Thismoment's Spark Provides Sales with Access to Tailored Sets of Content

Thismoment, a provider of software-as-a-service marketing technologies, today launched Spark, a sales enablement application that allows salespeople in large organizations to distribute tailored content sets to their customers.

Spark will sit on top of Thismoment's Content Cloud marketing platform, which gathers brand-related media from around the Web into one user interface, and enables user companies to manage and share these materials. Spark will provide added mobile and customization options that will allow salespeople to distribute what Thismoment calls content "playlists." Reps will have the option of sending prepackaged sets tailored for a specific demographic or customer type, but will also be able to create their own customized playlists based on the information they learn about a customer during a meeting. A car salesman working at a dealership in a much larger chain of dealerships, for instance, can reach out to a prospect by sending a group of videos or articles that the prospect might find interesting or relevant. Marketers can use this tool to keep better track of how the content they are generating for sales is being received.

For Thismoment, which announced a strategic partnership with Sprinklr in 2014, this is a move designed to make the Content Cloud useful to salespeople, and to bridge the gap between sales and marketing. "Marketing [teams] create content, and only 10 percent of it is actually used in the field," Dan Kimball, chief marketing officer of Thismoment, says. "Those in the field [then] get frustrated because they don't feel like they're getting the content they need, and marketing never gets the feedback [it needs]. It becomes an inefficient cycle that can get very expensive for very large companies, resulting in stalled deals." Yet, he says, "sales reps want to tell stories that are unique to the customers they're talking to, just like a marketer does." At the same time, they don't want to have to go through the trouble of composing long emails and including attachments.

Rebecca Lieb, an analyst at Altimeter Group, notices a growing demand for such personalized, streamlined communications between brands and customers. "We're moving from [the trend of companies] marketing to profiles and marketing to demographic segments [to a trend of companies] marketing to individuals," she says. "[This product] is facilitating content marketing and more immediate connections with consumers, both from the brand to the consumer and the consumer to the brand."

Thismoment will offer apps to meet other use cases as well. Among these is a retail version of the Spark app, which will help salespeople connect with customers by giving them content that targets customers based on their lifestyle interests. Another is an app that will be tailored to support teams looking to provide tips to customers facing difficulties, and allow them to send how-to videos and answers to frequently asked questions.

Content Cloud integrates with Salesforce and leverages the data stored within it, but can also work independent of a CRM system. However, the $60,000 cost of an annual subscription, added to the $30,000 purchase price of the app and $100 annual charge per seat may make the product more practical for large companies with the budget to justify the expense.

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