RNF Digital Innovation is launching a £100,000 research and development programme to introduce new features to its customer engagement platform (CEP) BEAM, supported by a £70,000 grant from Innovate UK.
The news comes hot on the heels of a £250,000 investment supported by Guy Saidenberg – the former global head of Goldman Sachs’ Sales, Strategy & Structuring office – which will see RNF developing new BEAM functionality for customers.
Rob Mannion, Managing Director of RNF, said: “BEAM is already powering some of the most effective apps in use across the industry – including the Bestway & Blakemore ordering apps – and this second wave of investment is testimony to the potential the platform offers to add further value to customers.
“The Innovate UK grant will fund a 9 month programme to bring a machine learning element to BEAM. The aim is to explore the potential for customers to combine their own data sets drawn from BEAM with publicly-available data – such as economic data, weather and social media activity – to gain more detailed insights into customer behaviour, informing the content and timing of offers so they arrive on a customer’s smart phone at the optimal time.
“As we see greater use of personalised digital marketing, platforms such as BEAM have an essential role to play. Both the Innovate UK grant and wider investment will enable us to explore these opportunities in more detail, developing functionality that empowers customers to make more effective commercial decisions, as well as shaping marketing campaigns.”
BEAM is an intelligent platform that allows companies to learn more about their customers and deliver highly-targeted digital content through mobile apps via rich push notifications. It currently uses customer data and analytics, combined with location services such as iBeacons, to provide context to customer communications.
Combining customer data with external information – such as the weather forecast or social media chatter – could also allow companies to take this a stage further, for example timing ice cream promotions for sunny days or snacks offers to coincide with notable sporting events.
The BEAM platform stands alone from RNF Digital’s apps and is designed to integrate seamlessly with a company’s existing apps apps and back-office systems. As a result, whether companies currently use an RNF-developed app or not, they will be able to benefit from the data insights that the new version of BEAM will provide.
Rob continued: “Big data and new technologies are driving considerable change across the retail/wholesale sector. Our goal is to develop BEAM to help retailers/wholesalers keep up with these changes quickly and easily, maximising the commercial opportunities without unnecessary disruption to their business.”