Experience Management Blog

Social@Scale: The Sentient World

What happens when your fridge tells Tropicana how much orange juice you drink? Or when your washing machine tells Procter & Gamble how often you wash your clothes (and whether you have kids or not?)

Privacy aside, the explosion of data that is coming from the inanimate objects in our lives will make today’s data deluge seem like a trickle.

I may be gone for some time

How will large brands deal with this?

Struggling to keep up with the rising amount of today’s unstructured inbound information, how will global enterprises adapt in the future?  (There have been a number of reports highlighting how the majority of brands are unresponsive on Twitter-take your pick.)

These questions (and a lot more) are at the heart of Altimeter’s third research theme of 2012, the Sentient World.

At Sprinklr, we only work with the largest enterprises in the world and our mission is helping them to be Social@Scale. 

Doing this well, requires a few things which are critical now, but even more critical in the Sentient World future.

  1. A Universal Social Profile through Multi-Channel Support
    Without one, how do you know that Jeremiah Owyang on Facebook is the same person as @jowyang on Twitter?  Then, multiply that out by all of the Social channels. Finally, don’t forget the Viking Range with its own IP address sitting in his kitchen telling you how often he cooks at home.

  2. Real-Time Capabilities for Prioritizing, Collaboration, and Reporting across Multiple Functions
    Today, for brands to operate at social scale, they must have the capability to rapidly assess the sentiment and intent of messages. Then, they need to be prioritized according to various criteria such as influence, participation, and (soon enough) things like NPS and LTV. Multiple team members from various functions may need to be consulted and responses need to be crafted in a safe, secure, governed environment. Finally, all of these interactions need to be monitored and measured to quickly spot items of potential virality (be it negative or positive). Throw in a slew of devices and objects sharing information (“we’ve only run 100 miles, but the soles are getting worn thin,” say the shoes, “this will affect our brand reputation, better act now”) and brands will truly have “a need for speed.” (Bonus points if you get the reference.)

  3. Scalable Architecture
    While not as sexy as a snazzy looking UI, technical architecture of underlying platforms will be a huge requirement as the number of channels and amount of data explodes. If you envision a two-story house (built originally for Facebook and Twitter, for example), then you will only dig a foundation deep enough to support it. If, on the other hand, you envision a skyscraper that will have 100 floors on it, foundation building is an entirely different endeavor.We’ve seen too many instances where brands initially were seduced by a point solution based solely on UI or usability without considering the impact of architecture.  After all, it’s difficult to envision and “touch.”  Don’t get me wrong, UI and usability are critical, but it’s like choosing a car based on paint and interior without looking at the engine and horsepower.  Eventually, the mistake is realized.  The sentient world makes scalable architecture a non-negotiable component.



The Sentient World offers the potential for all of us to get better service, make smarter choices, avoid spending money unnecessarily, and more valuable relationships (however you define it) with the brands in our lives.

There’s an implicit trade when sharing information. As we (and our devices) provide more data, more often to brands, we expect the responses and communications to be faster and more relevant.  If you want a named metric for it, try “Relevant Response Rate.”

Image Courtesy of roger.w800