Over the past eight years we’ve been very fortunate to be involved with some groundbreaking SaaS businesses like Bazaarvoice, Mashery and Monetate, and in the process we’ve obtained first-hand insight into customer buying behavior – and how drastically it has changed in just the last few years. In SaaS 1.0, a vast majority of decisions were shaped by direct sales and marketing, conferences, research reports, etc., but more recently, we’ve seen a shift in buying behavior as decisions are being made online and services are becoming more social. Now, decisions are often driven and shaped by advocates – current or past customers that share their experiences with potential new customers. On places like Quora, Facebook and Twitter, we’re seeing more conversations around vendors that lead to real ARR.
For example, here was a recent question on Quora about Bazaarvoice: Why do companies use Bazaarvoice when the same thing can be developed in house or by modifying the many scripts out there? The result is that companies have less ability to influence consumer perception and opinion during the decision making process, unless they are able to find and interact with their advocates. Influitive is a new First Round Capital investment riding this wave and building software around this behavior. With Influitive, companies can engage their most vocal customers and amplify their reach through a series of tools and services. Influitive’s VIP customer advocate communities enable net promoters (advocates) to get what they want: recognition, building authority, gaining access to special opportunities and other value – resulting in a win-win proposition.
We’re really excited to be working with Mark Organ, CEO and Founder at Influitive for the first time. Mark isn’t new to SaaS – he was one of the creators of the modern marketing automation movement. Mark is a force of nature who helped build Eloqua as Founding CEO, which very recently went public. We’re looking forward to helping Mark and his team make a similarly large impact – take a look for yourself at Influitive.