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Episode #128: How to Revolutionize Your Marketing Strategy with Mass 1:1

Grad Conn

May 12, 2021  •  16 min read

There’s never been a better time to be a marketer. We’re experiencing the merging of mass reach with 1:1 engagement to create an unprecedented mass 1:1 capability that’s like nothing we’ve ever seen before. In this special episode from the Mediaweek Virtual Summit, I’ll step you through the Mass 1:1 revolution, and how you can add it to your marketing strategy.

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PODCAST TRANSCRIPT

All right. Welcome to the CXM experience, customer experience, management experience. That’s right.

We like experience so much we used it twice. My name is Grad Conn, and I’m your host. I’m also the CXO, Chief Experience Officer at Sprinklr. We have kind of a special episode today. I’m excited about this one, mostly because I don’t have to actually do anything. This is the easiest podcast of the week. So, what happened was about mid-April, a few weeks ago, we did a presentation at MediaWeek. If you missed it, we can show it to you again. In fact, that’s what we’re going to do today. The MediaWeek presentation was recorded, we have the audio, it’s always a little weird listening to yourself. So, I’ve had to listen to a little bit of that. I’ll get over that over the next couple of hours. But it is some great content. I thought it’d be great to play it on the show for everyone to listen to. And with no further ado, here is Grad Conn, talking about the Mass 1:1 Revolution at MediaWeek. And I’ll be back at the very end just to wrap.

I’m just going to jump right into this. I am a big fan of Mark Pritchard. The title of today’s presentation is ‘Did he launch a Marketing Revolution?’. And if you were at Cannes, about a year and a half ago, Mark Pritchard did a speech where he talked about something called Mass 1:1. What I do today is talk a little bit about Mass 1:1, talk a little bit about our world view at Sprinklr and to a certain extent my world view of advertising as well, and get into the nuts and bolts of what it really means to implement this. Because the thing that potentially irritates me more than anything else in marketing is the constant theorizing. And there are a lot of theories out there which is interesting, but at a certain point, “How do I do this? How do I get started?” is actually the Number One question we hear from customers; “How do I get started on doing this? Show me the steps”. And so, I’m going to take you through that today.

Let me share first, our world view, this is a well, obvious may not be the way you think every day, which is you know, advertising and marketing and communications have been going through a series of very significant transformations over the last 200 years. If you go back  to about the19th century, 150 years ago or so, people were mostly selling one to one, very personal relationships. And then we invented mass marketing, we invented mass communications, we invented movie theaters, we invented radio, we invented television, we’ve popularized magazines and newspapers became very widely spread. So suddenly, we had this ability to speak to millions of people at once; we lost the one-to-one touch, we became an anonymous set of communicators, the audience was essentially anonymous to the advertiser. And the advertiser behind the wall of the brand ad was essentially an anonymous person as well. And if we have time we’ll talk about that implication, too. If you actually read people like Claude Hopkins and Albert Lasker and some of the sort of leading lights of advertising in the 20s and 30s, they actually, to a certain extent, bemoan the fact that the one-to-one relationship was being taken away. And then we moved into the Creative Revolution and people moved on, but that one-to-one always hung over people’s heads of, “Wouldn’t it be nice to really know the person I was selling to,” and, ta-da, here we are in the 21st century. And what an amazing time.

We’ve got 4.1 billion people on social platforms, we have their interests, and in many cases, their identity publicly. And now for the first time, we can go one-to-one again, but we also have Mass and it’s this Mass 1:1 that Mark Pritchard was talking about. He said, at P&G we’re reinventing marketing, going from mass blast to mass one-on-one precision. There are many other companies, including in the CPG space like L’Oréal, who is actually committed to respond to 100% comments about them and to them from consumers. And many other companies in the B2B space where this idea of one to one or at least one to few is becoming a reality. We’re regularly seeing our clients do no fewer than 10,000 different creative ad units. And some of our clients do millions. One recently did 8 million different creative ad units on geographic, demographic and psychographic targeting over 100 days. So, you’re seeing this kind of personalization of everything that we’re doing in marketing and advertising.

Let’s talk about what we really know Mass 1:1 is and what it looks like in action. And so, I think that  with a marketing and communications process of any kind, you first have to seek to understand. So, there’s, in any company, an inside out perspective, which is how we want to be perceived and how we think we’re perceived. And then what many companies don’t do as well but need to do is an outside in perspective, which is how are we actually perceived, and what are people saying about us. And the difference between what we think our brand is, and what we say it is, and what people say our brand is, and how they talk about it lies a lot of insight and a lot of understanding.

And so, what companies need to do now is they need to build a listening maturity model, and a listening strategy. So basically, there are going to be people talking to you, using @ mentions and sending messages directly to you by DM, there’ll be people talking about you, I’d say at a minimum, this is the second level should be what all companies are looking at, there’ll be some people talking about your competitors, which provides great insight. And there’ll be people talking about the brand category itself. And that talking about the brand category, for example, just for fun, do a tweet that says, “I’m thinking of buying a new SUV, I need to have it by the end of the month, what would you recommend?”, you’ll get some responses from some of your folks, a few of the car companies may respond, I did this recently to 10 companies, I actually @ mentioned them, I got three of those companies responding to me. So that means 70% of the car companies, and I was literally, actually buying a car, 70% of the car companies, when presented with an actual prospect saying I would like to buy the product you sell, didn’t even respond, right? And this is like people not even looking at category mentions, these jump balls are people looking for sort of stuff in the category are endemic, and people have a tremendous opportunity to go after them. And so basically, the model that you want to build for a Mass 1:1 framework is you want to build a listening Maturity Model, then you want to basically pull all that data in.

And so, there are 25 social platforms you need to bring in, there are messaging platforms there are half a billion blogs, there’s review and new sites, forums, don’t forget forums, Reddit, super-duper important these days, and then at Sprinklr, we actually bring in all the broadcast channels as well. And also, all the major print sources. And so, there’s a lot out there plus, don’t forget, there are internal data sources that you have as well through things like Chat, and your apps and other parts of the organization, CRM and all that kind of stuff. So, you have to kind of gather all that together, that’s a non-trivial aspect of doing this and does make it  challenging. But I would say that this is the part that makes it Mass; the IDC predictions on the amount of data out there is mind blowing. And there’s all sorts of data coming out every second. So, when we talk about Mass 1:1, the mass is there, when you look at all the modern channels that are out there.

Also, what is also challenging, though, about this is that the data that’s coming off these modern channels is unstructured. And it’s in a variety of different data types. And so, you can’t just bring it into a CRM system in a relational database. The stuff that was built 20 years ago won’t work, you’ve got to bring it into something that’s purpose built for unstructured data, and for bringing in massive amounts of unsolicited data from all these different channels. So then you’ve got to sort it. Basically, bring it into a customer experience management database. At Sprinklr, we bring in billions of records and run billions of automation runs. That’s just the size of what we’re dealing with and the scope of what we’re dealing with. And then you’ve got to run it through NLP and AI because you can’t really make sense of that volume, like literally billions of conversations, you can’t make sense out of that volume unless you’re processing it. And if you try to do it just with people, they’ll be overwhelmed, you’ll never scale it, you’ll never scale it to a way that makes it feel like Mass and Mass is critical. I think a lot of mistakes that people make with modern channels is they don’t bring the Mass aspect to bear. And they just have five community managers responding bravely to as much as they can, doesn’t seem to have any business impact. How could it?

At Sprinklr, we actually use eight layers of an AI. We have natural language processing for sentiment, natural language generation for any kind of responses and composing that you want to be able to recommend to community managers, we use visual insights so we can actually see logos and other types of data like some of the computer companies use those to see serial numbers on the computers through OCR, who are these people – understand their age and gender etc., what kind of anomalies may be out there that drives a Smart Alerts function in case there’s an incoming PR disaster, what kind of trends are going on, what’s going viral right now, get some predictive analytics in there as well for budgeting allocation bidding. And then we’ll call the singularity engine, which allows us to cluster and assist agents. And so, these sort of eight layers of AI allow you to basically push this into a set of smart AI processes. So now, typically, AI has got three pieces. There’s an algorithm, there is a data set, and then there’s the training. So, at Sprinklr, we have algorithms for each industry, we have unparalleled data set, because we’re dealing with all of the conversations from all the modern channels. So, it’s about a 16-petabyte database. And then we’ve got hundreds of people, thousands of people training it all the time on a daily basis. And so, you end up with a very rich AI, if you’ve implemented it correctly in this space, because the data set’s so significant, the amount of training is so fast.

And so that allows you to create a 360-degree customer profile, that’s really, truly a profile of what that person’s done across multiple channels. And that is a compelling proposition for any marketer. Because we all know that the challenge we have today is we live in groups of silos where part of my customer is living in Customer Care, part of my customer is living in Social, part of my customer is in the CRM system, part of my customer is in the Web system, I never get to see the whole customer. Our customer expects us to know them, the customer expects us to interact with them, like we’re one brand, the customer may have had a service from us and bought a product from us and had a complaint, they expect all that to be integrated. And you need to do that. Because if you don’t do that, customers are going to go somewhere else where that does happen.

Now, once you do have that kind of cohesive profile, it does allow the company to collaborate in an intelligent way. So, all the different front office functions or the customer facing teams of the organization can work with that single customer profile and know what other groups have done. They’re able to intelligently say, I see you called yesterday, or I see you just bought this thing, and people will feel like, “Yeah, yeah, they know me, I’m not having to repeat myself over and over again, I’m having a great customer experience”. And then you can engage. And so, this idea of engagement is engaging with intelligence. And this engagement is what makes it one to one. And so, we’ve got the mass and the volume, that 1:1 comes from the engagement. And of course, there are many ways of engaging by building community, having content, customer care, just gentle engagement by having discussions with people, giving them personalized advertising; these are all different engagement types, and they’re all across a variety of different engagement channels. Because the other interesting reality of being a marketer today is you’re living in an omni channel universe. And in that omni channel universe, you can have a variety of comm types, you need to be able to support all of those comm types as you go through it.

And so. now what you’ve got is essentially a Mass 1:1 system, which is one way of thinking about this as a unified customer experience management system. And so, you gathered it, you sorted it, create a profile, collaborate around that profile, and then engage, and engage with intelligence. The essence of this is to really move from insight to action in a single system. And I think, again, where we run into a lot of problems as an industry and as professionals is that we have inside systems over here, kind of the brain of the marketing enterprise, and then we have execution systems over here, which are like the body of the enterprise, but we very rarely connect the brain to the body. So, it’s like we have brains in jars like Futurama. And we’ve got bodies without brains.

And customers feel that right away, when you’re interacting with a body without a brain, it feels like that kind of interaction, it feels like an anonymous interaction, when it really shouldn’t be. And internally, if you’re collecting and gathering a lot of information, but not doing anything with it, it sort of feels like why are we wasting all this money and spending all this time on surveys, when all we’re doing is just collecting data that people yeah, people are angry, or people are disappointed? Wouldn’t it be better to find out someone’s angry or disappointed and solve it right in that moment? That’s the key. The key is the customer experience; it’s not the customer experience measurement. It’s the customer experience management, the management of the customer experience that makes a difference. And you can only do that if you’re a single, unified CXM platform. So, connect with me however you like. I’m on all these platforms. Here’s a few of them. I am the only Grad Conn in the world. So, you know, feel free to connect with me however you like. And I do do a podcast every weekday called the CXM Experience where I talk about these kinds of issues, interview CMOs all the time and other interesting folks and generally talk about topics of interest from a marketing standpoint. And that’s Mass 1:1 in a nutshell.

I love how I pitch the podcast at the end of the MediaWeek presentation. Obviously not necessary, because you’re listening to this podcast right now. So, I don’t need to pitch you anymore. I hope you keep listening. The MediaWeek presentation was an important one, because it landed this process of understanding what a Mass 1:1 platform is, and how that links to the unified CXM platform that we’ve built at Sprinklr. I have noticed that this Mass 1:1  idea is very sticky. I’ve gotten great reactions from people that I’ve shown it to. And people love it because it explains what’s changed; it explains this idea of it used to be 1:1, then it became Mass. And now suddenly, we had Mass and 1:1 together. And the idea that this is a 200-year journey that we’re on as marketers and advertisers is very appealing to people, it’s very exciting time to be in this industry. I’ve always been really jealous of my Dad because he got to do all the cool stuff in the 60s and 70s in Advertising and the two martini lunches or three martini lunches – I don’t know how they went to work that way – but I didn’t get to really experience that. But now, I actually think what we’re doing today in Marketing is more exciting and more interesting than anything that my Dad did. My Dad’s starting to listen to these. So, hi Dad, if you’re listening. And he commented the other day that he didn’t actually understand most of what I was talking about. I explained to him that many of the principles that I talked about today are actually drawn from things that he gave me or he talked about, that even the mass marketers, even in the 70s, the mass marketers knew they needed to try to create a better 1:1, more human connection with their viewers. It was just really hard to do because they were doing it anonymously through TV. So here we are, Dad. Now we can do it more personally with text and images and everything else that we’ve got at our disposal. So that’s it for the CXM Experience today. Thanks for listening. I’m Grad Conn, CXO at Sprinklr and I will see you … next time.

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Grad Conn

Chief Experience Officer, Sprinklr

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