How Increased Customer Reviews Landed QuickBase as #1 in Rapid Application
It’s been said that over 70% of the buyer’s journey happens before contact with the vendor. With so much of the decision making happening outside of the sales funnel it can be difficult to know what’s driving potential customers to purchase—or not. Here's how QuickBase attracted 220 reviews to influence our buyer's journey.
As Customer Marketing Manager at Intuit QuickBase, my job is to leverage our customer advocates to support a new go-to-market strategy aimed at convincing our target buyers to adopt QuickBase as a company-wide platform for building business apps with little or no coding required.
Review sites are an increasingly important part of a technology buyer's journey — these buyers did their homework and were likely to:
- Compare vendors
- Check references
- Engage in demos and other technical content
Our target customers were likely to do a lot more research before buying, and typically remained more interested in engaging with us directly through a demo or sales conversation, than by "kicking the tires" with a free trial. We wanted to understand and influence how these customers came to the decision of choosing QuickBase.
We understood our happiest customers were IT or Operations leaders in mid-market and enterprise organizations. We also know that these types of buyers relied heavily on professional networks to make their buying decisions. We wanted to learn more about their persona, and create a go-to market strategy that adressed their needs.
The Value of Research
Members of our marketing team spent months interviewing our most successful customers to learn more about their decision to use QuickBase as a platform for building apps that serve multiple departments and teams in their organization.
After this research was completed, we recognized that these highly-successful customers were centralized technology buyers whose path to purchasing QuickBase was unlike that of other customers. Because they were making strategic technology decisions, these buyers did their homework — comparing vendors, checking references, and engaging with demos and other more technical content.
Defining a Category
After selecting a small group of sites, we set out to properly position QuickBase against our competitors in the emergent category of low-code Rapid Application Development platforms. We updated our listings with the latest messaging and content from the Product Marketing team, and engaged with several review sites to determine the best category fit for QuickBase. For example, on G2 Crowd, QuickBase was listed in the "Project Management" software category.
G2 Crowd had a category for "Platform as a Service," but that category included app development tools aimed at programmers, such as Microsoft Azure and Google App Engine. Because our platform requires little or no code to build an app, we felt this category wasn't entirely appropriate for us — not to mention our competitors.
We then petitioned G2 Crowd to create a new category called "Rapid Application Development" that would include QuickBase and its competitors and place us on a level playing field. We supported our request with analyst reports, customer stories, and information on our competitors. To our delight, it worked! G2 Crowd soon added the new category of Rapid Application Development to their list.
Hearing from Our Customers
At the same time we were building our review site strategy, the marketing team was preparing for our first-ever large user event — EMPOWER 2015. This event gave us the fuel we needed to support our new strategy by engaging our empowered, highly vocal customer base. At the event, company leaders unleashed our newly-refreshed messaging around Rapid Application Development — using terms like "citizen development" and "digital transformation" to frame the power of low-code application development platforms.
In blog posts and on stage, our most engaged customers were surrounded with the language of Rapid Application Development. Immediately after the event, we asked our top advocates (via our QuickBase Heroes AdvocateHub) to leave us reviews on G2 Crowd. Within days, we had over 30 new reviews!
Not only that, these reviews reverberated with the message of Rapid Application Development — customers lauding QuickBase for helping them drive digital transformation by empowering citizen developers in their organizations. Finally, the proof was in the pudding.
Since launching our review site campaign, we've generated over 200 QuickBase reviews across several review sites. These reviews are used by the marketing team in email campaigns, landing pages, eBooks, and social media campaigns, and by the sales team as validation for QuickBase during sales cycles.
The review site landscape is huge. You can't expect to go through every site and make sure your listing is perfect on more than 100 sites. Developing a targeted list of sites based on your prospect profile will help you focus your efforts and get more out of your campaign.
In its first-ever ranking of Rapid Application Development software solutions, G2 Crowd ranked QuickBase #1 for 2016, placing us in the leader quadrant ahead of larger, better-known competitors.
This ranking became the basis of a blog post and social campaign that has done much to raise our profile among the types of buyers we're looking to reach.
Talk with your customers.
Reviews aren't open letters—they're part of an ongoing conversation you have with your customers. We make it a point to respond appropriately to negative reviews, and to gather the insights offered by any critical statements and pass them along to our product team. In that way, reviews become less transactional and more of a step along the way to a complete customer-centric approach to product development.
More than 5,600 customers use QuickBase to drive innovation, collaboration, and process improvements to their organizations. Ultimately, our review campaign has brought the voice of the customer into the heart of our key strategic focus for 2016. And we're just getting started.