Baynote is the fourth in our series of recommendation solution evaluations using our Recommendation Evaluation Framework, Version 1. The first three solutions we reviewed, Avail Behavioral Merchandising, RichRelevance, and Omniture Recommendations, have an ecommerce focus, especially retail ecommerce. Baynote is tackling a much broader market, targeting telecommunications, media, and manufacturing, and also digging into applications such as search and navigation, customer service, customer support, intranets and extranets.
In the customer experience realm, retailers tend to be in the lead in technology, and recommendations are no exception. So it’s no surprise that people think of recommendations as a commerce function: “other people like you who looked at this, ultimately bought that.” But recommendations have the potential to provide the core technology for simple personalization. Simple, at least, for the Web teams in charge of implementing and the marketers in charge of managing. So Baynote’s broader focus certainly makes sense in terms of market needs, and the company’s success with retailers indicates that their technology and services are definitely competitive.
Baynote offers a suite of applications that cover social search for content or products, email, video, mobile, and SEO/SEM capabilities. Baynote’s clients, once the first application is implemented, can easily add additional applications since all share the Collective Intelligence Platform and the Insights Console.
Baynote makes much of its UseRank technology, a pun on PageRank, and Baynote’s way of presenting the Wisdom of Crowds. UseRank algorithms compute visitors’ engagement with content in specific context, based on numerous behavioral heuristics such as time spent, mouse movements, repeat visits, etc. Other visitors in a similar context — “like-minded peers” — will be shown content that previous visitors found most engaging. What we found most engaging was the ability to use behavioral analysis to improve SEO: if enough people search for “stove” and look at “range,” not only does “stove” become a synonym for “range,” the range product pages get tagged with “stove” to improve their PageRank. Ha! UseRank jousts with PageRank!
Baynote is middle-aged among the recommendations vendors, founded in 2005. Their solutions are offered SaaS. Their offices are in California, Germany, and the UK. Their 130 customers are large and small — from Dell, ATT, Campbell Soup, Debenhams, and TI to Bluefly, Urban Outfitters, and VEVO.
Collective Intelligence Platform and Recommendation Applications
Automated Recommendations, Search, and Navigation for Multiple Industries
By Susan E. Aldrich, Sr. VP and Sr. Consultant, July 8, 2010