This week, we proudly announced that Sam Decker, our VP of Marketing and Products, has been elected to the Word of Mouth Marketing Association's (WOMMA) Board of Directors. This is a well deserved win for Sam. Sam has certainly proven his leadership experience at Bazaarvoice, leading our marketing team to accomplish a solid press hit more than every two days since launch and leading our product team to build a a world-class solution that services the likes of Sears, HP, The Home Depot, PETCO, Overstock.com, Macy*s, Dell, and over 80 other eCommerce leaders. Sam has also established himself on a local level, being elected to serve as the incoming President Elect of our local Texchange, which has hosted speakers like Guy Kawasaki (little known fact: Guy was one of my first investors at Coremetrics) and Dr. E. L. Kersten, the founder of Despair.
WOMMA is an organization that I really believe in. Like Shop.org (where I served on the Board of Directors for over two years), it is a non-profit dedicated to serving its rapidly growing industry well. My co-founder, Brant, Sam, and I have all had the pleasure of speaking (teaching?) at WOMMA events. As a matter of fact, Sam is speaking again on April 18 at WOMMA's "Word of Mouth Basic Training" conference in New Orleans, alongside people like Dr. David Weinberger, who co-authored "The Cluetrain Manifesto" (the book that inpired me to select our "unusual" company name). Sam is a busy man and is also speaking at Forrester's Marketing Forum 2007 on April 12 in Miami.
This week, we also proudly announced that WOMMA's founder, Andy Sernovitz, joined our Board of Advisors. Since I write this in the same post, please note that this news is unrelated to Sam joining WOMMA's Board (the election process isn't influenced by the founder, but rather a nominating committee of WOMMA members that carefully screen applications and then put their selection to the entire membership to vote). In any case, I have known and respected Andy for many years. We have been on parallel tracks, since both of us graduated from The Wharton School, building online businesses and organizations that we are passionate about. Andy and I were destined to work together, and I am happy that the time has finally come. I have no doubt that he will make a huge impact at Bazaarvoice.
It was a very busy week at Bazaarvoice. We also announced a major partnership with our friends at Loyalty Lab. I have known Mark Goldstein, Loyalty Lab's CEO, since he was CEO of Bluelight.com (a former Coremetrics' client). He is an impressive entrepreneur. Mark and his team have been great to work with, and I know we will do exciting things together. Bridging customer loyalty and online word of mouth is a natural marriage. As a matter of fact, customer ratings and reviews have already been proven in several studies to increase customer loyalty and satisfaction. The latest study was put out by my friends at ForeSee Results, the original creators of the ACSI (if you don't know what the ACSI is – learn now, as it impacts the U.S. stock market in radical ways). If you haven't seen the study, I can email you a copy or you can get it here. Loyalty Lab will turbocharge the building of customer loyalty when combined with our solution.