Drawing on combined experience in software development and marketing in the services sector, we saw a problem

Companies today are fighting a war that they rarely realize exists.

The last 15 years saw the rise of the internet from a nice-to-have to a primary channel in almost every company’s marketing mix. Originally, the internet was mostly a one-way communication channel. Businesses put their message out for potential customers to discover. That information rarely flowed both ways, until the last few years.

Online reviews gave customers a voice that changed how people discover and choose the businesses they use. Today, consumers rarely make a purchase over $100 without consulting some form of online review or rating. Even more important though, is the role of reviews in discovery.

Search for any local business and you’ll most likely see a location and reviews first. If a business doesn’t have any reviews, you'll often see their competitor who does.

Your reviews affect not only how well customers convert, but other things as well, like where you rank when people search and how much you pay for a click from your paid advertising.

As companies focused on strategies around backlinks and social media posting in an attempt to keep up with their competition, many failed to realize that this was becoming less relevant. Locally focused businesses today face several newer and arguably more important issues:

Monitoring the conversations happening about their business on review sites, directories, and social mediaInfluencing their visible reputation by generating more positive reviews on the platforms that countCapturing direct, actionable feedback from their customers and being able to extract both qualitative and quantitative insights to improve their product, service, and marketing message.

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