If you haven’t come across G2 Crowd yet, it’s one site you might want to bookmark if you’re responsible for buying software for your company.
The company is seeking to be the go-to place for business software reviews directly from users, and has so far collected more than 50,000 such reviews on its platform. The reviews are collected into software categories and G2 Crowd has been releasing useful comparsion grids so you can see how different vendors stack up at a glance. For example, here’s what the CRM grid looks like:
G2 Crowd frames itself as an alternative to analyst firms that offer paid-for reports evaluating B2B software. Considering these are opinions that come directly from real software users, it’s one more tool that any software buyer should put in their arsenal.
We talked with G2 Crowd’s CMO Adrienne Weissman to learn more about her and her role at the company.
1. How long have you been in your current role and how did you get there?
I joined G2 Crowd in January 2015, and was introduced to the company through a friend/mentor. What struck me most about G2 Crowd was the company’s desire to provide greater transparency into purchasing B2B software. As consumers, we have so much insight (reviews) into where to eat, what computer or TV to buy, where to vacation, where to shop, etc. However, when you need to choose the right software for your business, there are limited options available. Historically, most of those options only shared the insight from a non-practioners point of view or from the software brands themselves. That’s where G2 Crowd comes in. G2 Crowd empowers professionals to speak on behalf of the products they use and are sharing their experiences with other business professionals.
2. G2 Crowd is all about collecting user reviews about software. What’s the power of online reviews right now?
Professionals (who are also consumers) want to know they can trust businesses to provide the product/service they claim to offer. Professionals are sharing more content than ever before based on their experiences and expertise. People want to hear from their peers what has worked for them, or from individuals that share similar business challenges or are currently in a similar role or position. It’s like your digital karma: the more you share the more you receive. We are confident that the brands that value their customer’s voice and empower customers to share their experiences (both good and bad) will continue to use or start using customer reviews to their advantage. We’ve seen enterprise, mid-market and SMB brands use review content and data in their marketing collateral, including as a sales tool to help customers compare products/services and as a real-time listening tool for both their customer success and product teams.
3. Where do you like to leave your own reviews, and what of? (Eg. Yelp, Trip Advisor, Google Reviews)
I have written reviews on TripAdvisor, VRBO and G2 Crowd. I find that I’m compelled to write a review when I’ve had either a really great experience or a really poor experience. I’m a big believer in giving back to those who have shared useful information with me. For example, I love to travel and want to know what I’m signing up for before I arrive at my destination. Having individual’s opinions and insight has helped me pick some really outstanding places. On the other end, I tend to write a poor review when I’ve not had a good customer experience or feel like what I was sold was different that what I received. This concept has been shifting into the B2B space for years. A great example of this working in B2B is Glassdoor, where professionals are now sharing their experiences and pay on both current and past employers to help others make the right job/career choice for them.
4. What’s the biggest challenge you’ll have to overcome in the year ahead?
Our biggest challenge as a company is to remain focused on our primary goals. There is so much excitement around how much we can do and how we can do it that distractions are often plentiful. Another challenge we keep a very close eye on is balancing the rapid growth of our team(s) and maintaining our culture and values. Ultimately, culture and values are why the founders started G2 Crowd and ultimately why I joined the company. As we grow, maintaining our awesome culture will be harder and harder.
5. How will the role of the CMO transform over the next five years?
Over the next five years, CMOs will continue to see budgets shift dramatically from TV to mobile and digital.
While understanding different audiences will remain a critical function of the role, CMOs will also be asked to be knowledgeable on the emerging tech scene. Understanding the landscape, knowing the tools and systems required to achieve business metrics and continue to be an advisor to the CEO will be necessary to stay competitive. We are seeing more CMOs owning pieces software budgets and making those purchasing decisions so that their teams can continue to keep up with the ever changing technology landscape.