Editor’s Note: In celebration of our 11th Anniversary this month, we asked our CEO, Gene Austin, to share his thoughts on today’s Bazaarvoice.
1. Our Clients are awesome
We get to work with the best and brightest brands and retailers across the world. One of our latest client success stories involves Kabrita, a maker of goat milk baby formula and related products. The brand completely recognizes the value of consumer-generated content (CGC), especially the “power of a mom’s voice.” Moms trust other moms, so the company needed a way to capture and publicize all the great feedback and create an effective way to engage with those customers, all with the goal of educating health-conscious moms on the benefits of packaged milk, a relatively novel concept in the US. Because of their success in using CGC, among other content types, Kabrita recently won an award from PR Daily for Best Content Marketing/Brand Journalism, beating out large companies such as MasterCard and Coke.
2. Our Network is growing
This past year we released the CGC Index to show the value of our expansive consumer-generated content network. Retailers see a +97% increase in conversion, a +10% increase in average order value, and a +106% in revenue per visitor when customers interact with consumer-generated content. Our network has grown and continues to grow beyond 700 million shoppers (as measured by devices) across 6,300 brands and retailers.
3. Pipeline of Innovation
In the last three years, Bazaarvoice has continued to innovate in order to offer more solutions in our fast changing market. Our clients need different types of content, and they need to place that content in the right place at the right time. As a result, we have expanded our product portfolio and strategic services to help clients deploy even stronger CGC strategies. Our newest innovation, Shopper Advertising, is tapping into the shopping data we collect each day and allows our clients to use that data to find in-market shoppers for a particular category of brand. An amazing set of innovations in the last three years and there is more to come!
4. Thought Leadership is strong
We work hard at Bazaarvoice to stay ahead of our clients with insights and directions that will help them make the best decisions possible to grow their businesses. Our expansive network of retailers, brands and their consumers gives us access to invaluable shopping trends and data, and we have published a number of important research studies. Our ROBO study – research online, buy offline – received exceptional feedback for its value behind the growing ROBO trend amongst consumers. Our inaugural CGC Index earned coverage from multiple outlets, and we are already preparing for our next edition. Most recently, the Shopper Advertising team released the Back-To-School Infographic which examines shopper behavior during this time of year as consumers prepare for back-to-school.
5. Financially Strong
Only two years ago, Bazaarvoice was not profitable, and burning a lot of cash to run our business. Today we can now say we are a profitable company, as measured by Adjusted EBITDA, that generates cash, in other words, a complete turnaround financially. Our team worked incredibly hard to achieve this milestone.
6. The People
A company that has changed as much as Bazaarvoice has can only do so with a great team and an awesome culture. We are fortunate to continue to attract great employees year after year. The team I have the privilege of leading will guide Bazaarvoice through its transformation and I have complete confidence that this team will continue to move Bazaarvoice into the future.
7. Bazaarvoice Generosity continues to shine
The Bazaarvoice Foundation continues to do great work in schools throughout Austin to inspire the future innovators and business leaders. During our b:generous week every year, employees across the world set aside time to help in their communities. This year during Amplify ATX we placed 2nd amongst tech companies in Austin for amount raised.
8. Bazaarvoice Passion runs deep
9. Employee Accountability
Employee accountability has become a huge theme as we have undergone our transformation, employees have to be accountable to one another, their teams, and the company as a whole in order to achieve success. DWYSYWD – Do What You Say You Will Do!
10. Austin HQ
Last December, we moved into our new Austin HQ in North Austin and it has done wonders for re-energizing our team. Transforming our company is tough work, and yet when you walk around our new HQ, you can see and feel the transformation unfolding. Our sparkling HQ is a constant reminder to our employees, clients and shareholders that Bazaarvoice is strong and getting stronger. On a side note, it also gave us the opportunity to partner with other local Austin businesses, and of course, our Whole Foods Market Café is a favorite.
11. The Future
I am excited to see what is in store for Bazaarvoice over the course this year. Our new vision is powerful and the right message for our employees and clients – creating the world’s smartest network of consumers, brands and retailers. While our last year was one of the more challenging ones for our employees, we were successful in laying a foundation for transforming the company, and this year we get to see the fruits of our hard work unfold. My sincere thanks to our employees, our moderators, our clients and our shareholders for their hard work and support of our mission. On to an even dozen!