5 Platforms Brands Can Use for Smarter Customer Communications

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Marketers are in control over the channels they use to communicate with customers and the type of content they put out, but once a marketer presses “send” on an email, social, or SMS campaign, consumers take the reins in deciding how to engage with the content they receive. Low engagement rates can derail even the most ambitious digital marketing program, leading marketers to look for more surefire ways to guarantee the success of any communications they send.

By repurposing customer data from connected platforms, like point-of-sale (POS) and customer relationship management (CRM) systems, marketers are able to generate more personalized digital content. Marketers are also relying more heavily on platforms that use predictive algorithms to uncover which customers or prospects are most likely to be influenced by which specific channels or campaigns.

Here are five examples of marketing platforms that use predictive technology to improve customer communication and increase engagement rates.

1. Bridg: Capturing and converting customer emails
Bridg is a digital marketing platform designed for restaurants and brick-and-mortar retail brands. The platform uses predictive algorithms to help businesses identify the specific customers most likely to be influenced by outreach on various channels, including email, mobile, social, and SMS. Bridg collects data by integrating with a business’ point-of-sale system and then aggregates that information into a CRM database. Predictive algorithms are then used as guides in developing custom customer communications. It’s used by restaurant brands like Papa Gino’s and Hungry Howie’s.

2. ActiveDemand: Sending emails at the optimal time
An agency marketing automation platform for small businesses, ActiveDemand offers a way for its users to connect with prospects and generate customer retention campaigns. The platform also offers social media marketing, phone call tracking, nurture marketing, and built-in appointment scheduling software. One of the ways that ActiveDemand has differentiated itself in the market is by introducing a predictive send feature that delivers marketing emails based on the predicted optimal time for individual recipients. Individual profiles are created for each contact within the ActiveDemand platform, and the data from those profiles — including personal interests—is mapped based on the content a business offers. ActiveDemand can then recommend the best day and time to send marketing material based on when a prospect is most likely to respond.

3. Punchh: Predicting customer behavior
Designed for regional and global restaurant chains, Punchh offers tools to predict customer behavior and define the best offer at the right moment. The “value” of individual restaurant guests is scored and tracked with “Recency, Frequency, and Monetary (RFM) Analysis,” and the resulting data guides restaurants in choosing the type of marketing campaign most likely to have an impact. Restaurants can also pinpoint the best time to send campaigns based on demographic and behavioral information (like birthdays, visit frequency, and favorite menu items). Punchh uses all the data a restaurant collects to predict the lifetime value of guests and automatically create segmented groups to use in future marketing campaigns. Punchh is used by El Pollo Loco, Quiznos, and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

4. SmartZip: Predictive marketing for real estate agents
SmartZip is a predictive marketing solution for real estate professionals. Using SmartZip’s SmartTargeting platform, real estate agents can market to potential sellers and convert prospects into clients. Specifically, SmartTargeting helps agents save time by using predictive algorithms to pinpoint which homeowners are most likely to sell in the near term. Once agents have created their targeted lists, they can then schedule automated digital marketing campaigns through the SmartTargeting platform. SmartZip culls the data it uses for SmartTargeting from “25 trusted national sources” and takes into consideration any “seller signals” that are unique to specific local areas in its predictive algorithm.

5. Venga: Targeted marketing for restaurants
Although Venga started out as a CRM solution for restaurants, the platform has evolved with personalization services and targeting marketing tools. Using the platform’s predictive marketing features, restaurants can generate automated campaigns that email guests who haven’t visited recently, along with segmented lists based on guest visits, spending, and specific menu item purchases. Venga also handles personalized social media engagement for restaurants, with the ability to automatically post on customers’ Facebook news feeds after they’ve visited. Venga is used by Alicart Restaurant Group and Eddie Merlot’s.

Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.