An Interview with Greg Thomas, Head of Marketing & Growth, Kameleoon
Are you leveraging the “big data” that you have already collected about your web site visitors and your customers? Are you customizing the content and marketing messages on your web to match the specific needs and wants of those visitors? Greg Thomas will tell you that if you answered no to the above questions you are leaving a lot of money on the table – if not outright throwing money away. Not surprisingly, his company Kameleoon offers a tool to make it easier for you to optimize your visitors’ experiences and conversions on your web site.
HostAdvice: I want to start by saying that I am impressed by the fact that you have earned academic degrees on 3 different continents. There must be a story there…
Well, I really have two passions in life. I am very attracted to the digital space and to startups and I also love to travel. I decided to pursue both of them together and went as far as I could with it.
My extended travel experiences give me some definite advantages in the business world today and make things a lot easier. It is also very enriching in general.
HostAdvice: I understand that Kameleoon is a set of services to enhance conversion optimization – including A/B testing, personalization, and predictive targeting. Please start by briefly explaining what each of those terms means.
Kameleoon is a user experience optimization platform and those services are key elements in improving the conversion rate of the web site.
- A/B Testing – Focuses on the web site’ User Experience (UX), meaning you are thinking about things like color, CTAs (Call to Actions), and page flow.
- Personalization – Focuses on the visitors and what they really want, meaning you are thinking about how you can adapt your content and marketing messages to their specific needs.
- Predictive Targeting – Here we have our “super smart guys” in the R&D department that leveraged the true potential of Big Data and developed predictive machine learning algorithms in order to predict if a visitor is going to buy or not buy at a certain point so you can push the appropriate campaign to them.
Here’s a flow chart of a simple example:
HostAdvice: What does Kameleoon brings to the table in each of those areas?
The short answer is agility. It enables marketers to adapt to their visitors in real-time, without having to know how to code and without having to wait for their IT (Information Technology) department to find time to make the changes for them.
Our personalization module allows you to simply configure rules and triggers which will cause the site to adapt and change automatically for the current visitor. You are able to know who your visitors are, which of your defined segments they belong to, and how you want the system to adapt to their needs, and then monitor what works.
Our A/B testing helps you in the decision process of determining what works and what doesn’t work - based on objective data rather than on subjective instincts and feelings.
HostAdvice: What does it take to incorporate Kameleoon into an existing web site?
HostAdvice: Does a site need to have a minimum amount of traffic for it to be effective?
That depends on your objectives. For A/B testing, we recommend 100K visitors / month in order to get enough significant data. For personalization, you can easily see significant benefits with much less traffic. For example, if you can identify the segment that represents a large percentage of your defined value, you could see significant results with even only several thousand visitors per month.
HostAdvice: Your site has a long list of integrations with various types of analytics and marketing tools. Are those necessary? Don’t you gather your own data from the web site?
There is a lot of information you collect directly through the Kameleoon tag that enables you to segment your visitors on Behavioral, Contextual, Technical data. Just using these segmentation criteria, you can already create incredible personalized experiences for your visitors.
But the beauty of the age of digital data is that you can collect a lot of data from a lot of different sources and use them for your varying needs. Our clients are already sitting on a lot of data and they should take advantage of it.
For example, your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system knows who are your best customers and a lot of information about them. Bringing that data into Kameleoon allows you to personalize your content specifically for them. In the other direction, you can personalize your MailChimp campaign emails based on a user’s on-site behavior that is gathered by Kameleoon.
HostAdvice: Who do you define as your target market?
It can really be pretty much any web site for which you have defined specific behavioral and conversion goals, although most of our clients today have very large web sites.
In terms of people within the organization, we normally engage with the:
- CMO (Chief Marketing Officer)
- UX (User Experience) managers
- CRM managers
Our software is also appropriate and used for any industry. We currently have clients in many different industries, including:
- Banking and Finance
HostAdvice: Why isn’t there any pricing information on your web site?
We originally had specific pricing information on our site, but after a few years we realized that a lot depends on the client’s specific needs and their traffic volume. So our pricing is customized for each client and is a function of the features they need and the amount of traffic they have. We have recently simplified our pricing plans so that they all include the basic A/B testing and personalization features.
But to give you a general idea, if starts around 300 Euro / month and could go as high as 10,000-15,000 Euro /month.
HostAdvice: How many active customers do you have today? Where are they mainly located?
We currently have more than 300 customers. They are located mainly in France (where we are located) but we also have a lot of clients in Germany, as well as in Russia, Spain, Southeast Asia, and South America.
HostAdvice: You are not targeting the US / North American market?
Not yet. There is very fierce competition in that market due to the presence of the global leader Optimizely. We decided to first establish ourselves and our product in Europe and other areas and we are now slowly, but surely, looking to the North American market.
HostAdvice: How would you describe your current typical customer?
We usually work with large companies, including many of the top 100 web sites in France and Europe, although we do go all the way down to early-stage startups. They are companies that realize they are living in a digital world and they must apply the appropriate strategies, tactics, and implementations. The people we normally work with are marketers, web analysts, and data scientists.
HostAdvice: Who do you see as your main competitors?
In terms of specific optimization companies, it is Optimizely and VWO. But there is also a lot of indirect competition from various general analytic tools and cloud services.
HostAdvice: How do you see your tools as different and/or better than theirs?
We pride ourselves on Kameleoon being very fast, simple to use, and extremely reliable. We bring a lot of knowledge to the table and share that knowledge via a very active blog and a lot of eBooks. We work very hard to nurture our users and they tell us that these resources have been very helpful. We are also very cost effective – significantly less expensive than some of our competitors.
HostAdvice: What do you think are the top three things to do for someone first starting to focus on conversion optimization?
Here is what I think are the three most important issues to address first. Make sure that you:
- Spend enough time analyzing and optimizing both web site performance and visitor preferences.
- Have the entire company or department behind the optimization program.
- Have the right skills and resources to implement the optimization program – this includes a UX (User Experience) designer, web analyst, and project leader.
HostAdvice: You have a web page extensively describing your customer success services – are those services included with your software services or are they an optional additional cost?
They are additional options available to the extent that a given client needs and wants them. We can help clients by providing them with anything from specialized consulting all the way through full agency services.
Most mature clients will already understand their needs and desire less help, while other clients will know that they have problems they want to solve but won’t have any idea how to go about addressing them.
HostAdvice: How do you see conversion optimization in general, and personalization in particular, evolving in the coming years?
I see optimization and personalization going even further in terms of how companies use the big data that they already have. There will be more techniques, such as machine learning, to help leverage this existing data. We will see technology continuing to help marketing teams do their jobs both better and faster.
HostAdvice: What are your future plans for Kameleoon?
Our core DNA is innovation. We are continuing to develop features that bring value to our clients. For example, a new feature we will be releasing soon is the Audience recommendation. This will update our dashboard with a list of visitor segments that are significantly out-performing or under-performing so that our users can take immediate action on them.
HostAdvice: How many employees do you have today? Where are they located?
We currently have 60 employees, who are located mainly in France. We also have a development staff in Russia and sales offices in Germany and Spain. We hope to continue expanding and opening more offices in Europe and around the world.
HostAdvice: How many hours a day do you normally work? What do you like to do when you are not working?
I put in rather long business days – usually from 8:30 AM until 7:30 PM.
When I am not working, you will usually find me on my motorcycle riding through the streets of Paris.