Employee Advocacy Heats Up
It is an exciting time to be involved in the Employee Advocacy space. Companies are being acquired, raising large rounds of venture capital, making acquisitions themselves, and gaining serious traction. The quality and quantity of legitimate big name brands launching advocacy based programs is astounding, only further solidifying the fact that we are all on to something, and it's going to be big.
The latest news, which came last week, was the acquisition of Branderati by Sprinklr. This type of move by one of social media's key players speaks volumes towards the validity of the category. Pairing Branderati with the preexisting suite of services they already offer is a smart move by Sprinklr, ensuring they stay aggressive and competitive with the likes of Spredfast, Hootsuite and others in the market as they ramp towards an inevitable IPO in 2015.
Just prior to that, Dynamic Signal announced a $12MM Series C round of funding and an acquisition of Seattle based content marketing company PaperShare. In full disclosure, I am a member of the Dynamic Signal team, but that doesn't mean it's not a big deal for the category. The more dollars and resources that are committed to establishing employee advocacy within the mainstream the better...for everyone involved.
The number of vendors in the space continues to grow, and as you can see from Chris Boudreaux's Buyer's Guide, it's a healthy competition that is evolving each and every day. There are undoubtedly differentiators amongst the group, with many specializing on certain industries, regions, or company sizes. As more visibility, exposure and traction develop within the category it will be intriguing to see which companies can sustain and scale as the market matures.
Most importantly though, is the fact that real companies, big companies, brand names you've heard of, are all launching and finding success within employee advocacy programs. I'm talking about names like IBM, Wells Fargo, 3M, Dell, Intel, Hitachi Data Systems, AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, Salesforce, HP, State Farm, SAP...you get the idea, I could go on and on. These companies and many others have all bought in, proving this is much more than a trend. Nothing provides more validation than the companies activating the programs and their employees that are participating in them.
As I've watched this all develop over the past year or so it has me genuinely excited and enthusiastic about where it is all headed. It feels like we're inching towards a bit of a culmination, one win at a time.
The summer is winding down and Q4 is just around the corner and it's becoming obvious that next week's Employee Advocacy Summit will be a landmark event for the category. Not only is it the first of its kind, but it comes at a moment when the buzz couldn't be any louder. I've spoken with a number of planned attendees and speakers and the energy surrounding the event is unanimously off the charts.
I'm looking forward to connecting with the entire group in Atlanta and continuing to build upon what we've all been working so hard to create.
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