Leave a comment
Get the GH Bookmarklet

AMAs

Adrienne Weissman serves as G2 Crowd’s first chief marketing and customer officer. She came to the company with more than 15 years of sales and marketing experience in the tech space. Her expertise stems from her years spent in senior-level leadership roles at multiple industry giants, including Digg, AOL, Dstillery, LinkedIn, and Google, prior to her current position at G2 Crowd.

Since joining, Weissman has grown the marketing, communications, and sales teams from five to 37 members and has spearheaded significant growth in revenue and partnerships. She has lead the efforts on partnerships with two of the biggest names in tech, LinkedIn, and IBM. She also serves as the first and longest-serving female on the executive leadership team. She is responsible for all things brand, customers and corporate and business partnerships.

Adrienne lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband, Scott and three children.

She will be live on Oct 12 starting at 930 AM PT for one and a half hours during which she will answer as many questions as possible.

To add this event to your calendar, click here

  • TN

    Tri Nguyen

    2 months ago #

    How do you balance being an unbiased resource and monetizing the vendors that G2Crowd features?

    • AW

      Adrienne Weissman

      2 months ago #

      Hi Tri- Thanks for your question. We have a very strict separation at G2 Crowd. our mantra is "the buyers come first". That is the key component of our decision making process, as well as how we are structured. All of our research function is based solely on providing information that helps buyers - and there is not an amount of money that can influence that.

      4 Share
      • AW

        Adrienne Weissman

        2 months ago #

        In truth our founders implemented "buyers come first" before they even started writing code for the website. It is truly at the heart of what we do. Every significant decision includes asking the question "is this buyers come first"? Our structure, roles, responsibilities and decision making process always look at that question.

      • TN

        Tri Nguyen

        2 months ago #

        I'd love to hear more details about your internal structure that enables your "buyer comes first" mantra.

  • MD

    Mark Anthony de Jesus

    2 months ago #

    What is G2Crowd's biggest growth challenge currently? How are you tackling this?

    • AW

      Adrienne Weissman

      2 months ago #

      Hi Mark - Wow our biggest growth challenge...there are a few. I would definitely say that the biggest challenge is the sheer scope of space that we cover. G2 Crowd is collecting reviews from the Business software space, this is well known. But now we are also covering the Business services space as well - estimated at 40 x the size of the software space. That's an insane amount of space to cover. So we are tackling that by making smart, incremental steps into spaces that make sense. For instance on the services side, we are diving into collecting reviews from PR agencies. They are likely to both benefit from the services we offer, as well as having clients who should also be implementing a review strategy.

      4 Share
      • MD

        Mark Anthony de Jesus

        2 months ago #

        What told you that it was time to consider moving into reviews for the business services space?
        And is this what you see as your growth strategy for the near term - ie complimentary areas (eg PPC agencies, once you're done with PR etc)?

      • AW

        Adrienne Weissman

        2 months ago #

        Our founders vision was always to bring transparency to the entire B2B market - this is just our path of growth.

  • JP

    John Phamvan

    2 months ago #

    Hey Adrienne
    a. What is the trigger for G2Crowd to consider a partnership with someone>
    b. What did you learn about building partnerships at LI/IBM that still applies with G2Crowd? What doesn't apply?

    • AW

      Adrienne Weissman

      2 months ago #

      Hi John - one of our greatest keys to any partnership is the baseline understanding of G2 Crowd's principles and that we will not stray from them. Then it really depends on finding opportunities that benefit both companies. If a company approaches us about a partnership that furthers our mission to democratize the B2B marketplace and keeps the buyer at the heart of the project - then we are interested in learning more. But not every partnership comes to fruition. Even the best partnership intentions can stumble when you are working out the details.

      4 Share
      • JP

        John Phamvan

        2 months ago #

        Have there been any patterns you've seen for why partnerships don't work out once you get into the details or even after you've begun working together?
        Are there any ways to identify such issues even earlier in the process that you mitigate the odds of running into them to begin with?

      • AW

        Adrienne Weissman

        2 months ago #

        We are pretty young in the partnership game, but I think the key remains that both parties need to gain, without jeopardizing one another's core values. If some aspect of the proposal doesn't fit with a core value, then it's going to likely crumble.

  • GH

    Glen Harper

    2 months ago #

    Thank you for being here today, Adrienne.
    I've never come across someone who is both CCO and CMO. Can you tell us what the advantages and challenges of leading both of these really important roles?

    • AW

      Adrienne Weissman

      2 months ago #

      HA! I jokingly tell my team (and family) that in my mind I choreograph insanely complex dance routines. There are definitely benefits and challenges to my roles, but with a rapidly growing start up, we wear all hats on some days. But I am blessed with a terrific team of leaders and they help to make my life a lot easier. I think that the greatest challenge I face in both of these roles is simply the rate of our expansion. I don't mean growth, I mean expansion into new spaces and new audiences. We are always crossing new hurdles and new topics.

      • GH

        Glen Harper

        2 months ago #

        I can see that. A couple of follow ups, If I may:
        a. Would you be willing to share some examples of new hurdles you've run into?
        b. What would have to happen for you say the company is ready for a dedicated CCO?

      • AW

        Adrienne Weissman

        2 months ago #

        Traditionally, many CMO's job ended with the creation and handoff of leads, but we have to play a larger part in customer experience to grow brand awareness and create advocates. My biggest challenge is also my biggest win: hiring key people to help me manage the day to day duties and tactics so we can build a great experience for companies at all stages. - Regarding a dedicated CCO, as the company grows, roles must become more focused, there's simply too much volume otherwise. The answer is that growth will determine the need.

  • DH

    Dani Hart

    2 months ago #

    Excited to have you on today, Adrienne.
    What is G2Crowd's North Star Metric?
    How have you been able to rally & align the organization around this key metric?

    • AW

      Adrienne Weissman

      2 months ago #

      For G2 Crowd, the greatest metric and value we look at are the high quality, verified reviews are collecting. We want to make certain that we are collecting at least 10 reviews on every product on G2 Crowd. Those reviews are our greatest value that drives our research, our products, our traffic and our value to vendors. That's also why we have rejected more than 30,000 reviews to date - because quality matters.

      3 Share
      • AA

        Anuj Adhiya

        2 months ago #

        Is the verification process manual, automated or a hybrid? How does that work (and how does that scale)?

      • AW

        Adrienne Weissman

        2 months ago #

        We have a human being read every single review that comes in to G2 Crowd. So it is manual and we continue to believe it's the only answer. Our team also uses LinkedIn to review the author and make certain they are not a company employee, etc. We will eclipse 250 K reviews in the next week or so, and we continue to be able to handle the volume. We will see what the future holds.

  • DO

    Danielle Olivas

    2 months ago #

    Can you talk about the strategy of having vendors contact G2Crowd to receive pricing info vs just having tiers/plans that are public?

    I also have a similar question about the subscription levels features checklist: http://go.g2crowd.com/WC-2016-Q4-Subscription-Levels-Features-Checklist_LP---Subscription-Levels-Features-Checklist.html - why is this gated?

    • AW

      Adrienne Weissman

      2 months ago #

      Hi Danielle, all vendors have access to pricing and features from directly in their G2 Crowd Profile Admin. We ask for info on that page so we can follow-up and make sure you are aware of, and taking full advantage of a free profile on the site!

      • DO

        Danielle Olivas

        2 months ago #

        I can see that. However, if I can ask for some more detail again on this because I think it is a very interesting strategy that I haven't seen used commonly....
        I get that vendors have access to pricing etc in their free profile but why not serve up that info without needing any profile to begin with?

      • AW

        Adrienne Weissman

        2 months ago #

        We build our pricing models so that companies and products of all sizes can participate with G2 Crowd. There are a lot of factors that are considered, such as the size of the vendor and how vibrant the category is. Obviously setting prices for an enterprise product in CRM, like Salesforce, and expecting the same price point for a small start up in CAD would not encourage both to be well represented for buyers on the site.

  • JD

    James Dunn

    2 months ago #

    Hey Adrienne,
    You've had an amazing career so far. It's especially kudos worthy imo that you are the first and longest-serving female on the executive leadership team.
    What can/should other companies be doing for us to be able to hear more such stories of long term and increased gender-balanced representation at the leadership level?

    • AW

      Adrienne Weissman

      2 months ago #

      I've been a long time proponent of a few concepts regarding female leaders in the tech community. Some points that I make regularly are this.

      First, women need to stand firm. Make sure your voice is heard and perspective is understood. And when you're right and you have a win, be sure to share that with everyone around you. Be vocal.

      Secondly, women need to give one another tips, mentoring and advice on their professional growth. When another woman is truly doing good work, be sure to help champion it.

      And finally, we need to remember to teach women that "coding" isn't the only way into the tech community. Tech is taking over many aspects of the business world - and that means fields from marketing to accounting are needed, regardless of gender.

      5 Share
  • SK

    S Kodial

    2 months ago #

    Hi Adrienne,
    How do you define "brand"?
    How measures do you have of G2Crowd living up to these characteristics on ongoing basis (and are any of them quantitative)?

    • AW

      Adrienne Weissman

      2 months ago #

      Hi!

      Great question, I'm assuming you're asking about our brand -- At our core, G2 Crowd strives to build a meaningful business that brings joy to the lives of our users and our team. We look at our our growth as a website, community, and company as measurable proof that we're heading the right direction. We also track our own reviews closely and take user feedback into account in every thing we do.

  • JQ

    Jonathan Quenard

    2 months ago #

    Hey Adrienne,
    You grew a team from five to 37 members and that's impressive.
    What were you focusing on/how did you spend your energy during your first 6 months at G2Crowd?

    • AW

      Adrienne Weissman

      2 months ago #

      During my first 6 months we were really focused on building our product and collecting reviews. The challenge was always to collect enough reviews to have value and then figure out how to show that value to vendors. So that was our focus.

      • AW

        Adrienne Weissman

        2 months ago #

        Absolutely! We have a few great case studies: https://www.g2crowd.com/testimonials/ as well as a number of reviews that talk about ROI: https://www.g2crowd.com/products/g2-crowd-marketing-solutions/reviews

        My team witnessed a deal get signed in person at an event - the buyer had seen a demo on the show floor, came to our booth to read through reviews, and asked the vendor for a contract to sign on the spot!

      • AW

        Adrienne Weissman

        2 months ago #

        Also the sales process has changed. Research has shown that as many as 90 % of buyers have made a buying decision before they engage a sales person. Which leaves us to ask - who's influencing these decisions. We have nearly 1 million visitor to G2 crowd every month. Vendors see this through the data and insights they see on their page, in their reviews and from the reports we build on the space. We are not a simple lead gen platform, we are a true site of social influence.

      • AA

        Anuj Adhiya

        2 months ago #

        A follow up: How are you able to demonstrate the ROI of the platform to vendors? In other words, how are any trials/sales/conversions that happen at their end definitively attributable back to G2Crowd?

  • JF

    Javier Feldman

    2 months ago #

    Hola, Adrienne,
    What is G2Crowd's most successful acquisition channel?
    Can you talk about a couple of things that you'll did within this channel that led to big changes in its efficiency for you (from an end user and/or paying vendor perspective)?

    • AW

      Adrienne Weissman

      2 months ago #

      Hola!
      Our most successful channel is word of mouth. Every day, our reviewers and site users are going back to business software and service providers asking for detailed reviews and transparent customer references. The biggest thing we have done is run our own review campaign to get real user feedback on how we're doing. By asking our customers to write a review, they get to see the other side of the platform and get first hand insight into the in-depth nature of our survey -- they in turn appreciate the time and energy their own advocates pour into G2 Crowd on their behalf even more.

      • JF

        Javier Feldman

        2 months ago #

        That's great.
        To be honest, I thought it was Organic/SEO because G2Crowd shows up so often (and high) when you search for business tools.
        Do you'll do anything specific with respect to SEO to ensure your reviews show up consistently for relevant queries?

      • AW

        Adrienne Weissman

        2 months ago #

        Javier - SEO is definitely a primary driver for us. Our team is well versed in strong, white-hat, SEO principals and we implement them greatly. Our communications team also does a great job of making our team of experts available in a wide variety of mediums to provide insights and commentary - which leads to added SEO benefits. So yes SEO is also hugely important to G2 Crowd.

  • AA

    Anuj Adhiya

    2 months ago #

    So cool to finally have you on Adrienne!

    What's been your top 2-3 biggest learnings with respect to the dynamics of a marketplace/2 sided platform?

    • AW

      Adrienne Weissman

      2 months ago #

      HI Anuj - Thanks for the question. At G2 Crowd we are in a unique position. The biggest learning is to stick to your guns on your philosophy. For us, that means "the buyer comes first". Every decision we make is with the buyer in mind and helping them have more transparency in their research / buying process. We have a very strict separation in our company - there is not a price that will over ride our commitment to the buyer and providing them with the high quality information that they need.

      • AW

        Adrienne Weissman

        2 months ago #

        Buyers come first is at the heart of what we do. Every user of G2 Crowd can see the visual evidence that a review has been validated. They can also learn more on the site about our review process and our research products. If you write a review on G2 Crowd, one of the first things you'll realize is that we are not simply accepting a star rating and three word response. Every review has a minimum of 36 points of data and every review will be shared publicly with the world.

      • AA

        Anuj Adhiya

        2 months ago #

        How is this commitment communicated to buyers (in word and deed)?

  • MT

    Manny Tafoya

    2 months ago #

    What was it about promise and opportunity of G2Crowd that prompted you to make the jump and join their team?

    • AW

      Adrienne Weissman

      2 months ago #

      Hi Manny - The allure of G2 Crowd was definitely the opportunity to empower buyers with the same transparency and insights that they were already seeking out in their B2C lives. The buying process has changed and the founders of G2 Crowd recognized that very early on.

      • AA

        Anuj Adhiya

        2 months ago #

        I think this is a key insight - our expectations for certain things stay the same whether we are our professional selves or personal ones. We tend to forget that when marketing to marketers

  • PD

    Porus Daruvala

    2 months ago #

    Hi Adrienne
    What is the biggest cause of churn for end users and vendors at G2Crowd?
    What strategies have worked best to mitigate this for both of these audiences?

    1 Share
    • AW

      Adrienne Weissman

      2 months ago #

      Thanks for the question Porus. The biggest source of churn for vendors is either not embracing the functions available to them on G2 Crowd or looking at G2 Crowd as a simple source of leads. We work to make sure that Vendors understand that G2 Crowd is designed to help them build a stronger and more transparent relationship with both customers and prospects. When they engage with those concepts and embrace a review strategy, that's when they begin to understand the value.

      2 Share
      • PD

        Porus Daruvala

        2 months ago #

        Awesome.
        Do you have some signals (like hasn't done x in y days) that are a sign that a vendor is at risk of churning?
        And when you get those signals, how do you engage with vendors - is it emails/getting them on the phone (and if yes - does it matter who within G2Crowd the messages come from)?

      • AW

        Adrienne Weissman

        2 months ago #

        We have built a playbook that our customer team uses to build a long term and healthy relationship with vendors. If the vendor disengages with that relationship, then we need to take added steps to understand where the problem exists and re-engage them. How we reach them is variable based on a case by case basis. We don't believe in a true one size fits all approach

  • AR

    Abhinav Rege

    2 months ago #

    What were your initial challenges for branding when you were just starting out? And how'd you go about it?

Join over 70,000 growth pros from companies like Uber, Pinterest & Twitter

Get Weekly Top Posts
High five! You’re in.
SHARE
40
40