Prada RTW Fall 2020

MILAN — What makes an ad especially successful? Is it the celebrity or influencer endorsing the brand? Or the color of the bag, the angle of the photograph, or the background? Why did one message in particular resonate? Understanding what the consumer thinks and wants is paramount in this economy and even more so as the coronavirus pandemic wreaks havoc on life, business and past certainties.

To reinforce a digital culture within the Prada Group and improve its customer relations, the Italian fashion company has sealed a partnership with leading Customer Experience Management platform Sprinklr.

“Today, digital transformation is changing relationships with consumers, giving them an unlimited amount of purchasing choices. In this world, it’s even more crucial to effectively reach and engage our customers,” Lorenzo Bertelli, head of marketing at the Prada Group, told WWD exclusively. “Our collaboration with Sprinklr will help us to have clearer oversight of our ROI [return on investment] on our digital strategy and ultimately engage with our consumers and social communities online. It’s more important than ever to communicate with our consumers authentically and with impact to ensure Prada Group’s brand messages and stories resonate. We have been working to strengthen our digital strategy in recent years and are in a good place to develop it further and manage these unprecedented times.”

Luca Lazzaron, Sprinklr’s chief revenue officer, said the company was “incredibly proud” to partner with Prada, a company that “has always been a leader in creating innovative fashion that exceeds customer expectations.”

The fashion group, he said, is addressing challenges that include “creating a digital-first culture, which is not a small piece of technology, but involves a change in the mind-set and approach within the company, reviewing the entire working process.”

Governing communication is another challenge. “Typically large and established brands work with several agencies on their ad campaigns,” said Lazzaron as an example. “They need to get full visibility across the board as the digital channel needs more content and you need to govern all the different agencies with one platform, making sure nobody changes a little word, timing or message. Tracking, especially in Asia Pacific is critical.”

Sprinklr uses the Modern Advertising platform to optimize return on spending, reduce advertising production costs, protect brand reputation and relies on artificial intelligence to analyze all data, which can help tailor the next message. “This governance and automation helps save a lot of money,” said Lazzaron, explaining that Sprinklr uses one platform across 25 social media and messaging channels, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok and WhatsApp, and hundreds of millions of forums, blogs, and review sites.

Based in New York, Sprinklr is a global software service with more than 1,800 employees helping brands in more than 150 countries.

“We listen, learn and love. We provide a platform to listen to customers, learn what they think through billions of data, interacting with anything that is public, and gather more insight, creating structured data from unstructured data about a specific market, product, or competitor,” Lazzaron said.

The “love” part refers to the brand reaching out to the customers, “making sure they are happy” even before the ad is out or “solving a problem” if need be.

Prada works with the Sprinklr Modern Engagement platform and “social media is turned into a revenue-driver, productivity is improved, and brand risks are more easily managed,” said Lazzaron. “Social media managers can get more done by eliminating the need for multiple apps — using a single Sprinklr platform for listening, publishing and engagement across all channels. Brands can also reduce the risk of a crisis with account access control and the ability to automatically stop publishing.”

Sprinklr has three other products on one CXM platform: modern marketing, modern research and modern care.

Founded in 2009, Sprinklr works with the likes of Microsoft, its first customer nine years ago; L’Oréal; McDonald’s; Marriott; Starwood; Verizon, and Samsung, among others, as well as several fashion and luxury brands, whose details Lazzaron could not reveal. Asked if he believed the luxury industry is lagging behind in embracing the digital world, he said he did not, but that “inside the verticals there are very different levels of maturity and there’s been an acceleration in the past couple of years as Instagram changed the world.” In any case, he admitted “many things changed even more after the COVID-19 pandemic.”

This includes the need to reach a new audience. “It is very important to engage with the new customers, Millennials and Gen Z, going into conversations with them directly. There is no alternative to the digital transformation, which was only accelerated by what has happened overnight.”

The Prada Group’s digital transformation, launched in 2017, continued last year through a strengthened collaboration with Adobe, allowing the deployment of advanced customer experience management solutions on a global scale, analyzing the interactions between brands and consumers across all of its online properties, including social networks and its global retail network. Last year Prada also revealed a collaboration with Oracle to support efficiency across the group’s retail processes. The collaboration with Oracle Retail Cloud services will help Prada analyze historical data and current market demands across its stores globally.

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