The Experience Optimization and Personalization Market Gains Clarity

By Erika Goldwater

June 21, 2018

The personalization market just got a lot more clear. For years, marketers have struggled with the term “personalization,” many defining it in different ways. This proliferates across thought leadership and content in the marketing world, and even in the ChiefMartech MarTech 5000 supergraphic, where optimization, personalization and testing are lumped together as a category, but separate from web experience management.

The much anticipated Forrester Wave™: Experience Optimization Platforms, Q2 2018 report is the result of a metamorphosis from the prior online testing Forrester Wave evaluation, which acknowledges that online testing, behavioral targeting, and recommendations have merged within advanced enterprise practices and vendor technology offerings. The term “Experience Optimization Platforms" refers to those vendors which provide:

  1. Testing online experiences using capabilities including A/B & multivariate testing which leverage the data and analysis of customer online interactions.
  2. Behavioral targeting of customer experiences during moments of online customer interactions leveraging the behavioral data and analysis of customers during these Interactions.
  3. Automated online product and/or content recommendations within moments of customer interaction using customer digital interaction profiles and predicted preferences calculated with data from previous and current product purchases and/or content interactions.

This report helps clarify for marketers how these different areas of specialization work together to enable experience optimization. The Wave report further helps clarify what makes the space unique, and highlights eight key vendors as part of their evaluation in 2018.

The Wave report is long considered one of the definitive assessments of validity for any martech purchase. Until now, retail organizations have not had a resource to go to in the personalization space that evaluates and identifies best-in-class solutions to help inform their purchase process. Experience Optimization Platforms (EOP) and complementary solutions are now an essential component of any fast-growth, ecommerce organization and the Wave provides insights that help buyers understand the requirements of these solutions.

Additionally, individuals and organizations anticipate what the Wave has to say about the industry, their solution, and of course, their competitors to help guide their development, marketing and use cases to better meet customer needs.

Defining the EOP market

Traditionally, solutions in this space were focused on “project-based approaches to online testing and personalization techniques such as behavioral targeting and recommendations” according to Forrester. As organizations have become more sophisticated, many have begun to establish a more holistic view of testing, targeting, and recommendations, and seek to optimize the entire customer experience, and not just segments of the process. Experience Optimization Platforms has become the broader category that includes Monetate solutions.

Why focus on EOP?

Omnichannel personalization is what is driving customer experience and revenue today, and thus the technology that enables it has become a key factor in what differentiates best-in-class organizations from the rest of the pack. Testing, behavioral targeting, and recommendations are at the center of continuous optimization and it’s important to choose the right experience optimization platform partner to achieve success. Making the right choice depends on different factors including unique business needs, mapping to the right solution, and ensuring the right level of services support; not all vendors are created equal.

Evaluation Criteria

In its evaluation of EOP platforms, Forrester used a 24-criteria evaluation method and identified the eight most significant solutions. Vendors scored based on their capabilities, as well as their current offering and overall strategy.

From that, Monetate was named a Strong Performer, earning the highest possible scores in criteria such as “Supporting services” and “Partner ecosystem.” These areas are essential when global brands are at stake, and Monetate is proud to have been recognized in these areas.

To read the full Wave report, download your complimentary copy here.

Learn what makes Monetate the EOP vendor of choice for over 300 customers like Cunard, The North Face, Carnival, Timberland, QVC, and many more here.

Erika Goldwater, CIPP/US is a B2B demand generation expert with over 15 years of experience in fast-growth technology and consulting organizations. Goldwater has had her privacy certification since 2008, working to help marketers implement best-practices and drive revenue the right way. Prior to Monetate, Goldwater was VP of Marketing for ANNUITAS and Marketing Manager, Strategic Accounts and Partners for Eloqua.

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