Getting Strangers to Take Your Candy
Geller - May 5, 2000
Angara is a two-year-old company that began life with a fast memory resident
database product, and has applied it to develop an application for e-commerce
marketers. Where other CRM vendors are putting their efforts on collecting
information about how customers behave on a site, Angara is focused on
helping B2C sites make targeted presentations to first-time visitors.
Angara pays other websites for anonymous, permission-based
profiles that an Angara customer can use to identify characteristics of
new visitors. With some information about how visitors behave on other
sites, Angara's customers can then make offers to first-time visitors
that have a better chance of generating sales. In the first thirty days
of live beta testing Angara's customers reported on average that sales
to first-time customers doubled. Angara's solution is available only as
a hosted application.
Angara's solution is similar to what Engage is doing for advertising.
It is basically alone among personalization vendors in its approach. Angara
has a strategic partnership with McKinsey & Co. that will bring the company
access to terabytes of segmentation models from McKinsey's clicks-and-mortar
customers as well as serving as a powerful sales channel.
should be looking to partner in some creative way with Engage due to the
similarity of approach, since Engage is the one company best positioned
to become a competitor, although DoubleClick might like to grab onto this
technology to replace its stalled attempt to target ads to surfers with
personally identifiable data. Either way Angara has a good chance to establish
itself as an important component of a website's CRM strategy.
is not any immediate likelihood that other larger CRM companies will want
to collect data necessary to compete with Angara. That's both an advantage
and a disadvantage, because in the crowded CRM market most people have
been told, and believe, that there is more value associated with keeping
customers who buy once than with upping the conversion rate on new visitors.
Not that both aren't important, but if achieving both requires buying
two separate products we think that a majority will purchase a retention
strategy before Angara's. However, the cost of acquiring a new customer
has been reported to range from $70 to well over $250, and for some companies,
especially those with small customer bases, Angara can make a persuasive
We believe that both retention and conversion are critical for B2C websites,
and that both have a place in many B2B situations as well. The company
seeking to select an approach needs to consider both the overall ROI of
each approach and the speed with which each can be implemented and begin
offering will be most attractive as a first choice to companies for whose
e-business model Angara can show a high ROI, and also for those for whom
a retention approach might be slower to get off the ground because of
the need to integrate with existing and diverse collections of data.
course, customers that already have effective retention strategies should
think about adding an effective conversion strategy to their marketing