Friday, October 31, 2014

How I used TrustRadius to Select HootSuite

This story is based on an interview with TrustRadius member, Nicholas Shields
. Nicholas is a Social Media and Community Manager at Alliance Abroad Group. He joined TrustRadius in March and wrote an in-depth review of HootSuite Pro.  

Until recently, Nick Shields was the social media manager for US-based warehouse club BJ's. He oversaw all the company's social accounts and coordinated outreach with BJ's public relations team and also its external media agencies.

Choosing the right tools to manage social accounts can be tough: “The market is overly saturated with all these tools, and a lot of them have only one single differentiator”.

Like many users, Nick found TrustRadius through a web search. "I typed in one company versus another company, and TrustRadius was consistently coming up first in the results."

Nick first used the site for comparison shopping Hootsuite and Radian6.

"I was looking for some outside perspective on what the best platform was," he said. "You guys have a nice breakdown. It was literally like a grudge match."

Nick wound up selecting Hootsuite and later contributing his own review of its features, but where TrustRadius later proved most valuable to him was when outside vendors approached BJ's claiming that their tools were better suited than HootSuite at BJs.

Nick was able to collect information from TrustRadius and share links to reviews with his senior management team to make the case for sticking with what they were already using. A marginal increase in benefit didn't justify the cost of selecting, implementing, integrating, and maintaining another solution.

Nick just moved from Boston down to our home base, Austin, where he recently became the social media manager at Alliance Abroad Group. 

Welcome to Barbecue Land, Nick.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Top 10 Fastest Growing Marketing Automation Platforms

Marketing automation remains a hot category with multiple rapidly growing vendors. Google searches for the term "marketing automation" have increased 50% over last year. From Q2 to Q3, TrustRadius experienced a 25% increase in unique page views for marketing automation products – a measure for how many people are running product evaluations on our site. This figure factors some improvement in our search rankings, so it’s not a precise representation of category growth, however it indicates strong category growth.


The Wild West of Social Media Management

The social media management software industry is a bit like The Wild West.

Exhibit A: Here, here and here are three different ways of naming and categorizing the tools that help businesses manage multiple social media accounts.

Exhibit B: There are 140+ products listed on TrustRadius that assist with some facet of social media management or marketing, meaning that this vendor landscape we launched last November is pretty much out of date. (This trend matches the proliferation of marketing technology in general: See the evolution of Scott Brinker's marketing technology landscape.)

Exhibit C: In a recent poll of the TrustRadius audience, 75% of the respondents who use social media management software use more than one tool... and 14% of those who use more than one tool actually use six or more.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Why did HubSpot build a CRM? An interview with Mike Volpe, CMO.

Executive interview by Vinay Bhagat, CEO TrustRadius.

Just over a month ago, HubSpot, widely known for its comprehensive online marketing suite and as the torch bearer for inbound marketing, took many including myself, by surprise in announcing their own CRM solution at their user conference. 

HubSpot’s stated market focus is companies from 10 to 2,000 employees, however we estimate that 75% of their customers are SMBs with <50 employees (using the 158 reviews on TrustRadius as a guide). In recent years, HubSpot has been increasingly focused on attracting and retaining larger clients through adding more powerful marketing features. For example, in 2011, they acquired Performable, an email centric marketing automation provider, and in 2013 they upgraded their content management system (COS).  At first blush, entering the CRM category seems like a departure from this strategy as the likely initial market is smaller companies. It does however further reinforce their position with SMBs and allows them to ultimately earn a higher “share of wallet” among those customers, once they elect to charge for the offering. I caught up with Mike Volpe, CMO to ask about the move and learn more about their new offering.


Friday, October 17, 2014

Ensighten buys Anametrix to bolster its competitive position against Adobe, Google

Tag management vendor Ensighten announced this week that it acquired Anametrix, a cloud-based marketing analytics tool that allows companies to unify data from paid, owned and earned media to optimize their marketing campaigns.

Ensighten says the combination of the two platforms “unlocks the true power of customer data” by bringing together digital and offline data from disparate sources, such as web analytics, mobile apps, social media and CRM.


Monday, October 6, 2014

TrustRadius Reveals Top Rated A/B Testing Software for Small Businesses, Mid-size Companies and Enterprises

Austin Texas, Oct 7th, 2014 - TrustRadius, the leading community for professionals to share candid insights about business software, today announced the release of its TrustMaps™ for A/B testing software, which rank products based on user ratings and adoption within each market segment - small businesses, mid-size companies and enterprises.

Unveiled in its first Buyer’s Guide to A/B Testing and Web Optimization Software, the TrustMaps™ quickly help software buyers locate the solutions most highly rated and adopted by their direct peer group and therefore most closely aligned to their needs.

Each TrustMap™ depicts A/B testing products on two dimensions – likelihood to recommend ratings by users and the estimated relative number of websites using the product within that company segment size. All ratings come from authenticated users of A/B testing tools on TrustRadius.com.

The Buyer’s Guide also distills the pros and cons of each software product, as cited by software users in 200 in-depth reviews.

Because success is not solely contingent on software selection, the guide includes a discussion of key factors for achieving success with A/B testing, drawn from interviews with highly regarded testing, analytics and conversion experts.

“The introduction of low-cost and easy-to-use tools and growing awareness of potential ROI has increased the practice of testing amongst marketers” said Vinay Bhagat, CEO of TrustRadius. “Our A/B Testing TrustMaps™ provide digital marketers with a pragmatic approach to identify the best-fit solutions based on market segment user satisfaction and adoption. Pure-play testing vendors such as Monetate, Maxymiser, SiteSpect, Optimizely and Visual Website Optimizer are besting traditional vendors.”

Jason Burby, President, Americas at Possible says: "It is great to see a guide like this that covers large and small players, broken out by the size of clients' organizations as well. If you are evaluating any of these tools you now know the questions to ask each vendor during the sales process." 

Justin Rondeau, Chief Testing Evangelist at WhichTestWon adds: “With the rapid growth of the conversion rate optimization and A/B testing community, marketers need a reliable source for picking a testing tech. In this Buyer's Guide, TrustRadius went above and beyond by studying hundreds of reviews from actual test practitioners, and providing technical specs.”

Click on the image to see a larger view

Based on user ratings and market segment adoption, the Leaders within the Enterprise segment are:
Strong Performers in the Enterprise segment are Qubit, AB Tasty and SiteSpect.

                                                    Click on the image to see a larger view

In the Mid-Size segment, the Leader is: 
Strong Performers with high user satisfaction but lower mid-size segment adoption are AB Tasty, Maxymiser and Monetate.

                                                    Click on the image to see a larger view

In the Small Business segment the Leaders are: 
The Strong Performer in this segment is Monetate. Though focused on enterprise customers, the tool is also highly rated among small businesses.

Additional Insights on A/B Testing Software Market
  • 44 percent of A/B testing software users spend more than $10,000 per year on A/B testing software, and 48 percent expect to increase their spend in the coming year [1]
  • Many companies are using more than one testing tool, each tailored to a different technical skill level (43% of survey respondents)
  • In general, companies move from having one A/B testing champion, to a team dedicated to testing, to a testing-based culture, where different business units across the organization are involved in testing.
The Free Buyer’s Guide to A/B Testing Software is available here: http://www.trustradius.com/guides/ab