Meet Andy Zimmerman, Evergage CMO

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When we are talking to a person off-line, we can immediately tailor our language based on some verbal or visual clues that we observe. Gender, mood, age, style, etc. However, people online are not giving these us this same information, and in a way have a mask up, which makes it harder for marketers to deliver relevant messages to the right segment of people. On average, 95% of the visitors leave a website without performing any action, and only 5% convert to meaningful leads. With website personalization, we are looking at shrinking that 95% and keep more visitors in the funnel with relevant messages real-time when they are visiting the website.

We have different business objectives for different segment of visitors, and we achieve them by delivering different messages. With Evergage, website personalization can optimize your online presence in light of your business objectives and people you are trying to reach. Imagine there is an anonymous visitor on your website and he or she is about to leave the website. Wouldn’t it be great if you can recommend some content in real-time for her to read before she close the window, especially if that piece of content is specifically chosen for her? Using Evergage, you can tell what types of content the visitor is interested in by his or her website activities and login profile. You can also invite visitors to join your newsletter or your subscription group right after they have shown interest on one specific topic, and be able to tailor the invitation to be more relevant and effective. There are unlimited ways to interact with your customers in real-time, and Evergage is helping make that a reality.

Websites are becoming a big decision point in the B2B world and more than 70% of buyers say that they will refer to a company’s website before they make a decision to purchase, so whether companies have a dynamic and personalized website can really make a difference when it comes to winning or losing that conversion. That’s why we are thrilled to have Evergage in our toolkit, and we would like to introduce this fantastic tool to you with Evergage CMO, Andy Zimmerman.

 

Introduction

Andy Zimmerman is the CMO at Evergage. Prior to joining the company in 2014, Andy got to know Evergage as a client, having implemented the solution at his previous company. Andy has had an extensive career in the B2B software industry, leading marketing, sales, business development, and alliances functions for numerous Boston-based technology companies.

 

What is Real-time Personalization?

Real-time personalization is recognizing, understanding and delivering highly relevant, individualized experiences to your digital audiences at the moment it matters most. Everyone wants to be treated like an individual and have their particular interests respected, acknowledged and addressed. Effective personalization technology and strategies allow you to deliver a unique experience to each person that visits your site or uses your app, leading to improved customer satisfaction, loyalty, engagement and conversion rates.

The “real-time” component of real-time personalization is particularly important. Real-time means that you can take all you know about each of your visitors and apply it “in the moment.” It means that you can recognize each visitor’s intent in their current session (not what they were trying to do the last time they were on your site) and deliver experiences that match that intent. Without the “real-time” in real-time personalization, your personalized experiences could happen too late to make a real impact or, worse, frustrate visitors by showing experiences that are no longer relevant.

 

How do you suggest someone start with Real-Time Personalization?

There is no one right way to get started with real-time personalization. We’ve seen some marketers begin by setting up machine learning-based algorithms and applying them creatively across the site, while others start with rule-based targeting campaigns, beginning with messaging to broad segments (e.g all first time visitors, all visitors from a particular source, etc.) and build from there once they achieve some quick wins. The approach really depends on the needs of your organization.

What is common for everyone, however, is that to get started you need to find the right platform. Many solutions offer personalization capabilities, so you need to find one that will be able to serve your current needs, as well as support you as your needs evolve. It’s important to find a partner that will provide the capabilities and the strategic and tactical guidance you need to accomplish your personalization goals at every stage of the maturity curve.

 

Where have you seen Real-Time Personalization successful? What would you recommend as success?

We’ve seen successful personalization campaigns across industries for both B2B and B2C companies. The most successful personalization strategies tend to be based on a deep understanding of the customer/visitor and are focused on providing experiences that will truly help him accomplish his goals and engage with relevant content.

For example, we’ve seen one tech company increase its website conversion rate and average order value for small-to-medium business (SMB) customers by personalizing its main site navigation for enterprise and SMB visitors. By understanding that those groups have different needs, it dynamically modifies its navigation to help those groups of visitors more easily find relevant information. Another tech company timed in-app messages to display whenever a user began going down a path that frequently led to support issues. By paying attention to how its customers interacted with its product, the company was able to save money by eliminating support calls while providing a smoother experience for its customers.

While the applications and benefits of real-time personalization vary widely, a common success factor is the use of A/B testing. Testing out your ideas is the right way to determine which ones are winners. Each personalization campaign should be tested against a control to ensure it is effective, and you should keep monitoring and tweaking your successful campaigns to optimize your results.

 

You’ve probably seen a ton of clients implement Evergage, any tips on how to plan for Real-Time Personalization campaigns?

We’ve seen plenty of marketers jump in and learn as they go, and there is nothing wrong with that. But to develop a sustainable personalization strategy, I’d suggest you start by asking yourself five questions:

  1. What are our business goals?
  2. How will we measure success?
  3. Who are we targeting?
  4. What are our customer journeys?
  5. What data will we need?

Once you’ve worked out the answers to these questions, you’ll have a good foundation to plan and execute successful personalization campaigns that deliver measurable results and help you achieve your business goals.

And when it comes to planning and implementing personalization campaigns, you’ll want to make sure you have the right skills on your team, you have some governance in place, and you have plans for measurement and attribution. I also encourage you to check out this blog post to help you get started with these items. And feel free to also reach out directly to me for tips and guidance on real-time personalization! Follow me on Twitter at @ahzimmerman and @evergage.

 

5 Tips I Learned After the First Month with Eloqua

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Now that I have been a marketing automation consultant at SFCG for about a month, I must say it was a mind-blowing month for a green hand like myself. What I have found is that Eloqua is truly an essential solution for modern marketers, especially B2B marketers to further establish a better customer experience for their audience.

Today I am going to share five tips with you that I learned as a first-time Eloqua user…

 

1. It is not an email sender!

I mean, it’s really not. I guess this is the question that most people ask when exploring the solution in the beginning. I still remember after the first lesson with Eloqua asking the question, “so… is this basically a system we use to send better emails? ”  Needless to say, I was corrected right away. Eloqua can not only send out emails but also text messages while tracking who has and hasn’t acted on those messages. It also can capture information from a customer on your website with landing pages and online forms. At the same time, it helps marketers segment contacts to target the right customers, execute multi-channel campaigns, and nurture those leads to allow for marketers to get the highest ROI for their efforts.

 

2. Always think out of the box and always be creative.

At SFCG, we see a wide range of different requirements needed for implementation to help our clients meet their unique business needs. I have even seen Eloqua be used to design a scavenger hunt though the sending of text messages. So, just keep in mind, there are ways to make your campaigns even more creative as by leveraging all kinds of great functions within the campaign canvas.

 

3. It is critical to integrate your Eloqua with your CRM.

One of the worst things that can happen in a a business is having your sales and marketing team never talk to each other! One thing we help our clients do is auto-sync their contacts information everyday (or more frequent if they would like) to make sure the information captured in Eloqua can translate to the sales team and vice versa.

 

4. Take full advantage of the campaign canvas.

The campaign canvas in Eloqua is incredible and really easy to use. The canvas works just like a project flow chart, which helps you make complex procedures clean and logical. With a simple drag and drop, you can finish your campaign in seconds.

 

5. Don’t forget to link Eloqua with analytical tools like Google Analytics.

I have found out that you can track your campaigns performance very quickly and with accuracy. With a link to an analytics tool, you can see what is effective and where you should spend your time as a marketer.

 

Hopefully after reading this, you can see how intricate and exciting this tool can be for a marketing department. I sure did. I also hope this helped anybody either new to Eloqua, or are in the process of bringing on marketing automation for their organization. Creating a better customer experience and way to engage with customers is what we do, so if you have any questions, please ask!

Campaign Best Practice in the PARIS Way using Eloqua

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Even though I haven't been to Paris yet, I love that city from all the stories and pictures I have seen, and recently when I was driving in my car, thinking about my next marketing blog idea, and maybe, next vacation spot, PARIS popped into my head.

Campaign in the PARIS Way might not look French to you, but let me explain, because they actually share the same elegance at heart. In this blog, I am going to show you the five elements which PARIS refers to, and we will go into detail in five dedicated articles to come soon.

P – Plan

Let's face it. If you are in marketing, chances are that you are not just running one campaign. Orchestrating different campaigns so that they correspond with each other to deliver a unified message is crucial to marketing success. We don't want confused customers, so think of these combined efforts like a designer having a theme while debuting his or her latest collection.

When you have your structure ready and your campaigns defined (you don't have to plan out the whole year, but at least several campaigns that can evolve on one underlying theme for, let's say, one quarter is a best practice), you also need to plan out all the assets you need for each campaign in advance. Try to avoid testing or activating your campaign at the last minute because having missing marketing assets will postpone the whole launch schedule.

A – Act

There are a lot of moving parts when you actually start to create your campaign. Are the segments correct? Is the email sending options appropriate? Is your customer experience complete? What are the possible errors when it is activated? All these questions will keep you up at night if you don't have a clear step to step process to make your campaign bullet proof.

We use Eloqua because of the easy campaign canvas feature it has.  What I always recommend to my clients that are doing a multi-step campaign, is to draw out a flow chart before starting on your actual Eloqua campaign canvas. This helps you visualize all your questions for each steps, and will always help you clear your mind when you are building up a campaign to not lose sight of the bigger picture. There are a lot of great tools to build a engaging campaign, and with the help of this little technique and the power of Eloqua, you can create amazing campaigns with amazing results.

 

R – Report

Duh! Everyone wants to know how the campaign is performing after it has been activated. This goes without a lecture. But my question is: Do you really know the power of reporting in Eloqua? Have you setup Campaign fields so that your campaign performance can be evaluated across devices, across time and across different groups?

Eloqua has a very robust reporting engine that will help you report your marketing performance in various ways, and if you are still just using the classic insights, you are not taking full advantage of Eloqua's reporting power. What I am trying to say here, is that reporting does not start after the campaign is activated. How you set up the campaign plays a huge part when you are preparing a insightful report, and Eloqua has wonderful tools to help you achieve your reporting goals!

I – Improve

Now I hope you are starting to see how everything is connected. Improving cannot happen if your reporting is not thorough, but it does not stop there. The biggest mistake I see in marketing today is when they are trying to improve their next campaign, but they are too ambitious.

There are a lot of good ways to improve your marketing efforts, but doing them all at once is definitely something I would not recommend. It is really hard for marketers to isolate which improvement really worked if there are too many improvements made from one campaign to the next. Focusing on little improvements one at a time will consistently help you understand your customers' behavior and prepare you for the next step when engaging with your audience.

S – Success

Okay, I lied. The last component in PARIS is not Success, instead, think of it as Start over. Being a marketer nowadays, there is no clear definition of success because everything can be improved over time. What we need to make sure is everything is following an upward spiral. You can follow the PARIS plan, but if you stop at the fifth step and think that you are done, reality will tell you otherwise. If we really want to conclude the PARIS method in Success, my coworker Carina's definition of this word fits perfectly for us marketers: "Success is doing it better next time".

 

Stay tune for our articles on P-A-R-I-S!!!