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Analytical CRM tool looks to get (not too) personal

New software from Canadian-based Pivotal Corp. is designed to enable companies to better track and interpret customer behavior patterns -- without getting overly personal. Charles Brees, marketing director at Pivotal, discusses what Pivotal thinks its Digital Intelligence software can do for a company's CRM initiative in this question-and-answer interview with searchCRM Assistant Editor Joda Glossner.

Do you have any projections about decreasing the rate of abandoned shopping carts?
Digital Intelligence will enable (clients) to determine what activities a customer performs just prior to abandonment and to determine if changes in the sites structure or content lead to more or less abandonment. Details about pricing for Pivotal Digital Intelligence were not released.

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CRM analytics gets you closer to the customer What is your target market for this product?
We believe that while the product can work on any Web site, customers such as retail banking are a great fit because of the push for more self-service activities. Do companies need a disclaimer for this tracking system?
We present a digital cookie to visitors that allows us to monitor their historical visits, but we do not gather any additional personal information that might be available. Visitors who have disabled their browser to not allow cookies are not tracked by Digital Intelligence. What's next? Is this a stepping-stone to another level, or is this a stopping point for this product?
We plan to continue to add functionality including auto recognition of "themes," build tight integration to our CRM functionality and eSelling product. We are also looking at integration with other applications like Commerce Server, event calendars, graphical modelers and personalization engines. What initiated the creation of this product?
Pivotal had strong offerings in both the operational and analytic demand chain network space. One emerging area of need was analyzing and integrating the strategic performance of the Web channel. Now, we can segment them based on business rules and theme tracking to understand what drives success. How does your new product compare to standard analytical CRM solutions?
Digital Intelligence is a Web behavioral analytics tool. The information can be used in conjunction with other marketing analytics products to provide a complete picture across all of your marketing channels. Standard analytics tools typically do not include Web behavior in their analysis. How does Digital Intelligence interpret customer behavior?
(It) gathers the content stream of information that passes between the visitor and the Web site. We look for specific HTML text streams so we know what activities the visitor is doing, not simply which pages he is visiting.

The content stream is passed through a series of models. Just as each person in marketing is interested in a different audience, each model coincides with the interests of your business users. For example, one marketing professional may have responsibility for their company's relationship with Microsoft. He is interested in knowing how frequently the Microsoft relationship message is exposed to all visitors of the Web site, except their own employees. A business model would be established to monitor the exposure to this theme.

You can dissect and report on this information utilizing the Pivotal Intelligence Engine. The data mart created via these models can be analyzed to reveal information about your visitors.

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