roi conversations

ROI on Conversations #socialmedia

You’ve seen them many times. Stickers on the cover of people’s laptops. Some proclaim an allegiance to a movement, team or brand. At Sprinklr, we have a few different stickers we’ve made over the course of the years. Expensive? Not particularly, but if we went into the purchase of these stickers with the question of “What’s the ROI going to be?” we never would have bought them. Recently, however, I had an experience that made me glad we did.

Stickers on the Train

Riding the Monday train from DC to NYC a few weeks ago, I was quietly plugging away on my laptop. Out of the blue, the man who had just sat down across from me asked, “do you work for Sprinklr?” I wish I could say that this kind of thing happened all the time, but it doesn’t (at least not yet). So, I answered with a bit of surprise, “yes, I do.” To which he answered, “we just signed a contract with you guys on Friday.”

He introduced himself, as Scott Lascelles, the CMO of Springleaf Financial, a consumer financial services company with more than 800 branches across the U.S. “I noticed your sticker,” he said, “and I figured that you either work for Sprinklr or have some connection.” Those little stickers, for which no ROI could have been forecasted, resulted in a 2-hour conversation, a visit by Scott to the Sprinklr office, and a whole series of ideas.

How Social Media Is Like Stickers

The opportunity that sits in front of all large brands is to be like the stickers on the back of a laptop. It’s to do things and say things that spark genuine conversation. Even better when you have some context about the history of the relationship (I was fortunate in that I knew the people involved in building the relationship with Scott and Springleaf, and could bring that into our conversation).

Doing that at scale, however, is a different challenge, but we are seeing companies like SAPOmaha Steaks, Citi, Cisco, Zillow, Virgin America, and Microsoft making it happen.

The opportunity that sits in front of all large brands is to be like the stickers on the back of a laptop. It’s to do things and say things that spark genuine conversation.

The ROI on Conversations

I’m not going to say that you should do things without any regard to their financial benefit to the organization. And I’m not saying that you should throw money around haphazardly. What I am saying, however, is that in the Age of Social, our objective is to do things that begin genuine conversations with our audience.

Stickers are designed to be social. Social networks are social. People are social. And they expect the brands they interact with to be social with them. Social entities start and have conversations with each other.

Do things that start conversations.


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Image credit- pashabo / 123RF Stock Photo

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Jeremy Epstein is VP/Marketing at Sprinklr, a cloud-based software that provides Social Relationship Infrastructure to over 300 of the world’s largest, most social brands like Intel, Microsoft, Hearst Digital, and Virgin America. Prior to joining Sprinklr in February 2012, Jeremy was the Founder/CEO of Never Stop Marketing, an international consulting firm which served F50 clients such as Johnson & Johnson and Microsoft. The author of four books, Jeremy served as the lead instructor for Microsoft’s global Digital and Social Marketing training programs. He has spoken in 17 different countries and worked in Frankfurt and Tokyo. Jeremy has a B.A. in History and a double minor in Economics & German from Johns Hopkins University and studied International Relations and Marketing in Germany and Japan.

  • David Marquet

    Love it. I like to ask people who go down this road “what’s the ROI of your mother?”

  • Achim Nowak

    So simply and beautifully stated, Jeremy. Thank you. I appreciate good old-fashioned R-0-I calculations – and then there is the stuff that just makes sense. Energetically. Spiritually. Common-sense stuff. And I feel no need to quantify that for you beyond my anecdotal truth.

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