We’ve all heard the advice to periodically “Google Yourself.” But now, it is becoming increasingly important for you to Google your company on a regular basis. If you are responsible for search engine optimization, you may be doing it anyway. But, I’d advise anyone who works with customers and prospects to do it too. Here’s why.
One of my colleagues, Derry Finkeldey, was preparing for an inquiry call with a client who was having some challenges breaking through to IT decision makers. They were seeing sales cycles just disappear and many of their programs that had worked okay were becoming less and less effective.
In her preparation, she googled this company. Of the top 5 search results, 4 were from Glassdoor. There is a lot of talk about the impact of Glassdoor reviews on hiring. But consider its impact on sales and marketing. Two of these search results were specific reviews with these headlines:
- [CompanyName] should not even be the last resort
- [CompanyName] – Don’t even consider working for this company
Imagine seeing that if you were a prospective customer. It would certainly cause you to pause. It might cause some to just dismiss this company outright–although basing decisions solely on one input, particularly an input that could be colored by personal biases (or even be fake, whether they are positive or negative), is rarely a good idea. Or it might prompt them to ask company representatives some questions. Derry certainly believes, and I agree, that this could be the cause of some of their challenges.
Are you prepared for this? You need to be. In an unscientific experiment, I googled a number of companies. Glassdoor reviews invariably appeared near the top of the search results (most often with a “Working at [companyname]” mention and a view of the average rating).
We know that buyers look to others for advice and input. We know that buyers rely heavily on Internet searches as part of their research process. And now, we know that employee reviews on Glassdoor are prominent in search results.
You need to know what your prospects see when they google you and prepare to respond to questions or concerns–or to address them proactively. Whether that be information from Glassdoor, other sites, or news articles.
Like other forms of reviews, transparency is a good thing overall. It forces us to be better. But it also requires us to understand these other perspectives and learn from them. And an ability to filter the real and the fake.
But prospects don’t always have the time to apply those filters. Little things can influence them and guide their gut instincts. As mentioned above, making decisions based on only one thing is a risky practice (including, for example, making decisions based on a Magic Quadrant report–or even more narrowly by looking at the MQ graphic), but it can happen.
Proactively help prospects discover other information that provides a more balanced and complete perspective. That will help them. And you.
Comments or opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual contributors only, and do not necessarily represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management. Readers may copy and redistribute blog postings on other blogs, or otherwise for private, non-commercial or journalistic purposes, with attribution to Gartner. This content may not be used for any other purposes in any other formats or media. The content on this blog is provided on an "as-is" basis. Gartner shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of the content or use of this blog.