Computer scientists are continually looking to make applications smarter: not just doing things better, but doing new things. But how do you make an application smart?

Traditional applications were all about automating repetitive, simple tasks. As computing progressed, more complex tasks became possible and items could be carried out in parallel.

The amount of data collectable grew exponentially, until you needed very clever data scientists to make sense of it. Smart applications make sense of the big data, giving you the things you need, even if you don’t know how to define what you need.

While you are working on creatives, smart applications are crunching data, finding patterns you didn’t know were there.

We make applications smart using artificial intelligence techniques, from highly tuned algorithms to the latest deep learning approaches where the application adapts based on the information it receives.

To make sure applications are getting smarter with each release, it’s important to keep evolving applications, incorporating new techniques. What was cutting edge technology five years ago can be obsolete now.

User Generated Content (UGC)

With the amount of posts on social media each day, finding the right UGC can be at best a huge time sink for your organisation and at worst a practical impossibility.

It’s exactly this sort of challenge that we love here at SmartFocus: how can we take something this difficult and make it Smart?

There are over 500 million posts a day on Twitter and even with a large team it can be difficult to find posts that fit with the message you want to send. The same is true for other social media feeds.

While UGC is a fantastic resource, who has the time to sort through the posts looking for ones that are a good match for the creative message you’re (Read more...)?

How do you get current social posts and what are the restrictions for use? These are the biggest barriers to using UGC alongside any creative content.

Intelligent filters can take the inputs from 16 social feeds and present you with the right content, in a ready to use format directly within a smart marketing platform – no need to search yourself or do any importing. We use several different artificial intelligence approaches to make this highly complex task look and feel simple.

With current polls indicating that user generated content is trusted by 50% of consumers and that it is 20% more influential on purchases [Ipsos MORI, 2014], using UGC is an obvious step and some marketing platforms have succeeded in making it easy to include – so how to use it to best effect?

Launch your own UGC campaign

You could specify a hashtag and an action and encourage your customers to post images with the tag.

You can then use the content on your website or emails. This has been done very successfully by brands such as Burberry and Starbucks and generated a lot of content for them to use while at the same time getting traction for their brands.


These sort of campaigns could be run and the results embedded in emails alongside other creatives to generate engagement and drive impressions on your website.

A brand doing exactly this is Teletext Holidays, the UK’s longest established digital travel agency, with 300,000 customers last year.

Using real-time UGC in their summer email and social campaign #myholidayhabits (powered by Smart Content), they saw outstanding results.

Kelly Maher, Head of CRM at Teletext Holidays explains:

“Since using on-open UGC in our email campaigns, we have seen unprecedented increases in open rates and click-through rates.

My team and I are now able to use up-to-the-second user generated content from all major social channels including Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter to populate our emails with truly personalised, highly engaging content in real-time.”


Add reviews to emails

User generated reviews can be a great addition to any campaign, whether this is a review of product or your customer service. A few relevant UGC posts will pique interest and engagement far more than any message seen to come directly from your own company

With user generated content made easy through technology, there’s never been a better time for your brand to include it.

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