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Certona’s Resonance Personalization Platform: Saving Retailers’ Wetware

February 5, 2013
Having to learn 14 vaguely connected tools to do your job will make you nuts.

Having to learn 14 vaguely connected tools to do your job will make you nuts.
– watercolor by Charles Plaisted

Today’s marketers suffer from incomplete digital marketing platforms. They need many tools to support marketing functions across the channels and touchpoints their customers use. In fact, the current solution landscape offers too many tools, each its own silo. The result is that marketing teams find themselves using an artisanal marketing platform. Artisanal + food = good. Artisanal + software platform = bad (IE, unique, incomplete, fragile, and poorly integrated).

So it’s no surprise that vendors in the digital marketing space are offering broader solutions that cover more functions or more touchpoints.

Certona offers a single, consistent platform for personalizing the customer experience online, via mobile, email, and the contact center; and via apps including search, ad delivery, landing pages, and emails. The Resonance Personalization Platform addresses segmentation, demand optimization, and in-store integration. It eliminates the requirement for a handful (at least) of separate tools.

The Resonance solution is broad in covering touchpoints and applications that deliver a personalized customer experience. Certona’s focus is narrow, in the sense that the target market is retailers who want to personalize marketing, merchandising, and customer experience.

When people talk about the value of platforms, they typically focus on the savings in integration and maintenance of the software or services. But I think they miss a more important benefit: the wetware savings.

Each solution you acquire comes with a wetware tax. You have to learn how it supports your business activities, the language that describes its features and functions, the practices that make you successful, the structures that may be new to your business such as behavioral segments or A/B performance tests. It can be a challenge to develop this conceptual framework. If you have tools from several vendors to manage customer experience across channel, you must learn several conceptual frameworks – more wetware tax.

Worse, and this is where the tax begins to increase geometrically, the myriad conceptual frameworks are INTEGRATED BY YOUR WETWARE. Yup, it is your job to figure out how they all fit together (and don’t fit), and to bridge the concepts, language, features and functions. Many, many teams just abandon this impossible wetware task and use each solution in isolation. They pretend there is such a thing as “a web customer” and “a mobile customer,” or that a display ad and an email could never be part of the same campaign. My wetware weeps just thinking of it.

The bottom line is, you can get a single, consistent interface to marketing functions and touchpoints related to personalized customer experience, with minimum wetware cost, using Certona’s platform.

Wetware savings is all well and good. But Certona places high priority on features that in my experience are critical to customer success:
• Automation and self-optimization, to reduce marketers’ decisions and tasks
• Broad range of methods for selecting content, to allow marketer control when needed, and to increase performance
• Real time analysis, to quickly profile a visitor and start personalizing the interaction

Certona’s rapidly growing customer set demonstrates the success of its approach. You can download a pretty good paper on the Resonance Personalization Platform here.

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