This post is co-authored by Chris Boudreaux and Constantin Basturea.
After years of brands enduring disconnected social media point solutions and endless debate about the ROI of social media, Sprinklr recently announced a path forward. With their new $1 billion valuation, and today’s acquisition of Get Satisfaction, they are well on their way to being the first and only platform to integrate all social channels, eCommerce, and web content. Ultimately, Sprinklr promises the potential to dramatically transform how we all use social and digital media.
Nearly every large organization today talks about “omni-channel customer experience” or “customer centricity,” but achieving such aspirations almost always hit the same wall before they start: the systems touching the customer do not work together.
But that is going to change for customers who deploy Sprinklr across their enterprise. At the highest level, Sprinklr combines the following capabilities in one native platform:
- Social media management, including listening, publishing, analytics, etc.
- Paid social media buying and execution
- Brand-owned communities and support sites
- Social eCommerce
- Advocacy (employee and customer)
- Web content
Then Sprinklr can connect all of those capabilities into enterprise systems, such as CRM and marketing automation. The ability to create and prove ROI from social media is taking one giant leap forward.
Impacts for Brands
- You can now maintain all of your social data in one platform, with a single “source of truth,” measured in one analytics framework that includes the actions that customers take in your branded community, your eCommerce experience, your paid social media, and your social networks. Yes, a fully integrated profile of your customer.
- Your digital content, which probably sits in multiple disconnected tools, can now live in one place, where you can measure and optimize performance of content across channels, regions, business units, etc.
- Sprinklr is one of only three platforms that connect your employee advocacy and social media management.
- Finally, your paid social media, organic social media, web sites and soon your eCommerce platform, can really work together, with content flowing seamlessly across them, optimized for each channel, and analytics that measure it all in one place.
Impact on Agencies and Consultancies
This announcement accentuates and perhaps even accelerates the convergence between agencies and consultancies. Until now, no single software vendor combined the traditional territories of agencies — such as media buying and community management — with the territories of consultancies — such as CRM integration and eCommerce systems implementation.
Most brands, including those who use Sprinklr today, struggle to prove the value of social media for two important reasons, which Sprinklr makes much more addressable:
- Most brands have not integrated their social media platforms with their CRM, marketing automation and other platforms that create and measure real business value.
- Because the systems are not integrated, most brands have not changed their business processes in ways that allow them to show measurable value from social media.
All of that is now about to change.
Of course, changing the way we manage social media, and how we prove the value of it, will require many of us to change how we think about social media, in at least the following ways:
First, we must endeavor to break down the silos that stand in our way. Silos in our organization. Silos in our systems. And silos in our data.
We must stop focusing on social media by itself and, instead, determine to use our social media to make the rest of digital better. Everyone working in social media should strive to understand the breadth of digital capabilities within their organization, and then work to connect those capabilities across the organization.
For the few brands who rely on their agencies to own their social listening or social media management platform, the brand will need to bring their tools in house, in order to connect social and enterprise data.
Second, we must recognize that we can never reach the full potential of social media if we restrict it to only to teams specifically authorized to interact with customers, such as PR, Marketing, HR and Customer Care. We must empower employees, customers and partners as independent and authentic advocates of our brands.
Finally, we must demand greater accountability of ourselves and our social media. Until now, no platform or stack of platforms made it possible to hold ourselves accountable. With this announcement by Sprinklr, we no longer have that excuse. And we should all be grateful for that.