Reviews Madness 2019 Playbook: Claim the Title of Software Reviews Champion

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Good afternoon, sports fans!

It’s time, once again, for the ultimate of ultimates, the holy grail of business competition: the fifth annual Gartner Digital Markets Reviews Madness Tournament!

The NCAA tournament ain’t got nothin’ on what we have in store for you.

We’re talking six brutal rounds of reviews collections. Sixty-four competitors enter, but only one can be crowned Reviews Madness Champion.

Header illustration of a man with a trophy and 5 stars

How to get in on the action

You’ve got until Sunday, March 17 to enter the 2019 Reviews Madness Tournament. From there, we’ll select 64 contenders (out of everyone that registers) for a shot at eternal glory.

Contender selection and seeding is based on your Gartner Digital Markets Reviews (GDMR) score, which we calculate using the below formula:

Total number of reviews x Average reviews rating = GDMR score

Those reviews are pulled from across all Digital Markets sites (Capterra, GetApp, Software Advice).

reviews tournament illustration

Here’s a look ahead at this year’s tournament schedule

  • Round 1—64 competitors: March 19 – 24
  • Round 2—32 competitors: March 25 – 28
  • Round 3—Sweet 16: March 29 – April 3
  • Round 4—Elite 8: April 4 – 9
  • Round 5—Final 4: April 10 – 14
  • Round 6—Championship: April 15 – 17
  • Winner announced: April 18

Each round, one competitor will face off against another. The participant who collects the most new, confirmed reviews during that round (time period) moves on to the next.

At the start of each round, we set the reviews tally back to zero for all participants.

For this tournament, only reviews submitted through the vendor’s own efforts will qualify, so there’s no cheating and using our Reviews as a Service (RaaS) to become champion (although it’s an invaluable resource outside of the tournament).

How can you set your business up for success?

Look back at the GDMR formula; how do you think you currently fare?

Check out this benchmarking guide to give you a leg up, and then go collect more reviews so you can make it into the bracket.

Not only will this help ensure you get to participate, but it’s a good warmup to loosen your review-collecting muscles.

As the rounds go on, you’ll want to focus on new channels to reach your clients. This will drive new reviews to your portal and drive you straight to the championship.

To make it easier on yourself, share a direct link to your Gartner Digital Markets review form (which you can find in the reviews tab of your vendor portal account).

Tell your clients a bit more about the competition (including your company’s current standing), and make your clients feel like they’re part of your team.

But what are the best ways to reach your audience and collect feedback? Let’s take a look at four effective reviews collection methods.

4 effective reviews collection methods to land you at the head of the pack

1. Email campaigns targeting specific customers

Reviews are essential to gaining new leads and moving those leads through the sales funnel more quickly.

A recent Gartner survey found that leads who looked at reviews during the awareness stage moved through the funnel two weeks faster than those who didn’t. Customer reviews are also the first source of information during the research stage for 19% of all U.S.-based small and midsize businesses (SMBs).

Email is a proven easy and effective means of recruiting new reviews. Launch an email campaign for customers who have purchased your software within the past few years. Their opinion is the most relevant, and the most similar to your current leads.

Be sure to include the following components in your email:

  • Personalization
  • A “thank you for being a customer” message
  • An explanation of Reviews Madness
  • A CTA that asks for their help
  • A link to your Gartner Digital Markets review form
 PRO TIP:  Consider building a targeted list of customers for each round. This will ensure that you don’t burn through all of your contacts too early, and that none fall through the cracks.

2. Social media promotion

The internet is a vast place, filled to the brim with any number of social media platforms.

So use them!

As the competition progresses, change your messages and timing across every possible social channel to make sure you’re reaching all of your clients.

Eighty percent of the time, you’re reaching your customers on their phones. Using different social media platforms will help you reach folks who are conducting business on the go—an entire subset of clients who wouldn’t normally respond to a reviews request they get in their email.

Use social media to promote your placement in the tournament, provide frequent updates to generate excitement, and let your clients know when you make it to the next round and need their help!

3. Host a contest or special promotion

Treat this contest like an onion by adding layers with a contest of your own.

A special promotion or contest can help generate excitement and urgency among your customers. Consider giving away things like company swag or a gift card to incentivize reviews.

You can also host a competition within your organization where you award some sort of prize to whichever members of your customer-facing teams collect the most new reviews.

4. Reach out to your brand advocates

Brand advocates can be hugely helpful to your company.

This is especially true when you’re in a contest that’s all about generating buzz and reviews. Brand ambassadors reach approximately 150 people for every social media post they make.

Between their reach and your own online community of advocates, this is a great way to recruit both reviews and new leads.

If you’ve got a brand advocacy program in place, you should have a list of people who are brand loyal but not vocal advocates. You can ask them—while following up on a client success call—to leave a review and/or post about your contest.

Don’t forget to do your homework

Before the tipoff at the start of competition, dive into the many resources available on our blog, covering everything from what you can do with reviews to the benefits of reviews, and best practices on collecting them.

We’ll also be posting two new articles about reviews to help you out in the coming month, so stay tuned!

Let the games begin!

Watch the clock, because the countdown is on.

The first round of Gartner Digital Markets’ 5th Annual Review Madness Tournament starts March 19.

Looking for software? Check out Capterra's list of the best software solutions.

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About the Author


Adam Rosenthal

Adam Rosenthal is a Senior Specialist Analyst covering Vendor Marketing. He received his Masters from the University of Chicago and worked on several TV shows you might have heard of.


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