Building the Future: The Monetate Intelligent Personalization Engine

By ​Lucinda Duncalfe

April 3, 2017

Over two years ago, we kicked off a strategic process to choose the next growth engine for our company. Having established market leadership in the U.S. and Europe in testing/targeting/segmentation1, we were facing the challenges of a mature market: it was hard to grow at the pace we wanted. We knew that the answer had to lie in product. Monetate’s core strength has always been technical; we build very powerful software that scales and is easy to use. The question was where to focus our efforts next.

We’re analytical folks, and looked at lots of options. We did market studies, we polled clients. In the end, we decided to return to our roots. Monetate was founded on the idea of creating personalized experiences on the web. That idea had turned out to be ahead of its time in 2009. In 2015, it looked like people–and technology–would be ready for it.

So, early in 2015 we placed a big bet: we would use the very best of Monetate’s existing platform and expertise to create the future. We would enable brands to create meaningful experiences for their customers, across every touchpoint. That meant we would:

  • Build an AI engine that could decide, in real time, what experience each customer should get

  • Open our system to pull in all data, wherever it sits, about that customer

  • Provide that decision to every touchpoint, whatever system is managing it, including the web

  • Create a full feedback loop so the engine and the marketer can learn from the results

I’m thrilled to report that we are releasing the core of that system today!

While our product and labs teams have been building this future, we’ve been remaking the company to support a new kind of relationship with our clients. We’ve expanded our service partner network so that our clients can get the exact type of services that is best for them. We’re working with technology partners in new, deeper ways. And we’ve focused our sales and marketing efforts to target the companies we believe will benefit most from our new offerings. We moved our headquarters to New York City, to be closer to our clients and the vibrant community of brands, agencies, and marketing technology players who live there. We’ve made significant personnel changes, to align with this strategy and ensure that we have the skills sets and organization to be agile and provide our clients with the proactive recommendations they’ll need.

All of that work is already paying off–15 brands, including JD Williams, Cornerstone, Office Depot, Office Depot Europe, FGH, National Geographic, Toms Shoes, Full Beauty Brands, and Talbots, have been active on the Monetate Intelligent Personalization Engine, and they are seeing results beyond our hopes and certainly our expectations on a wide variety of use cases. For example:

  • 73% increase in email sign-ups

  • 4.9% revenue uptick per session

  • 3.3% decrease in homepage bounce rate

  • 5.6% and 2.2% lift in revenue per session

  • 19.5% Lift in Email Program Sign-Ups

  • 13.1% Lift in Catalog Requests

  • $140K in Net Revenue Lift

  • $260K in Net Revenue Lift

  • 2.37% Lift in Conversion Rate

We believe that this AI-driven approach is the future of marketing. It gives customers what they want: an experience that reflects their relationship with the brand. It gives marketers what they want: better performance with less effort.

We also believe that the tried and true methods of A|B testing/optimization and segmentation/targeting will continue to be essential tools in the marketer’s toolbox. (We’ll even admit that the guilty secret we share with our clients–that Monetate lets you make quick and easy changes with no IT involvement–will be valuable well into the future.)

I couldn’t be more proud of our team of ‘Taters, who have pushed as one into this new world. I couldn’t be more grateful to the 15 clients who took the plunge with us, before we had much more than pretty slides to show them. And we all couldn’t be more excited to work with our clients to create the best possible future for their customers.

1Monetate has more IR500 clients in both the U.S. and Europe than any of our competitors. 

Lucinda Duncalfe is CEO of Monetate. A seasoned entrepreneur and innovator, Lucinda has proven experience building mature sales and operations cultures, and developing product strategies that accelerate company growth. She has served on Monetate’s Board of Directors for the past seven years, and helped Monetate create and establish a multi-billion dollar market for digital personalization. 

Lucinda has won many awards including the Eastern Technology Council’s Enterprise Award for CEO of the Year, was an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in Philadelphia, and was named America’s 17th Most Influential Consultant by Consulting Magazine. She has served on the boards of Semprae Labs, The Montessori School, and the World Affairs Council. Lucinda holds a second-degree black belt in Shotokan Karate and is a frequent speaker at industry events.

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