Evergage - Feed https://www.evergage.comf Real-time behavior-based personalization Fri, 15 Nov 2019 21:47:42 +0000 en hourly 1 Demystifying CDPs [Infographic] https://www.evergage.com/blog/cdp-infographic/ Wed, 13 Nov 2019 14:49:46 +0000 https://www.evergage.com/?p=57412

Keep on reading: Demystifying CDPs [Infographic]]]>

From the sea of martech acronyms, it’s time to add CDP to your need-to-know list.

Customer data platforms (CDPs) enable companies to bring all their messy and disparate customer and prospect data into one place – and make that data meaningful and actionable. Collecting, storing and synthesizing data from across systems and channels, CDPs create a single, unified view of each customer (often called a unified customer profile).

According to Gartner, “This unified view of the customer that is enabled by the CDP creates more effective marketing by providing visibility into the customer journey, enabling personalization and improving CX [customer experience].”

To help you get a clear picture of what a CDP is – including the data it ingests and the various levels of CDPs – we’ve created the following infographic. And be sure to read on after the infographic below for lots more useful stats and info about the rapidly advancing CDP category.

With all the benefits CDPs have to offer, the market has exploded over the last couple of years, by many different indicators:

  • More entrants and funding: The CDP Institute noted in a July 2019 report that in the first half of 2019 “the industry added 19 new vendors; 2,300 employees and $680 million in cumulative funding” – for a total of “96 vendors; 9,206 employees and $2.4 billion in funding” in the space.
  • Analyst attention and reports: Gartner reports record numbers of CDP-related inquiries, and a “CDP” search on its website yields nearly 150 documents since Jan. 1, 2018, alone. Likewise, Forrester Research has conducted extensive evaluations and research on CDPs in B2B and B2C use cases.
  • Awards: New award programs and categories have emerged to recognize the importance of CDPs. (Evergage is proud to have been named “CDP of the Year” in the first-ever Rele Awards and “Best CDP” in the inaugural MarTech Breakthrough Awards, as well as a “Best CDP” finalist in the 2019 SIIA CODiE Awards.)
  • Events: This year, Evergage hosted The Personalization & CDP Summit – drawing hundreds of marketing, ecommerce, customer experience and product management professionals. At the event, we also distributed copies of our award-winning personalization book, now in its second edition, and covering the role and benefits of CDPs.

At Evergage – founded in 2010 as a personalization engine with a CDP at its core – we’ve seen the need for customer data platforms well before the term became an everyday part of the marketing lingo. After all, you can’t deliver personalization without a real-time and fundamental understanding of the person you’re trying to personalize experiences for!

Yet as vendors jostle for elbow room in what’s becoming a crowded space, it’s also clear they’re not all created equal. And as with any young space, particularly when it’s booming, confusion can arise – on capabilities and even market definitions!

Case in point: A recent Gartner survey (subscription required) found that “51% of current CDP users say the CDP is their CRM system, suggesting common misperceptions about what is (and is not) a CDP.” (To be clear, CRMs were not built to handle the volume and complexity of data – especially deep, multichannel behavioral data – that CDPs must process.)

We hope our infographic helps clear the fog. And for more information, see our blog post from earlier this year: “CDP Stats You Can’t Ignore.” And to learn more about how Evergage can be the personalization and customer data platform for your company, request a demo today.

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Sara Card
5 Tips for Personalizing Websites with Rapidly Changing Retail Catalogs https://www.evergage.com/blog/personalization-tips-rapidly-changing-catalogs/ Fri, 08 Nov 2019 14:53:16 +0000 https://www.evergage.com/?p=57362

Keep on reading: 5 Tips for Personalizing Websites with Rapidly Changing Retail Catalogs]]>

With the holidays quickly approaching, it’s important for retail e-commerce companies to help customers find the items they love and drive urgency to make the biggest impact. For retailers with rapidly changing catalogs or single-inventory items, this challenge is often amplified. With flash sales, limited (or one-of-a-kind) items and even auction timelines, these online retailers depend on real-time data and 1-to-1 personalization to encourage shoppers to discover — and act quickly on — limited items and deals.

What are their secrets for success? Here are five techniques, along with real-world examples, to consider when personalizing the customer experience before time is up.

1. Badging

It’s easy for shoppers to be overwhelmed by a company’s product offerings when browsing online. One way to call attention to specific items is by using badging — that is, visually highlighting metrics or attributes about a given item (e.g., “New!”; “Limited Edition”; “500 Views Today”; “2 Left”) — to drive attention and urgency around certain items. When combined with personalized recommendations, badges — which are most effective when rendered dynamically, based on real-time data about the catalog item and related customer behavior — can help shoppers focus on “hot” items they’re likely to be interested in, leverage the wisdom of the crowd and drive purchases before items sell out. By promoting items and their real-time status to each visitor, badging is often effective in increasing conversions and boosting average order value (AOV).


Note the badges used on select items above, which can be rendered dynamically.

2. Abandoned Cart Emails and On-Site Messages

A key way to re-engage shoppers and drive conversions quickly is by triggering emails to visitors based on their behavior and actions on a website or mobile app (such as leaving an item in their cart without checking out). These emails remind shoppers of specific items and promotions they may have previously engaged with across channels, and can be combined with personalized incentives and discounts (e.g., 10% off, free shipping, etc.) tailored to the recipient. For companies that offer flash sales, or that have limited or rapidly changing inventory, triggered emails can be especially effective at reminding shoppers of time constraints and dwindling inventory, thus spurring urgency in purchases. In addition to email reminders, cart abandonment messages can be displayed to visitors as they start to exit a page, encouraging shoppers to complete a purchase before they lose out on the item.


This cart abandonment message which reads “Forget Something?” includes an image of the actual item the shopper left behind.

3. Open-Time Email Recommendations

What good is an email if the information within it is out of date or the product recommendations are out of stock? Its effect is the opposite of what was intended, and often frustrates and de-motivates the recipient. Open-time emails — where promotions, recommendations and content are personalized when a message is opened, not when it’s sent — can take shoppers’ up-to-the-moment, cross-channel behavior and inventory levels into account to provide the most personalized, accurate, up-to-date and helpful experience. This is crucial for companies whose business model depends on helping shoppers find items before they sell out.

Take, for instance, Invaluable, the world’s leading online marketplace for fine art, antiques and collectibles. Invaluable has a product catalog with hundreds of thousands of items — many unique and one-of-a-kind — that changes over every single month. With open-time emails, Invaluable sends collectors personalized product recommendations that dynamically change based on item availability and auction status, to help recipients get the items they love before they’re gone. By swapping out static email recommendations for dynamically populated ones, Invaluable has seen a 21% increase in email clickthroughs.





The product recommendations in this email are determined at open-time for each individual recipient based on that person’s past behavior and demonstrated interests.

4. Timers

The pressure of a ticking clock — highlighting the limited nature of a deal — can underscore urgency and drive purchases. NeweggFlash, a flash sale website (and sister site of Newegg.com) provides shoppers with a wide range of consumer technology products at attractive prices for a limited time. By adding a deal countdown timer and “people currently viewing” counter to its product detail pages (and A/B testing different versions to find the best look and feel), the company saw a 17% lift in conversion rates.




This flash sale product page includes both a dynamic timer and viewer counter to drive urgency.

5. Inventory Counters

“QUICK! Get it before it’s gone!” When something is on the verge of selling out, we can all relate to the feeling of wanting it even more. So displaying an inventory counter for low-stock items that are relevant to shoppers can help them make that last-minute decision to purchase before something disappears. 

High-performing retailers often combine the above strategies too — for example, sending triggered, low-stock emails displaying real-time inventory counts to users who have shown an interest in a given product. Plus, by adding open-time email capabilities, companies can ensure that every item recommended is the most up-to-date, relevant content — while also factoring in the recipient’s latest browsing behavior, purchases and real-time inventory.

Final Thoughts

The above personalization strategies are important ones for all types of e-commerce companies — and for those with rapidly changing catalogs, they play an especially crucial role in driving demand. So that shoppers can capitalize on a flash sale — before it disappears in a flash — and find the perfect, one-of-a-kind item before it’s auctioned away, they often need help finding hot, relevant products and motivation to complete their purchases. Real-time customer data management and 1-to-1 personalization are key.

To learn more about how Evergage can be the personalization and customer data platform (CDP) for your company, request a demo today.

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Tim Dammers
Evergage Named a Leader Among Digital Intelligence Platforms https://www.evergage.com/blog/evergage-named-a-leader-among-digital-intelligence-platforms/ Wed, 06 Nov 2019 16:33:12 +0000 https://www.evergage.com/?p=57332

Keep on reading: Evergage Named a Leader Among Digital Intelligence Platforms]]>

I am proud to share that Evergage that has been named a Leader in The Forrester Wave™: Digital Intelligence Platforms, Q4 2019. It’s an honor to be among the impressive set of vendors included – what Forrester calls the “9 most significant” ones in the market – and especially gratifying to be 1 of only 2 leaders in this select group. This distinction, in our opinion, speaks to the strength of Evergage’s offering, approach and roadmap; the dramatic results our clients achieve; and Evergage’s commitment to their success.

Forrester employs a rigorous process in its Wave evaluations – in this case, examining 23 different criteria and reporting on how vendors stack up. Those selected for inclusion also submitted an extensive survey and delivered a lengthy product demo; plus, for every vendor evaluated, Forrester interviewed multiple clients about their experiences.

Evergage received the highest possible scores (5 out of 5) in the Wave in the criteria of platform experience, execution roadmap, past performance, online testing, Web analytics, recommendations, first-party profile data and average deal size.

I encourage you to check out a complimentary copy of the full report, courtesy of Evergage. In the meantime, here are some of our high-level takeaways:

What is Digital Intelligence, and Why Do Companies Need it?

As companies continue to accumulate vast (and often siloed) stores of customer and prospect data, the need to make sense of it all – and make it actionable – has been amplified. Enter digital intelligence. Here’s how Forrester defines the space and technology, and the research firm’s thoughts on why it’s so critical today:

“Insight-driven firms deliver the right digital experience to the right customers within the right context. They create competitive advantage by doing this at scale and with a consistency achievable only through the holistic practice of managing and acting on digital customer data, analytics and experience delivery – which Forrester calls digital intelligence (DI).

To emulate these masters and achieve scale and consistency, firms are increasingly relying on DI technology platforms that integrate the breadth of data, analytics and experience optimization capabilities they need. In parallel, firms’ demands of these platforms are increasing – they need to track customers across more types of digital touchpoints and optimize their engagements, collect higher-fidelity engagement data and analyze for greater customer understanding.” 

To capture customers’ attention, engage them successfully with relevance and drive long-term loyalty, it’s important that all these activities – from cross-channel behavioral tracking, to experience delivery and optimization based on first- and third-party data – occur in real time. We do this at Evergage: tracking, storing, processing and synthesizing information – then activating it at the 1-to-1 level to deliver personalized messages, recommendations, offers and complete experiences – in milliseconds.

Evergage’s Approach

The category of “Digital Intelligence” encapsulates really well what Evergage is all about as a personalization and customer data platform (CDP), since it addresses not only critical experience optimization aspects (including behavioral targeting, A/B testing and recommendations), but also the data and analytics needed to drive these. Evergage excels  across all three dimensions: data, analytics and experience optimization. In our opinion, not all vendors can say the same, especially the myriad CDP vendor newcomers who can’t adequately address all three dimensions.  

While many vendors may use the same buzzwords and lay claim to these broad capabilities, Forrester cautions that “differences abound in the details.” The firm notes that “the performance of vendors’ digital intelligence business, their ability to manage first-party interaction profile data, their web analytics functionality and their recommendations feature integrations are the keys to distinguishing between vendors in this evaluation.”

At Evergage, we’ve made significant investments in all of these areas as core aspects of our platform, and we also view these features and capabilities – along with our machine-learning algorithms and predictive analytics – as critical to experience delivery.

Evergage’s Differentiators

The Wave also included some very large and established marketing suite providers – what you might think of as industry heavyweights. Here are some of the areas that we believe set Evergage apart and show why we were named a Leader:

  • Evergage is a single, integrated and comprehensive DI platform, built in-house – and not scraped together through acquisitions of different technologies and systems that don’t always play well together and don’t communicate with each other in real time. We see that cobbling together systems this way often results in multiple disconnected customer profiles, and lags in data processing, analysis and activation – meaning customers don’t get the relevant experiences they need, in the moment they need them. In contrast, Forrester notes: “Evergage’s all-in-one approach delivers customer centricity.”
  • We apply industry-leading artificial intelligence (AI) and machine-learning algorithms that keep getting smarter, so companies can anticipate customers’ needs across channels – mapping their preferences, affinities and intent with the experiences and offers that are just right for them, and just right for the business. Forrester’s report notes the importance of AI and machine learning on experience optimization capabilities. Again, we feel these are strengths of Evergage and important points of differentiation. 
  • Evergage helps companies illuminate their customers’ true interests and intent – and then act on that. We combine our rich, first-party, cross-channel behavioral data with historical information and third-party data to power real-time, 1-to-1 personalization across websites, email, web and mobile apps, onsite search, online ads, social media, call centers and in stores/branches. In its evaluation, Forrester recognizes the need for customer insights (CI) professionals to “look for strong first-party digital customer interaction profiling capabilities” when choosing a DI platform and calls attention to the importance of gaining a “richer understanding of customers’ digital intent, sentiment and propensity.” All of this is core to what sits at the heart of Evergage and what we believe makes our platform different and better.  

What the Analysts Had to Say

Get it straight from the source – here are some direct quotes from the report about Evergage and what makes us unique:

  • “Evergage 1 [our solution name] is a tightly integrated platform designed to identify, understand, decide and engage with customers on a one-to-one basis across all major and emerging digital interaction channels.”
  • “Evergage’s greatest strengths lie in the integration of its modern customer interaction data model with its experience optimization capabilities for testing, recommendations and behavioral targeting.”
  • “Evergage 1 is ideal for retail, technology and financial services firms seeking to take a customer centric, cross-channel and cross-departmental (e.g. marketing and product teams) approach to enhancing customer experience.”

Final Thoughts

In the digital age, digital intelligence is a necessity. To win over customers, you need to know them, and DI platforms let you do this at scale. But it’s not enough, of course, to simply know about your customers and prospects; you need to be able to do something with that knowledge – acting on digital intelligence in a way that will help, guide and delight your audiences.

To learn more about DI platforms, including capabilities among them and Evergage’s position as a Leader, download the full report.


Andy Zimmerman
Top Considerations When Evaluating Enterprise Platform Vendors https://www.evergage.com/blog/top-considerations-when-evaluating-enterprise-platform-vendors/ Fri, 01 Nov 2019 13:40:07 +0000 https://www.evergage.com/?p=57314

Keep on reading: Top Considerations When Evaluating Enterprise Platform Vendors]]>

As a business development rep (BDR) at Evergage, I’ve watched a lot of companies go through the software solution evaluation process. Selecting the proper vendor can be daunting, especially with the exponentially growing number of software providers on the market today. Although there are many moving pieces in an evaluation, I’ve realized there are steps that can be taken to streamline the process and ensure that you collect all the proper information to select the best vendor for your business.

Of course, the specifics of how you evaluate technology vendors will depend on the type of technology you’re looking for. (If you’re looking for CDP technology, for example, check out this RFP template as a guide.) So in this blog post, I’ll focus on a few things that you may want to consider at the beginning stages of the evaluation process for any type of software platform. 

Laying the Foundation for Vendor Evaluation: Questions to Consider and Resources

Before you can start the exciting process of scheduling multiple introductory vendor calls with strangers (ha ha), there are few things you should consider upfront to optimize your time, such as:

  • What is our timeline for this project?
  • How many vendors do we plan to evaluate?
  • What is our budget? 
  • Which colleagues or consultants will be involved? 
  • Who signs off on the decision?
  • What is my personal bandwidth, and how much support do I need internally?
  • What are the specific ways we plan to use this solution?
  • How will we measure success/ROI?

Thinking through these issues in advance will help you and your prospective vendors get on the same page from the beginning.

Your timeline can be especially crucial. If a solution needs to be up and running for the biggest selling season of your fiscal year, for example, then a vendor’s ability to execute quickly is critical in the selection process. Or, if you are replacing a SaaS solution that is already in place, starting the evaluation with enough runway prior to the contract renewal date may save you from needing to wait another year to implement. 

To help create your initial list of vendors to research, you can start by checking out reports prepared by analysts firms, such as Gartner or Forrester. There are also crowdsourced alternatives such as G2. They can provide an unbiased starting point for you as well. 

Researching Vendors Online 

As you begin deeper research of each solution on your list, I recommend starting by analyzing the vendor’s website. Content such as feature pages, eBooks, and case studies can give some indication of the types of customers (e.g., size, industry, etc.) the company typically works with. You can see if the company has published anything addressing your specific needs or use cases. 

In addition to reviewing success stories specific to your industry or company type, understanding how a vendor is trending in the market is important, especially if you are planning to keep the solution long term. 10-K reports offer great snapshots of a public company's financial well-being. You can look at a company’s LinkedIn profile to get a good idea of how its employment is trending. Plus, there are free sites and tools like SimilarWeb, which provides helpful data on website traffic over time.

No vendor is going to tell you when their company is going downhill. Taking these steps to research a company can provide insight into that organization’s health and may save you from having to abruptly find an alternative vendor down the road.

The analyst firms such as Gartner and Forrester, and free sites such as G2 – which publishes unbiased user reviews – can be helpful to you at this stage of your research as well. For thousands of different B2B software solutions, G2 provides numerous detailed reviews from users discussing the strengths and weaknesses they encountered while using a solution. G2 also provides a “G2 Grid” like this one for many different solution categories, which you can use to compare vendors against the dimensions of market presence and user satisfaction. 

Meanwhile, analyst reports from Forrester and Gartner can provide valuable details and unbiased insights on vendors you may be considering. Their reports are stringently compiled, and many vendors do not make the cut. The analysts work closely with each vendor to make sure they have an in-depth understanding of the solution, and they gather extensive user feedback directly from vendor clients. For example, the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Personalization Engines report provides a synopsis of the strengths and cautions for each vendor, as well as the renowned quadrant image that ranks each vendor based on “completeness of vision” and “ability to execute.” Reliable and reputable sources such as these provide objective and helpful insights to buyers. In contrast, be wary of lesser-known sites that may be “pay-to-play” (where vendor sponsorship can influence coverage/rankings).

Engaging Directly with Vendors 

No matter what type of solution you’re searching for, it’s important to take into consideration how smooth the initial sales process is. This can help you determine how helpful the vendor will be in the long term. A vendor's ability to properly respond to your initial inquiry and subsequently engage with you and provide value will give you a glimpse into their responsiveness and professionalism as an organization generally. This insight is important, as a good solution with insufficient support can leave you less than satisfied and unable to realize maximum value from your investment.  

Two key questions to ask yourself:

  • How quickly and thoroughly did the vendor follow up and respond to my questions and requests?
  • Was the right vendor staff present and prepared for each call/meeting? 

Also, take note of any questions the vendor asks you prior to each call or meeting. By asking you questions, they are likely trying to uncover some information about your business to ensure your needs align with their capabilities. 

Final Thoughts

Overall, you want to make sure you are properly laying the foundation before exploring the vast world of potential vendors to make the best use of your time. Do your homework online in advance, and pay attention to the nuances of coordination once you engage directly. Selecting a new vendor can be stressful, but pioneering a new solution that jumpstarts your business is usually worth it.

To learn more about how Evergage can be the personalization and customer data platform for your enterprise, request a demo today.

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Chris Sparanges
Hot off the Press: Our Personalization Book, Now in Its 2nd Edition https://www.evergage.com/blog/one-to-one-personalization-book/ Tue, 29 Oct 2019 14:30:53 +0000 https://www.evergage.com/?p=57274

Keep on reading: Hot off the Press: Our Personalization Book, Now in Its 2nd Edition]]>

Writing a book is a labor of love. And I love personalization and customer data platforms. So I’m excited to let you know that the second edition of “One-to-One Personalization in the Age of Machine Learning” is available as a free digital download today. Authored by my colleague Katie Sweet and me, the full-length book (now 220 pages) describes how to harness in-depth data to power great customer experiences.

Because that’s what personalization is all about, right? Tapping into your data to create relevant, excellent experiences that help, motivate and delight your customers and prospects – no matter on what channel they’re engaging. Personalization is good for the customer, and it’s good for business. We at Evergage feel it’s important to demystify personalization and customer data platform (CDP) technology – and in the book, we share strategies, processes and real-world examples that drive success.

Why the 2nd Edition? Why Now?

For so many years, the 1-to-1 dream was just that: a dream. It’s taken decades for marketers and technologists to turn fantasy into reality. But now, thanks to artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, 1-to-1 personalization – in real time and at scale – isn’t just talked about; it’s implemented. 

And while it seemingly took ages to achieve the 1-to-1 dream, now that it’s here, we’re seeing progress at lightning speed. Cost and technical barriers drop every day. CDP technology, predictive analytics and machine-learning algorithms that keep getting smarter – among other advances – are propelling our industry forward. Even since we released the first edition of our book two years ago, we’ve seen significant advancements, and we want to tell you about them.

So for new readers, there’s a trove of actionable information. And for those of you who read our first edition, you’ll find new ideas, examples and info that will strengthen your campaigns and, we hope, inspire you.

Here are some of the additional areas we address in this new edition:

  • CDPs – Their role in stitching together and activating siloed data into unified customer profiles to deliver segment-based and 1-to-1 personalization in real time
  • Additional channels to tie into your personalization strategy – and how to deliver a seamless experience across them
  • The function of a personalization management office (PMO) – and whether it makes sense for your organization to have one
  • Predictive modeling – that is, how to apply machine learning to predict future events and take course-correcting or enabling actions
  • An in-depth guide to evaluating CDP and personalization technology
  • A glimpse into our crystal ball – with more predictions on what’s next for personalization technology
  • And more

We had great feedback on the first edition of our book – including positive reviews from industry analysts, customer experience luminaries and personalization practitioners; a feature in Forbes; and even an award we’re very proud of. We look forward to hearing what you think.

You can access the second edition of our book, free in its digital form, courtesy of Evergage, or purchase a hard copy through Amazon in a few weeks. Happy reading – and here’s to 1-to-1 personalization done right!


Karl Wirth
3 Ways to Personalize Your Mobile App Experiences https://www.evergage.com/blog/3-ways-to-personalize-your-mobile-app-experiences/ Fri, 25 Oct 2019 13:30:31 +0000 https://www.evergage.com/?p=57248

Keep on reading: 3 Ways to Personalize Your Mobile App Experiences]]>

Take a second to think about all the different ways you interact with businesses like your favorite clothing brand, your local coffee shop, or your bank. Whether you physically go into a store, engage with the company on their website or mobile app, interact with their emails, call them on the phone, etc. —  it’s safe to say that as consumers we connect with companies in many different ways.

Each of us expects relevance across all of these channels. In recent years, it has become more and more common to see businesses providing personalization — often in the form of recommended products or content — on their websites, but what happens when you check one of their emails or log into their mobile app? Does that experience now fall flat? Is it disconnected from the experience you had on the website?

Last week, we held a webinar titled “Moving Beyond the Website: Personalizing Email and Mobile Apps” in which three Evergagers (T.J Prebil, Dustin South and Matt Mooney) detailed how your organization can begin constructing relevant, personalized email and mobile campaigns. In this blog post, I’ll dive into the three ways to personalize mobile apps as described in the webinar, but be sure to check out the webinar replay for all the details!

1. Push Notifications

One way to engage mobile users on their mobile devices is through push notifications — messages a company can send a user provided that user has the company’s mobile app on his phone or tablet. The user doesn’t need to be using the app or even using his phone to be sent a push notification. It simply appears on his device and looks similar to a text message or other mobile alert. 

Most of the time, push notifications are alerts about something noteworthy that has happened since the last time they engaged with the application. For example, a notification can be sent from your banking app to alert you that mortgage rates have dropped, and that it might be a good time to refinance (see example below). These notifications are visible on the lock screen and/or in the operating system’s message center. They act as a great way to entice the user to return to the app.

mobile app personalization

Push notifications can be a valuable tool when used correctly. I don’t think I am alone in saying that if I receive a lot of push notifications on topics I have little interest in, I quickly change my settings to avoid getting them in the future. To avoid bombarding your users with obtrusive notifications, it’s critical that you ensure every push notification you send is relevant and helpful to the user. Engaging with your customers in this way adds value to your app, and entices them to continue using it.

For example, you can trigger a push notification for a variety of reasons: when there are inventory or price changes on products or categories a shopper was interested in, when new content related to a person’s favorite topic is added, or when there’s a low balance in the customer’s bank account. You can also add dynamic information into any push notification to make sure the message is populated with real-time value at the moment the campaigns triggers. For example, you can tell a person how many loyalty points she had left to use at the time the push notification is sent.

2. In-App Messages 

In the webinar, Matt described in-app messages as the best mobile campaign to start with. In-app messages are simple floating banners that appear within the app while the user has the app open. These messages can be added to the app experience through an SDK — without any code changes needed in the app itself. 

In-app messages are best used when you want to catch the app user’s immediate attention. You want the user to stop what he’s doing, recognize the message and then take some kind of action. For example, the same banking app from the previous example may want to ask about refinancing while the user is in the app and thinking about his finances — rather than as a push notification. In that instance, the in-app message could look like the example below.mobile app personalization

Many in-app messages contain a link or two to somewhere else in the app to inform the user or drive them to take action. They can also be set to rotate when the app rotates. Much like push notifications, it’s vital that in-app messages serve a purpose to the individual and, therefore, be highly targeted based on specific behavioral and/or attribute data. One of the worst things you can do is disrupt a user with irrelevant information. Rather than being a disruption, in-app messaging should add value to a customer’s experience by assisting them.

3. Data Campaigns

In-app messages sit on top of the app — so they are meant to grab the attention of your app users. But there can be moments when you want to be more subtle than that. For those situations, you need to use data campaigns. 

While in-app messages are delivered via an SDK and overlay the app, data campaigns send custom data to your app and instruct it to personalize the experience for a user in some way. You can use data campaigns to deliver custom user alerts, product or content recommendations, personalized promotions, etc. that appear directly as part of the app interface. In the example below, the same refinancing message is triggered based on current mortgage rates, but this time it appears within the app screen itself rather than outside of it (push notification) or on top of it (in-app message). 

mobile app personalization

Like the previous two experience types, data campaigns can leverage dynamic info about the user or can be triggered based on any catalog changes, behavioral changes, etc. They also offer maximum flexibility from a design perspective.

Final Thoughts

Personally, I’m addicted to my cell phone. I know I’m not alone in this. Nearly half (46%) of Americans say that the first thing that they do in the morning is check their phone. But according to App Annie, the average person has 80 apps installed on his phone, yet only uses nine apps per day. It’s important to do all you can to make the mobile experience as seamless and relevant as possible so your customers not only download your app, but continue to use it and engage with your brand.

In this blog post I outlined how personalization can help your company improve your customers’ experiences with your mobile app, but for more information on mobile app personalization, plus how to create email personalization campaigns, be sure to watch the full webinar replay!

And if you want to learn even more about Evergage’s capabilities, request a demo today.

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Scott Holzwasser
What Being an Evergage BDR Taught Me About Personalization https://www.evergage.com/blog/what-being-an-evergage-bdr-taught-me-about-personalization/ Wed, 23 Oct 2019 14:00:42 +0000 https://www.evergage.com/?p=57235

Keep on reading: What Being an Evergage BDR Taught Me About Personalization]]>

As a business development rep (BDR) for Evergage, I spend a lot of my time cold calling — reaching out to people who have not interacted with Evergage before. These professionals I reach out to not only have incredibly busy schedules, but might not even have direct phone lines. Taking into account those two factors alone, it is difficult to get a hold of someone. So it is very important to be prepared when a call is answered. 

One thing I’ve noticed is that there are a lot of similarities between cold prospects whom I interact with at the beginning of their journey and visitors who find and interact with our website. The more individually tailored the experience, whether it’s a cold call or a website visit, the more effective it is. If I showed up completely unprepared to a call and didn’t listen and respond appropriately to a prospect, she wouldn’t be interested in what I have to say. The same is true on our website.  

I dive more into this comparison between personalizing the cold call experience and personalizing the website experience in this blog post. Because just like a cold call, a B2B company’s digital channels have to be personalized in order to guide leads down the funnel. 

Do your research on the company and person first 

Every good BDR knows that researching a prospect and her company is the first step you need to take before making a single call. 

With all the phone calls we make (and are expected to make), it may be easier to make dial after dial without doing much research first. But what happens when a prospect does pick up? Having an understanding of what the prospect’s title is, any responsibilities she may have, her company’s place within its industry, and so on is the basic foundation to having meaningful and more natural conversations. Salespeople only get one chance to make a first impression, and using uninformed, generic pitches to try to appeal to a buyer can ruin the entire call. 

B2B companies need to carry this mentality over to the website experience as well. Even anonymous first-time visitors deserve to be treated with relevant information the second they arrive to the site. Otherwise, you risk them not realizing how your product or service can be helpful to them. 

Even if a visitor has never interacted with your site before, you can leverage her geolocation, referring source or firmographic details like industry, company, company size, technologies used, etc. In this example below, the site personalizes the homepage to a visitor’s geolocation to ensure she knows the tax site is relevant to her specific needs.

cold calling

Understand and match tone 

BDRs know that tone is everything. Getting a cheery person who seems open to a conversation is the jackpot! Matching an upbeat tone with a well-prepared opening line works in a BDR’s favor because the prospect will most likely appreciate not only the effort, but also the passion of the BDR. 

But if a prospect’s tone is mundane or less than thrilled to be receiving a cold call, toning down some enthusiasm and sympathising may be a way to tackle the immediate “I’m not interested” objection. By saying, “I know I am calling out of the blue” or “I understand I might have caught you at a bad time,” it gives the BDR another opportunity to engage and bring down the prospect’s guard. 

Mirroring tone and level of engagement on the website is important too. Just like a cheery person on the phone, a prospect who is scrolling, hovering, reading content, etc. is showing she is interested. The company should present CTAs that aim to drive her down the funnel such as, “Because you downloaded that, we thought you might like this” or “Are you ready for a demo?” 

You also want to avoid coming on too strong to a prospect who isn’t interested. You don’t want to ask a prospect to “Get a Demo Now” right as she’s leaving the site after 10 seconds and not showing much interest — that CTA will likely come off as tone deaf. Presenting a relevant CTA like “Start Here to Learn How Retailers Can Double Their Conversion Rates” would come across better. 

Work toward the next meeting 

Keeping the attention of a prospect after an initial phone interaction is not an easy task. Often BDRs turn to email to follow up from a conversation. I use email to provide additional relevant resources to the prospect or just to say “Thanks for taking the time.” The follow-up email creates another avenue for communication and ideally leads to another meeting or interaction. 

B2B companies should similarly use email as a way to educate buyers and push them further down the funnel after an initial visit. BDRs would never waste the precious information they gain from a conversation, and your company shouldn’t either. Use all the information you gather from the prospect’s time on site such as her industry, topic interests, stage of the funnel, etc. to deliver relevant content and CTAs in follow-up email communications to keep her engaged — as in this example below. Such an email could be part of targeted email to a similar group of prospects as part of a nurture track or a 1-to-1 triggered email

cold calling

Final Thoughts

No matter which channel a prospect engages with, she should be treated like a unique individual. Your company should always be responding to her needs whether she is interacting with a human or just browsing your website. That’s the key takeaway for BDRs and B2B marketers alike. 

To learn more about how Evergage can help you improve the prospect’s experience, request a demo today.

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Brady Sezon
10 Years of Personalization: A Look Back at Where We Came From https://www.evergage.com/blog/10-years-of-personalization-a-look-back-at-where-we-came-from/ Fri, 18 Oct 2019 13:30:33 +0000 https://www.evergage.com/?p=57223

Keep on reading: 10 Years of Personalization: A Look Back at Where We Came From]]>

I have been thinking about and talking to marketers about personalization for nearly a decade, and I have seen a lot of changes in the space over those 10 years. 

By the time I started Evergage in 2010 with my co-founder, Greg Hinkle, the one-to-one dream was well established. The age of mass marketing was over, and marketers were looking to connect with their customers individually, rather than en masse. 

They had been promised that the internet would foster this type of communication, and it had certainly helped. Marketers could respond to customers directly on social media. They could send more tailored emails. The world had definitely changed. 

Although the term was already in circulation, by and large, personalization was still in its infancy. This is the world I entered when Evergage was in its early development. 

Personalization has come a long way since then. Illustrating this growth, McKinsey published an article this summer entitled “The future of personalization—and how to get ready for it.” This article, which I recommend, got me thinking about how far personalization has come and where it’s going, so I want to share my own thoughts on the evolution of personalization over the last decade in this post. 

Personalization has evolved from a marketing tactic to a full-scale CX strategy

One of the biggest changes I’ve seen in talking with businesses about their personalization plans is that it has grown from a single tactic used by the marketing team to drive engagement and conversions, to become a core component of a business’s customer experience strategy.

While marketers continue to use personalization to drive engagement and conversions, these days personalization is seen as much more than that. Understanding customers and responding to them with relevant experiences, across all touchpoints, is now considered to be a necessary part of doing business.

As such, I talk to a variety of people in different roles about personalization, not just marketers. IT, developers, data scientists, data analysts, product management and more have joined the conversation. 

In the McKinsey article I referenced earlier, the authors state that "Personalization will be the prime driver of marketing success within five years.” This may be true, but I believe it understates the value. Personalization has become a critical driver of overall business success — and that means the whole organization is paying attention. 

Personalization is all about the data 

To support a customer experience strategy that’s all about tailoring experiences to each individual, you need to fully understand each customer. That understanding can only be gleaned from data. As a result, more and more organizations are focusing on their customer data as part of their personalization initiatives. 

Every organization I speak to is having conversations around the type of customer data they have, what that data says about each individual buyer, and how to best leverage that data to affect each individual’s experiences. Companies are actively looking into how to bring their data together – including voluminous and messy yet critically important digital behavioral data – in one central place, create individual profiles, and stitch those profiles together to create a single, complete picture of each person.

According to McKinsey: “Top marketers are developing systems that can pool and analyze structured and unstructured data, algorithms that can identify behavioral patterns and customer propensity, and analysis capabilities to feed that information into easy-to-use dashboards. Setting up a centralized customer data platform (CDP) to unify paid and owned data from across channels is essential to these efforts.”

Bringing customer data together and activating it – through the application of rules and machine learning algorithms and integrated systems – requires a full-team, cross-functional effort. This is why the personalization conversation has extended beyond marketing. 

Personalization is recognized by the major analyst firms

As a reflection of the important role personalization is now playing in the customer experience, it has garnered more and more attention from industry analysts. At Evergage, we used to lament the lack of analyst coverage back when we first started. That has certainly changed. 

Earlier this year, Gartner released its second Magic Quadrant for Personalization Engines (in which Evergage was named a Leader and earned the highest score in the “ability to execute” axis). And Gartner recently followed up this report with their Critical Capabilities for Personalization Engines report in which Evergage received the highest overall scores across all three use cases in their analysis. Forrester Research, meanwhile, cites personalization as a top retail investment for 2019. These firms and several more like 451 Research and IDC all have analysts and reports focused on both personalization engines and CDPs. And B2B software review sites like G2 and Trust Radius have multiple categories with numerous vendors addressing these. 

The analyst attention on the space and on Evergage specifically confirm the critical role personalization now plays in marketing and CX. 

Businesses have seen a lot of success with personalization, but there is still work to be done

We hear about personalization success stories all the time, of course. The McKinsey article describes some great stories of brands using different technologies to deliver better, more personal experiences. For example, some retailers are experimenting with providing in-store sales associates with apps that generate personalized product recommendations for specific shoppers. 

But there is still a lot of work to do. All we have to do is look around to see that many organizations are still delivering generic, one-size-fits-all experiences. And according to the article: "A recent McKinsey survey of senior marketing leaders finds that only 15% of CMOs believe their company is on the right track with personalization.” 

I talk to marketers all the time who come from companies that have a long history of working with the large marketing clouds, particularly Adobe. They are frustrated with the costs and complexity of the implementation process, and then that they can’t accomplish the type of personalization they want once implemented. For example, personalization with Adobe doesn’t effectively utilize all the data available about a company’s customers, isn’t 1-to-1, and isn’t real-time.  

Evergage was built to house all the data about each individual customer in one unified profile, and then act on that data to deliver personalized experiences in true real time (<20 ms), at the 1-to-1 level, and across channels. 

The technology exists to do personalization right, so there’s really no reason that so few CMOs should feel like they’re on the right track.  

Final Thoughts

According to McKinsey, figuring out how to personalize pays off: 

Today’s personalization leaders have found proven ways to drive 5-15% increases in revenue and 10-30% increases in marketing-spend efficiency—predominantly by deploying product recommendations and triggered communications within singular channels.  

If you’re one of those 85% of CMOs who don’t feel confident about your personalization plans, talk to Evergage. We can help.

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Karl Wirth
Recognizing Website Visitors from Email Clickthroughs https://www.evergage.com/blog/recognizing-website-visitors-from-email-clickthroughs/ Tue, 15 Oct 2019 13:30:07 +0000 https://www.evergage.com/?p=57208

Keep on reading: Recognizing Website Visitors from Email Clickthroughs]]>

When you send an email to a prospect, you know who that person is (or at least you know his email address). Any action he takes when he clicks through to your site should be tracked and added to his centralized profile — which can be used to deliver personalized web experiences, additional personalized email messages, or other personalized content on other channels. This seems straightforward and obvious, but most B2B marketers are not doing this or are unable to do this. 

The challenge is that email addresses are often stored in marketing automation platforms (MAPs) or email service providers (ESPs), while a separate personalization solution tracks website behavior, and those systems don’t always sync or don’t sync in real time. So when a person clicks through from an email to your site, even though you know who he is, your different solutions may not be able to work together to identify him, grab his email address, and track his resulting behavior. Most marketers believe the only way to do this is to capture and append the email address into the URL upon clickthrough, but this approach is frowned upon due to privacy concerns. 

The Evergage platform enables you to do this type of tracking without exposing a recipient’s email publicly. We use this approach ourselves, and it allows us to do more targeted marketing and understand and engage our email audiences much better. 

In this blog post, I’ll describe how we moved beyond simply tracking email clicks, to identifying each email recipient and understanding what that person’s post-click behavior on our site says about his or her interests and intent.     

Track and Learn About Your Prospects in One Centralized Profile

Let me give you a couple examples of what it looks like when you can’t identify visitors from email and the associated drawbacks. 

Let’s say a prospect has visited your website on his laptop in the past but never identified himself. One day, he visits your website on his mobile phone and signs up for a webinar, entering his email address in the form. From this point on, you have his email address and you know who he is while he is visiting your site on his phone, but you aren’t able to tie that known profile to the anonymous one from his laptop — even when he clicks through from a future email you send him. 

In another scenario, let’s say you have an ABM program and you conduct outbound email marketing campaigns. When one of the recipients of such an email opens and clicks through — and then takes actions on your site — wouldn’t you want to tie that behavior together with the person’s identity? 

Simply by collecting a prospect’s email address when they click through an email, you could use the insights from that visit and future visits to better personalize future communications.

To enable the type of tracking necessary to identify website visitors when they click through an email, it is necessary to set up a different kind of link tracking using Evergage. Once we did this, we were able to enrich each email recipient’s unified customer profile in Evergage which stores their actions, interests, industry affinities, and firmographic account data. We were also able to see any assets they downloaded, forms completed, segments joined, and more.

Setting Up Email Clickthrough Tracking

Setting up the type of tracking described above took us a few extra steps, but they’re worth it! First we create what’s called a promotion in Evergage for each page we wanted to promote in our email campaigns. Next, we added that promotion to a new Evergage email campaign (even when we weren’t using Evergage’s native email functionality). This step generates the link needed for the email campaign. We just added that special link along with the User ID parameter we were interested in (the email address field in this case) to the email template in our MAP. 

After some thorough testing and proactive link creation for all the pages we promote in our emails, we were good to go.

Now when someone clicks through one of our email links, a profile is instantly created (or updated) for them in Evergage that includes their email address — so we can always identify that person on our site. This enables us to immediately start personalizing their website experience.

Capturing someone’s email address in real time also allows us to send personalized, triggered emails to them as soon as their actions meet the criteria for a triggered email campaign, which often take place in the same session.  

Key Takeaways 

Being able to connect our marketing automation platform with our personalization platform is incredibly valuable. Integrating them via a connector or APIs is also valuable, of course, but in that case the data is synced periodically, in batch mode. This method allows us to stitch together profiles in real time to ensure that our data for each person is as complete as possible, giving us a much deeper understanding of each individual at a 1-to-1 level. This has led to better conversations and improved conversion rates with our prospects.

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Zach Skole
Cheers to Our Clients: Our Success is Yours https://www.evergage.com/blog/cheers-to-our-clients-our-success-is-yours/ Fri, 11 Oct 2019 13:30:57 +0000 https://www.evergage.com/?p=57199

Keep on reading: Cheers to Our Clients: Our Success is Yours]]>

At Evergage, we know the way organizations connect with their customers and prospects can make or break the customer experience. With this in mind, we’ve invested over the years in creating the market-leading personalization and customer data platform (CDP), which enables companies to deliver relevant, individualized experiences however their audiences choose to engage with them.

Over the past four years, our technology and team have won more than 30 industry awards. These are a credit and testament to our world-class customers, who drive us to push the envelope, and to our incredibly innovative and dedicated employees, who’ve redefined what’s possible with real-time, 1-to-1 personalization and customer data management. 

We’re proud to share that in 2019 alone, Evergage has achieved the following:

  • Won a gold (highest-level) Stevie® Award in the American Business Awards for improving personalization with artificial intelligence. This is the fifth year in a row Evergage has been a Stevie Award winner. The judges for the “Best New Product: Marketing Solution” category had this to say about Contextual Bandit, Evergage’s cutting-edge machine-learning algorithm: “Wowzer; definitely leading the charge”; “Impressed by Evergage’s advanced machine learning and measurable results” and more. (See the press release.)
  • Recognized as a “Best Marketing Solution” in the Golden Bridge Awards®. This is the fifth straight year Evergage has been honored in this program as well. (See the press release.)
  • Won “Customer Data Platform (CDP) of the Year” and “Personalization Tech Solution of the Year” in the Rele Awards. This inaugural program from Personalization ONE celebrates the people and technology seamlessly creating relevant, personalized experiences. (See the press release.)
  • Named to the EContent 100 for the fourth year in a row. This program, hosted by EContent magazine, recognizes the technologies “that matter most” in the digital content industry. This was the first year that readers voted for the winners, selecting the technologies that have shaped and improved how they do business. (See the press release.)

In addition to the accolades above, Evergage was also included in dozens of analyst reports this year. Some of the highlights include:

  • Gartner’s Critical Capabilities for Personalization Engines2 (available to Gartner subscribers) – Evergage received the highest product score in every use case the research firm analyzed. With the report in its second year of publication, this also marks the second year Evergage was ranked the highest among all vendors in all three use cases (marketing, digital commerce and customer experience). (Read more in this blog post.)
  • Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Multichannel Marketing Hubs3 (available to Gartner subscribers) – Evergage was named a Visionary in the first year Evergage was evaluated for this study. According to the report: “Visionaries provide a strong vision for the multichannel marketing market or excel in advanced or emerging areas.” (See the press release.)
  • Forrester’s The Forrester New WaveTM : B2B Customer Data Platforms4 (available to Forrester subscribers) – Evergage was named a Strong Performer in the inaugural year of this new study. The report states that “customers praise Evergage’s data management and segmentation capabilities…” and that Evergage “enables real-time activation and offers strong GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) functionality.”  (See the press release.)
  • G2’s Grid® Report for Personalization Engines – Evergage was positioned as a Leader in the Summer and Fall 2019 reports – reflecting the voice of unbiased and authenticated user reviews – and earned the highest customer satisfaction rating of all solutions included. (See the press release.)

Again, our sincere gratitude goes out to our clients for their feedback, requests, references and, in some cases, votes – all contributing to the numerous accolades we’ve received!

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Disclaimer: 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, express or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

1 Gartner, Inc., Magic Quadrant for Personalization Engines, Jennifer Polk, Martha Mathers and Jason McNellis, July 3, 2019.
2 Gartner, Inc., Critical Capabilities for Personalization Engines, Jennifer Polk, Martha Mathers and Jason McNellis, September 17, 2019.
3 Gartner, Inc., Magic Quadrant for Multichannel Marketing Hubs, Noah Elkin, Adam Sarner, Benjamin Bloom, Joseph Enever and Colin Reid, April 18, 2019.
4 Forrester Research, Inc., New Tech: B2B Marketing Data Management Solutions, Q1 2019, Steven Casey, Caroline Robertson, Brandon Shaik and Kara Hartig, January 31, 2019.

Andy Zimmerman