67: Karl Wirth, CEO & Founder of Evergage Talks About Personalization
We spoke recently of the personalization of everything. I read recently that 85 percent of marketers are using personalization and of those using it 89 percent report an overall lift from personalization. Of course there are tales of bad personalization, everyone’s worse nightmare. There’s nothing worse than a generic email campaign. Advances in technology are really improving things.
Over the last 12 months personalization has seen rapid and wide spread adoption. Now companies must dig deep into their initiatives, fine tune what’s working and embrace those new and more sophisticated methods of personalization. Those aren’t my words; those are the words of Karl Wirth, co-founder and CEO of Evergage. I invited him tonight to talk about the Evergage platform that is also marketer friendly, increasingly important and requires no support or intervention from IT.
Can you tell the listeners a little more about you and your role at Evergage?
My name is Karl Wirth. I live in Boston, I have four kids, I’m married and I love to play soccer. I’m the CEO and co-founder of Evergage. I started it because I’m really passionate about helping businesses better serve their customers. I think the best way to do that is through personalization.
What is Evergage and what value does it bring to both businesses and customers through personalization?
I think business success depends on how visitors and customers are treated and what kind of experience they have with that business. When I think about what makes a customer experience great it is to be treated as the unique, important and valuable person that we are. All companies want to do that but it’s hard. That’s where Evergage comes in. We make it easy to personalize. We put the person back into the digital experience.
Can you give a few examples of what happens when you get personalization wrong?
The biggest way people are getting personalization wrong is by not doing enough of it. They do a little based on what industry they are in etc but could be doing much more. Another way is by personalizing based off the wisdom of the crowd. For example they will show you what other people who looked at that product bought.
Do you think businesses that resist this massive change in the industry or get it wrong can quickly get left behind? Do you think personalization offers a significant advantage to early adopting businesses?
I do think so. We see it in our customers but what’s even better is the data. Gardner predicts that by 2018 organizations that are fully invested in online personalization will outsell those that haven’t by 30 percent.
I believe Evergage also allows behavioral tracking and measuring the true intent of a visitor. Is it combining click tracking and tracking of time spent in activity, mouse movement, scrolling, hovering? Can you explain more about that feature and how it works?
Every solution out there for personalization, behavioral tracking and analytics tracks clicks and only clicks (we do too). That’s important but it’s incomplete. Let me give you an example. Imagine you are the CMO of a business and you come to a tech company site and you are looking to learn about them. You click on A and then you click on B. Every other solution out there would say “you are interested equally in A and B because you click on both”. That’s preposterous. What Evergage is tracking is true engagements. We’re tracking the clicks but also the time you’re spending engaged, hovering and scrolling.
Are you able to perform that level of personalization in real time and how does that work if you can?
Yes. So often personalization is “next time” personalization. You’re factoring in what people have done but the platform takes hours or days to crunch what you’re doing right now together with what you have done in the past to come up with the right personalization.
Real time personalization, meaning in 20 milliseconds, is essential. This is a big innovation that Evergage has brought. The way we do it is by factoring in all your history, together with everything you are doing in the current session at this second, together with what we’ve learned about others historically and in this second and running it through basically a cloud decisioning engine in 20 milliseconds.
What’s next on the horizon for Evergage?
I can’t share anything that’s real far out but we recently announced more cross channel support. We’ve had really strong support for websites, web apps, mobile apps, and search even for personalization. What we’ve recently announced and will continue to extend is our ability to support email. At open time, in an email, we’re able to change what is shown in that email to you based off of your behavior and history. For example if I sent you an email today with maybe some offer from your bank you would look at that in the email or come to the website. We’re able to understand that so in the email next time you are in that email we can show you an additional point about that email.
What’s the best way to reach out to Evergage, find out more information or download one of those white papers?
Go to www.evergage.com and look around. The white papers are there as well.