Managing reviews, strategically and proactively: CMOs share their secrets

Matt Heinz

Many companies treat reviews as a tactic, and too often manage them reactively. Last Friday's CMO Coffee Talk addressed how to treat review sites strategically and proactively.

Which sites do you prioritize? How do you balance organic and paid opportunities? And how do you get those great reviews in the first place?

Latane and I covered our six greatest takeaways from last week in this recap video. Many more highlights from the chat are below.

Want to join a community of your B2B CMO peers? Email me for an invite.

OKR for my customer marketing team is to get X reviews per quarter.

Process: get reviews as part of customer advocacy (partner with CS). Incentive: SPIF for CSMs 1/month. Opportunity: Ask when customers are most happy (e.g., right after closed support ticket, good qbr, etc.) or right after positive NPS report.

THNKS platform can help w/the incentives - streamlines it for our CS team (and overall relationship building).

But now everyone knows those reviews are mostly ‘paid’ with gift cards or other incentives… they are losing credibility.

We’ve found personalized, 1:1 outreach is most effective. We started with our customer advisory board (CAB) members and advocates. Ongoing engagement and recognition with customer success manager (CSM) team (we post all new reviews from Gartner on Slack and recognize the CSM or SE who drove the review). For customers who have done a POV, we’ve embedded the ask as part of our onboarding process.

If our CSMs don’t get a response, I will prompt our CEO to reach out and that frequently gets attention.

When a customer asks for a discount when negotiating we ask for an act of advocacy and include it in our contracts.

We also fly (in the past) people to conferences in exchange for speaking and ask them to post reviews related to their speaking topic as well.

Charitable donations move the needle too.

Weaving acts of advocacy into SFDC - we are trying to do this right now.

We're launching in-product asks in the next month or two, using Beamer.

Review booth (i.e., table) during your annual conference works super well!

There's that fine line between the honeymoon phase where they are so delighted to even have this, and that period when they are like "This is great, but now we'd like xyz". We always try to grab them in between these phases.

Influitive is great at gamification and driving reviews.

At my last company we gave each CSM a $50 bill for each verified review they got from a customer. Something about the crisp, new money was super motivating.

Our debate was whether to put the dollars to gift cards for our customers, or as incentives to CS. We all would have liked our CS team to be the recipient of the dollars, but just couldn't get the volume coming in without the incentive going to the reviewer.

Our prospects are referencing these 3rd party sites in their decision making process more this year.

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