Friday, October 16th, 2015 | 5 min read
Jeremy Epstein, the VP of Marketing at Sprinklr, was a recent guest on the TechnologyAdvice Expert Interview Series. The series, hosted by Josh Bland, explores a variety of business and technology landscapes through conversations with industry leaders.
In this episode, we discuss the state of social media management software, social risk management, empowered and connected customers, and how marketing is both an art and a science.
Here are five key takeaways from the conversation.
For the last hundred years, companies have been organized around internally focused, business-centric processes. They’ve tried to improve marketing and customer care as separate entities, without recognizing how intertwined these customer-facing departments really are.
The marketing software industry has been built around this siloed view of customer experience management. There are marketing stacks, customer care clouds, and marketing clouds.
Epstein disagrees with companies who think that getting a marketing cloud will solve their customer experience problems. This kind of thinking assumes the way in which the world operated 20, 30, or even 50 years ago is the way that the world operates right now. That’s a false assumption; instead, they should look for a single tool that can help them manage all of their customer interactions.
Just because something has worked in the past doesn’t mean that it will continue working through the present and into the future. The way that companies interact with customers needs to be reimagined, and point solutions – that reinforce business silos – are not a long-term, holistic solution.
Customer experience management is best approached with a systems-wide solution that can fix the silo issue many large corporations face, and will ultimately bring them closer to their customers.
Marketing has become somewhat of a science through the use of big data, but Epstein argues that there’s still an art to marketing.
Data can empower marketers to treat customers as individuals, because it allows companies to know more about what their customers like and want. The art of marketing lies in knowing how to use this information at the point of engagement to improve their experiences and make your interactions with them both relevant and meaningful.
All companies want to grow revenue, reduce cost, and mitigate risk. The first two goals seem relatively straightforward, but mitigating risk, especially in the digital space, can feel difficult to nail down. How does a company go about decreasing risk?
When it comes to social, Epstein recommends establishing roles and permissions for the approval process of enterprise social engagement. This greatly decreases the chance of a personal tweet going out through one of your brand’s accounts, and it helps maintain consistency in tone of voice and overall customer experience.
Your brand should also have a social media crisis management strategy in place, with the right people ready to respond when a crisis hits.
Social media has given consumers a voice, and it’s provided them with a community of people who’ll listen to what they have to say. They now have the power in the customer–business relationship, and it doesn’t take much for them to use their social megaphone to call out a brand they’re unhappy with.
It’s no longer enough to simply be on social, even if you post regularly. Customers expect brands to engage on social – in real time, with personalized content.
What used to be the mission of the social media manager – how to interact with customers on social – has grown into an organization-wide concern. The C-Suite is now asking questions like, “How do we engage customers more effectively?” and “How can it be consistent across all channels?”
Companies have access to a tremendous amount of insights with social media management software, and they must work to connect the dots between these initiatives and increasing revenue.
When paying attention to what’s happening around your brand on social, you can spot a potential crisis before it gets out of control, identify a sales opportunity (and act on it), determine what kind of content to create, find influencers, and grow brand awareness through fostering communities of brand advocates.
About the Author: Originally from the beautiful and lush capital of Virginia, Josh Bland is a Digital Media Specialist at TechnologyAdvice. A lover of all things advertising and marketing, he has worked for The Super Bowl and Grey New York. When not having long-distance conversations with complete strangers, you’ll find him running through the streets of Nashville listening to Kai Ryssdal and John Dickerson.