Justin Spring (BringShare) Shares Growth and Inspiration

Justin Spring, like many others within this industry fustrated with poor reporting, exerted his focus in creating a new Internet Marketing reporting SaaS tool. What inspires Justin? What up-and-coming features should we expect?

Justin Spring recently shared his philosophy with me. His experience and passion to elevate wastage of resources has produced a fantastic looking product. I recommend you to trial a demo today.

Thanks Justin for taking the time out.

Can you describe BringShare as if I knew nothing about it?

BringShare is the simplest way to track your marketing. We mash up all your marketing data together in one place to provide you with your full digital marketing picture. Our marketing channel-specific dashboards -the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Dashboard, Social Media Dashboard, Paid Search Dashboard and Email Marketing Dashboard, give you a look at how each marketing channel performs as a whole, while the Master Dashboard shows you how these different internet marketing channels perform against one-another.

The simplest way to put it is this: our six unique dashboards show you everything you need to know to make your reporting easier to understand and more robust.

What was your inspiration for creating BringShare?

My cofounder Danielle Walton and I also founded a marketing agency in the past. We were able to grow our digital agency 100% every year through diligent analytics analysis and reporting, but generating digital marketing reports for all of our clients every month was getting to be ridiculously manual and time consuming. It would take 20-40 hours a month and there was no tool out there to make it simple while still providing our clients with all of the information they need to stay informed. At this point, we saw a clear problem and shifted our attention to providing BringShare as the solution. Our philosophy was (and still is) to simplify and accelerate the online marketing analysis function so our fellow marketers can focus their time on being smarter marketers instead of wasting valuable time manipulating data -and that’s what we did.

Since the commencement of your SaaS product, what have been the highs and lows for BringShare?

Visits and Sales Driven by SEOAs a relatively young company, one of our bigger challenges is setting priorities for what to integrate with and when. It can be incredibly difficult to balance the need to provide your members with everything they need and more and defining priority for what can happen when. Development hours are always limited, so we end up doing what’s best for our members. We take their  feature requests and suggestions incredibly seriously and end up iterating around what will increase the digital marketing experience for them while also keeping our system at the cutting edge of emerging trends by being quick to add platforms like Pinterest when they start to gain momentum and affect the digital marketing world.

Which top 3 features of BringShare would you say outshine the competition?

  1. Our (brand new) SEO Dashboard, Paid Search Dashboard and Master Dashboard are killer. All three have a Print/PDF functionality, which means you can click a button and instantaneously have a digital marketing report in seconds for any date range. This is a game-changer to a lot of marketing agencies and we’re pretty proud of that.
    The BringShare SEO Dashboard - Keyword Trending Data
  2. We’re also pretty proud of our automatic CPA, ROI and Conversion Rate Calculator. This gives you your top 3 most important digital marketing metrics by any date range with just a couple of clicks. We segment out your data to show you your overall ROI, CPA and conversion rate on the Master Dashboard, while also providing this data on a marketing channel basis on the SEO, Social Media, Email Marketing and Paid Search Dashboards.
    Top Keywords by Visits and Sales - ecomm
  3. Lastly..it’s hard to pick just 3.. but I would say our Paid Search Reporting Dashboard as a whole truly is a game-changer. At our current pricepoint, any company that does Paid Search can do all of their reporting on BringShare’s platform at a tiny fraction of what is costs them as a company doing things manually. Paid Search was a major pain for us when we were reporting for our marketing firm, so it’s truly amazing to be able to cure that specific major problem digital marketing agencies face every month.

Do you have time to read the SEO blogs while developing BringShare, if so, which blogs/twitter accounts do you follow?

Our main focus is ensuring that BringShare Members posses everything they need to be the best marketers possible. A large part of fulfilling that is staying at the brink of emerging digital marketing trends. We’re constantly staying up-to-date with anything and everything marketing oriented. Just a few blogs/twitter handles we like to stay in-the-know with include:

  • Occam’s Razor by Avinash Kaushik
  • Search Engine Journal
  • Search Engine Land
  • Marketing Sherpa
  • Adage.com
  • Inc Magazine
  • The Google Analytics Blog
  • Inside AdWords
  • Mashable.com
  • The 37signals Blog (We love their approach!)

There is a broad range of techniques within the SEO industry, how do you think BringShare manages to facilitate this?

There are definitely an incredibly broad range of techniques within the world of SEO. That why, with BringShare, we strive to bring you simplicity and only the data you need. We do this by not just being another data aggregator that brings you a ton of information you won’t be able to use easily. We strip away all of the data that doesn’t matter and leave you with only the most important, actionable SEO data that truly affects your bottom-line. We are the one central place you go to understand how your Search Engine Optimization efforts are performing, how your other digital marketing channels are performing, and how that affects your business as a whole.

Without giving too much away, what juicy features are on your roadmap for the next 12 months?

Well, like I said before, we love to listen to BringShare members when looking for juicy future features. We’ll be integrating with Campaign Monitor in the short term, but beyond that the most I can currently say is to keep your eyes open. We just launched a brand new Search engine Optimization Dashboard yesterday and in the last 6 months alone we have launched:

  • The Ultimate Paid Search Dashboard with one-click paid search reporting
  • Digital Marketing Phone Call Tracking
  • A Brand new Social Media Dashboard complete with digital analytics data from Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn and more
  • BringShare’s Automatic Return on Investment (ROI), Cost per ACquisition (CPA) and Conversion Rate Calculator
  • ..and a ton of user experience pieces that streamline the analytics analysis process. We’re constantly iterating based on what our members are telling us and what is important in the market.

What third party tools do you wish you could implement but don’t currently have an API?

Pinterest is definitely a place where we would like to further analytics to take a look at how this social media channel affects the bottom-line of business, so it would be nice to have an API there, but unfortunately they do not have one yet. Fortunately, BringShare is still able to track Pinterest Revenue/Conversions as well as website visits from the site.

Who inspires you in life and how is this transposed into your work life?

There are a lot of people and historic figures that inspire me. I’m an underdog kind of guy so I’m always motivated by people who come from nothing and then make a big impact on the world. I’m currently reading a Richard Branson book. I’m inspired by his “screw it, let’s do it” mentality. Fearing failure only prevents success and Branson embodies that philosophy in everything he does.

What conferences are you attending over the next 12 months?

We attended SXSW last March and had an amazing time. There are a ton of emerging marketing trends that pop up during that week, so we’ll likely be back again.

Justin Spring CoFounder of BringShareJustin didn’t quit his day job in the quest to launch BringShare – an online tool to help marketers simply track all of their marketing efforts in one place – and for good reason. His day job consisted of running Adept Marketing, a highly successful start-up that he and his business partner launched in 2007 to provide predictive marketing models for small and mid-sized companies looking to grow market share online.
Through his leadership, Adept Marketing has become a sought-after consultancy for online marketing strategies and has worked closely with promising start-up businesses as well as established companies looking to expand their online reach and results. He has been instrumental in growing online start-ups quickly with ROI numbers that have exceeded 300 percent. In 2010, Justin led the JackThreads.com account for Adept, growing membership on the e-commerce site by more than 3,000 percent. This growth led to an acquisition by New York City-based media company, Thrillist.com.

 

WordStream Interview; Larry Kim Shares Highlights

Larry Kim from WordStream expresses three best features of his product along with who inspirers him.

I’ve been fortunate to share a few moments with one of the creator of one of the leading marketing wordsmith tools. For this I’m very grateful. The gems Larry Kim from WordStream has shared for the public domain is a rewarding read.

Thanks again Larry and congratulations on the rewards and may the highs continue.

Can you describe Wordstream as if I knew nothing about it?

WordStream is the provider of the 20 Minute PPC Work Week.
Our software-as-a-service application, PPC Advisor, helps small and medium sized businesses get on a path to success with their Pay-Per-Click advertising campaigns on Google, Bing and Yahoo, in a way that is easy, fast, and cost effective.

PPC Advisor

Every week, our software does a man-year of analysis on your PPC account performance, and recommends low hanging fruit to address, for example, what keyword bid changes to make, or what negative keywords to add, top ideas for new keywords to add, keywords to pause, ads to fix, etc. It’s super powerful, yet also quite easy to use.

What was your inspiration for creating Wordstream?

It was the realization that paid Search Engine Marketing (PPC) is potentially an incredibly effective way for many types of companies to grow their business. However, many small businesses don’t have the time or expertise or budget to succeed at Paid Search. Our mission is to address this need in the marketplace.

Since the commencement of your SaaS product, what have been the highs and lows for WordStream?

The high is pretty much now. We’re signing up more and more clients every month for the last year and our product, services and marketing and customer retention metrics get better and better every month. We’ve even won some awards recently, and so there is a lot of positive momentum in the business.

The low is probably the first day of every month – wiping away the last month’s sales and marketing board and doing it all over again :)

Which top 3 features of Wordstream would you say outshine the competition?

If I had to pick just three areas, I would say:

  1. PPC Grader– It gives you an instant audit of your AdWords account in 20 seconds.
    Great Account

    Terrible Grader Report
    Terrible Grader Report
  2. 20 Minute PPC Work Week – Weekly recommendations for account optimizations that get your paid search accounts on a path to success over time. There’s nothing else like it!
  3. Keyword Research Tools – We have tremendous depth and breadth in keyword research including our free keyword tool, keyword niche finder, negative keyword tool, keyword grouper, etc.

A bonus feature would be our value added service offerings – now this isn’t an actual software feature, but nevertheless, our Premier Consulting offering gives businesses additional help at a very low cost, and I have found that it’s always great to get extra help.

Do you have time to read the SEO blogs while developing Wordstream, if so, which blogs/twitter accounts do you follow?

There are really too many to sites to list out, but here are a few at the top of my list:

Last Week You Released a Study on Google’s War on Free Clicks. What do you think the impact of the Google’s Changes will be on the search marketing industry?

Our study showed that for keyword searches with high commercial intent (i.e. keywords that trigger the google product/shopping paid search listings) that the majority of these most valuable clicks end up going to the paid search results, as opposed to the organic listings.

We also showed that while Paid search results are gaining in size and effectiveness, organic search results are getting more difficult and costly to rank on, harder to measure, and yielding increasingly unpredictable ROI.

My 3 takeaways are that:

  1. PPC can no longer be considered optional for small businesses – SEO on the other hand is looking more like a ‘nice to have’ for companies with much larger marketing budgets.
  2. The SEO community is still in denial as to what is happening here – My study talked about changes over the last 12 months that have the effect of benefiting PPC at the expense of SEO. This trend is accelerating at a pace never seen before.
  3. It’s not such a bad thing – SEO is becoming a complete headache these days. If Google is giving marketers more powerful and easier ways to engage with better quality leads without all of the SEO nightmare tasks (which are becoming increasingly difficult, time consuming and is most certainly not free), why fight it? Isn’t this a good thing for Marketers?

Without giving too much away, what juicy features are on your roadmap for the next 12 months?

We’ll be rolling out support for Microsoft Bing (for advertising on Bing and Yahoo) as well as powerful new Text Ad Authoring tools in the near future.

What third party tools do you wish you could implement but don’t currently have an API?

One tool that I find myself using regularly that doesn’t have an API is Google Webmaster Tools. They have valuable link data and search query data – data that’s not available anywhere else – in there but it’s not easy to get the data out of there. You have to do a manual export to CSV files.

Who inspires you in life and how is this transposed into your work life?

Every day, I am inspired by my co-workers here at WordStream, by all of brilliant work they do to make us the successful company that we are today. I am very thankful for having met such fantastic and dedicated people, and for the opportunity to work with them. They inspire me to do more.

Larry is the Founder/CTO of WordStream, an industry leading provider of Search Engine Marketing software solutions for small & medium sized businesses. Larry has a bachelor degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Waterloo. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. You can follow him on Twitter and Google+