Evergage - Feed https://www.evergage.comf Real-time behavior-based personalization Mon, 21 Jan 2019 18:31:59 +0000 en hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.9 CDP vs. DMP: What’s the Difference and How Do You Use Both? https://www.evergage.com/blog/cdp-vs-dmp-whats-the-difference-and-how-do-you-use-both/ Fri, 18 Jan 2019 14:22:24 +0000 https://www.evergage.com/?p=47836

Keep on reading: CDP vs. DMP: What’s the Difference and How Do You Use Both?]]>

In 2018, customer data platforms (CDPs) rocketed to the forefront of the martech conversation. With tag managers, data warehouses, and analytics platforms (among others) joining the new world of CDPs every day, it can be difficult to keep track of who does what, and how various systems either complement, replace, or interact with each other.

One of the questions that we hear on a regular basis is in regards to how CDPs and data management platforms (DMPs) differ or overlap. Namely, if you have a DMP, do you need a CDP? How are they different? How are they similar?

It is our belief that CDPs and DMPs are unique and complementary platforms. The purpose of this article is to help marketers understand the typical feature set of each platform and highlight how they can work together to drive an improved customer experience.

Understanding DMPs

What is a DMP?

At the highest level, a DMP is a tool that consolidates data primarily from second- and third-party data sources and allows organizations to segment their audiences. While DMPs can track some first-party data, their main data sources are second- and third-party non-PII (personally identifiable information) data such as cookies, IP addresses, and device IDs. DMPs do not store any type of PII.

How does a DMP work?

A DMP tracks individuals by using a third-party cookie ID that it assigns to every user. As the user continues to navigate across the web, the DMP is able to track that cookie ID and record data pertaining to the individual’s interests and intent, and place that individual into relevant segments for activation and analysis.

Who Benefits From a DMP?

The primary beneficiaries of a DMP are marketing and media teams. Some common high-value DMP use cases include:

  • Identifying and creating high-value audience segments to target across paid media
  • Analyzing audience data to uncover potentially untapped customer segments
  • Leveraging DMP attribute data to enhance owned channel personalization (more on this later)

Common DMP platforms include Adobe Audience Manager, Lotame, Oracle BlueKai, Salesforce Krux, and Neustar, among others.

Understanding CDPs?

What is a CDP?

The CDP Institute defines a CDP as a “packaged software that creates a persistent, unified customer database that is accessible to other systems." This definition is quite broad and covers a wide array of platforms with drastically different capabilities.

Our view is that there are three principal levels of CDP functionality, and each level builds on the previous level to provide additional value. At the most basic level, categorization is based on the ability to store data (Level 1), pass data to other systems (Level 2), and directly act on the data (Level 3). Please refer to this white paper for more information on CDPs and each of these levels of functionality.

As you would expect with an emerging martech category, the specifics of what capabilities are included in a CDP are still being defined. With that in mind, for the rest of this article, we will refer specifically to Evergage’s CDP capabilities rather than make overly broad generalizations.  

Evergage as a CDP

Evergage is a Level 3 CDP, which means that it can take in data from other sources, analyze data, and act on data to deliver personalized experiences — in real time, across channels, and at the 1:1 level.

classifying CDPs

How Does Evergage Work?

Evergage is a central component of a marketer’s tech stack. It captures deep behavioral data within a business’s owned properties while building, maintaining, and stitching together individual profiles for each customer and prospect — whether known or anonymous. In addition to inherently tracking deep behavioral data, Evergage has an open and extensible orchestrations/API layer to ingest and pass additional supplemental data from and to third-party systems.

With robust individual-level data, Evergage can deliver experiences and affect change across a business’s owned channels (web, email, mobile, call center, in-store, etc.) in real-time (<20ms). As a dual CDP and real-time personalization engine, Evergage is unique in its ability to be both a system of record and a system of action.

Breaking Down the Key Differences Between DMPs and Evergage’s CDP

With a better understanding of where DMPs and CDPs fit from a capability perspective, it’s easier to highlight the primary differences between the platforms. The table below outlines key differentiators between DMPs and Evergage’s CDP: CDP vs. DMPAs you can see, while there is some modest overlap, each system largely serves different purposes. Evergage’s CDP sits entirely within the owned properties (though it can integrate with third-party systems), maintains individual-level profiles, and has the power to affect experiences across channels. A DMP, while still powerful, is a much more passive data capture and segmentation tool that extends beyond owned properties and informs other systems of action like a Demand-side Platform (DSP) or Evergage.

Based on these unique capabilities and respective gaps, CDPs and DMPs can work together to form a very powerful combination.

How Does Evergage Work with DMPs?

There are three primary ways to use a DMP together with Evergage to increase the relevancy of a customer experience:

  • Enhance personalization capabilities for first-time visitors by leveraging DMP data in real time through a client-side integration
  • Enrich customer profiles with third-party attribute data from a DMP
  • Push first-party behavioral segments from the CDP (that a DMP does not capture) into the DSP for further personalized paid media modeling and targeting

The first use case capitalizes on a DMP’s ability to track an individual across the web. DMPs offer attribute or persona data collected from websites outside of the business’s owned properties that could inform initial personalization when a new visitor lands on the business’s website. Through a client-side integration in the visitor's browser, Evergage can call out to the DMP before the page loads in milliseconds to see if any information is available. If there’s a match, Evergage can use the attribute data (age, persona, etc.) and begin to personalize the experience from that first visit.

Incorporating DMP attribute data is also useful for existing or returning visitors. A DMP might have valuable information on a user from search or shopping behavior outside of the business’s properties that could impact personalized recommendations. For example, if a shopper browses televisions on a retail site but leaves before making a purchase, Evergage would not know if the customer ended up purchasing a TV on another site. A DMP could tell Evergage that the customer did purchase a TV somewhere else. This piece of customer lifecycle information is critical in helping Evergage select the most relevant experience.

In the final use case, DMPs are frequently leveraged to help inform media buys through a DSP. Evergage can supplement a DMP's efforts by passing behavioral segments that the DMP is not able to track/capture to the DSP to further improve retargeting efforts.

Leveraging Evergage and a DMP for a Fortune 500 Insurance Company

Here’s an example of how a Fortune 500 insurance company uses Evergage in conjunction with its DMP. In an ultra-competitive marketplace, the company needed to improve customer acquisition. One of the primary objectives of its website is to drive more leads to its agents through the “contact an agent” call-to-action.

One of the key areas that the company wanted to address was the ability to entice visitors from organic search with unique offers the moment they arrived. Since these visitors had indicated interest in a specific insurance product (by conducting a search), the company wanted to quickly demonstrate its competitive differentiators for that product.

By integrating Evergage with its DMP, the client was able to identify when visitors arrived from a search engine and, instead of presenting the general information typically displayed on the insurance page (e.g., auto insurance), immediately presented specific, relevant promotional offers to pique interest.

This integration helped drive a 45% lift in “contact an agent requests” for the client.


DMPs and CDPs both bring distinct value to the customer experience and provide complementary capabilities. If you are interested in learning more about Evergage’s capabilities and value as a CDP and personalization solution, take a read through our CDP white paper and request a demo today.

Max Ebb
Improve Onboarding and Trial Conversion Speed with Personalized Emails https://www.evergage.com/blog/improve-onboarding-and-trial-conversion-speed-with-personalized-emails/ Tue, 15 Jan 2019 14:15:15 +0000 https://www.evergage.com/?p=47819

Keep on reading: Improve Onboarding and Trial Conversion Speed with Personalized Emails]]>

In the SaaS world, getting users to understand the value of your platform and adopt it into their daily lives is of utmost importance. When prospects take a free trial, you want them to quickly see how easy your solution is to use and why it is worth the investment. And when new customers sign on, you want to do everything you can to usher them through the onboarding steps that will ensure their success and long-term satisfaction.

But each user is different and will engage with your platform at their own pace. Some new users or free trial users can be slow to get moving with a new SaaS solution, while others can be very invested in moving quickly.

How can you nudge your users forward with a strategy that addresses both the laggards and the fast movers? Triggered emails, personalized to each individual at open time, can help you improve onboarding and trial conversion results. In this blog post, I’ll explain why and offer some tips on how to implement it successfully.

Better timing and content relevancy

Traditional onboarding email sequences have been relatively successful at delivering a prescribed series of content doled out over a set timeframe. However, if a particular user falls behind the ideal/expected timing or runs well ahead, your emails won’t provide much value.

Triggered email programs allow you to schedule emails to your new users after they have taken or not taken some key actions within a certain time period. This allows you to send emails to your customers when they’re truly relevant to each person — not when you expect them to be relevant to the average person.

Of course, you can control when to send an email but you can’t control when it gets opened. By the time a user opens the message, she may have already completed the action the email asks her to take. This is why it’s important to pick the content that will be displayed when the email is opened, not when it is sent (read more about how it works in this blog post about open-time email personalization). With this approach, the content can be updated based on that user’s status/stage/progress at that very moment…even to the point where if she re-opens the email again at a later time, the next relevant element will appear in the email.    

To get started, identify and track key actions

Before you send any emails, you need to make sure you are tracking the right actions within your platform. Use your personalization solution to track the key actions that users should take when onboarding or when taking a free trial. A great way to start this process is to analyze the actions of successful users to then determine the steps/order and quantity/frequency of those actions that are similar for your “ideal” new users and pilot/trial scenario users.  

Once you can identify those key actions, you’ll be able to identify when a user has or has not taken those steps and trigger emails to send based on that information.


Let me describe a few examples. First, you can trigger emails to help free trial users find value in your platform. Let’s assume you typically provide prospects with a three-week trial period and you have an email outreach flow that sends emails every three days to guide free trialers through various important steps.

With personalized triggered emails, you could tailor your series of emails to only send when they’re relevant to a specific individual, and to include only the most up-to-date information about what their next prescribed step should be — so no user will be prompted to take any steps that don’t make sense to them at that moment. Most importantly, when a free trial user has completed the final step (any critical step you have identified in your platform) or after the user has spent X amount of time using the product or performed a total of Y actions, you could provide her with a suggestion to convert to a full subscription, driving faster trial conversions among engaged users.  

For onboarding new users, your approach can look very similar. You would set emails to trigger when users hit certain moments in their onboarding process, but update the content of the emails when they are opened to ensure they’re always up to date. Practically speaking, we recommend setting up a few triggered emails to coincide with specific actions or lengths of time of inaction but keeping the subject line generic (such as “Your Next Step”), so that the email can populate with the most relevant step once the user opens it without conflicting with the context of the subject line.

Final Thoughts

Typical triggered email flows do a great job of sending planned content out to new users at set points during onboarding or trials, but this type of approach does NOT take into account those that are running ahead of your typical user timeline — or those that have fallen behind. By pairing triggered emails with open-time personalization capabilities (such as Evergage’s Triggered Email and Open-Time Email Personalization features), you can present your users with the right content at the right time to drive user success and potentially accelerate pilot conversions. Request a demo today to learn how you can elevate your onboarding communications!

Nic Winters
Stop Phoning In Your Emails: Evaluate Your Email Marketing Resolutions for 2019 https://www.evergage.com/blog/stop-phoning-in-your-emails-evaluate-your-email-marketing-resolutions-for-2019/ Thu, 10 Jan 2019 16:06:58 +0000 https://www.evergage.com/?p=47808

Keep on reading: Stop Phoning In Your Emails: Evaluate Your Email Marketing Resolutions for 2019]]>

These days, you’re probably spending some time thinking about all the new trends and technologies that will affect your business this year. This is definitely important, but while you’re reading marketing predictions and contemplating how you’ll react to them, it can be easy to forget about your existing strategies.

Take email marketing, for example. Email marketing has been around for a long time, but that doesn’t make it unimportant. In fact, it remains a great channel for engaging customers and prospects directly. But all you have to do is look at your inbox on any given day to see that many marketers aren’t approaching their email communications strategically. They are simply bombarding people with more and more emails they won’t open.

With that in mind, take this opportunity to think about your email strategy and outline a few email marketing resolutions for 2019. I’ve taken the liberty of putting together a few that you might want to consider. Let’s dive into them!

I will focus on the basics

If you’re looking to improve your email communications this year, you should start at the beginning. According to Jon MacDonald, Founder and President of The Good: "Your list, your messaging, your follow-ups. Those are the fundamental components of an effective email strategy. Within that framework are the building blocks: List sanitation, your content strategy, your campaign automation. Every piece is critical. Every piece leads prospects along the journey from interest to purchase. Every piece must be in place."

This year, you may be looking to invest in new technology or try eye-catching new subject lines to improve your email marketing success, but make sure you focus on the foundational elements first. Do you have a defined email strategy? Is your list a mess? Does your list segmentation make sense? What does your process for content look like? Chances are, there’s a lot of room for improvement in the activities your team does every day without thinking. Focus on those things first in 2019.

I will reevaluate my KPIs

While not always the most exciting aspect of marketing, metrics are essential. The KPIs you track end up guiding how your team thinks about your emails. Litmus has found that brands track an average of 4.3 email marketing metrics — while roughly a quarter track six and over 5% track 10 or more!  

Referencing this data, Chad S. White, Research Director at Litmus, says, “The majority of brands should probably be questioning whether the KPIs they’re tracking are the right ones and all necessary. The more KPIs you use, the higher chance that you’re focused on the wrong ones.”

The new year is a perfect time to evaluate your KPIs. What are your email KPIs telling you about the success of your emails? Will improving those KPIs actually improve your email success? If not, you’re probably not tracking the right ones.  

I will focus on long-term relationships over short-term open rates

In a similar vein, looking at the wrong metrics can lead you to adopt some practices that aren’t actually helping your business. Take, for instance, a reliance on open rates. If you put too much emphasis on generating more opens, you may find yourself writing endless clickbait subject lines that improve the metric, but ultimately frustrate your subscribers.

In the words of Chad S. White again, “Getting the subscriber to open an email that was irrelevant to them could cost you future opens, clicks, and conversions by causing the subscriber to ignore subsequent emails, could cost you the ability to reach them via email if they opt out or complain, and could cause you brand damage if your tactics generate negative social media buzz or word of mouth.”

Rather than focus on getting as many people as possible to open your emails, focus on getting the right people to open your emails. One person that regularly opens and clicks through on your emails is worth a lot more to your company than one hundred people that open one or two emails but never click through to engage with your offer or content. So make sure you’re considering the long-term impact of your emails. A misleading subject line may improve your metrics in the short term, but don’t forget about the damage it will do in the long term.

I will write copy for my audience, not for me

This probably sounds obvious, but as someone who has written an email or two in her lifetime, I know it’s actually really hard to remember to write copy for your audience. You know your company backwards and forwards — and the message or promotion you have to share is probably very important to you. It takes a little longer for many of us to think beyond what this message or promotion means to us and translate it into what our subscribers will care about.

Put yourself in your subscribers’ shoes every time. Ask yourself: “If I were a busy person who received this email in my inbox, along with many others, would I open it? Does the content interest me enough to click to learn more?” With each email, take the extra few minutes to figure out how to phrase your message in a way that resonates with your audience. And if you can’t do that, is the email worth sending?

I will send better emails, not more emails

As your open rates and/or clickthrough rates decline, it can be tempting to send more emails to keep your KPIs constant. But that’s a dangerous spiral to find yourself in. As you send more emails, your subscribers get more annoyed and opt-outs increase, so you need to keep sending more and more emails to achieve the same impact. It will never end.

This year, take yourself out of the spiral. Focus on making your emails as individually relevant to each person as possible. Leverage all you know about a person from their engagement with you across channels (what content they have engaged with or what items they have shopped or purchased — and what that activity says about their unique preferences) to populate the content of your emails with uniquely relevant content for each individual.

Send those personalized emails to all or a subsection of your list, or trigger emails to each person based on some criteria such as actions a person has taken or not taken, updates to your product or content catalog, or external conditions like the weather.  

Once your emails provide real value to each person, you won’t need to send an infinite number of emails just to get a few clickthroughs. Your subscribers will want to engage with your emails because they’re meaningful to them.

I will stop relying on best practices from lists like these

I know I’ve just made a list of things you should be doing with your emails this year, so it doesn’t make sense for me to tell you not to listen to it. But just like there is no one-size-fits-all experience for each subscriber, there is no one-size-fits-all email marketing plan for each company.

Take the ideas from this list that make sense for your company.

The new year is a great time to revisit your approach and think about how you can do better. If you think you’ve slipped into complacency with your emails at all in recent years, now is the time to resolve to change.   

Katie Sweet
6 Ways Higher Education Can Personalize the Prospective Student Experience https://www.evergage.com/blog/6-ways-higher-education-can-personalize-the-prospective-student-experience/ Tue, 08 Jan 2019 14:04:23 +0000 https://www.evergage.com/?p=47780

Keep on reading: 6 Ways Higher Education Can Personalize the Prospective Student Experience]]>

In today’s world, visitors expect a tailored experience not just from the retail sites they shop, but across the board. They expect the content they engage with to be relevant, timely, and helpful. In other words, they expect personalization. This demand has permeated all industries — including higher education, an industry not historically known for its advanced digital marketing techniques. However, personalization is no longer a “nice to have” for colleges and universities, but a requirement that prospective students now demand as they navigate the process of deciding which school is right for them.  

In this blog post, I’ll walk through six of the personalization use cases that higher education institutions can take advantage of to improve each prospective student’s website experience.

1. Continue the Conversation

When visitors first land on your site, you may not know much about them, but they’re already telling you a lot based on how they arrived to the site. Did they come in through a particular Facebook ad for your undergraduate business school? Or did they click through on an email you sent to students about military programs? From the moment potential students enter the site, they may already be dropping clues about what they’re looking for and what matters to them. Responding with a static site leaves the visitor to navigate on their own. But by using personalization, you can deliver relevant messaging that helps them find what they’re looking for.  

For example, if a visitor came in through a Facebook ad for your business school, you could display in the hero image that your institution was recently ranked as a top business school and provide a CTA for the visitor to explore the business school area of your site.

2. Deliver Progressive CTAs

It’s not typical for a prospective student to arrive on a site and complete an application right then and there. There is a research and discovery process that all visitors undergo to understand if the school is a good fit. By using personalization, you can assist visitors in navigating the process and guide them to the next stage.  

For example, first-time visitors could be shown a CTA geared toward driving them to high-level resources, like the program pages or student life resources. After they have taken that step, or if they have been to the site multiple times but haven’t yet requested additional information or scheduled an onsite visit, CTAs can suggest taking those steps to learn more.

personalization for higher education

CTAs for visitors in the early stages of their research can be geared toward high-level resources.

3. Respond with Relevant Information

For undergraduate students, researching potential majors is a vital part of the discovery process. Prospective students can fall anywhere between being dead-set on a specific major to completely undecided. What a specific prospective student is looking for on your website is heavily dependent on what major they are interested in and how strongly they feel about that major.

With a personalization solution, you can understand through a visitor’s behavior which programs, if any, are the most important to him based on how he interacts with the content of your site. Then, you can personalize content on the site to reflect his favorite program as he peruses the site, allowing you to guide prospective students to relevant information as they do further research.

personalization for higher education

When visitors demonstrate an interest in a particular major or subject area, such as paralegal studies, your site can recognize and respond to that interest.

4. Promote the Right Events

Local events offer a valuable opportunity for an education institution to engage prospective students. These events are often scheduled around the country, which means that not every event is relevant to every site visitor.  

It doesn’t make sense to recommend a generic event or make each visitor take action to filter events in their area. With personalization, you can identify a visitor’s geolocation in order to promote upcoming events in their area. With this type of messaging, you make the experience better for prospective students, increase your event registration numbers, and improve your chances of interacting with them in person.

personalization for higher education

Not every event is relevant to every site visitor. Promote the most relevant ones to increase your chances of engaging each individual.

5. Address Deciding Factors

Prospective students often have additional factors they need to consider in their decision-making process such as financial aid, credit transfers, or military assistance. When you understand these needs, you can deliver content that shows how your institution fulfills these requirements.  

For example, if you notice that a visitor has spent some time engaging with pages about transfer credit on your site, you can incorporate messaging about transferring schools on your homepage for that individual or prominently recommend an FAQ on that very topic. You could do the same when a prospect expresses interest in military assistance.

Display military assistance resources only when the content is relevant to the visitor.

6. Communicate Deadlines

Finally, you can create urgency to drive interested students to submit their applications by reminding them of important deadlines. For example, you could target visitors who have viewed the application page, but haven’t yet completed their application, with messaging reminding them that there are only X days left before the submission deadline.

Final Thoughts

As more and more higher education institutions make investments in digital marketing, it is important to think through the prospective student experience on your site. How does your experience compare to competitors? How does it compare with other sites your audience is familiar with (like Netflix)? How does it help prospective students with their research? Personalization can help colleges and universities create seamless, relevant experiences that cater to each visitor’s needs in the moment.

For more information about how your higher education organization can leverage personalization, check out the blog post “Using Personalization to Engage Prospects in the Complex Sale” and schedule a demo with one of our experts today.

Katherine Lloyd
The Future of Personalization: 2019 Predictions https://www.evergage.com/blog/the-future-of-personalization-2019-predictions/ Thu, 03 Jan 2019 15:30:54 +0000 https://www.evergage.com/?p=47748

Keep on reading: The Future of Personalization: 2019 Predictions]]>

The world of technology changes rapidly. It’s no different with personalization technology. With each passing day, advances are made that can help you better understand your customers and prospects and deliver more relevant experiences to them. It can be overwhelming to keep up.

To help you get an idea of what will be coming this year, we’ve compiled some predictions for personalization in 2019 from a few experts in their fields and members of the Evergage leadership team. Let’s dive right in!

Marketers Will Look to Improve Targeting with Continuous Learning

By Karl Wirth, CEO and Co-Founder, Evergage

The A/B test is a long-standing marketing staple. The challenge with a traditional A/B test, however, is that it only helps you find the best-performing, lowest-common-denominator experience for your site visitors.

The reality is that no two people are the same, so testing to find the experience that works best for most will inevitably miss many opportunities to be relevant to each individual person. The good news is that technology has progressed beyond the traditional A/B test. We now have the ability to rely on machine-learning algorithms to select the best experience for each person — and for those algorithms to continue to learn from each situation to provide better targeting going forward. This is still a relatively new area of personalization, so I expect that marketers will explore how they can deliver even better results with the combination of continuous learning and personalization to produce better-targeted experiences in 2019 and beyond.

A 1-to-1 Approach Will Become a Priority for Paid Media

By Maigari Jinkiri, Chief Revenue Officer, Ebiquity

As organizations mature in their ability to utilize data to drive personalization across their websites and their mobile channels, they are now looking to the next frontier of personalization — paid media. There are two questions companies must solve for:

1. Can I utilize the data that I have about an individual (in a CRM or other digital profile) to drive better intelligence in paid media?

2. Can I utilize information we know about specific media (campaign, products, etc.) that an individual interacted with to determine how to personalize his digital experience going forward?

One of the major impediments to the ability to drive a consumer-centric view of personalization is that many of the platforms companies utilize to understand consumer behavior were configured from the old paradigm of page views and sessions. As organizations move to a customer-centric view to understand all consumer behavior across channels in an easy-to-consume way, there is a need to re-examine not only platforms, but the way in which the data is captured and stored. This year, organizations will work toward getting the right data in place to deliver more targeted paid advertising while driving more efficiency from their display campaigns.

CDPs Will Become a Powerful Weapon for Marketing and Extend Across the Business

By Max Kirby, Director, Cloud Solutions, Publicis.Sapient

The last few years have created more useful data, but proportionally created more noise. 2019 will begin the long trend toward unification of datasets not only within organizations, but across organizations.

In 2019, platform technology will catch up with the personalization needs of marketers today. Data-as-a-Service and Platform technologies will combine, creating a major advantage for organizations that have already moved beyond DMP-stacks and embraced a Customer Data Platform (CDP) approach. Right now, there is more data living inside siloes than there is data that is connected to reveal insights and understanding. That is about to change. In 2019 and moving into 2020, we will see the beginning of that change at scale, as the most technically informed marketing leaders focus on building for the future with platforms that can account for the staggering increase in data.

It's important in these times of change to remember that the information we need for personalization is primarily useful for marketing, but also applicable to other areas of the business. A CDP starts with marketing needs, but unlocks much more. We’ve seen this progression in a few leading organizations already, as CMOs who adopt these platforms find a new weapon to impact the business. The CMO has always been the executive expected to act as the voice of the customer. In 2019, we’ll see CMOs apply that voice outside of marketing, messaging and advertising — and their impact will begin to permeate other functions like logistics, supply chain, even product development. This will challenge executives to work together across teams.

B2B Marketers Will Utilize Machine Learning for Content Recommendations

By Andy Zimmerman, CMO, Evergage

For years now, B2B marketers have invested heavily in their content marketing programs. The problem is that they’ve created so much content that their prospects cannot easily navigate through it all. They have specific assets for different industries, different buyer personas, different stages of the funnel, etc. But how do they actually get that content into the hands of the audiences it was created for?

That’s a problem personalization addresses, as B2B marketers have discovered, but they have largely focused on segmentation and rule-based targeting. Of course, it has been game-changing to display different homepage experiences to target accounts in specific industries or promote events only to visitors in certain geolocations. But machine-learning algorithms can sift through all the data available on each prospect on the site, or each person in the email list, to select the most relevant content assets for each person in real time. In other words, B2B marketers can leverage machine-learning algorithms to deliver the most effective content recommendations and “next best steps” at the 1-to-1 level.

With machine learning becoming more user-friendly and marketer-managed, coupled with the huge value, scalability and efficiency benefits it provides, I expect we’ll see more and more B2B marketers head down this path in 2019.

Targeted 1:1 Offers Will Become a Reality for Retailers

By Meera Murthy, VP of Strategy, Evergage

Retailers allocate millions of dollars to their offer programs each year, yet those offers often are left unclaimed. The challenge is that offers are developed to be one-size-fits-all, as many retailers simply promote store-wide sales to all visitors to drive conversions. But each shopper is unique with her own motivations, preferences, and history with the company. Rather than promote every offer to every shopper, retailers should ensure that an offer is only presented to a shopper when it will actually make the difference between a sale or an abandonment (which adds to the bottom line), not to a shopper who would have purchased without the deal (which detracts from the bottom line).

The dream is to be able to pick the ideal offer – one that has the maximum likelihood of conversion for each individual and the most value to the company.

In 2019, retailers will begin to leverage machine learning to do just that. Machine-learning algorithms can sort through all the data available on the individual, the context of their interactions, each campaign’s performance, and the potential financial impact of each possible offer to select the best one for each person. With this approach, retailers will truly start responding to each shopper individually while simultaneously optimizing the bottom line.

The Financial Services Industry Will Turn Its Attention to Customer Profiles

By Ajay Lodha, Practice Area Director, Digital Experience Management, Slalom

Within the Financial Services (FS) sector, most organizations cite technology as a barrier to creating personalized experiences. Traditional FS companies have a very well-defined product, but they often lack the technology to market their products across multiple channels quickly and effectively, delivering appropriate content to each individual to meet his or her own specific financial needs.

In my view, 2019 will see the rise of Customer Data Platforms (CDP) in the FS industry. The CDP will become the basis of a clean, well-defined and complete customer profile that the FS industry needs to deliver relevant experiences across channels. This customer data profile, in combination with a personalization engine and a well-defined customer journey map outlining all critical customer touchpoints, will be the key to activating personalized experiences across channels.

Final Thoughts

Keep in mind that each company adopts new technologies at its own pace. Many companies may just be dipping their toes into the waters of personalization this year. If that sounds like you — and the predictions we’ve outlined here seem overwhelming to you — that’s ok! Take a look at our predictions from last year (many of which are still applicable today) or review other articles on the Evergage blog for tips on getting started with personalization in 2019.

Katie Sweet
Getting Ready for Personalization for B2B Marketing in 2019 https://www.evergage.com/blog/getting-ready-for-personalization-for-b2b-marketing-in-2019/ Wed, 26 Dec 2018 14:56:20 +0000 https://www.evergage.com/?p=47713

Keep on reading: Getting Ready for Personalization for B2B Marketing in 2019]]>

In the last few days of 2018, you’re probably looking forward to the new year and taking some time to firm up your 2019 marketing strategy. I know there’s a lot to consider, but ask yourself: what role does personalization play in your plan? Are you looking to deliver personalized experiences on one or more of your digital channels: website, mobile, email, in-app? It’s likely in your plan somewhere; we found earlier this year that marketers overwhelmingly agree that personalization advances prospect and customer relationships. Unfortunately, we also found that 69% of marketers feel that the industry generally isn’t getting personalization right.

To help you get personalization right in 2019, we’ve pulled together a few articles to get you up to speed. Whether you’re new to personalization or you’re looking to up your game next year, let these articles be your guide.

3 Data Sources to Use in B2B Segmentation and Personalization

b2b segmentationYou’re likely already using segmentation to some degree for your marketing efforts, but what data sources are you using to create your segments? Essentially, if you have access to it, you can create a segment with it. There are three main types of data you can use to create segments. Read this article and think about how you can create richer segments of visitors or customers in 2019.

3 Ways to Use Segmentation for B2B Personalization

segmentation for b2b personalizationAfter you’ve got the fundamentals of building segments under your belt, check out this article for tips on all the ways you can use segmentation as part of your B2B marketing strategy. Whether you’re targeting campaigns, measuring results or analyzing patterns of behavior, segments continue to provide value to marketers across industries.

Asking “Golden Questions”: Using Surveys as Part of Your Personalization Strategy

If you can’t identify which individuals meet specific criteria, you can’t create segments based on that criteria. In situations like those, the best way to learn something about a person might just be to ask. This blog post describes how you can use the concept of “golden questions” (originally coined by Don Peppers and Martha Rogers, Ph.D.) to learn and act on important information about your customers in 2019.

B2B Marketers: What Netflix Can Teach You About Engagement

b2b marketing engagementTo get users to keep watching, Netflix always suggests and even auto-plays the next piece of content it thinks they will like. B2B marketers can learn a lot from this approach. Once someone reads a blog post, downloads a whitepaper, or views a video, does it really make sense to continue to promote it? Think instead about how you can replace it with another piece of content each person may be interested in.

6 Ideas for Delivering Content Recommendations from Real Companies

content recommendationsMost B2B companies rely on content to educate and engage their customers and prospects, so if you’re like most marketers, you have a lot of content available on your site and it can be difficult for visitors to know where to start. Use these six real-world examples of marketers delivering content recommendations across their sites to give you some inspiration for 2019.

How to Use Personalization to Boost Your ABM Efforts Throughout the Sales Process

personalization and abmOne common mistake marketers make is to separate their personalization and ABM efforts. But there’s no reason to do this! ABM and personalization should not live in isolation. In this post, B2B expert Pardees outlines several ways to leverage personalization across different stages of the sales process so that you can blend personalization and ABM.

ABM Account Selection & Marketing Program Commitments to Sales

MyBuys acquisitionOne of the key tenets of any successful ABM program is the alignment of marketing and sales teams. Unfortunately, coordinating across teams is never easy. Catherine, our ABM Manager, describes how she worked with the Evergage sales team and what commitments both teams have made to the ABM program. Read this article for ideas on how to create marketing/sales alignment in your own organization.

Why We Ungated Our Content & Results We’ve Seen So Far

We all know that visitors don’t like website forms, but they are valuable for demand gen efforts so they have persisted for many years. After a lot of thought and analysis, we decided to remove most of our website forms this year. If you’re debating whether to gate or ungate in 2019, you’ll definitely want to give this blog post a read. Our CMO, Andy Zimmerman, describes how we ungated and the results we’ve seen this year.

How We Significantly Improved the Conversion Rate of Our Demo Request Lead Form

Lead forms are always important, but we found that once we ungated most of our content, our few remaining lead forms became even more essential. We set to work to fully optimize those forms so we could continue to capture as many leads as possible. In this article, our campaign developer Zach Skole explains how we generated 4x more leads through our main demo request lead form with a few key improvements.

3 Types of Personalization You Should Be Using to Make Your Emails More Relevant

relevant emailsIf email marketing is part of your strategy for 2019 (and it should be!), use this time to think about how you’ll personalize your emails so they are as relevant as possible to each individual. To help you brainstorm, this post describes the three main types of personalization you can use: personalization at open time, triggered emails, and bulk personalized emails.

Final Thoughts

There are many ways for B2B marketers to leverage personalization to deliver better, more relevant experiences to their customers and prospects. Use these 10 articles to start brainstorming ideas for you to do more with personalization next year.

And that’s a wrap on the Evergage blog in 2018. See you all in 2019!

Katie Sweet
10 Articles to Get You Up to Speed on Email Personalization for 2019 https://www.evergage.com/blog/10-articles-to-get-you-up-to-speed-on-email-personalization-for-2019/ Tue, 18 Dec 2018 13:55:58 +0000 https://www.evergage.com/?p=47619

Keep on reading: 10 Articles to Get You Up to Speed on Email Personalization for 2019]]>

We found in our annual survey this year that three out of four marketers are personalizing their communications in email — which makes email the most personalized channel. This is great news, because with the volumes of email we all sift through every day, it doesn’t make sense to send irrelevant emails that will only serve to annoy your prospects and customers.

But are marketers really doing enough to personalize their email communications? We think the answer is no. In the same survey, we found that the most common tactic for email personalization is to include the first or company name in the subject line or message — followed by delivering tailored messages by audience segment. This is a great start, but there is so much more that you could do with email personalization to send messages that are individualized to each recipient.

With that in mind, we’ve compiled several articles that can help you get up to speed on what’s possible with email personalization. Hopefully, they give you some ideas to try in the new year!

5 Email Marketing “Don’ts” From the Experts

email marketing don'tsEmail marketing has been around for so long that you may think your team has it down pat. But just because it’s an established marketing channel doesn’t mean you can get complacent. We compiled some tips from industry experts like Joanna Wiebe, Ann Handley and Chad S. White to give you some email inspiration. After you read it, ask yourself: am I phoning it in when it comes to our emails? How could I do better in 2019?

Email Personalization Examples that Go Beyond the {First_Name} Field

email personalization examplesIf you’re like most marketers, one of the ways you could probably improve is in the area of personalizing individual emails. Are you personalizing the {first_name} field? Great! But is that all you’re doing? If so, you could probably benefit from this post that provides some examples of more in-depth email personalization in action. If you like these three examples, read our eBook for an additional 12!  

3 Types of Personalization You Should Be Using to Make Your Emails More Relevant

relevant emailsHow can you think more broadly about email personalization? This blog post addresses this question in detail. It’s a great educational article to help you get a handle on the three main types of email personalization: personalization at open time, triggered emails, and bulk personalized emails. If you feel like you could do more with email personalization next year, you’ll want to study this post.

How Personalized Emails Improve Customer Success and Loyalty

You could argue that emails sent to your customers are the most important emails to get right. Your customers expect you to know a lot about them, and they won’t be satisfied with generic messaging that treats them as strangers. This blog post offers suggestions on how to avoid spamming your customers with irrelevant information while treating them as unique individuals.

What Actions Can Be Used to Trigger an Email?

Most marketers are familiar with triggered emails — emails that are sent on a one-off basis once some criteria are met. But not all marketers know exactly what criteria can be used to trigger an email (it's more than just traditional cart abandonment emails!). If you want to trigger more emails in 2019, check out this post to learn about behavioral triggers, external condition triggers, and catalog or content triggers.

5 Ways B2B SaaS Companies Can Use Triggered Emails

triggered email use cases for SaaSFrom use cases across demand generation, customer success and internal notifications, there’s a lot more B2B SaaS marketers can do with triggered emails than you may realize. If you’re a SaaS company that didn’t do much with triggered emails in 2018, take a look at this blog post to brainstorm ways you may want to start in 2019.

4 Reasons You Should Be Personalizing Your Emails at Open Time

open-time email personalizationEmails that are personalized at open time, rather than send time, are more relevant because they reflect the most up-to-date information possible. But how does it work? What kind of information can be updated in the moment? When would you want to use it? It’s all explained in this post.


How Invaluable Delivers 1-to-1 Experiences to Collectors Across Website and Email

1-to-1 experiencesEmail is just one channel you use to engage with your customers, so your email campaigns can’t exist in isolation. They should reflect all you know about your customers across channels. Invaluable, a leading auction site, is a great example of a company delivering consistent personalized experiences across channels. Learn more about their story in this post.

Cyber Week is Over…Now What? 3 Ideas for Re-Engaging New Subscribers & Customers

re-engage holiday shoppersAfter the 2018 holiday season, you’ll (hopefully) have many new email subscribers that you can reach in 2019. Don’t waste the opportunity to turn these one-time shoppers into loyal customers! This blog post, written by Evergage retail experts, offers some advice on how to treat these new subscribers differently from the rest of your list and how to target them with relevant content to grow their interest over time.

How to Re-Engage Past Email Unsubscribers Without Violating the Law

re-engage past email unsubscribersIf email is an important channel for your company, any email address you collect is incredibly valuable. But you lose that value whenever a person unsubscribes or you collect an undeliverable address. You can’t legally email unsubscribers, but you can talk to them when they’re on your website. Check out this post for tips on how to re-engage unsubscribers to grow your email lists in 2019.

Final Thoughts

There’s always room for improvement in established marketing channels. And with email open and clickthrough rates in perpetual decline, it’s especially important to evolve your email marketing program. Testing new approaches to email personalization in 2019 will certainly be worth it!

Katie Sweet
What to Look for in Personalization Technology for 2019 https://www.evergage.com/blog/what-to-look-for-in-personalization-technology-for-2019/ Thu, 13 Dec 2018 14:00:18 +0000 https://www.evergage.com/?p=47685

Keep on reading: What to Look for in Personalization Technology for 2019]]>

Believe it or not, 2019 is almost here! As you think through your marketing and customer communication strategies for the coming year, personalization is undoubtedly top-of-mind for you (after all, we found in our annual survey that 88% of marketers believe their prospects and customers expect a personalized experience). But a personalization strategy is only as good as the technology powering it. So whether you’re a personalization pro or you’re just beginning to explore its potential in 2019, you need the right technology and underlying platform to execute an effective personalization program.

In this blog post, I’ll describe a few of the capabilities you should look for in personalization technology for 2019. There are, of course, many features you’ll need to meet your company’s specific requirements, but this list should cover the main areas of concern. Let’s dive in!

Your personalization platform should address the following five key requirements:

1. Bring together customer and prospect data from multiple sources into single, unified profiles

The key to delivering a truly personalized experience is a deep understanding of each person you interact with. And how do you understand someone really well? The answer, of course, is with data. A good personalization solution should be able to collect plenty of data on its own without having to bring in lots of additional data from outside sources (I’ll get into more on this later), but I’m sure you can think of a few data sources from other systems across your organization that you’ll want to use to inform the personalized experiences you deliver.

As a result, your personalization solution can’t exist in isolation and needs to be a customer data platform (CDP) at its core. It should allow you to store all relevant customer data in a single place, with a single unified profile for each person (and account for B2B companies). That profile will contain all the data the personalization solution will use to determine the most relevant experience for each person.

As you evaluate personalization technology, pay attention to how the solution connects to other systems and how it stores the data. It will save you a lot of headaches in the future if you think about data aggregation and integrations upfront.

2. Collect and analyze deep behavioral data

As I alluded to in the previous section, a good personalization solution can collect data on its own — it shouldn’t just rely on data from other sources. This allows it to deliver a personalized experience to anonymous and/or first-time visitors who don’t exist in any of your other systems yet. And it can act on any data it collects about someone, including anonymous and known visitors/users, the moment it learns it.

Make sure you look into what data is collected by the personalization technology you’re considering. It should be able to collect data to help you understand what a person’s true interests and intent are based on past and in-the-moment activity. In other words, it should collect in-depth behavioral data. And I don’t just mean which pages someone has clicked on — I also mean what behaviors were taken or not taken on those pages. That includes time spent on a page, mouse movement, scrolling, hovering, inactivity, etc.

And, of course, all of this data means nothing if it can’t be analyzed and automatically interpreted to create a clear picture of the individual. A good personalization solution should be able to combine this in-depth behavioral data with in-page contextual data (content or product categories, tags, brands, keywords, etc.) and apply machine learning-driven analysis to provide an accurate indication of someone’s affinities, interests and intent. This type of information is critical to maximally relevant 1-to-1 personalization.

3. Personalize across channels from a single platform

While the importance of data can’t be overstated (personalization based on bad information isn’t really personalization at all), activation is the ultimate goal. You need a personalization solution that can actually use all of the information collected and aggregated to deliver relevant 1-to-1 experiences.

During the planning phase, it’s important to identify which channels you want to personalize. Think broadly: the personalization “umbrella” covers exit and cart abandonment messages, segment-based communications, product and content recommendations, account- and industry-specific experiences, web and mobile app messages, push notifications, triggered emails, bulk emails, digital advertising, search, and more. And while individual solutions exist to personalize specific aspects of specific channels, you may want to consider a platform that can deliver personalization more broadly across many channels.

Using a single platform will ultimately allow you to provide the most unified and consistent experiences across touchpoints. For an example of a unified, cross-channel experience, check out this case study featuring auction site Invaluable.

4. Use machine learning to identify the best experience for each individual

A personalized experience can be delivered via rules and/or algorithms. With rules, you manually define which group (or segment) of people will see a specific experience. With algorithms, you let machine learning decide which experience to show each individual person.

There are many occasions when you want to manually set rules (and your personalization solution should allow you to create and prioritize as many rules as you wish) — but they can become labor-intensive and cannot be used for 1-to-1 personalization. If you’d like to deliver relevant product, content, category or brand recommendations; ensure lists and search results are sorted in a relevant way for each person; or pick the most relevant promotion that has the highest potential value to your company — you need to use machine-learning algorithms.

Make sure that you understand how the algorithms in your personalization solution work. Are they customizable or do they operate in a black box? This is an important factor in successful 1-to-1 personalization, so you want to be able to control them.

5. Combine A/B testing and personalization

Just because you’re delivering a personalized experience to segments or individuals, you don’t throw your principles of A/B and multivariate testing out the window. You just need to find a solution that allows you to combine your testing and personalization approaches. It no longer makes sense to test to find the single experience that works for everyone when you can find the experience that works for each group or even each individual (read more about this concept in this blog post).

Find a personalization solution that lets you combine testing and personalization. Your personalization technology should let you test multiple experiences to find which one works best for each segment. It should let you test and tweak different algorithms to find the one that performs best — it should even let you test different algorithms for different segments. And it should let you to set up algorithms that continually test and learn in order to select the ideal experience for each individual and for the company.

With effective testing, you’ll be able to continue to iterate and deliver better customer experiences in 2019 and beyond.

Final Thoughts

As with any piece of technology, there is a lot to consider. With something as important as your customer experience on the line, it’s worth the time to pick the right solution.

As you evaluate your personalization technology needs for 2019, keep this list in mind. You should look for a solution that offers a single unified platform, in-depth behavioral data, omnichannel capabilities, customizable machine-learning algorithms, and integrated and comprehensive testing — these are all critical components of a successful personalization platform.

To learn more about how Evergage addresses all of these personalization technology requirements, request a demo today.

Katie Sweet
Financial Services Marketers: What to Read As You Plan Your 2019 CX Strategy https://www.evergage.com/blog/financial-services-marketers-what-to-read-as-you-plan-your-2019-cx-strategy/ Tue, 11 Dec 2018 14:13:01 +0000 https://www.evergage.com/?p=47617

Keep on reading: Financial Services Marketers: What to Read As You Plan Your 2019 CX Strategy]]>

I don’t think I need to explain the importance of the customer experience. Without customers, you don’t have a business. While everyone understands this in theory, not every business prioritizes the customer experience. Jim Marous of The Financial Brand and The Digital Banking Report said it best:

Despite all of the talk about improving the customer experience, most financial institutions have focused on using digital technologies to improve their bottom line. With regard to the consumer, the focus has almost entirely been on improving speed and simplicity.

Improving the bottom line is certainly important for any business, but don’t forget that technology can and should be used to provide the best customer experience possible. As we look ahead to 2019, we’ve compiled a few articles financial services professionals can read to get up to speed on customer experience trends for the coming year.

For the Customer’s Sake, Financial Services Companies Need to Blow Up Their Data Silos

financial services data silos“If your customer data isn’t being managed effectively, it’s simply not going to be very useful to you. And it sure isn’t going to enable you to deliver more engaging (and profitable) customer experiences.” That’s one of my favorite parts in this post. Customer data you can’t use is useless. Customer data you can use in a meaningful and relevant way can result in more engaging and profitable customer experiences.

An Introduction to Customer Data Platforms

introduction to customer data platformsBusinesses across industries are increasingly turning to customer data platforms (CDPs) to break down data silos and bring their data together in one place for analysis and activation. But as with any new classification of marketing technology, there’s a lot of confusion right now. To answer a few introductory questions, we’ve compiled insights from some of the early thought leaders in this space.

Personalization Helps Financial Services Companies Meet Customers’ Liquid Expectations

liquid expectationsYou may think that your customer experience is only competing against other financial institutions — but that’s a narrow view. Consumers don’t just compare experiences with other companies in the same industry, they compare against every experience they have. As more companies across industries deliver personalized experiences, financial institutions need to leverage personalization in 2019 to stay competitive.

Using Personalization to Engage Prospects in the Complex Sale

personalization in the complex saleWhile companies with simple transactions like Amazon and Spotify often get a lot of credit for their personalized approaches, personalization is just as important (maybe even more so) in the complex sale — such as that of financial or insurance products. The research process takes longer, so there are many more opportunities to show prospects that you know them and to guide them to the next stage of their journey.

The Importance of Personalization for Financial Services [Infographic]

personalization for financial servicesNot sure if personalization is truly important for financial institutions? We put together this easy-to-read infographic to highlight some relevant stats on the subject. Some highlights: FIs estimate they could generate 14% more revenue if they could successfully offer customers an individualized experience, while 40% of consumers say that providing a personalized service would change their loyalty to their bank.

Personalization Examples for Financial Services and Insurance

personalization examples for financial servicesIt can be difficult to understand what we mean by “personalization” without some examples. This blog post offers three solid examples of personalization in financial services: displaying relevant CTAs based on lifecycle stage, highlighting relevant resources across the site, and timing and targeting upsell/cross-sell messages appropriately. Check out this eBook for a more complete list.

Getting Started with Personalization for Financial Services

personalization for financial servicesLooking to get started with personalization in 2019? Or not sure if you have the best approach right now? It doesn’t need to be overwhelming. Check out this blog post for tips on how to get started — from planning, to setting up one campaign, to analyzing and optimizing, and repeating the process to reach continued success with personalization campaigns going forward!

Moving Beyond the What to the How: The Importance of Operationalizing Personalization

operationalizing personalizationA common theme at The Personalization Summit this year was that while marketers understand the importance of personalization, they struggle to establish the right processes behind the scenes. In other words, they’re struggling to operationalize personalization in their organizations. Read what some marketers from Fidelity, Citrix, Lenovo and others had to say on the subject.

6 Must-Have Segments for Financial Services Personalization Campaigns

segments for financial servicesAs you get further into the world of personalization, you’ll uncover the importance of effective customer and prospect segmentation. There are many ways to divide your visitors into different groups to use for personalization campaigns or analysis. We cover six of the most important segments for financial institutions here and offer some examples of how you can use those segments to deliver a more targeted experience.

Why You Need to Combine A/B Testing and Personalization

a/b testing and personalizationLooking into personalization for 2019 but think you can leave your A/B testing strategy alone? Think again! A/B testing and personalization shouldn’t exist in isolation. You don’t need to turn A/B testing on its head, but there are some adjustments to make to pivot from finding the single best experience for the most people, to finding the best experience for each individual or group. 

Final Thoughts

In 2019, strive to treat your customers and prospects like you know them. Help prospects pick up where they left off in their research and help customers manage their accounts with ease. Use these articles to provide some inspiration for delivering a better customer experience in the new year!

Katie Sweet
Gartner’s Critical Capabilities for Personalization Engines https://www.evergage.com/blog/gartners-critical-capabilities-for-personalization-engines/ Wed, 05 Dec 2018 14:30:48 +0000 https://www.evergage.com/?p=47605

Keep on reading: Gartner’s Critical Capabilities for Personalization Engines]]>

On November 5th, Gartner published a new research report titled “Critical Capabilities for Personalization Engines.” Authored by Jennifer Polk and Bryan Yeager, the report comes on the heels of the first-ever “Gartner Magic Quadrant for Personalization Engines,” an important industry report in which Evergage was positioned as a Leader.

The new Critical Capabilities report (available to Gartner clients) includes evaluation data on 18 personalization vendors. Vendors received scores across eight different categories (ranging from Data and Analytics to Product Recommendations) weighted differently for three principal use cases (Marketing, Digital Commerce and Customer Experience). We were pleased to see that on a scale of 0-5, Evergage had the highest overall score for each of these use cases – 4.02 for Marketing, 3.99 for Digital Commerce and 4.07 for Customer Experience – based on the default weightings assigned by Gartner.

Naturally, we were curious about how the Critical Capabilities scores factored into our position in the Magic Quadrant – since they both evaluate personalization vendors. We learned, though, that they're independent reports and the data presented in the Critical Capabilities report does not necessarily supplement the Magic Quadrant. However, the data is based on the same research Gartner conducted for the Magic Quadrant.

To gain additional clarity on Gartner’s research on personalization vendors, we scheduled an inquiry with one of the co-authors of both reports, Bryan Yeager, who indicated that the work on the Critical Capabilities report started after the Magic Quadrant report was completed. He also shared that it is narrower in scope, and while the Magic Quadrant is a comprehensive evaluation – consisting of demos, evaluation survey responses, customer references and more – the Critical Capabilities report focuses solely on evaluating each vendor's product capabilities.

Report Analysis

The eight categories of capabilities mentioned in the new “Critical Capabilities for Personalization Engines” report are as follows: Identity Management, Data and Analytics, Testing and Optimization, Targeting and Triggering, Marketing Channel Support, Product Recommendations, On-Site Search and Navigation, and Measurement and Reporting.

For each category, Gartner gave each of the 18 vendors a score of 0-5 (e.g., 3.5 for Measurement & Reporting).

And to assist their clients in using the report, Gartner created three distinct personalization use cases – as mentioned, Marketing, Digital Commerce and Customer Experience – and weighted each of the eight critical capabilities for those use cases.

For example, for the Digital Commerce use case, Gartner’s default weighting for Product Recommendations is 20% and for Measurement and Reporting is only 5%. Meanwhile, for the Marketing use case, Product Recommendations is only 7% and for Measurement and Reporting is 10%. Here’s what all of the different weightings for the Marketing use case looks like:

Gartner’s Critical Capabilities for Personalization Engines

Not only does Evergage have the highest overall score when all capabilities are weighted equally, but Evergage also has the highest overall score among all 18 vendors for each of the three use cases using Gartner’s default weightings. As noted, on a scale of 0-5, Evergage has an average score of 4.02 for Marketing, 3.99 for Digital Commerce and 4.07 for Customer Experience.

To further help their clients evaluate vendors on the criteria that are most important to them, Gartner provides an easy-to-use, interactive tool that allows their clients to adjust the weightings of the critical capabilities. Doing so re-orders the list of vendors based on what's most important to the company. For example, Product Recommendations are weighted more heavily for the Digital Commerce use case than for Customer Experience, which has a greater emphasis on Targeting and Triggering.

Versatile Platform

We believe Evergage’s scores in Gartner’s “Critical Capabilities for Personalization Engines” report are a testament to how well-developed our platform is and its ability to address the needs of customers across industries and use cases. We encourage existing Gartner clients who are evaluating personalization solutions to utilize this new research. And, even if you’re not a Gartner client, you can download a copy of the “Gartner Magic Quadrant for Personalization Engines, 2018” report, which we are licensed to distribute.

For additional information on leading personalization vendors, we also encourage you to look at relevant research from other analyst firms. 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 independent, comprehensive report.

When viewed in aggregate, no other personalization vendor has consistently been evaluated as highly as Evergage.


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

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.

T.J. Prebil