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Sprinklr's Branderati Acquisition: Interview with Mark Curtis and Ekaterina Walter
Posted on September 3rd 2014
Sprinklr announced today that they have made another acquisition with their $40M war chest: Branderati, a company founded by agency veteran Mark Curtis, and most recently the home of early-to-social former Intel evangelist (and SMT contributor) Ekaterina Walter. In preparation for today’s announcement, I asked Curtis and Walter how they felt about becoming part of the social media powerhouse.
SMT: Mark, what does this mean for the platform you have built already?
The impact will be both immediate and long term. This is the logical next step for us - becoming a critical part of a fully-integrated leading marketing solution in the market.
We have already begun serious work in integrating Sprinklr’s powerful social listening tools into the existing Branderati product. The related new features this integration creates are just the first of many “surprise and delight” new capabilities this partnership will deliver our customers in the next quarter.
Going forward, the complete integration strategy provides the solution to some of advocacy marketing’s most difficult challenges.
The Brand Ambassadors Recruiting Challenge
Historically, one of tne of the biggest challenges for point solution advocacy platforms like Branderati is how best to effectively recruit the most authentic, engaged and connected brand ambassadors possible. To start a program, we rely on significant outreach to the existing community to connect, screen and onboard these advocates in a very compressed timeframe. Ideally, this recruiting process happens more organically, as an everyday result of the brand’s interaction with fans and customers across all digital touchpoints. Our integration with Sprinklr will fully deliver on this vision.
The Engage & Measure Challenge
Every day, Sprinklr clients are identifying active and potential advocates through monitoring, social listening and the platform’s powerful audience CRM tools. Their biggest challenge is: how do I activate the right advocates at the right time to align with the Brand’s promotional priorities. Branderati delivers the answer.
Furthermore, the integration of the reporting framework between Branderati and Sprinklr will end “apples & oranges” KPI’s between social and advocacy programs and provide the full impact of social, all in one elegant place.
SMT: What customers will be part of the Sprinklr mix?
We have briefed our top clients on our integration strategy and already had an overwhelming positive response. We see many of our current clients moving to the Sprinklr infrastructure to take advantage of their best-in-class integrated platform offering, as well as our seamless integration with their existing brand advocacy programs. We are also working with current Sprinklr clients on adding advocacy element into their marketing mix.
SMT: How are you targeting future growth and what do you see as competition?
The immediate future growth will come from Sprinklr’s sizeable client list of many of the top global companies in the world. Offering strategic advocacy capability as a seamless extension of their existing community strategies holds tremendous ROI.
In addition, we have separated ourselves from other great advocacy point solutions like CrowdTap, Dynamic Signal and Social Chorus by focusing on sustained advocacy engagement. Time and again, we have forgone one-off (use them and lose them) advocacy projects in favor of ongoing annualized programs driven by an entire calendar of activations. Our integration with Spriklr just takes this commitment to strategic advocacy to the next level.
Our competition is no longer the isolated niche solutions. As a part of Sprinklr, our competition is now the major social infrastructure platforms. How well will they be able to offer their clients integrated and powerful advocacy programs as a seamless extension of their infrastructure? Pairing our advocacy experience and proprietary technology with Sprinklr’s infrastructure leadership is going to create an offering that will be hard for challengers to compete with.
SMT: Ekaterina, how will you advise Sprinklr on its product mix going forward?
With this acquisition my role will evolve. I am joining Sprinklr as Global Evangelism Lead. It is a natural fit as I’ve been the biggest cheerleader of Sprinklr’s mission for a while. As someone who worked for/with Fortune 500 companies on social business strategies, Ragy’s vision of reimagining the front office for today’s C-suite reality is near and dear to my heart. That is the future. It’s the only way to go.
And just as I’ve done over the last year, I continue to be very passionate about the integrated advocacy message we developed at Branderati. I will work with both Sprinklr and Branderati teams to continue to spread the vision and help lead C-Suite in redefining their marketing mix to address their current challenges and meet, or rather exceed, evolving consumer expectations.