• June 17, 2008
  • By Jessica Tsai, Assistant Editor, CRM magazine

Baynote Brings Multichannel Wisdom to the Web

Recommendation services provider Baynote announced the launch of its Collective Intelligence Platform (CIP) today. The on-demand solution extends the application of social information beyond just a company’s Web site to provide recommendations for e-mail and mobile marketing, as well as the analytics of Baynote Insights—all of which are based on one core principle: the wisdom of the crowds.

Baynote’s prior capabilities include: 

  • Baynote Content Recommendations: A company can present Web-site visitors with content, multimedia, or downloads deemed most relevant based on their behavior;
  • Baynote Product Recommendations: An e-commerce company can make the best upsell and cross-sell pitches by presenting products based on a shopper’s implicit Web behavior; and
  • Baynote Social Search: A company can improve the relevancy and effectiveness of on-site search by applying a social layer that re-ranks results from prior searches.

With the launch of the CIP, Baynote has brought that existing level of insight not only into Web recommendations, but also into multichannel marketing. With email, for example, marketers can now deliver the most relevant content to increase clickthrough rates; similarly, mobile marketers can now utilize the most relevant content (article, video, link, or product). The CIP also provides insight into improving a marketer’s search-engine optimization, and can even dynamically deliver videos based on a consumer’s viewing behavior. Moreover, this level of insight can be incorporated into custom applications, such as knowledge management, CRM, and mashups.

But no mater how wise the crowd might be, it still has to congregate on the company turf, says Suresh Vittal, a senior analyst at Forrester Research. Vittal notes that Baynote’s CIP solution works to enhance the channels that are very much within a marketer’s control (e.g., email, mobile).

"The new platform leverages the collective wisdom of all of your site’s users to show their real voice," says Jack Jia, chief executive officer of Baynote. The technology, he says, allows marketers to understand the search terms used by prospects or customers to get to a site, what products they intend to buy or are interested in browsing, and the problems they're trying to solve on through a Web-based support system. Knowing this, companies can customize each user's entire Web experience. 

Baynote Insights was developed to give marketers the tools needed to "analyze, test, and control the impact of the community across all digital channels," the company said in a statement. The highlights of this function include:

  • Community Analytics interface: giving marketers a view into their community-driven insights with a dashboard that’s easy on the eyes;
  • Testing Console: enabling A/B/n or directed testing to measure the impact of Baynote on key business metrics such as incremental revenue, profit, page views, engagement time, clickthroughs, support resolution rates, search success rates, and registrations;
  • Merchandizing and Editorial Console: allowing marketers to use their "expert control" in conjunction with the wisdom of the crowd to deliver the most appropriate recommendations and search results. 

The notion of "expert control" may seem to conflict with the notion of crowdsourcing, but Vittal says it's not a matter of wisdom, -- it's a matter of oversight. "Expert control is needed because there are business constraints that need to be applied," he says. "For instance, marketers may need to limit the offers on some products due to availability or margin. They would do this through the expert interface as the collective wisdom won’t always account for it," he adds.

"This [release] was much needed," Vittal says. The wealth of knowledge to be gleaned from social search (also referred to as social insight or collective wisdom) is a "powerful instrument to help make decisions," he says, adding that, for Baynote, "this is their way of extending that collective wisdom to multiple channels." 

Vittal says that, to his knowledge, Baynote is the only player in the United States with this solution -- and that only Avail Intelligence, a Scandanavian company with locations in Europe and the U.S., is on its way to providing a similar solution that puts community intelligence to use.

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