Add Tibco to the list of vendors pushing a full stack of so-called "customer engagement" software, which companies use to track and analyse consumer behaviour in hopes of building deeper relationships with them and ultimately, selling more products and services.
Tibco Engage, announced today, is an SaaS (software as a service) package that builds on the vendor's Loyalty Lab product for customer loyalty programmes. Also in the mix is Tibco's event-processing technology, capabilities for social networking and communities, and connections to third-party sales and marketing systems.
Outdoor clothing and climbing specialists The North Face was announced as a Tibco Engage customer. The North Face vice president of marketing Aaron Carpenter said: "We look to actively captivate our best customers with the most relevant content and storytelling. Tibco helps us to more effectively understand our customers by activity so we can talk about running to runners, skiing to skiers and climbing to climbers.
"Tibco technology has helped us gain significant understanding of our customers to take those relationships to the next level. We are excited to use the advanced analytics options in the new Tibco Engage application."
Tibco's director of product marketing for customer engagement and social Leandro Perez said that Engage is far from a "Frankenstein" put together a la carte from Tibco's product list. Much work has been done to present marketers with a simple, unified interface that shields them from the plumbing at work behind the scenes, he said.
Customer engagement isn't just about sending repeat customers coupons or special offers, as is seen with typical loyalty programmes, Perez said. The goal is to gain a much better understanding of what a given company or brand's customers want, and getting it to them.
For example, customers may visit a company's e-commerce store, shop around, but then eventually abandon their shopping carts without making a purchase. Later that week, they may walk past a physical store and cross a geo-fence that recognises their mobile device, thanks to a mobile app from the company they installed, kicking off a process that sends them a special promotional offer about the item they browsed online.
In order to perform this type of function at scale, rather than individually for each shopper, Engage provides a rules framework with which marketers can create what Tibco calls "engagement flows."
Oracle, Salesforce.com, IBM, Adobe and others are also working to build out customer engagement stacks, with slightly varying approaches.
Tibco is betting it can have an edge by offering customers tighter integration between Engage's parts, while keeping the platform open to plug into related third-party software for marketing automation, CRM (customer relationship management) and other areas.
The SaaS deployment model is another selling point, Perez said. "We're trying to make this as simple as possible. Marketing departments don't really have an appetite for year-long rollouts."
Engage is priced according to the number of customer profiles a company wants to be able to handle, rather than by the seat, given that some companies may have millions of customers in their database while smaller ones have comparatively few, Perez said.