3 Reasons Online User Reviews Will Make Or Break You At Dreamforce

Online reviews and word of mouth marketing will make or break vendors at Dreamforce

At Dreamforce this year, more than 350 companies will be showcasing over 1,000 solutions that can be integrated with Salesforce side-by-side on the Cloud Expo floor.

Each and every one will be trying to out-pitch, out-market and out-sell the competition in an effort to stand out and be noticed by potential buyers.

The real decision-making will inevitably be made off the tradeshow floor, however. Dreamforce attendees will continue to evaluate exhibitors long after the doors to the Moscone Center close on November 21st, starting with a simple online search for more information about one or more vendors.

That’s why online user reviews should be a key part of every company’s strategy going into the world’s largest vendor-led technology gathering.

1. B2B buyers don’t trust vendor content

According to Better Lead Yield in the Content Marketing Field, a recent study from the CMO Council and NetLine, B2B buyers simply don’t trust vendors’ online content.

The Council’s research found that while 86% of B2B buyers reported that online content plays a major to moderate role in vendor selection, only 9% said they trusted content such as vendor white papers. Ouch!

The most-trusted type of resource, according to this report?

Word of mouth marketing content, including professional associations, online communities, and industry organizations and groups – 40% of buyers indicated that they trust independent product reviews, in particular, the most.

2. Review site traffic spikes around Dreamforce

It should come as no surprise, then, that during and shortly after Dreamforce, review sites typically experience a noticeable uptick in visitors thanks to Dreamforce attendees and onlookers searching for more information about the companies and solutions they interact with on the tradeshow floor, or read about in the blogs and news articles published about Dreamforce.

“We do see a spike in traffic around big events such as Dreamforce,” says Matt Gorniak, Co-founder and COO of G2 Crowd.

“Attendees walk the expo floor and talk to the vendors, but they have only a limited amount of time to learn about the products, so later they go online and research the products that sparked their interest. Whether they’re just browsing or seriously looking to buy, checking reviews is part of the process.”

The timeline below illustrates just how significant this “Dreamforce effect” is:

G2 Crowd pageviews during Dreamforce 2012 and Oracle OpenWorld 2012

Before, during and shortly after Dreamforce 2012 (Sept. 18-21) and Oracle OpenWorld 2012 (Oct. 1-4), the number of page views on G2 Crowd was significantly higher than in the prior or subsequent weeks.

3. Tons of high-quality reviews speak volumes

Spend a few minutes browsing salesforce.com’s AppExchange, G2 Crowd or any other product review site, and it’s immediately evident which companies take their online presence seriously and which don’t.

Here’s how to tell the difference: the companies actively using online user reviews to influence sales have more reviews and ratings – sometimes double or triple the number their competitors have – and those ratings are often nearly all positive.

No, they didn’t commission a bunch of fast, fake reviews – they mobilized their real customer advocates to spend a few moments rating their product and writing an in-depth review of their experience with it.

One great example of this is cloud-based electronic signature technology company DocuSign, which was named a Summer 2013 G2 Crowd Leader on the Grid for eSignature products and is also the most popular eSignature solution on AppExchange, with over 3,200 reviews and an average rating of 4.5 stars.

“It’s no coincidence that we’ve made a concerted effort to get as many customer reviews as possible before November 18th,” says Mat Rider, Head of Social Media at DocuSign. “Going into Dreamforce, we’re extremely confident that our advocates’ reviews and ratings will support the conversations we’ll be having on the tradeshow floor.”

Are you a part of Dreamforce’s ‘Most Wanted’?

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We’re paying handsome rewards for advocacy bounty hunters at Dreamforce! We need you to bring us savvy marketers so that we can help them round up their advocates with a formal advocate marketing program. Come to Influitive’s booth #N2104 with one of our ‘Most Wanted’ marketers and we’ll give you a cash bounty ($50 to the bounty hunter and $50 to the captured marketer).

Learn more!