A Unified Platform to Enhance the Complete Digital Experience

Bridgeline Digital
Written by Jen Hocken

Bridgeline Unbound enables marketers to manage the complete customer journey for medium to large enterprises, multi-site networks, and franchise organizations in a streamlined and efficient way. Its innovative technology simplifies the process by which companies control branding and consistent messaging across multiple sites, while also providing the ability to tailor the sites on a local level for promotions and events.
Bridgeline Digital, Inc. offers a product called Bridgeline Unbound that helps customers maximize their digital experience. “We can power any web-based experience with our platform. It could be a marketing website, a corporate internet, an online store – even custom applications can be built on the platform,” says Bridgeline Digital Executive Vice President Carl Prizzi. Five modules make up the product suite consisting of: web content management, e-commerce, marketing automation, social media, and web analytics.

Bridgeline was established in 2000 and is headquartered in Burlington, Massachusetts. The company has grown through the years by acquiring digital agencies that were implementing a variety of different software. It found a gap in the marketplace for a fully comprehensive platform to efficiently manage the digital experience, and in 2007, Bridgeline Unbound (known at the time as iAPPS) was born.

Bridgeline has a dedicated R&D team that continues to evolve the platform with new features and functionality. “The platform has a single sign on, where marketers can essentially manage their complete digital experience and that customer journey from start to finish,” says Prizzi.

Bridgeline has a thriving culture, and its dedicated employees have long tenure, which is rare in the technology industry. The average employee has been here for four to six years, and some employees have been with the company for over ten years. “We work in a fast-paced environment. It’s exciting and rewarding at the same time. It’s a work hard, play hard mentality here – people really enjoy what they do, and we get great satisfaction from building digital experiences and solving problems for customers,” says Prizzi. Each customer faces their unique challenges with digital transformation in their marketplace, and Bridgeline strives to understand those pain points and devise solutions to address them properly and drive performance for organizations.

The company has multiple locations within the United States, with thousands of customers ranging from mid-market organizations to Fortune 1000 companies in a broad range of markets including industrial manufacturing, healthcare, financial services, insurance, and retail. It has a specialty product offering for franchises or brand networks that consist of numerous sites. “We have the ability to manage a hierarchy of websites very efficiently using our distributed workflow, localization and publishing capabilities,” says Prizzi. Bridgeline has pre-built solutions for companies that have multiple locations to manage.

SportClips Haircuts is one of its franchise customers with over 2,000 locations throughout the United States. Bridgeline powers the SportClips corporate site as well as the local web presence of all locations. It also empowers SportClips to manage their social media and marketing campaigns at the Corporate level and push those campaigns down to the franchise owners to leverage with their customers in their local markets.

“Each location has its own localized website with tailored content and messaging for different promotions and events that are happening at the local store level,” says Prizzi. “Corporate marketing can manage messaging and keep branding consistent but also give the franchise owner the ability to update things in his world.” Bridgeline has invested in building an accelerator framework of pre-built templates and modules to provide velocity to market while also accommodating smaller sized businesses in addition to larger enterprises.

Bridgeline is consistently growing and developing new features to provide value. Its upcoming product release will help customers expand into international markets and discover new growth opportunities. This commerce-focused product enhancement will allow organizations to create multiple commerce sites efficiently, enabling them to scale more easily into different markets. It is designed to handle language translation, currency conversion, different ERP platforms for fulfillment, different shipping providers, and all the other configurations that need to be made at the local market level.

Bridgeline has received industry analyst recognition from Gartner, Forrester and Nucleus Research in addition to industry-specific awards including a number of CODiE awards from the Software Information Industry Association (SIIA) for best content management platform and best commerce platform, and it was a finalist last year for best marketing solution. The company also has several design awards from the Web Marketing Association and Interactive Media Awards.

Technology is constantly evolving, particularly in marketing. There are thousands of MarTech products out there, and Bridgeline is constantly striving to differentiate itself from the competitors. Its dedicated research and development team is always looking to innovate to increase the value of the company’s products. It also stands out given its professional services team that works closely with customers to understand specific needs and address any issues. It engages with customers to determine how and when to expand its platform, and customer input is a major factor in product design decisions.

“We make sure that the customer always has an influence on our product roadmap in addition to competitive analysis and market research. Our goal is to continue to provide incremental value for our customers and be on the leading edge of technology,” says Prizzi.

Bridgeline can help its customers completely transform a business operation digitally. It works with large, traditional B2B manufacturers that need to drive revenue, but have extensive dealer and distribution networks making them several steps away from the end user. These manufacturers may see an opportunity to go directly to consumer, but do not want to cannibalize that whole distributor network. Fortunately, Bridgeline has experience building platforms to solve that problem.

“We’ve helped Triumph Motorcycles and other large industrial manufacturers transform digitally. We’ve built solutions for them to go direct-to-consumer while also supporting the distributor network by incorporating dealer attribution. Whenever an order is placed online, the closest dealer gets attributed with that order, and they get a sales credit for that order,” says Prizzi. This solution is ideal for corporate gain because the manufacturing company is selling more, increasing revenue. It is also supporting its dealer channel by providing incentives to promote the corporate website openly. The company establishes relationships with its local dealers and customers can use those dealers for servicing needs going forward.

Bridgeline works with multiple manufacturers in the UK where they have the need to go direct-to-consumer in the United States but don’t have the necessary warehousing. “We have a deep integration with UPS Logistics where they provide for the warehousing, pick, pack, ship, and fulfillment. The manufacturer can bulk ship all their product over to UPS, and when an order is placed on their website, that order gets fulfilled directly by the UPS Logistics team. Customers of Bridgeline can take advantage of that relationship with UPS to avoid having to ship small quantities or individual pieces.

Over the next year, Bridgeline will be adding enhancements and new features to the commerce portion of the platform. It is heavily focused on providing more value, and it sees tremendous potential for its upcoming release to help organizations grow by expanding into new international markets. “The enhancements will also include user experience and performance as well as expanding our payment provider integrations,” says Prizzi.

Bridgeline takes pride in empowering its customers to be able to manage their complete digital experience effectively using its technology. Its unified platform builds customer relationships across multiple channels and allows the marketer to engage customers and prospects in a targeted, personalized way while nurturing relationships over time using the marketing automation component.

“We are always fine-tuning the user experience of our product suite to ensure it is very easy for a marketer to be able to manage the digital experience of their digital enterprise in a very efficient way,” explains Prizzi. “Our platform empowers marketers to manage the complete customer journey by attracting, engaging and nurturing relationships with visitors to drive conversion and increase revenue.” For more, visit the company at www.bridgeline.com.



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