3 years ago, Sprinklr was created as a solution for big brands to do more than simply post comments and product photos on Facebook. Today, Sprinklr enables large companies to ‘be’ social across their entire business. What do we mean by Social@Scale?
Nearly every brand is “doing” social marketing — posting to social channels, listening and responding in real-time, integrating new channel streams as they emerge. Most, however, are not “being” a social business. Big brands with global, distributed networks and complex infrastructures don’t quite get why “being” a social business is different than “doing” social marketing. This gap is the fundamental business conundrum of our time, and bridging it will take more than just adding a hashtag to a tv spot.
The problem, in Sprinklr’s view, is that the challenges and opportunities we see today and in “social marketing” are actually a lot bigger than what most brands admit, growing exponentially faster, and becoming more and more complex. The challenge is so big that we now refer to it as Big Social. Engaging tens of thousands of conversations every day, between millions of people in every corner of the world, comprising billions of connections — 19 billion or more by 2016 according to Cisco’s VNI research — is forcing massive change across enterprises. Big Social is simply the most disruptive force the enterprise has had to deal with since the advent of television.
How many brands today really see the size and scope of the challenge of Big Social? Most brands just don’t look beyond their traditional customer base to see that their actual customer-influence base is potentially the entire world. The scale of Big Social is just hard to visualize — which reminds me of a fascinating book, Bill Bryson’s “A Short History of Nearly Everything“. Among dozens of engaging and immersive anecdotes Bryson crafts to help us understand the world around us in new ways, here’s one that should help brands understand that Big Social is just slightly larger than what they are experiencing today:
Space, is just enormous—just enormous. Let’s imagine, for purposes of edification and entertainment, that we are about to go on a journey by rocket ship…Now the first thing you are likely to realize is that space is extremely well named and rather dismayingly uneventful. Our solar system may be the liveliest thing for trillions of miles, but all the visible stuff in it—the Sun, the planets and their moons, the billion or so tumbling rocks of the asteroid belt, comets, and other miscellaneous drifting detritus—fills less than a trillionth of the available space. You also quickly realize that none of the maps you have ever seen of the solar system were remotely drawn to scale. Most schoolroom charts show the planets coming one after the other at neighborly intervals—the outer giants actually cast shadows over each other in many illustrations—but this is a necessary deceit to get them all on the same piece of paper. Neptune in reality isn’t just a little bit beyond Jupiter, it’s way beyond Jupiter—five times farther from Jupiter than Jupiter is from us, so far out that it receives only 3 percent as much sunlight as Jupiter. Such are the distances, in fact, that it isn’t possible, in any practical terms, to draw the solar system to scale. Even if you added lots of fold-out pages to your textbooks or used a really long sheet of poster paper, you wouldn’t come close. On a diagram of the solar system to scale, with Earth reduced to about the diameter of a pea, Jupiter would be over a thousand feet away and Pluto would be a mile and a half distant (and about the size of a bacterium, so you wouldn’t be able to see it anyway). On the same scale, Proxima Centauri, our nearest star, would be almost ten thousand miles away. Even if you shrank down everything so that Jupiter was as small as the period at the end of this sentence, and Pluto was no bigger than a molecule, Pluto would still be over thirty-five feet away.
And so it is with Big Social. Managing Big Social at the scale of an enterprise requires an entirely different point of view — and some serious technological firepower that point solutions and tool mash-ups are not designed or architected to achieve. That’s where we come in. Social@Scale is Sprinklr’s response to Big Social. Born from the confluence of digitally and socially empowered consumers and a half-century of increasing brand inertia (i.e., silo-ed infrastructures, one-way brand communication, etc.) Big Social compels enterprises to adapt to a new way of doing business, or risk extinction. That’s why we call Social@Scale.
Social@Scale reflects the vision that it is possible, and ultimately profitable, for enterprise-level organizations with complex organizational structures and multiple consumer touch points to connect to and nurture meaningful relationships with people in real-time. We help organizations achieve Social@Scale through our unique platform, architected from the ground up to meet the distinct challenges of large, distributed, enterprises. What do we mean by “architected from the ground up” and why is that so important? There are dozens of elements to the criteria an enterprise should employ when evaluating the right solution, here’s a top line primer to consider (detailed descriptions can be found here) as a start.
- Federated governance and controls — scaling social management across an enterprise with dozens of business silos, management layers, administration protocols, and permission hierarchies requires a social business architecture that provides feature enablement and controls at the business unit, social account, and user-role levels – Sprinklr provides this depth of functionality through our proprietary workflow system of filters, actions, and rules, developed natively at the core of the platform’s architecture.
- Single code base — big brands will find it an expensive, and in some cases, nearly impossible to build new social applications and features, or to integrate existing and new systems, with a tool-mashup that is a veritable code-frankenstein. Best-of-breed solutions are derived organically from a single development architecture derived organically from a common code base.
- Unified profile / message management — most social management tools see a person’s behavior within individual channels. Sprinklr enables a unified view of the social actor across any social channel, and it enables client partners to pass any social ID across the network seamlessly. So instead of simply creating Jane Doe’s Facebook profile as distinct from her LinkedIn profile, you can have a single profile that tracks behavior and enables engagement in real-time across any social channel — including integration with your existing CRM, so you’ll be able to link her past behavior to real-time social activity.
- Partnership philosophy and premium services — whether it’s marketing, customer service, human resources, or product development, technology solutions that work best for complex enterprises are rarely one-size-fits-all — customization is typically required, so enterprises should only consider partners whose business model supports high levels of collaboration. Technology partners must be committed to working with the enterprise across the entire organization to understand specific social business requirements and to ensure implementation is executed seamlessly. This means professional account management for certain — but it also usually requires subject matter experience and strategic counsel. Big brands need partners, not vendors whose value-ad is defined by an 800-number.
Big Social. It’s already here. Are you prepared?
Scott Doniger is SVP of Strategy and Services, You can follow him on Twitter @scottd44
Image courtesy of azamali