Episode #82: How to Put Mass 1:1 Marketing to Work for Your Business

Wouldn’t it be amazing to be able to blend the reach of mass communication, with the human-centric benefits of 1:1 personal interaction? Well, good news — you can do this today. And it’s a marketing game changer. But how do you best create this mass one-to-one system? It all comes down to discovering conversations happening across modern channels, using AI to classify those conversations, and then responding appropriately.

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Welcome to the CXM Experience. As always, I’m Grad Conn CXO at Sprinklr, chief experience officer. And today we’re going to spend a bit more time on mass one-on-one. We’re going to dig in deeper on listening maturity models. And what do you really need to do to build a mass one-on-one system? What does a mass one-on-one marketing platform look like?

So, we’re gonna spend a bit of time on that. And we’ll be coming back to this topic a few times the next couple of weeks, because it is the major trend of our generation, which is the move from mass communication to one-on-one communication. And the journey in between. And we’ll talk about the nuance that it’s not just necessarily a quick snap right to one-on-one. Mass has still got a role to play and reach is still really important. So, I’ll throw some nuance on that pile today as well and see if we can appreciate that a little bit.

Before I get started, though, I wanted to talk about someone who was really special to me and really important to me, who’s no longer here. In our Slack channel inside Sprinklr today, Chris Lynch, who’s our CFO, posted a picture of a new plaque that was posted outside the meeting room on the eighth floor. The eighth floor at Sprinklr headquarters in New York City, is our finance floor. And there’s a conference room there, which is now named the Josh Pressman Finance Room. And it’s in honor of Josh Pressman, and the dedication reads: “for the passion, fearlessness and unmatched genius that he brought to Sprinklr. And the love care, laughter and indomitable joy, he brought to our lives.” With a quote from him: “30 push ups or it doesn’t count.”

And I will say that Josh passed last summer. I miss him terribly. He was an amazing spirit and an amazing person. And he was an incredible part of my Sprinklr journey. He really helped me navigate finance and hack finance. In the early days, we had a lot of very challenging financial metrics we needed to meet, and a lot of challenging financial changes that we needed to incur in marketing to meet the budgets. And without Josh, I don’t know how I would have ever done it. I got to know Josh well outside of the business world, and miss him a lot. And it’s really great to see this. Chris, put this in the channel today. And I was like, Good on you, Chris. That’s a very, very cool thing to do. And I just wanted to recognize Josh, and thank him for all the incredible things he did for me and for our department and for the company. So let me pause for a moment and digest that for a second. And then I’ll go to mass one-on-one.

So, I talked a little bit on our last show about the evolution of communications and marketing between the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. And what you’re seeing is this movement from… originally, we were mostly one-to-one. Then we invented mass communications. Amazing. Had all sorts of great advantages and some disadvantages. And today, we have an unusual situation where we’ve recreated the one-to-one connections, but we still have mass behind it. It’s pretty cool time.

Now, the nuance here is that going to one-to-one with everybody probably isn’t fully realistic for most companies right now. Now, there are people like Lubomira Rochet, who’s the CDO at L’Oreal, who’s going to respond to 100% of the comments directed at L’Oreal. Which is pretty amazing. Marc Pritchard, at Procter & Gamble is talking about high levels of personalization. We have had customers at Sprinklr, who’ve done millions — I’m talking like eight or more million different creative units against a population not much larger than that, where they were psychographically, demographically and geographically targeting the messages. So that’s almost pure one-on-one.

With some of the things that have happened recently, I’m seeing we recently launched one of the largest new channels on the new lineup. And this new channel has reached about 95 million subscribers now, which is pretty amazing. They actually did about 20,000 different creative units. And so we’re seeing kind of 5, 10, 15, 20, 50, up to eight million, but more usually in that sort of multi thousands of creative ad units and targeting units. So, while it may not be pure one-to-one, it’s definitely way more personalized and way more customized than it used to be. And I think we’re gonna continue seeing that trend expand. I think we will be at a point in time, in about a decade where probably one-to-one is realistic with the help of AI. And right now we’re on that journey.

But where there’s really interesting nuance here is you don’t want to lose the mass, right? So if you over target, and if you over personalize, you can run into a problem where you niche yourself down too much, and you lose the ability to grow. And your growth mechanics start to break. P&G, who’re the proponents of mass 1:1, also found that when they over segmented on Facebook, they actually made less progress than when they were more general, with some guidance from them to be more general.

And part of that is that we’re weak in our understanding of personas, generally, as an industry. Because our persona work has occurred primarily in a broadcast mindset, we have tended to create personas that are essentially stereotypes. And so people would look at someone like myself, and look at most of my demographic, economic a whole ton of factors about my life. And it would be very, very, very difficult to determine that I’m one of the world’s biggest consumers of — and fans of — the Swiffer.

I love Swiffers. And I buy tons of Swiffers. And I buy them. I never get targeted with Swiffer advertising. Not that I’m aware of. There’s a possibility it’s happening and I’m not aware of it. But I don’t really don’t get targeted by Swiffer advertising very much. I am a Swiffer fanatic. And I won’t fit into any persona. And that’s the challenge. Personas because they’re stereotypes miss the edge cases, but they may miss the variety that’s occurring in there. And just given the way people are and the way humanity works, probably a lot more complex than the sort of simple, meet Alice, she’s  XYZ and she does this for a living. That stuff doesn’t really work. I don’t personally believe in personas, I actually haven’t for a long time, because I’m aware of the bias in them.

I heard a really interesting fact today from one of our sellers in the UK. Get this. So, 72% of Coke drinkers, also drink Pepsi. When you think about it, like Well, I guess it’s not that surprising. They like cola. But 72% crossover. That’s where this concept of extreme loyalty and fandom can sometimes be a bit suspect. With all this stuff, we have to apply nuance. But nonetheless, what we’re all trying to do is we’re trying to get to a situation where we have a more direct and personal relationship with the people who buy our products. And they, the consumers, want to have a more direct and personal relationship with the brands that they love. And that the brand that they love talks to them and responds to them and works with them. That’s very exciting, and very, very powerful.

The question is, what do you need to do to create a mass one-to-one system? What’s the marketing platform? What’s a mass one-to-one marketing platform look like? And so I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit, because it just so happens that Sprinklr works as a mass one-to-one marketing platform. And often it takes a little bit to explain what Sprinklr does. So, people sometimes have to patiently wait for us to go through a long explanation. I was trying to think, is there a faster way to get there. And I actually think there’s a key in this mass one-to-one idea, which is there really are three relatively simple but challenging and important steps you have to go through to really do mass one-on-one correctly.

The first one is you have to be able to discover. And you really need omni channel access to all digital channels. Not just social platforms, but also Reddit and all the forums. And you’ve got to be able to go in and broadcast. All the different channels that are out there and need to all be brought in. And you need to discover on those channels, what people are saying to you and about you.

Think of that is creating a giant haystack. Right? And it just so happens that Sprinklr is the best haystack maker in the business. Nobody pulls in more. We have 400 million different data sources that we pull. It is pretty amazing. Unparalleled access to all those digital channels.

But once you’ve got a giant haystack, then what are you going to do with it? And it feels to me like you can actually group those haystacks. And then once you’ve grouped the haystack, so you can also go in those haystacks and find the needles in the haystack that you need pay attention to. Finding the needles in the haystack to which you need to pay attention is the critical, challenging part of this. When we were doing a lot of this work at Microsoft, someone would say something like, I need to clean the windows on my office. That had nothing to do with us, but we picked it up in keywords. But someone else might say I need to clean Office off my Windows. That had everything to do with us. Again picked it up in keywords. And it’s very difficult to tell the difference between the two. And Sprinklr AI’s fix that problem. But those are the kinds of challenging things you run into.

Different needles also mean different things in different contexts. Mayo Clinic, which is a big Sprinklr customer. At Mayo Clinic, the word “sick” has a very specific meaning. An important meaning. You need to pull that out. Another big Sprinklr customer is Red Bull. At Red Bull, the term “sick,” usually followed by the word “dude.” But “sick dude,” has a very different meaning from what it means for the Mayo Clinic. Also very important and needs to be extracted. So, you need a really good needle finder.

This classify stage really requires AI that’s trained by the billions of conversations that are brought in through the discovery stage. Then what happens? You’ve got a big haystack, you found all the needles. You got to do something with them, you got to engage with those needles, you got to respond. And it’s not just on social. Obviously, it could be on social, if that’s where it started. But it might be by email, might be by voice, and maybe by video, might be by chat. And so today Sprinklr does all those things. So Sprinklr pulls everything in. Has an amazing AI with a 16 petabyte training database of conversations. And then it can respond in any digital channel, from video to voice to email, to social. That I think is the essence of what it means.

And as you think about this system, I want to spend a bit of time thinking about each stage and work our way through each stage and talk about them in more detail. That’s the overview for today, though. And so the next podcast I’ll dig into discover. We’ll talk about the listening maturity model and how to think about how you build a listening maturity model and how you drive organizational alignment around it. Then we’ll do another one, where we’ll talk about classify and drill more deeply into all the aspects of AI. And then we’ll go one more and do a whole bunch of stuff on respond and talk about multi-channel responses and how that works. And also what a customer journey looks like over multiple channels over time.

But that’s it for today. For the CXM Experience, I’m Grad Conn and I’ll see you next time.