Bloomberg News TV editor Elliott Gotkine grabbed Dynamic Yield CEO Liad agmon for a quick chat about the company’s strategic vision for future of online marketing. Watch the video here.
So just tell us exactly how do you make me and all the other hundreds of millions of people online visiting websites feel special and get treated differently?
So we think the key is personalization. If you think about it, we are all very different as buyer personas.
We are looking for different things when we go online, but we are not in a position where we want to tell websites what we are looking for. We want them to adapt and learn automatically for us.
So if, for example, I am into winter sports and I’m searching for my snowboarding gear, I would like the website to cater especially to me and bring me those special offers.
So instead of you going on a retailer’s website showing you the homepage and maybe shoes or whatever else, it will show you stuff specifically for winter sports?
If you go to any major retail website today, you are basically offered a lot of products that are completely not interesting for you in this context right now.
But as the websites learn, they will be able to predict your behavior and narrow down the choices to the ones that really interest you.
And how do you do that? Do you track what everyone is doing even when they’re not on that particular page?
We track your behavior on the actual sites. So when you are browsing a website (like reading The New York Times for example), you are actually sending a lot of information to systems like ours based on of what you are reading. So we are listening to what’s interesting you without bothering you in the background. And then over time, we adjust the experience to the one that best matches your interests.
You’d also be tracking me when i am not on the New York Times website as well, would you not? could you get my interest elsewhere?
Yes, we would track you only on Dynamic Yield customer websites. We do not share information between customers, but we train our engines in the background to actually perform better in terms of personalization.
So I may know you are a sports fan, but I would not share this information with a different site.
You mentioned The New York Times. I know that they are an investor as well as a customer. Tell me a little bit more about that and perhaps who some of your other big clients are.
The New York Time and any other publisher is always on the quest to improve user engagement and have better service for the users. If you think about traditional news, you had the printed paper and you would quickly scan through the pages you were not interested in. In the online experience, you are limited by the pixels on the screen, so the decision as to what to show each user is actually more critical than in the print version. There’s a lot of effort worldwide to improve that experience and to optimize every pixel on the screen to be more relevant to the person reading the page right now.
You’ve raised just over $15 million, including The New York Times. I read one article where you said eventually you are going to be acquired. That’s quite refreshing coming from a startup. Is that the aim?
I think the aim of every startup is to become a global phenomenon and grow into a multi-billion company. That is our aim as well, but the reality is a hyper-competitive market dominated by the big guys – Google, Facebook, Microsoft, AOL, Yahoo! They acquire startups like ourselves because we are strategic to the future of online marketing. Usually these startups get acquisition offers along the way that are just too tempting to say no to.
We look forward to having you back to tell us perhaps when you have received an offer you can’t refuse.
Liad Agmon, CEO and co-founder of Dynamic Yield,