Recent partnership may raise more questions than provide answers.
If you follow the marketing and advertising technology (Madtech) and public relations space, you might have read about the new partnership between two companies, Business Wire and TrendKite. The press release distribution company and media analytics firm announced a partnership to offer each of their point solutions to their respective customers.
According to the release, the partnership offers Business Wire press release distribution services and TrendKite media monitoring analytics separately, enabling each party to re-sell the other’s solutions.
We here at Cision believe this partnership validates our strategy that communications and PR professionals need unified tools, data and workflows to craft and execute great campaigns. The difference between us and what these companies are offering is that we deliver on this vision as one company. This partnership only reinforces what I’ve been saying for years — that one of the biggest, most fundamental inhibitors to communications professionals is fragmentation. All the technology and services required to execute great marketing communications sit in silos.
Just look at the patterns you see with communications teams around the world, and you see why this trend has emerged. Until recently, communications teams have had to buy traditional media influencer database from Vendor A, social influencer identification from Vendor B, traditional media monitoring from Vendor C, social listening from Vendor D, press release distribution from Vendor E, analytics from Vendor F, real-time alerts and briefings from Vendor G, and deep insights and business intelligence or decisioning from Vendor G.
As this fragmentation has been allowed to proliferate, it has cost brands millions more in services and integration projects than the contracts they inked with each vendor, and much more importantly, cost them massive amounts of time. In communications, speed and timeliness is everything. If you have to synch and rationalize data and content from multiple systems before you even have a complete picture, never mind when you can communicate that picture to your stakeholders, the value you’ve brought has been radically diminished.
Looking toward the future, the Business Wire/TrendKite partnership is a nice acknowledgment of this uber problem communications pros face. It takes wire distribution and media analytics, and at least enables brands to buy them side-by-side. However, let’s be clear: At the end of the day, it’s still two providers that aren’t providing an integrated, singular product.
Comms pros need an integrated communications cloud so that they can streamline and materially optimize their workflow and business processes. That is the only thing that will free them up to focus on data-driven storytelling that drives results for their business.
Comms Pros Need an Integrated Communications Cloud
For years, Cision has been telling the world that integrated solutions are a must for the modern communicator. They need integrated data, content, workflow, UI, reporting and data visualization layers, all on one singular platform. Real integration is time-consuming, expensive and takes focus and commitment to achieve. It has to be owned and directed by one company, with one development team, one set of priorities, one agenda and most importantly one accountable party.
Partial integration across two services, from different companies, with different code bases, priorities, agendas and ultimately different accountability just isn’t enough. Partnerships like this are often plagued by the following:
- They only offer a couple of the primary service solutions needed for a true stack.
- They lack both true integration and accountability.
- Customers experience a fragmented account management and support experience between the two different vendors.
This is why Cision has acquired 10 best-in-class companies and brought them to market as one comprehensive communications cloud. This enables communicators to:
- Track individual consumer data.
- Tie individual user behavior to consumption of all earned media content (not just the 10 percent of it that is tied to press releases).
- Validate exact reach (vs. what publishers overstate in implied reach numbers).
- Measure exact engagement with individual components of content (video plays, audio listens, links clicked, etc.).
- Track actual audience data such as demographics for B2C or firmographics for B2C, so you know who is actually engaged with your content.
- Provide conversion metrics — from lead forms to shopping cart conversions.
Being able to tie PR campaigns, as well as ALL earned media coverage garnered, to views, downloads, subscribes, and even sales not only helps marketing and PR professionals do their jobs, but it also gives the C-Suite reassurance that their investment is paying off.
We have connected the dots between the solutions in our Cision Comms Cloud so that they’re one big happy family that our clients find intuitive to use.
We are proud to offer the integrated platform our competitors are only now starting to aim for.