Chameleonic Web Sites

Posted by: Damian Joseph on February 10, 2009

For as much innovation that’s occurred on the Internet, Web sites are still pretty much one size fits all. Amazon might give you a product recommendation or Google Maps might remember your favorite location, but sites look the same for you and me: same color, same layout, same text, same graphics and same videos.

Enter Magnify 360, a Los Angeles-based company changing how we see Web sites—literally. Like bite-size nuggets of text? Prefer graphics? Bright or dark backgrounds? You’re covered. The “behavioral marketing” company worked with statistical mathematicians and psychologists to come up with more than 1,000 different personality profiles that take into account things like your location, bandwidth, type of computer and viewing history, and present you with a unique Web site catered to your personality.

So this all sounds neat, but there are some real numbers backing things up. I spoke with Magnify’s founder and CEO, Olivier Chaine, about the company’s success: He said most of their clients see a return on their investment 7-15 times over in the first 90 days; the company guarantees clients a 10% increase in revenue or they get their money back; it’s grown 130%-140% each of the last few years; employs more than 40 people in its California, Kansas, Ukraine and China locations; and just raised another $2.5 million for expansion. With clients like HBSC, Citrix and Intuit it’s hard to scoff. Chaine talks about how he came up with the idea in the video below.

I also asked him if we should be worried about the creepy big-brotherish scenarios this concept conjures. Chaine told me not to worry, that Magnify would “never sell that information.” He admitted that the criticism aimed at online data-miners is “well-deserved,” but Magnify prefers to play the role of digital concierge, not private investigator.

 

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What comes next? The Bloomberg Businessweek Innovation and Design blog chronicles new tools for creativity and collaboration, innovation case studies in both the corporate and social sectors, and the new ideas that have the power to change the way things have always been done.

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