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Pega: The Final Roundup

From Pegaworld in Las Vegas to CRMC in Chicago is a big leap in lots of ways. Here at the annual marketing and CRM strategy conference for retailers, the desperation to find a route from siloed data and siloed teams to being able to meet the individual consumer in the moment is palpable.

And when I sit down representatives of the CDPs attending the event, they tell me that their technology really is ready to activate insight from the data to create 1:1 marketing, but that their customers just aren’t ready. As I reported, Pega CEO Alan Trefler told me, “the use of the word ‘segmentation’ shows a predilection for 20 year old thinking.”

But it’s not just segmentation. How many marketers still think — are perhaps compelled to think — in terms of the cadence of campaigns planned for the next quarter, the audiences that need to be targeted, and the goals that need to be met. Sure, everyone laughs at the idea of “spray and pray” now, but how many marketers are doing more than spraying and praying in a more informed, and better targeted way? The organizational transformation required (not least in the content pipeline) to switch from campaigns to microjourneys must be daunting; which is why, of course, Pega now advocates one microjourney at a time.

Although Pega’s customer engagement business is growing, perhaps one reason it’s not yet spoken of in the same breath as Adobe, Salesforce, or Oracle, is that those offerings match and support a traditional marketing template. Their data initiatives might make 1:1 engagement possible, but the route to that goal is by way of familiar ever-more-granular segmentation supporting campaigns. From a Trefler perspective, they are still systems for marketing to people, not optimizing customer’s journeys at the micro-level.

Matt Nolan, VP of product marketing, was candid about the challenge. “The problem is that if you take our software, and let it out in the eco-system without somebody that’s aligned with the vision of where you’re really trying to get, brands try to use it to the same things they’ve done in the past. It’s deadly for us and it’s deadly for them, because it’s hard to use our software to do things the old way. It’s meant to do things in a very new, very real-time fashion. People do what they know; I was a marketer for 15 years, slamming people with email. The world’s changing; that stuff doesn’t fly any more. And people need to be constantly re-educated about that.”

Here are some other news highlights from Pegaworld 2019:

One of Pega’s central offerings, across both the customer engagement and BPM lines of business, is that it’s low or no code. In other words, Pega customers rely on the software to write the software, which in turn supports the flexibility demanded of a microjourney architecture. This week, Pega announced the Enterprise Low Code Factory — essentially a dashboard which allows any employee (not just coders) to create enterprise applications, meeting brand-specific guidelines and standards. It welcomes users with any level of experience; beginners can start with pre-defined templates.

Within Pega Customer Service, there are now enhanced capabilities for reaching customers across “virtually all” messaging channels — including Facebook Messenger, Twitter Direct Messaging, Apple Business Chat, and Google RCS. Users now have centralized management of the channels, making it much more easy to stitch together unbroken customer journeys.

If Pega’s AI isn’t enough, real-time AI Connectors will allow customers to plug third-party AI into their Pega system, complementing the Pega Customer Decision Hub with access to third-party libraries of algorithms, such as those hosted by Amazon and Google.

Finally, but perhaps most importantly, Pega announced the results of fund-raising efforts in support of Girls in Tech, undertaken jointly with the Trefler Foundation. Pegad donated $500 to Girls in Tech for every eligible PegaWorld registration from January 24 to February 21, 2019. The Trefler Foundationpledged to donate an amount equal to 50 percent of the pass price of each eligible PegaWorld registration sold from April 8 through April 30, 2019. In this short period, they raised $402,000, the largest single donation the nonprofit has ever received.

Pega covered DMN’s expenses to attend Pegaworld 2019

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