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Yelp has agreed to license data and reviews to Sprinklr, a company that helps marketers track what consumers say about them on digital platforms. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Marketers such as McDonald's or Olive Garden, for example, use Sprinklr to see what customers are saying about them in a variety of venues, such as YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, WeChat and more, all on a location basis. Other Sprinklr clients include Microsoft, Samsung, Nike and Havas.
The addition of Yelp's extensive data should deepen the offering to marketers, ideally helping them understand what customers like and why they come back in a more precise way. "Yelp provides very deep content at a location specific level," said Kristin Muhlner, exec VP, Sprinklr. "Yelp is an obviously interesting -- and very unusual -- source of both insight and engagement because it provides very deep content at a location specific level."
"Brands want to directly engage with the customers and Yelp's data is something most retailers do not have," Ms. Muhlner added. "This data is a great way for brands to directly respond to them. So, the engagement aspect of this can be quite powerful; if you engage a disgruntled customer and turn them around they'll then become your advocates. With that kind of engagement strategy it drives other people to talk about them."
Yelp averages more than 86 million unique visitors monthly and saw 95 million reviews in 2015, according to its fourth quarter earnings call.
Marketers are expected to almost double their marketing spending in social media over the next five years, according to a survey released by Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, the American Marketing Association and Deloitte. Marketers are continuing to spend on social because it allows them to connect with the consumer, the study said.
Chad Richard, senior VP, business and corporate development at Yelp, said the partnership with Sprinklr is the first kind the review site has done in the space. "A lot of these larger brands are working hard and want to engage and join the conversation with their customers," Mr. Richard said. "But they are overwhelmed. They want to get their heads around what is working and what is not working. One of the big things we are hearing from our customers is that they want to track data by location and regions."
Yelp has historically been very protective of its data, but the company is in need of additional revenue amid a sagging stock price and disgruntled investors. The company is trading at about $17 a share, a far cry from the $47 it traded for nearly one year ago.
"Partnering with social monitoring and analysis companies enables us to better connect with great businesses," Mr. Richard said. "This type of program provides a huge opportunity for businesses to learn and evolve based on feedback from their customers. We're launching this partnership with Sprinklr now because they're industry leaders who we feel confident will get it right."