The Monday Stack: Every Company on Earth Needs Sprinklr
Always positive about his business's mission, Sprinklr founder and CEO Ragy Thomas was still highly charged from the billion dollar unicorn's "coming out party" when I caught up with him Friday.
Just about a month prior to our conversation, Sprinklr had officially its expansion from social media management to customer experience management with the launch of the Experience Cloud. But Thomas told me: "This is who we were from day one." The difficulty lay in asking prospective clients to bet on Sprinklr as a comprehensive digital transition partner without first building credibility. Those first seven and a half years, Thomas says, "were painful," and he's truly delighted that Sprinklr can no longer be considered yet another of those "ankle biting single point solutions."
To be fair, Thomas laid a trail of clues for us. For example, when I interviewed him in June 2016, I asked him if Sprinklr was edging closer to being a broad customer experience management suite, he told me:
It would be very hard to deny what you just said. I don't think it's a secret that we're by far the most ambitious company to come out of this last generation of companies in the enterprise space: And you can quote me on that.
Sprinklr is not alone, of course, in asserting that brands are being replaced by experiences. "The brand is what people experience," Thomas says, "and social is the foundation of customer experience." The move is from one way interactions to bi-directional conversations, and the ability to manage this conversation across dozens of channels is now key to business success. How does it feel to have joined the experience chorus, alongside Salesforce, Adobe, Marketo, and all the rest?
"I have no time to think about the other guys," said Thomas. "The sun is shining, we love them all." But, he added: "We're on a mission. Every company on earth needs what we're building. The fun is only beginning."
The Sprinklr experience cloud (needed by "every company," but — Thomas will admit — built for the enterprise) includes cloud-based platforms for social, marketing, advertising (although not yet including execution beyond social channels), research, care, and commerce.Social at the heart of customer experience was an important theme of our week. At the very well-attended #ThinkContent Summit hosted by enterprise content marketing platform NewsCred, I heard Thrillist founder Ben Lerer tell NewCred CEO Shafqat Islam, that his publishing company, Group Nine Media, is betting on content which is (a) almost entirely video, (b) really entirely for consumption on social channels, and (c) developed specifically for target channels (rather than adapted to serve, say, Facebook, YouTube, and Snapchat). Lerer admits traditional media continues to have value for marketers, but he's in no doubt where the audience is headed.
Spare a thought too for the woman with probably the most difficult job in content marketing today, Dana Brooks Reinglass. She's the first person to be hired for the Chief Storyteller position at United Airlines. After a career with Oprah, she seems to have developed a thick skin. "Thanks for not booing me," she said, taking the #ThinkContent stage.
Azalead, the ABM software company, also hosted an morning event last week in New York. ABM was a major topic throughout the day, of course, featuring heavily in each of the four sessions, the most engaging of which was helmed by Mary Shea, a Forrester principal analyst serving B2B marketing professionals.
Shea weaved a tight narrative through the traditional B2B sales process, and into the newer world of B2B selling; a world run by millennial salespeople and marketers. A world where sales and marketing have converged, and negotiations are often informal (via text messages, etc.). Her talk was framed around the explosion of ABM, and the role ABM plays in this new sales/marketing paradigm.
“Account-based marketing is the single best initiative to bring sales and marketing together,” Shea said. --Perry Simpson