evergage turkey
The Evergage turkey outside the Adobe Summit at the Venetian Hotel.

LAS VEGAS — Enterprise technology companies sometimes revert to passive-aggressive mentions of their competitors, usually leaving out names.

Evergage’s tactics here outside the Venetian Hotel during fellow MarTech provider Adobe’s annual digital marketing conference were nowhere near passive ... just a whole lot aggressive.

Some might call it obnoxious, over-the-top and troll-like. But in Evergage's own words, it's just about "brand awareness."

Our Personalization Is Better

Evergage, a personalization platform based in Cambridge, Mass., sent representatives to Vegas this week dressed in a turkey costumes and tee shirts asking, “What is Adobe hiding?"

They drove around the Las Vegas Strip in a truck with a billboard that read “Personalization with Adobe: The Struggle is Real.”

They also spray-painted an Evergage logo and #AdobeAlternative hashtag on the ground outside of the Venetian Hotel, where some 12,000 people are gathered for Adobe Summit. They also, of course, did their social media trolling online with the hashtag #AdobeAlternative, which didn't exactly break trending levels.

Tactics that would make internet trolls proud? Probably? Evergage itself had a #guerrillamarketing hashtag in an Instagram post.

An Uncivil Trend?

While some may question Evergage's approach, one thing is clear: It is not exactly unique.

Last year, as 13,000 data enthusiasts gathered in Austin for Tableau’s annual user conference, competitor Domo, a startup that claimed it can help companies get "meaningful value from business data," also sent representatives to the area.

The Segway-riding Domo reps wore red T-Shirts exclaiming, “Escape (Tableau) Data Hell.”

We've also seen Oracle touting the virtues of its CRM outside of Salesforce's big show, Dreamforce.

However you feel about the tactics, the aggressive stunts get attention.

In this most recent play, Evergage also got the attention of Venetian Hotel officials, who reminded the company reps of the physical line they crossed outside the luxury hotel.

But the competition goes on.

Evergage CEO Karl Wirth, in Vegas this week attending another conference, has done a webinar and blog post slamming Adobe’s personalization engine, which is run by Adobe Target. His company's website has literature and videos comparing Evergage to Adobe.

Thousand Words?

CMSWire asked Evergage representatives outside the Venetian Hotel how they would respond to criticism of their actions. Why not just market their product like most competitors do?

“We have been marketing on our own,” Francesca Quinion, marketing specialist at Evergage, told CMSWire.

“We’re the underdog in this situation. Adobe is the big name. But I think that at the end of the day we have the better alternative and we want people that wouldn’t necessarily know who we are to know our name.”

It's probably the images and videos that do this only-in-Vegas story justice:

Evergage
Just another day on the Las Vegas Strip, with the Evergage mobile trolling Adobe.
Evergage
Evergage employees left to right outside the Venetian Hotel Wednesday morning: Catherine Kervick, enterprise business development, Shauna Colleary, office manager, executive assistant to CEO, and Francesca Quinion, marketing specialist.PHOTO: Dom Nicastro

No Fair Fight

Who is Evergage, you ask? Adobe’s probably asking the same thing.

This is a mismatch in terms of a marketing technology fight, like putting Benji in a ring against Cujo:

  • Adobe has 15,700 employees; Evergage 75.
  • Adobe has 3,800 partners; Evergage has 20.
  • Adobe Summit had 12,000 attendees; Evergage is shooting for 200 at its future event.

“Adobe tells a great story when it comes to personalized marketing, but the fact is, they cannot deliver on their promises,” CEO Wirth told CMSWire. “With several products required and customer data spread across different systems, it’s a long, expensive IT project to implement Adobe for personalization. … We want Adobe Summit attendees and Adobe Marketing Cloud customers and prospects to understand this reality and know that an alternative exists.”

Adobe did not respond to CMSWire requests for comment about Evergage's Vegas appearance.