In this Martech Fireside Chat, I catch up with Tom Goodwin and talk about, a solution to help businesses grow their online reputation through review collection and management.

Martech Fireside Chat Episode

In this 23 minute chat we talk about:

  • How got started;
  • Why reviews are important for businesses in today’s world;
  • What key features and super powers does have;
  • The role of the Influencer and whether it’s coming back;
  • How plays with other martech applications;
  • What is the difference between, Yotpo and Okendo;
  • What is on the roadmap for in 2021;
  • Personalisation, Tom’s key trend for 2021;
  • How to get started with;
  • A special offer for Martech Fireside Chat viewers.

If you do like what you hear/see and want to sign-up to, mention this Martech Fireside Chat with Tom Goodwin or Kingston Lee-Young and mention ‘FIRESIDE20′ to get 20% off all their plans. Mention on the live chat on their website of to the customer success team and support team.

A big thanks to and thanks to Tom for being on this Martech Fireside Chat.

If you need any help with your digital tech stack, or to help get more out of your current online performance, please contact us, we’d love to help. Transcript

Kingston Lee-Young: Hi everyone. Welcome to the latest edition of the Martech Fireside Chat. I’m Kingston Lee-Young from the Digital Mavens, and I’m here with Tom Goodwin, who is the COO of Hi Tom.

Tom Goodwin: How you doing Kingston, thanks for having me here today.

Kingston Lee-Young: Yeah, thanks for coming on. So yeah. Wanted to get you on board and, talk a little bit about So let’s jump straight into it.

Can you tell us a little bit about and how you got started?

Tom Goodwin: Well, yeah, well, we started as a just over 10 years ago. As from the domain we started in the UK as a reviews solution. We’re one of only a handful of companies globally that were awarded a Google seller ratings license, and very much built the business from there.

We rebranded the business as as we started to have a little bit more of a global presence. And my role is COO is I look after the operations side of the businesses. We’ve recently launched offices in Irvine, California, Sydney, Australia, Berlin in Germany, and then obviously still have our head office team back in the UK. And I’m very fortunate enough to be based in the office in Sydney here.

Kingston Lee-Young: So, okay. Let’s also jump into reviews, why are reviews important?

I know that we’ve seen with restaurants and with accommodation and a lot of things, that there’s been this massive trend towards it. But why do you guys think it’s really important?

Tom Goodwin: I think, you know, the customer’s voice is becoming incredibly important as part of some pre and post buying journey. And I think authenticity behind those reviews is a key elements of that. And I think as brands compete in a very competitive space online, their brand trust is a huge part of that. You know, I think we’ve all you know, we’re all guilty of when we go to buy a product online or when we’re researching on it, we quite often will put reviews at the end of that search term.

So, you know, when we’re looking at that and reading about the brand, brand trust is a huge player in that. And then I think as a business, what we’re there to do is support our customers in leveraging that brand trust in that customer’s voice online, you know whether it be on their own website or within sort of Google search feeds.

Kingston Lee-Young: Yeah. Okay. Well, let’s unpack that a little bit more. What are the key features or superpowers that you have?

Tom Goodwin: Super powers? That’s a pretty big word. Well, I’ve definitely got a few features that I think you know, give them quite a lot of superpowers, but I think for us, we’re very much, we operate across all platforms. So, you know, we’re not sort of focused purely on one platform; like some of our competitors around just Shopify. We, you know, we, integrate with all the platforms out there. We also have a very user-friendly, open API that allows even sort of the most sort of complex or enterprise businesses use our solutions.

So I think being a non-contracted solution, as well is certainly is something we’re super proud of, you know, we’re very transparent in our pricing and the way that we promote our products. And then I think the things that we’ve really developed and really been proud of over, certainly over the last 18 months, is how we can help customers promote user generated content.

So it’s a way that we can turn those reviews into sort of real powerful messages that can be, and that, that can be through our integration with Instagram, the way that you can create shoppable Instagram galleries, the way that you can create beautifully creative pieces that can be shared on Instagram stories. And that, again, it’s all about how we identify those customers for, you know, are they an influencer for your brand, you know, the way that, you know, looking at the number of followers, looking at what their reach is, really being able to put all of that information into our solutions.

So when it comes to, you know, not every review is the same, you know, there’s a huge amount of text-based reviews out there and really where, what we’ve really embraced is the way that you can use customers’ photos that have been incorporated with a review. The way that you can leverage, maybe the video review that’s been submitted and the way that you can really edit that and promote that and use that to leverage your brand online.

And I think it’s, it’s really, you know, there’s a lot more now to just the review, you know, it’s about how you, yeah, how you leverage it, how you capture it. So the fact that we provide the ability to capture the video and the photos along with that review. And yeah, I think, our Instagram integration is something that we’re super proud of and, that being able to identify influencers within our integration, something that we’re certainly, if we were to class a superpower, that’s one that we’re very proud of.

Kingston Lee-Young: So do you think then the role of the Influencer’s coming back? I know that there was a bit of a dark patch for them about 12 months ago.

Tom Goodwin: Yeah. I think it’s about how you’d identify an influencer. So, you know, there, isn’t just the, in a generation, you know, the, the influence out there, the ones that we see on you know, the celebrity influencers as we call them, but, you know, every brand has got an influencer. So, you know, every brand has got a brand ambassador, the people who love that product. Who shout about their product. Whether it’s an apparel you know, whether it’s a fashion brand or whether it’s you know, a holiday company you’re promoting, you know, bespoke packages, you know, everyone, you know, everyone has their own influencers. And, you know a fashion influencer is no good to a an electrical company or something like that.

And I think that’s where our integration really helped. You know an influencer to a, you know, to a travel company, is going to be very much based around, you know, the characteristics of that influencer. And I think yeah, you know, we’re not out yet. I think where you’ve sort of touched on it, the Influencer in general, has definitely had a bit of an awakening, but I think it’s about how we find our own ambassadors within our businesses. And I think that’s really where our product really comes to life.

Kingston Lee-Young: Yeah. I actually, I really liked that. Because, I think a lot of people do think straight away when you hear the word Influencer, I have to get to someone with lots and lots of followers who, you know, maybe looks a certain way and you might have to pay for that. But if you’re then talking about it as an Influencer for your business, who actually genuinely really has experienced your product or service, and is willing to promote it, then you really only need to get to a few of those and their network and they can have quite a powerful effect.

Tom Goodwin: I think that’s where our Klayvio integration really comes into play as well, because you know, what we’re able to do is actually push that segment data into the customer profile within Klaviyo. So that again, you know, you’ve got people out there who’ve got, you know, maybe 10 – 20,000 followers, are really strong within that current, within your sector, within your vertical of your business, and then you can, and you can push them into a unique flow, within Klayvio to actually then, you know, reward them in a different way.

Working with, you know, other plugins, like or Loyalty Lion in terms of adding them onto a real dynamic and unique loyalty program. And I think that’s really where you use, you know, where data really comes into play and then how you can actually push that through, into your other tech stack to really, you know, again, leverage the people, you know, your ambassadors of your business out there.

Kingston Lee-Young: Yeah. And so, what’s your approach then to other applications in a business’s tech stack? You know, how well do you play with others?

Tom Goodwin: I mean, the tech stack is incredibly important to us. Integrations is a huge part of our business. So yeah, I mean for us we’ve got fantastic relationships with the likes of, yeah, like I said, Loyalty Lions,, Gorgias, Klayvio, Message Media, lots of different businesses out there. So whether it’s communication, whether it’s customer support, customer success, that side of it. Whether it’s pure like customer profile and Omni channel marketing, whether it’s loyalty rewards you know, we’ve got a, and then right across then the social channels, whether it’s Facebook, whether it’s Instagram and those, you know, we really leverage, we want to be very much part of that, what we call the tech stack flywheel, it’s you know, making sure that all of that data is being shared across all the platforms, and that, you know, that every bit of everything that we’re providing from a customer’s voice brand trust perspective has been able to be leveraged within the other platforms.

Kingston Lee-Young: Yeah. Okay. Nice. Nice. So I’m going to ask you a question from, that’s probably on a lot of people’s minds is, so what’s the difference between and say Yotpo or Okendo out there.

Tom Goodwin: I would say the main difference between ourselves and say someone like Yotpo is that, you know, we’re a non-contracted solution. We’re a rolling 30-day subscription, we’re a pure SAAS model. We’re a hundred percent transparent. All our prices are on our website. And that, you know, overall, we’re not trying to, we very much look at ourselves as a key piece in customer’s tech stack. So the likes of Yotpo tried to be you know, tried to be everything I suppose.

And that, I think, you know, we talked about it pre going live is that, you know, nowadays Martech everything’s moving so quickly. The last thing you want to be doing is signing up to these long contracts and really putting all your eggs in one basket. And I think with some of our competitors, that’s what they try and make you do. And, you know, for us, we look at the tech stacks out there, particularly loyalty, customer support, marketing tech stack. You know, we look at them as huge friends of ours.

You know, we’ve got an amazing relationships and it’s about how we can leverage each other solution, how we can improve that integration, how we can maximize the data flow that’s going between the two. And, you know, what we’re really good at is we’re really good at reviews and we’re really gonna identifying, and helping our customers capture all of that user generated content.

So I think that’s where we are there, and then the likes of someone like Okendo, you know, their Shopify only, you know, and I think that’s the key thing that, we’ve obviously got a very powerful integration with Instagram that we’ve developed ourselves. Some of Okendo use, you know, other people’s integration to be able to enhance some of that. But overall, you know, I think the biggest difference with ourselves and Okendo is really the fact that we’re not, we’re not stuck for one platform. We’re not just stuck for Shopify. And if you look at the space at the moment and you look at 26% of our customers are on Shopify, and don’t get me wrong Shopify, if you look at all our leads coming in and you look at our business as a whole, yeah Shopify is huge, and we’ve got some amazing developments on the roadmap ahead in terms of what we’re doing with Shopify. But we also look at, you know, we’ve also got very strong connections with Magento, Big Commerce you know, right back from sort of our legacy clients going back from where we first started, 10 years ago, the WordPress environment. And then, you know, we’ve got some huge enterprise clients who are using our API, you know, we’ve got clients who are collecting and review with us every 0.6 of a second.

So, you know, we’ve got a real variety, from the start-up right through to your enterprise type clients. And I think the flexibility when it comes to, you know, the way headless commerce is coming in and the way that enterprise clients were looking at engaging in the review space, I think it helps a lot. I think, we also have an incredible integration with third party review apps as well, so that what we like to see ourselves as the full reputation management site.

So we’re able to connect with lots, with Facebook, with Google My Business, with the likes of TripAdvisor, with G2 crowd and Capterra and even TrustPilot as well. You can, you can connect to all of those platforms and manage all of those reviews within our solution. So you’re not having to log into multiple solutions. So our third party environment is definitely very very popular, particularly with clients that have got a strong online presence, but also are strong in bricks and mortar. You know we’ve got clients in Australia, likes of Pillow Talk, you know, got huge amount of stores across Australia. They need to be able to manage those Google My Business reviews, but at the same time, you know, online, they need to be able to create their own. They need all the good stuff that we provide with being a Google licensed product. So I think that that’s the biggest difference is that we’re not stuck just in that one environment.

Kingston Lee-Young: Yeah. Nice. So what’s on the roadmap for this year. Anything you can share?

Tom Goodwin: From our perspective, a big thing we’ve been doing this year, speed has become a massive thing, you know, really making sure that our widgets are the fastest widgets out there, so when their working within our customer’s websites, you know, we’ve got the quickest widgets out there.

And also customization and personalization is a huge part of what we’re doing. So again, really putting a lot of power into the way that we’re able to collect information from our customers, from the reviewers, how we collect that customer’s voice and making sure that we’re providing our customers every opportunity to gather information so that they can be more personalized in what they’re doing and the way that they’re reaching out to their customer base.

So certainly there’s a huge amount of we are doing around customization. And so we’ve got lots of new, widgets that we’re launching that are really making sure that everything that we publish on our customer’s websites, it’s all about their brands, not our brands. So it’s, you know, we should really be you know, it should be very much integrated in what they’re doing. So certainly that’s a big thing.

And I think also, we’re launching a new dashboard. I think we’ve, really, the first sort of major dashboard overview we’ve done as a business. And I think that’s really exciting because of all the, you know, we’ve got a lot of amazing features and I think it gets to a point where, you know, we want to really make sure that we’re leveraging that and making that as easy as possible for customers to use those new features. So I think it’s now come time to sort of launch a new dashboard, which is super exciting for us all.

Kingston Lee-Young: Yeah. If you had to forecast out, crystal ball gazing, you know, what do you think are some tips or trends to look out for?

Tom Goodwin: I think, you know, we’re talking to lots of people and I think personalisation is, you know, it’s not something new that I’m telling everybody, you know, personalisation, I think is as you and I have spoken as well as the, it’s a huge part of, as the new, you know, as ecomm as online grows as quickly as it’s growing, you know, the stats that they have in 2020 became the new 2030. I think it, people want that, want to feel special within an online environment. So, you know, there’s amazing tools out there that enable websites to be very focused around the individual customer and how you can add that personalised environment into everything you do.

And I think that for me, is still going to be a very strong trend throughout this year as people adopt and change. So the more dynamic websites will become, will come in terms of being able to, you know, show products that are specific for that customer who is on your website at that time, in the way that your loyalty rewards work that way.

I think that, for me is fundamental, I think also it’s around about, for me, it’s about how you leverage user generated content. So really making sure that all of the user generated content that you have, you’re able to provide that sort of social proof throughout the buying journey. And making that content very dynamic, which is really important to us as well. So when you look at again, the way our Klayvio integration works and we’re able to embed dynamic content into that specific to that customer, I think is a big plus in terms of what we’re doing.

Kingston Lee-Young: Yeah. I like that. And definitely support that. Certainly it’s great to have all that in, and you’ve got user-generated content. We know how good that is, but if you got then connect that to the next part of the buyer journey, or combine it with, with your outbound comms, then it kind of just sits in that one channel and it is nice, but you’d rather connect all the dots and then drive them down through to eventually a purchase or a transaction.

Tom Goodwin: Yeah. And I think that the people that, you know, the better you do that the more success you’re going to have, and the more success you’re going to have at beating, you know, some of the big players out there. And I think it, it makes the playing field very even within the sort of online community, the more personal you go, whether you’re the biggest retailer out there or independent, if you’re all doing that well, then you will win and you will do, and you’ll be successful in this space.

Kingston Lee-Young: Yeah. Yep. So if somebody is thinking about potentially they’ve tried out some of the other offers, what’s a good place to start. You know, what’s a reviews process.

Tom Goodwin: I think for us, we’ve just recently launched a new plan called the Essential Plan. So it makes it, you know, our solution a lot more, you know, enables people to get onto our solution a lot earlier in their sort of, I suppose, the review space, you know, there’s some popular competitors out there who, who really focus on the sort of startup space, but I think now we’ve got a great product that, yeah, the essential plan of $65 Australian dollars, and that really enables people to really start leveraging that customer’s voice, super quick. You know, from our side, you know, we, when people sign up with ourselves, you know, we really encourage reaching out to past customers.

So we have sort of a review booster feature that enables you to really capture that review content from past customers, you know, so that you can sort of fast track to a point where you can really leverage that content on your own website, on product pages using our widgets. So yeah, then, you know, really setting the automations in place, which is, again, it’s one click, whether you’re on Shopify, Big Commerce, Magento, super easy, WordPress, super easy just to use our plugins there, that creates that automation that enables those review invitations to go out at a set, designated time, you know, the happiest point in the customer’s journey, then you ask for that review.

And then really, you know, we very much become very much plug and play. We’ve got an amazing customer success team based in Sydney, here, who will help all the customers sort of really maximize the solution. Really get their stars in their Google shopping feed, get their stars in their Google Ads. Get those product reviews on their product pages so that user generated content is getting re-indexed and creating more traffic for them. And you know the one thing we do with all of it is keeping Google happy. At the end of the day if you put out content out there and keep Google happy then you know, it will really start to come to play and you’ll really start to create some good organic traffic back to your site, as well as leveraging what’s already on your site.

Kingston Lee-Young: Sold! Done. So look if anyone does want to jump onboard and start with you, do you have a little offer for them at all?

Tom Goodwin: Yeah definitely. Just state FIRESIDE20 and that will get you 20% off any of our plans. Jump onto our live chat on our website. Or my customer success team and support team here in Sydney are fully aware of the offer we are putting out there today. And we’ll get you set-up super quickly. You know, we’re really proud of the support team and success team we’ve created in Sydney, you know we’ve only been here, not even 2 years, but our focus has very much been supporting those customers and making sure we’ve got a local support team that can do that for them.

Kingston Lee-Young: Yeah, fantastic. So those that are listening, or those that are watching FIRESIDE20 – get 20% off. Fantastic. Alright, I think I might call it there. Thank you so much Tom for your time. And talking us through We’ll hopefully speak later on in the year when there is more exciting news.

Tom Goodwin: Yeah definitely. Thanks for your time and thanks for inviting me along.

Kingston Lee-Young: Alright, thanks Tom. See ya.

Tom Goodwin: Cheers. Bye.