Archive for the ‘Reputation management’ Category

Marchex in Rep. Mgmt Deal with Dow Jones

June 9, 2010

Marchex announced a deal with the Local Media Group unit of Dow Jones. The latter will sell a white labeled version of the Marchex reputation management product to its small business advertisers:

(1) Marchex will provide Dow Jones Local Media Group with a private-labeled version of the Marchex Reputation Management product, which it will sell to its small business customers on a monthly subscription basis and/or bundled with other Dow Jones Local Media Group product offerings; and

(2) Marchex will continue to receive unique content and information from Dow Jones Local Media Group as well as from other new content partners, including CitySquares, Joy of Spa and Measured Up, for inclusion in Marchex Reputation Management, which will benefit users by broadening the local business listing meta-data footprint of the product to nearly half-a-billion items (e.g., user reviews, listings, mentions on blogs and social media).

Reputation management is becoming an essential layer of the local business product suite. Marchex was the first fully realized product in this segment for SMBs; however other companies have more recently developed competing products.

I got a quick demo of the updated Marchex product this morning and found the it had been improved and upgraded further since I last saw it. There are also a number of very interesting roadmap ideas.

Harris Data on the ‘What’ & ‘Why’ of Social Media

June 5, 2010

Earlier this week pollster Harris published some interesting data from a consumer survey conducted in April (n=2,131) about social media attitudes and motivations:

[N]early two-thirds (64%) of online Americans use social media, and most social media users (84%) reveal information about themselves via social media channels.

Among the findings is also a discussion of the influence of reviews and their various sources (click to enlarge graphics).

While 84% of social media users are providing tweets and updates, more than 20% are discussing brands and products or generating reviews. The following charts show the relative influence of reviews by content source and by age group:

The hierarchy of review influence is:

  1. Friends & family
  2. Reviews from newspapers or magazines (experts/professional/editorial)
  3. One’s broader network
  4. Blogs/message boards
  5. Celebrity “reviews” (most influential on the 18-34 yr old group)

MyRepMan: Yet Another Strong Reputation Tool

June 1, 2010

My tour through the various SMB presence and reputation management platforms continues. Late last week I spoke with Pete Ryan and Damian Rollison of Moon Valley Software. They showed me their MyRepMan product, which has been in development for the past couple years. Another impressive product, it appears to me to be the broadest one I’ve encountered in this growing area.

Among the things it does, MyRepMan identifies the presence or absence of business listings on relevant local sites and scores each business. It provides detail from individual directories and search engines. It captures mentions and reviews and also seeks to integrate paid advertising placement into the dashboard.

Here are some screenshots to illustrate most of this functionality (click to expand):

Like the YellowBot reputation product, StepRep and maybe even Yext, MyRepMan has more “horsepower” than most SMBs can be expected to utilize. Indeed, a tiny subset of the overall population will take advantage of all these tools have to offer. The primary audience for most of these products may turn out to be sales or account reps working with SMBs and not SMBs themselves. Moon Valley in fact developed MyRepMan as a sales aid for one of the yellow pages publishers.

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Moon Valley’s Damian Rollison offers his own overview of the MyRepMan product and its capabilities.

Yellowbot Offers Reputation Tool Too

May 26, 2010

Unknown to me until recently, Yellowbot has been offering a reputation management tool to the SMB market. Last week I got a demo and was impressed by its capabilities and flexibility.

Here are some screens that reflect features:

The interface isn’t quite as slick as Yext’s tool introduced yesterday. However this is a powerful system that offers merchants the ability to update and correct listings, monitor competitors, see mentions from a pretty comprehensive list of sources and track “buzz” by date ranges. The latter ability provides another sort of analytics tool for SMBs in addition to reputation and presence management.

One could use it for example to track the efficacy of traditional media: did a coupon or direct mail drop result in a spike in online activity? One could also use this in a similar fashion to test the relative performance of different local sites. However those scenarios are probably beyond the scope of what most SMBs are going to do with this platform.

Indeed, the issue as I see it is that Yellowbot’s platform may be too powerful for many time-starved SMBs who won’t exploit its full capabilities. But that doesn’t take anything away from the platform and the true users of this will likely be the sales channels and publishers with SMB advertiser relationships.

Right now, as I understand it, Yellowbot has several partners that are selling the platform. With Yext’s free tool — and MerchantCircle certain to upgrade its free tool — can stand-alone pricing survive?

Citysearch Plans Reputation Mgmt Offering

May 10, 2010

Kate Kaye of ClickZ interviews Citysearch’s Neal Salvage about CityGrid and the general SMB ad offering from Citysearch. From my point of view, here are the interesting parts of the article:

According to Neil Salvage, Citysearch’s EVP of advertising, the ultimate goal is to reduce the number or offerings and sell them on a flat-fee basis rather than a performance-basis . . .

Citysearch currently allows advertisers to update their company profiles displayed across the Web through the platform associated with its CityGrid listings distribution system. They can also respond to reviews posted about their businesses using the platform.

“In the next quarter, we will be expanding our capabilities to offer merchants even more robust reputation management capabilities such as reviewing reviews from across CityGrid, sentiment analysis and more,” explained Salvage.

The SMB online ad market is bifurcating somewhat, with a movement toward performance products in some quarters — Yelp just (re)introduced CPC — and fixed fee products otherwise (Citysearch). The group buying sites arguably represent the ultimate in performance-based marketing for SMBs.

Beyond this, some version of “reputation management” (an elastic category) is coming to most if not all SMB ad sellers/channels. It will ultimately be like SEO, just a part of the package.

Right now the most developed product is the one offered by Marchex. However AmIVisible (presence), Chatmeter and ClickFuel also have offerings with varying degrees of functionality.

If there are others out there, please let me know.


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