Retail

Bridg Closes Marketing Loop For Restaurants, Retail

While online commerce has allowed eRetailers to source consumer data and to deliver targeted, personalized advertisements, physical retail has often lacked these capabilities.

Los Angeles-based tech company Bridg is closing the loop for brick-and-mortar restaurants, and soon for retailers, by providing them with key consumer insights.

“ECommerce marketers know everything about their customers,” said Mike Bell, COO of Bridg. “They can serve targeted ads and act their effectiveness — it becomes this closed-loop, RoI machine.”

Founded in 2012, Bridg began by providing its platform to leading national and regional restaurant chains in the U.S., Bell said. Leveraging the power of machine learning, Bridg’s Digital Marketing Platform gives physical stores access to actionable consumer data, the ability to build targeted marketing campaigns and to learn from the results.

First, Bridg’s platform brings together disparate sets of existing restaurant data — pooling from sources such as customer loyalty programs, email marketing programs, online order databases — into its CRM. Next, Bridg’s technology accesses data stored in the restaurant’s existing POS system.

“We can read into a POS system,” Bell said, “and extract unique identities for all customers that have transacted with them over the previous years. We’re effectively introducing them to the other 80 percent of their customers.”

The data in the POS system alone is incomplete, Bell noted. “It’s an item detail, first name, last name and the last four digits. But when you combine it with our first-party database, we can turn it into a valuable asset for marketers: a record of their entire customer base and each individual’s transaction history.”

Bridg’s lifecycle marketing engine then uses the compiled customer data to determine where each individual is in their lifecycle, Bell said — new customers, frequent customers, lapsing, etc. — and draws patterns and conclusions on how to most effectively market to them.

The digital marketing platform comes with omnichannel messaging capabilities, which include email and SMS send engines. Additionally, the platform can access customers on social networks and mobile.

“Even if they’ve never opted in,” Bell said, “if they’ve never provided their cell phone, we can still find and advertise specifically to them as individuals on Facebook.”

Bridg’s targeted campaign capabilities are an efficient step-up from broader forms of marketing, Bell said. “When a brand might run a campaign without our technology, without our insight, they often target large groups based on demographics. With our data, they can target precise, specific audiences, which is much more effective.”

Bell gave an example of what Bridg’s platform was able to accomplish for brick-and-mortar restaurant chain Papa Murphy’s. In this instance, Bridg targeted regular customers, largely on social media, who had begun to lapse in their regular buying patterns. The ads featured a coupon for $4.25 off a pizza order, providing a one-week redemption window in-store or online.

The campaign produced $3.58 in revenue for each $1.00 in ad and technology spend from lapsed customers and combined immediate revenue and incremental revenue in the year. Additionally, some 50 percent of customers who clicked on the ad signed up for Papa Murphy’s email database, which also added value.

Other restaurant brands Bridg currently works with include Chipotle and Quiznos, among dozens of others. Bell said that the company plans to scale its digital marketing platform to the broader retail market in 2017.

“We talk to retail and restaurant marketers every single day,” said Bell, “and they all have the same problem. They don’t know their customer. You could be their single best customer or a brand new customer, and they would have no idea. Solving this for the restaurant industry was our first step, but the problem is just as big and pronounced for our nation’s largest retailers as well.”

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