This week, Sprinklr’s Senior Director of Social Strategy Suzie McCarthy presented to the Digital Marketing Intensive class at Cornell Tech, a graduate education program that fuses technology with business and creative thinking. The students were eager to learn more about Sprinklr’s platform and what it takes to create an enterprise-focused digital strategy.
Suzie chatted through everything from her role to branding to AI – here are the top 5 takeaways.
1. One of the biggest marketing challenges for brands is cutting through the noise. Brands not only have to compete with other brands, they also have to compete with influencers and grab the attention of a consumer on a number of different social media platforms. And, even after getting a consumer’s attention, they are expected to provide a personalized message.
According to Suzie, “If you’re a brand, how do you make sure what you’re putting out there connects with the right people? How do you find that connection and make sense of that data? We are in a very distracted world. Think about that from a brand perspective. You need to have a reason to engage with me (the consumer). There’s a lot of competition.”
2. Brands need to be seen as human. Many students applauded Wendy’s for serving up a good time on Twitter. And, they thought it was great that Tom’s showed empathy for important causes with their end gun violence campaign. Suzie’s take: “when we’re talking about human emotions, empathy is a huge one.”
3. Employee advocacy is a huge brand asset. During Suzie’s demo of Sprinklr, she showed the advocacy dashboard, which helps brands engage their own employees on social and equip them with the best content to share. From recruiting to promoting PR and events, employee advocacy can help departments across the company.
4. There’s a major difference between listening and monitoring. If a brand is only monitoring mentions of itself on social channels, it could completely miss a massive amount of relevant chatter. The result: lost opportunities to connect with a new audience and build strong customer relationships. Suzie gave the example of Nike, which stopped listening to only mentions of its brand name and started listening to mentions of running. This allowed the company to tap into a broader customer customer base. “That’s the big shift in marketing that you’re seeing happening,” said Suzie.
5. Machine learning isn’t replacing humans in social media management. Machine learning helps make social media and marketing professionals more efficient, but it doesn’t replace them. You still need a human to determine how to use the data that machine learning can feed you. And, although using machine learning for sentiment analysis is helpful in social media – for example, seeing if the majority of people responded positively to an advertisement – no sentiment analysis is foolproof.
Students in this Digital Marketing class universally believed that social is important for creating brand value. Suzie stresses that this isn’t the case at all companies, but it’s changing:
“I struggle less and less with trying to make my case for things like influencer marketing and social strategy. Not that long ago though, it was a really hard sell,” she explained. “It still is at some brands. It’s really hard to get people to agree to a system, and understand an idea that is not quite hard science. But, smart brands are seeing communities on social media and realizing that there’s an opportunity to engage with people they could never reach before.”
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