions each time you download a piece of content or sign up for a webinar. Rather than make your site like a loan application with endless places to enter your information, you can ask the questions you need and then remove those form fields from future forms. You should remember who a person is and avoid asking her who she is each time.  
  • You can recognize when a visitor’s company is in a specific industry or of a particular size and respond with content targeted specifically to those segments.

Longtime Friendship

Like any good friend, it’s important that you make the proper introductions between the prospect and the sales team at the right moment.  

You can do this by passing over the details of the visitor’s journey so she doesn’t need to start over cold with your company. Informing the sales team of her product/solution interest, actions she has taken, and any firmographic information that’s been gathered can ease the friction in the hand-off between marketing and sales. You can give your sales team a leg up when reaching out to that prospect and allow them to tailor their conversations based on the already established needs of that prospect, reducing the time to conversion for that customer.

Final Thoughts

With the technology that exists today, it no longer makes sense to speak to prospects on your site in a one-sided manner. There are many tactics that you can leverage to build meaningful, mutually beneficial relationships based on responding to each person’s needs with relevant information. And by better supporting each visitor’s buying journey this way, you’ll better meet your conversion goals.

It’s important to remember that at the end of the day, even in the digital world, a visitor is a person. The way to build a meaningful relationship is to have a conversation with that person.

To learn more about how Evergage can help you foster that conversation, request a demo today.

Katherine Lloyd
Marketing’s 3 Biggest Paradigm Shifts: A Deep Dive https://www.evergage.com/blog/marketings-3-biggest-paradigm-shifts-deep-dive/ Wed, 15 May 2019 13:05:15 +0000 http://evergage.wpengine.com/?p=5713

Keep on reading: Marketing’s 3 Biggest Paradigm Shifts: A Deep Dive]]>

The world of marketing is always changing. It has to. As buyer expectations shift while technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, marketing cannot stand still.

If you’re in marketing, think about your career for a minute. Could you have predicted you would be doing what you’re doing now at the start of your career? Did your job even exist several years ago?

There are many ways that marketing has evolved over the years, but I think there are three key paradigm shifts that have driven that change. I’ll explore them in this blog post.

Paradigm Shift #1: From One-Size-Fits-All to Individualized Customer Connections

Historically, marketing was all about reaching the largest audience possible with the same experience. TV ads, print ads, billboards, etc. were the tactics employed by mass marketers of the past.

But the dream of individualized communication was there from the early days of internet marketing. In their seminal book, The One to One Future, published in the early 1990’s, Don Peppers and Martha Rogers, Ph.D. predicted that “using new media of the one-to-one future, you will be able to communicate directly with consumers, individually, rather than shouting at them, in groups.” Unfortunately, early technology didn’t allow for this yet. Each online experience was the same, just as it was for a TV or print ad.

Now, over two decades later, the technology finally exists to deliver individualized experiences. Personally, I can’t go a week without relying on Netflix or Spotify recommendations to help me pick what I should watch or listen to. I couldn’t navigate most e-commerce sites effectively without clicking on the products they recommend for me. These are examples of businesses learning about me and delivering experiences that are relevant to me.

But those are just the most noticeable instances of personalization. There are many subtle ways that marketers are leveraging technology to deliver more relevant experiences today across websites, mobile apps, email campaigns, digital ads, and in-person channels like stores or branch locations, call centers, or online chat. Check out this blog post on the definition of personalization for more details and examples.

Marketers are finally able to speak to their customers and prospects as the unique individuals they are — they no longer need to “shout at them in groups.” As both a marketer and a consumer myself, that’s one of the most exciting paradigm shifts I’ve seen.

Paradigm Shift #2: From Delayed Decision Making to Real-Time Action

In a follow-up white paper to Peppers and Rogers’ book in 2008, Infor director of CRM Patric Timmermans made a point about the status of real-time analytics:

Companies used to cheer about having updated data every six weeks. Then they felt great about updating customer data every week. Now we’ve progressed to the point where companies can have constantly updated customer information, but I don’t think enough companies understand exactly how important real-time customer information can be.

We’ve made huge advances in big data processing since the early days of the internet. These days, any delay in data processing is seen as a massive inconvenience. Real-time data is the standard. And even if marketers may not have known how to use real-time data in 2008, they clearly know how to use it today.

We can monitor campaign performance in real time and make decisions quickly if a campaign isn’t performing as well as we’d hoped. We can respond to customers in the moment if they’re experiencing a problem. And we can understand and react to different things we learn about customers or prospects in the moment.

It’s this last one that has big implications for paradigm shift #1. What good is an experience that’s targeted to you based on something the company learned about you, if it comes too late? The ability to take in information and act on it to personalize an experience in real time is certainly possible with today’s technology, and it’s something that marketers must take advantage of.

Paradigm Shift #3: From Guesswork to Experimentation and Measurement

Think back to the olden days of marketing. Think Mad Men days. When those marketers had a decision to make about how to allocate their budgets or which creative to select for an ad, how did they decide? They may have relied on something that worked in the past or made a decision based on what an executive wanted. Or they went with their “gut.” Then, they might have been able to roughly measure the results at a later time to decide if the decision paid off. But there was no way to know for sure if another approach would have produced better results, because there was no good way to test the approaches against each other.

Today, marketing has a heavy focus on experimentation and testing to find the best approach. This is also called “optimization.” If your team can’t decide between two different website homepage designs, you simply set up an A/B test to tell you for sure which one produces the best results. And most modern and successful marketers I know are never satisfied that they have everything figured out. They know there is always a way to improve so they are always iterating on their successes.

These days, testing is evolving even further, blending into paradigm shift #1 as well. The focus of traditional A/B testing is on finding the best experience for everyone, but marketers have moved from focusing on one-size-fits-all experiences to individualized communication. A/B testing and experimentation don’t go away in a personalized world — they help marketers find the optimal experience for each segment or individual, rather than a mass audience. This blog post on combining A/B testing and personalization goes into more detail on this important trend.

Final Thoughts

Marketing has seen a lot of change over the years, but one thing has never changed: marketers have always strived to reach buyers where they are. Today, there are many more ways to reach those same buyers than in the past. Technological advances have sparked paradigm shifts in marketing in the form of individualized communication, real-time analytics and action, and experimentation and measurement.

To learn more about how Evergage can help you take advantage of these paradigm shifts, request a demo today.

Katie Sweet
6 Questions to Ask Yourself When Setting Up Your E-Commerce Triggered Emails https://www.evergage.com/blog/6-questions-to-ask-yourself-when-setting-up-your-e-commerce-triggered-emails/ Wed, 08 May 2019 13:30:43 +0000 https://www.evergage.com/?p=49411

Keep on reading: 6 Questions to Ask Yourself When Setting Up Your E-Commerce Triggered Emails]]>

I recently received an email from a retailer that I thought was really bizarre. The email asked me if a particular backpack was “still on my mind.” The problem is that I had already purchased that exact backpack. From that very same retailer. 10 months ago.

Clearly, the retailer sent me a triggered email featuring a product I had engaged with in the past. Unfortunately, that message was no longer relevant to me. This exemplifies the problem with poorly targeted personalization. When you personalize, you aim to provide a relevant experience to an individual. But bad personalization isn’t really personalization at all, it’s just a bad experience — one that doesn’t do anything to foster relationships with your shoppers.

With that in mind, I want to spend some time in this blog post exploring the questions you should ask yourself as you set up your e-commerce triggered emails. Hopefully, this can help you avoid sending an email like the one I received!

1. What’s the trigger?

Once you’ve decided you want to send a triggered email, you must first decide what your trigger is. You can use just about anything as a trigger for an email, so you may want to start with campaigns that are likely to have broad reach to achieve the biggest impact.

For that reason, many retailers opt to start off their triggered email programs with cart or browse abandonment emails. These emails trigger when a person visits a site, but leaves before making a purchase — either adding an item to her cart or simply engaging with a product.

product recommendations

Carhartt delivers triggered emails based on cart abandons.

Catalog changes — such as when new products have been added to a shopper’s favorite category or when inventory is low on products she has recently shopped — can also be used as a trigger for an email. In this situation, the shopper receives an email featuring several relevant products and information about what has changed about them.

It’s also possible to trigger emails based on anything you can think of that may re-engage or drive a shopper further down the funnel. For example, you could send triggered emails to groups such as:

  • Shoppers who haven’t made a purchase in X days, weeks, or months
  • Shoppers who have made a purchase in X days, weeks, or months
  • Shoppers who have recently made a purchase on your website but haven’t yet downloaded your mobile app
  • Shoppers who have recently created an account, but haven’t made a purchase
  • Shoppers who have recently created an account, but haven’t added any items to your wishlist or filled out their profile details

The list goes on depending on your specific business needs.

2. Is it a single email or a series? How is it timed?

Once you pick your trigger, you need to determine the timing and cadence of your triggered email. Will this be a single email or a series? Series tend to maximize the chances of your message being seen, so they are often used for retailers’ most important triggered emails.

Your timing will depend on the type of triggered email you’re sending. For abandonment emails, you don’t want to wait too long, as you may miss your window of relevancy to the shopper. You could send your first abandonment email within 30 minutes to 2 hours after the initial abandon, the second one 24 hours later, and the third one 3-5 days later, for example.

The further the email send is from the initial visit, the more likely it is that the content is no longer relevant to the individual. So it’s important to ensure that nothing has changed before each triggered email is sent. You always want to ensure the recipient hasn’t already purchased the product(s) featured in the email, and that she hasn’t been back to the site to browse other items in the meantime. This is one mistake my backpack retailer made!

3. What are the subject lines and other copy?

Next, you’ll need to consider your subject lines and other copy within the triggered email or series. The great thing about triggered emails is that, while they are sent one at a time and contain different content for each person, you only need to set up one email and it will populate with the relevant products or other content in the moment. But you do need to write the subject line and other copy. You’ll want to consider how you’ll differentiate different emails in a series so that you’re not just sending the same email multiple times to the same person.

e-commerce triggered emails

Subject lines of good triggered emails I’ve received recently.

4. Will you include other personalized zones?

You also need to consider if you’ll include any other personalized areas in your triggered email. We recommend you include other relevant product recommendations in any cart or browse abandonment emails. This allows you to expand on what you know about a person and add an even more relevant touch to an already relevant email.

1-to-1 experiences

This triggered email includes other items “Recommended for you.”

You’ll need to rely on a recommendations algorithm to select the most relevant products for each individual. A good personalization solution will let you customize this algorithm and even test different versions to find the most effective one for this particular triggered email. To learn more about these algorithms check out this ungated eBook, “The Marketer’s Guide to Machine-Learning vs. Rule-Based Personalization.”

5. How will you decide which products qualify for inclusion?

You also need to think about what level of shopper engagement indicates enough interest to include in a triggered email — because you don’t want to send an email featuring a product the shopper isn’t interested in! There are two areas to consider here: minimum view time and look-back windows.

In setting a minimum view time, you make a decision about how much time a person needs to have interacted with a product in order to trigger an email. If a shopper visits your site and views a few products for two seconds each and then promptly leaves, she probably wasn’t interested in anything she found. Setting a minimum view time will ensure that any time a triggered email is sent, the person is highly likely to be interested in that product.

With look-back windows, you tell the personalization engine how far back to look at someone’s behaviors to determine which products are relevant. While this does not matter for the product featured in an abandonment email (which, by nature, features items that have just been viewed), it does matter for other types of triggered emails (such as catalog updates) as well as any secondary zone of product recommendations. For example, if a shopper has showed a strong affinity for winter coats in the past, that doesn’t mean she will appreciate an email in May telling her that stock is low for several of the winter coats in your catalog.

Of course, the length of the look-back window will vary from business to business based on the typical purchase cycle. If your products have a longer consideration period, a six-month look-back period could completely reasonable — while that period is way too long for fashion brands.

6. What are your limits?

Finally, you want to consider limiting the number of emails any one person can receive from you in a period of time (hour, day, week, etc.). This is critical because when you send a triggered email, you have no control over when it is sent. An email is triggered based on when the criteria are met, completely independent of which emails your marketing team already has prepared for that day or week. You don’t want to end up in a situation where a single person qualifies for several triggered emails on the same day she received a batch email, for example.

Final Thoughts

As you plan out your triggered emails, or any of your e-commerce emails, remember that your email strategy is just one aspect of your overall marketing strategy — and only one piece of a customer’s experience with you. You need to ensure that once someone clicks through from one of your emails, your e-commerce site provides a good experience too. And once they have clicked through to your site, you know who they are and what they’re interested in, so there’s no excuse not to provide a relevant experience there too.

To learn more about how Evergage can help you with your e-commerce triggered emails, and the rest of your e-commerce customer experience, request a demo today.

Katie Sweet
Personalization Trends: 2019 Survey Results https://www.evergage.com/blog/personalization-trends-2019-survey-results/ Wed, 01 May 2019 12:23:42 +0000 https://www.evergage.com/?p=49408

Keep on reading: Personalization Trends: 2019 Survey Results]]>

Personalization continues to be an important component of good customer experiences. And with the trend toward customer data platforms (CDPs), which aim to bring customer data together in one place in order to activate on it to deliver more targeted experiences, personalization is clearly a top priority.

Last week, we published our sixth annual study with Researchscape International, entitled 2019 Trends in Personalization. We also hosted a webinar where Andy Zimmerman, Evergage CMO, and I reviewed some of our key findings.

In this blog post, I’ll summarize a few of the points we made. For more detail, check out the webinar replay.

Delivering a better experience is the top reason marketers use personalization

There’s no question that marketers find value in personalization. The vast majority (98%) of marketers believe that personalization has at least some impact on advancing customer relationships, and 70% believe it has a “strong” or “extremely strong” impact. And 85% of marketers believe that their customers expect personalized experiences.

But this was the first year we specifically asked marketers what motivates them to deliver personalization. We found that “deliver better experiences” is the top motivating factor, followed by “increase loyalty” and “generate measurable lift/ROI.” It seems that marketers are turning to personalization first and foremost because they believe it is the right thing to do for their customers.

What are the drivers of personalization in your organization?

personalization trends 2019

Marketers are becoming more sophisticated in their personalization approach

Email remains the most-personalized channel (78%), followed by web (58%), and in-person (42%). Interestingly, online advertising trails behind at 35%. Given the budget many marketers dedicate to their advertising campaigns, it’s interesting that many are not personalizing their efforts.

That being said, marketers are becoming more sophisticated in their personalization approach. Usage of machine-learning/algorithmic personalization is up from 26% last year to 40% this year. Emails triggered based on a person’s site behavior is up from 35% last year to 45% this year. And campaign source is far and away the most-used criterion for targeting personalized experiences, cited by nearly half (49%) of marketers. When you personalize an experience based on campaign source, you are typically personalizing a website experience based on where the visitor arrived from — like a specific email or advertising campaign. This type of cross-channel consistency is only possible when marketers can connect channels together.

Which of the following criteria do you use for targeting your audience in order to personalize the experience?

personalization trends 2019

Marketers have made progress in this area as well. The percentage of marketers that say they have “no channels connected” declined from 27% to 21% this year, while the percentage of those that say they have “a few channels connected” rose from 46% to 53%.

Marketers continue to invest in and see results from personalization

Marketers continue to see strong, measurable results from their personalization efforts. The majority (90%) see at least some lift, while more than half (58%) see a lift of 10% or more. Of those marketers using machine learning, 77% report a lift of 10% or more.

This ROI is translating into continued investment. The vast majority (97%) are planning to maintain or increase their investment in personalization over the next year, and the percentage of those planning to increase it rose from 37% to 48% this year.

Still, 74% of marketers believe that personalization should be a bigger priority in their businesses. What are the obstacles they’re facing? As in past years, lack of budget, lack of personnel, and lack of knowledge or skills are at the top of the list. Yet each of those has been steadily declining in the last three years. Meanwhile, lack of organizational alignment has been slowing increasing as an obstacle to making personalization a bigger priority.

What are the greatest obstacles to making personalization a bigger priority in your organization?

personalization trends 2019

As marketers work through growing pains and establish processes for personalization, we may see this continue to trend upwards over the next few years.

Wrap Up

We’re excited to see that this year, marketers continue to value personalization and see meaningful results from their efforts — and that they’re becoming more sophisticated in their approach.

To discover more insights from this year’s study, be sure to watch the full webinar replay and read the full report.

Katie Sweet
Evergage Named a Visionary in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Multichannel Market Hubs, 2019 https://www.evergage.com/blog/evergage-named-a-visionary-in-gartners-magic-quadrant-for-multichannel-market-hubs-2019/ Fri, 26 Apr 2019 13:10:41 +0000 https://www.evergage.com/?p=49375

Keep on reading: 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 and delivering insights to drive relevant interactions in real time.” The report further notes: “Multichannel marketing builds relationships by responding to expressed and implied customer needs through relevant, connected engagements to targeted audiences. Success requires data-driven insights into customer behaviors and interests, goals and needs. It also requires knowing how channels operate most effectively – in isolation and in harmony – to deliver the right content to the right audience at the right time.”

The Methodology

To qualify for consideration, vendors had to support at least four of the following nine functionality components: predictive analytics, campaign optimization, customer journey analytics, customer profile management, event triggering, real-time recommendations, content management/digital asset management/product information management integration, personalization, and multichannel lead management capabilities.

In total, 21 technology vendors met Gartner’s inclusion criteria for the report 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 customer references.

Gartner analysts evaluated the vendors and their product functionality 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.

Evergage as a Visionary

According to the report:

Visionaries provide a strong vision for the multichannel marketing market or excel in advanced or emerging areas. These include customer data platforms and artificial intelligence, identity resolutions, multidimensional segmentation, mobile marketing, loyalty marketing and social marketing, and real-time interaction management. They can set strategic direction or demonstrate specific innovative capabilities in one (or more) functional area (such as advanced campaign functionality or digital marketing integration) in multichannel marketing that the market will eventually adopt.

We believe that our position in the Magic Quadrant confirms Evergage as a compelling offering in a category heavily dominated by legacy martech suite providers. As a real-time personalization and customer data platform (CDP), Evergage provides a comprehensive, fully integrated solution that addresses the most advanced cross-industry and cross-channel use cases.

Bringing together a deep understanding of each customer, rule-based and machine learning-based decisioning, and 1-to-1 cross-channel engagement – all in a single platform – has always been our vision at Evergage. Furthermore, the platform was designed and built entirely from scratch by our in-house engineering team. We don’t use loosely integrated technologies pieced together via acquisitions nor rely on third parties to fulfill key functional needs like mobile app or email personalization.

Ultimately, our relentless commitment to building a best-in-class platform means that companies can use Evergage to drive measurable engagement lift, achieve greater operational efficiencies, and deliver more consistent and relevant customer experiences.

Evaluating Evergage

As a company, we are very pleased with our position in this Magic Quadrant. Gartner analysts assigned High, Medium and Low weightings to 15 different evaluation criteria based on their current assessment of the market. Gartner clients can also use an interactive tool to adjust the criteria weightings. For instance, if “market responsiveness/record” is important to you but wasn’t prioritized the same way by Gartner, you can adjust it to see which vendors are recognized/placed in this area.

Even if you’re not a Gartner client, be sure to check out the public customer reviews that were submitted as part of the Magic Quadrant process on their Peer Insights website. Evergage averaged a 4.7 out of 5-star rating – among the highest customer feedback submitted for this report.

For additional perspective on Evergage’s capabilities, be sure to check out Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Personalization Engines, 2018, which identified Evergage as a Leader, and Gartner’s Critical Capabilities for Personalization Engines, which rated Evergage’s product functionality first among 18 vendors for all three principal use cases: Marketing (4.02 out of 5), Digital Commerce (3.99 out of 5) and Customer Experience (4.07 out of 5).

We also encourage prospective clients to look at relevant research from other analyst firms as well. For instance, The Forrester WaveTM: Experience Optimization Platforms, Q2 2018 provides another take on companies offering personalization solutions with a focus on targeting, recommendations and A/B testing capabilities. SiriusDecisions provides analysis of key vendors offering personalization for B2B companies in its Web Site Personalization Tools 2017 report. And 451 Research provides a detailed evaluation of Evergage in its own comprehensive report.

Thanks & Final Thoughts

I am truly grateful to our clients whose demanding requirements and valuable input and feedback motivate us to make our platform great. Without their trust and commitment, we wouldn’t have built what we’ve built here at Evergage. Our clients, together with our outstanding employees, have enabled us to come out of the gates as a Visionary in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Multichannel Marketing Hubs. And for this, I’m truly grateful.

Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Multichannel Marketing Hubs, 18 April 2019, Noah Elkin, Adam Sarner, Benjamin Bloom, Joseph Enever, Colin Reid

Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Personalization Engines, 25 July 2018, Jennifer Polk, Bryan Yeager

Gartner, Critical Capabilities for Personalization Engines, 5 November 2018, Jennifer Polk, Bryan Yeager

Gartner Peer Insights reviews constitute the subjective opinions of individual end users based on their own experiences, and do not represent the views of Gartner or its affiliates.

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

Karl Wirth
88% of Marketers Use Personalization to Deliver a Better Customer Experience [Infographic] https://www.evergage.com/blog/88-of-marketers-use-personalization-to-deliver-a-better-customer-experience-infographic/ Thu, 25 Apr 2019 14:23:57 +0000 https://www.evergage.com/?p=49328

Keep on reading: 88% of Marketers Use Personalization to Deliver a Better Customer Experience [Infographic]]]>

The concept of personalization — that is, tailoring an experience based on information you have learned about an individual — has grown in popularity in recent years. At Evergage, we have tracked that growth each year with our much-anticipated and frequently cited annual study of personalization trends.

Today we published our sixth such annual study with Researchscape International, 2019 Trends in Personalization. The report, which is based on a survey of 314 B2B and B2C marketers from organizations of different sizes and industries conducted in February and March of this year, examines marketers’ attitudes, usage, results and future plans relating to personalization. We compiled some of the key findings in this stat-filled infographic.

Marketers continue to believe that personalization is valuable to their businesses. Just like last year, 98% of marketers believe that personalization advances customer relationships, with 70% believing it has a “strong” or “extremely strong” impact. Three-quarters of marketers even wish that personalization was a bigger priority in their businesses. The top reasons they deploy personalization are to deliver a better customer experience (88%), increase loyalty (59%) and generate measurable lift/ROI (50%).

The majority of marketers (90%) deploying personalization are, in fact, seeing a measurable lift. And more than half (58%) report a lift of over 10%!

Yet marketers’ personalization efforts are not without their challenges. Only 18% of marketers using personalization report that they are “very” or “extremely” confident that their organization has a successful strategy for personalization, with 65% giving their organization’s current personalization efforts a grade of “C” or lower. Additionally, just under half (45%) say they don’t have the data and insights they need to power effective personalization. But it’s not all bad news, because that number is down from 55% last year — so we’re seeing progress.

Email (78%) remains the most personalized channel, followed by web (58%), in-person (42%), and online advertising (35%).

Nearly 7 in 10 (68%) of marketers leverage rule-based targeting to deliver personalized experiences, while 51% use triggered messages and 40% use machine-learning algorithms. The usage of machine learning for personalization has seen tremendous growth since last year; it’s up 14 points from 26%!

We’re excited to see that marketers’ sophistication with personalization has grown year over year. For many more details and insights on this growth and many other trends, be sure to check out the newly released full 2019 Trends in Personalization report.

Note: We run this study every year. You can always find the latest version of the report here and the infographic here.

Katie Sweet
What is Omnichannel Personalization? https://www.evergage.com/blog/what-is-omnichannel-personalization/ Wed, 17 Apr 2019 12:55:58 +0000 http://evergage.com/?p=9026

Keep on reading: What is Omnichannel Personalization?]]>

You’ve probably heard the term “omnichannel” to describe any business practice that extends across channels, both digital and in-person. When it comes to the omnichannel customer experience, the idea is simple: you’re appealing to one human, so you need to deliver one cohesive experience, because people don’t think about their interactions with your company in isolation. If someone interacts with you in one channel, they expect that you’ll know about that interaction when they re-engage with you in another channel.

That’s where omnichannel personalization enters the picture. In this blog post, I’ll describe what omnichannel personalization is, what it looks like, and what’s needed to achieve it.

What is omnichannel personalization?

We define personalization as “the act of tailoring an experience or communication based on information a company has learned about an individual.”

Omnichannel personalization takes that definition a bit further:

Omnichannel personalization is the act of tailoring an experience or communication in one channel based on information a company has learned about an individual from multiple channels.

As opposed to same-channel personalization (like web personalization, mobile app personalization, etc.) — where a company tailors an experience to an individual in the channel based on information it has gathered in that same channel — omnichannel personalization is channel agnostic. It’s about using data to create a tailored experience regardless of where that data was collected.

Take web personalization, as an example. You can personalize a person’s website experience based solely on what you have learned about her from her interactions with the site. You could recommend products or blog posts by considering what she has spent time viewing on the website in the past, tailor the homepage hero to display a promotion in the category she engages with the most, etc.

But without the ability to bring in data acquired about her from other channels, you will not be able to form a complete picture of her. You won’t know what purchases she made or articles she read on her mobile phone. You won’t know what calls she made to your call center. You won’t know which emails she has opened. When you act on any of that information to deliver a relevant experience in any channel, that’s omnichannel personalization.

Some other examples include the ability to:

  • Identify what a person’s behavior on your site says about her favorite category and use it to deliver a relevant digital ad to that shopper at a later time. For instance, if a shopper has spent the most time engaging with your shoe category, you can deliver shoe-related ads to that person across the internet.
  • Personalize email content to reflect up-to-date information the second your email is opened. For example, if a shopper purchased an item or read an article in any channel before he opened an email, your email can avoid recommending that item or article.
  • Promote relevant offers or content in any channel based on a person’s customer or prospect status, industry, customer segment, loyalty program status, etc.

It doesn’t matter where the data was collected, with omnichannel personalization it can be used to affect an experience at any point of interaction.

What do you need for omnichannel personalization?

When you approach personalization in a channel-by-channel manner, you are likely to approach your technology choices channel-by-channel as well. You will likely pick a technology provider to handle your email personalization, another to handle your web personalization, another to handle your ad personalization, etc. But when you move to omnichannel personalization, you need to ensure that all of your systems can work together to deliver a consistent and seamless experience.

The biggest challenge in personalizing across channels is the ability to recognize and engage an individual person across touch points. Before you can personalize, you need to know who the person is. This is difficult when the data lives across multiple systems. It is a lot easier when all the data about him is located in a central location. For that reason, a customer data platform (CDP) is a must-have for effective omnichannel personalization.

A good CDP for effective omnichannel personalization can:

  1. Take in data from different systems and form unified customer profiles
  2. Stitch customer profiles together to resolve identities
  3. Interpret and analyze the data using affinity models to uncover each individual’s interests, preferences, and intent
  4. Enable activation of the data, either by making data available to other systems to use for personalization, or personalizing an experience directly

It is certainly possible to connect a few channels without a CDP, but complete omnichannel personalization requires all data to live in a central location.


Let’s explore some real-world examples.

Invaluable — the world’s leading online marketplace for fine art, antiques and collectibles — delivers individualized product recommendations to its customers to help them find relevant items within a massive product catalog that changes rapidly as new pieces are auctioned off. To ensure that recommendations are as relevant as possible to each individual, Invaluable brings in data from across its web, mobile and email channels. It uses all of this information to form a single picture of each person and select the most appropriate product recommendations.

omnichannel personalization

EIG ties in-app and human channels together by pushing data from its CDP to Salesforce. EIG launches a short survey within its SaaS applications to ask new users how they plan to use the product. If their answers indicate that they would be good candidates for upsell services, an opportunity is automatically created in Salesforce for the appropriate salesperson to follow up on.

omnichannel personalization

Publishers Clearing House (PCH), a leading provider of digital “play and win” entertainment, offers games across many different sites and even a mobile app. Once a visitor on one site has completed a game, PCH recommends other games he should play. But without connections between its sites and apps, it was unable to restrict its recommendations to games a person had not yet played that day. By bringing all of its data across websites and mobile apps into one CDP, PCH was able to appropriately message each individual with relevant recommendations and reminders no matter which property the person engaged with.

Final Thoughts

More and more, we’re seeing “omnichannel personalization” becoming an unnecessary distinction. As consumers and business buyers continue to switch seamlessly between devices and channels, omnichannel personalization is really just another term for a good, relevant experience. Realistically, all great personalization today should be omnichannel personalization.

To learn more about how Evergage can help you deliver omnichannel personalization with our leading personalization and customer data platform, request a demo today.  

Katie Sweet
Stop Frustrating Your Customers: Treat Them Like You Know Them https://www.evergage.com/blog/stop-frustrating-your-customers-treat-them-like-you-know-them/ Fri, 12 Apr 2019 13:20:33 +0000 https://www.evergage.com/?p=49111

Keep on reading: Stop Frustrating Your Customers: Treat Them Like You Know Them]]>

There’s a lot of work that goes into converting an account from prospect to customer. Still, it’s important to realize the journey doesn’t end there. In many instances, your website is still a valuable source of information for customers, and the homepage is often their gateway to log into their accounts. For that reason, your site shouldn’t just be a place to communicate with potential customers. It needs to be relevant to existing customers too.

The first step in delivering relevant customer experiences is to recognize your customers when they visit. When you do, you can use the opportunity to drive upsells and, more importantly, avoid causing them needless frustration. I’ll explain more about treating your customers to relevant site experiences in this blog post.

It’s like you don’t even know me!

I find myself in this scenario every month, so you are probably familiar with it too. Picture this: you visit your cable provider’s website to pay your bill. When you go to log in, you are presented with a new offer in the homepage hero area: “$79.99 Triple Play, and a year of free Netflix.” This is a great deal, and it’s significantly lower than what you currently pay. Who wouldn’t want that? But wait. When you click on the “offer details,” it says the offer is for new customers only. You’re not eligible!

This a frustrating customer experience, and it has a high risk of offending or upsetting current customers — people that regularly pay for the cable provider’s services. It is especially frustrating to me as a personalization expert because I know the hero area could be used in a much more relevant way!

Even if you’re not a cable provider, you may still be delivering an experience like this

Now think about your site.

Are you providing an experience like my cable provider? Do most of your customers come through the homepage to log in? Do you promote offers to entice new customers that may be less than the existing customers have paid? Or, are you showing content that might not be relevant to existing customers (such as CTAs to take a demo or get a free trial)? Are you presenting everyone on your site with a hero about your upcoming conference or webinar, even to the people who have already signed up?

It doesn’t have to be as black-and-white as the cable provider example, but there are changes that you can make that will enhance the experience for all visitors.

How to deliver more relevant experiences to existing customers

Make sure you have customer tracking on your marketing site so you know who visitors are as they hit the site (oddly, my cable provider has this!). If you know who the visitor is and you have data about them (either through an integration with your CRM, by making it visible in the data layer, or via recognizable behavioral patterns which I discuss below), then you can provide a more relevant experience with personalization.

Here are some examples of different experiences you can offer customers:

delivering relevant customer experiences

Even if you cannot explicitly identify a person as a customer, you can still use implied data captured from prior visits. For instance, you can track behaviors such as clicking the “login” button on your site and assume anyone who has taken this action more than once is a customer (a single click might be accidental, but multiple clicks indicate that they are signing in regularly). The key here is you don’t have to have specific data attributes to talk to your customers relevantly.

Final Thoughts

Don’t let all the time and effort you spent securing a new customer go to waste. You need to continually delight your customers, and that starts with recognizing them when they come back to visit you, and talking to them as customers — not prospects. With some click or page tracking at the easier end of the spectrum, or data integrations with other systems at the more advanced end, you can not only be relevant and less frustrating to your customers but you can also start your cross-sell and upsell conversation right on your homepage.

It should also be noted that the same concepts apply to other groups of people, not just customers. Check out this blog post for information about treating active prospects differently when they’re on your website.

And to learn more about how Evergage can help you deliver relevant experiences and treat customers like customers, request a demo today.

Dave Parsons