Category Archives: Product Update

Easy sharing of landscapes with clients and colleagues

Welcome to another Rival IQ Update! During this last sprint, we cooked up a couple of new features to help you share the love, and we have started making time for documenting our last year’s learnings into blog posts we hope you’ll enjoy. If you haven’t yet, go read John’s most recent post about Meta Descriptions. Then, come back to learn about how to share profiles with clients and colleagues.

Share a Profile, Make a Friend

Often, we’re asked by our customers, “how can I let someone else see the great information captured in this Rival IQ competitive profile?” Until now, we haven’t had a great answer. Being a team of folks that doesn’t like not having the answer, we have a first step ready for you to try with your clients and colleagues: profile sharing. With this feature, you’ll be able to share a copy of a profile in your account with someone else.

As always, read on to learn about the other additions and fixes that are available for you now in Rival IQ :

  • Profile Sharing Starting today, the ability to share a copy of any profile in your account is available in your profile manager. On any profile, you’ll see a button that creates a link you can share with a client or colleague. This link will give the recipient the ability to add a copy of your shared profile to their Rival IQ account. If the person (or people) with whom you share this profile do not have a Rival IQ account, this link will enable them to create a new Rival IQ account that is pre-populated with your shared profile. It is important to note that this shared copy is just that, a copy. No future changes you make to your profile will be seen by folks who have added it to their accounts and vice versa. Please contact us if you have questions or would like more specific details about how this feature works.
  • Competitive Meta Description Report In support of our blog post about Meta Descriptions this week, we created a free micro-app that creates a quick head-to-head view of your competitors Meta Descriptions. The functionality of this tool is very similar to that of our Analyze page within Rival IQ, where you can get a head-to-head- view of your competitors’ positioning language from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and their website meta tags. Go have a try at the new app, and share it with a friend. Also, if you don’t know about the competitive comparisons of positioning language in our Analyze page, go try out “Power Mode” right now (see screenshot below).

A look at profile sharing, the new Competitive Meta Description Report, and Power Mode in Analyze:

share

Share a copy of your profile within your Profile Manager

report

A look at our new Competitive Meta Description micro-app

power

Power mode in Analyze.

Still rolling…

We continue to make progress against a number of initiatives we’ve discussed in the past, including adding more data sources, working on data export options, and improving the usability of our web change detection capabilities. The next couple of sprints will yield good things for you, really. We’re excited. Can you feel my emotion?

We love the help you give us. Thanks!

We continue to grow and evolve our vision of how Rival IQ can help you market more effectively. Your feedback and input really does make a difference, so please don’t hesitate to email us or use our in-app messaging to let us know how to improve things for you.

Look who gave us love. This round’s thank-yous go to: TimR, RonL, MitchL, NickS, IanS, RickP, MattH, DavidC, WillM, ScottA, GregM, KrisitH, MilesA, JamieO, and StevenG. We truly appreciate all of your input and guidance.

Thank you for your continued support.

The Rival IQ Team: John, SethP, Doc, Keith, and Danielle

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Notable Activity & A Bigger Team!

We’re on a roll, and picking up steam.

During the last couple of weeks, we’ve had two new team members come on board here at Rival IQ. As you might imagine, this is exciting for us both because of what it says about our journey (trending up) and because we’ll be able to get more done for you, our customers! We also shipped a couple of new features while we were at it. More details on both topics await you below. Just keep reading.

Hey Notable Activity…We’re Calling You Out!

After delivering our new activity matrix in the profile manager last sprint, we couldn’t resist including the feature in your dashboard, too. Now, when you log into Rival IQ, you’ll see a new “Notable Activity” section in your dashboard that includes a summary of companies that have made notable moves during the last week, month, or quarter. And just like everything else on your dashboard, you can filter your view using tags and time period selections to find just what you need.

Of course, we made other additions and improvements to the product as well, so here are the complete details of what we shipped this week. Everything is available for you now in Rival IQ :

  • Notable Activity in Dashboard “Notable Activity” is now the topmost section of your Rival IQ Dashboard and contains a summarization of notable moves, both up and down, that your competitors have made during the time period you select. Holding your mouse over each activity indicator (red/green globes) will reveal the details about the change. Additionally, we touched up the linking on each of the activity indicators to take you to the relevant section of that company’s profile page.
  • Data Feedback Tool As many of you know, our application is quite good at automatically finding all of the relevant details about companies that you add. Still, there are times when our system fails, or there is some ambiguity as to the best Twitter handle, Facebook page, etc to associate with companies in our system. To make it simple for you to tell us when channels are missing or incorrect, we added a simple, inline feedback widget that lets you tell us that something is wrong with the data for any particular company. We hope that you’ll find it an easy way to say, “Hey Rival IQ, fix this up already!”

Here’s a look at the new Notable Activity section of our Dashboard (both closed and open):

closed open

The Team is Growing!

No no, we didn’t have any more babies (technically, our wives had the babies, anyway). We have all we can handle for the moment, thank you very much.

Instead, we’re growing the part of the team that actually does work, and we are very pleased to welcome Keith Moore and Danielle Prager to the Rival IQ family. Keith is a super-duper software developer, avid bicyclist, and coffee aficionado who has done stints at a variety of local software shops from big to small (Microsoft, V2Green/Gridpoint). You can follow him on Twitter, @keithmo.

Danielle joins the Rival IQ team as a recent Seattle transplant and University of Central Florida Psychology grad (side note: my Pittsburgh Panthers last played UCF in 2006, delivering a 52-7 walloping to the Knights. Danielle claims that a 2013 rematch would yield a crushing defeat for Pitt. I guess we’ll never know.). A good match for Rival IQ with her interest in social media, she’ll be working to bolster our product marketing efforts as well as bringing customer feedback and her own experience back to our product. You can follow Danielle on Twitter, @Danielle_Prager.

We’re all very excited to have both Keith and Danielle with us. Go team!

What’s next at Rival IQ?

More product, more product, more product. We are cooking up more product changes, improvements, and polish. You want details?

On deck for the next few sprints, we’re still looking to improve the ease with which you can find valuable information from our web page history information. As much as we think that there is good data in there, it is still too hard to find the gems. Second, many of you have been asking for more efficient ways to get reports out of Rival IQ. We’ve heard you and are evaluating how best to make this happen. Also, we’re looking to add Google+ to our data channels that we track to give you a more complete picture of your competitive landscape. Last but not least, we’re very excited about planning out how to give you deeper information and insights on the content that your competitors produce every day. It will be a little while longer, but this will be worth waiting for, we promise.

Help?! And thanks!

We continue to grow and evolve our vision of how Rival IQ can help you market more effectively. Your feedback and input really does make a difference, so please don’t hesitate to email us or use our in-app messaging to let us know how to improve things for you.

Hey, hey, looking good feedback crew. Thanks for your input. This round’s thank yous go to: MattH, WillF, ZachB, LaurentB, ChrisM, MattL, TimR, GregM, CarlosS, IanS, LynnR, ScottA, ToddB, RonL, ChrisD, DavidC, and WillM.

Thank you for your continued support.

The Rival IQ Team: John, SethP, Doc, Keith, and Danielle

More Details in Dashboards and Charts

Hi again! Another sprint is over, and with the team firing on all cylinders (minus the brain cycles lost to newborn-induced sleep deprevation), we have yet another release with new features to show you more about your competitive landscape.

Making Use of Data and Paying Down Debt

During this sprint, we decided to fight the development war on two fronts: displaying more data to users and technical infrastructure. On the data front, we’ve been unhappy with how our dashboards (don’t) convey much information for customers who aren’t present on any particular marketing channel. We’re happy to report that we’ve made good progress for customers in this position (details below).

Additionally, to avoid the recent fate of the U.K. (and the less recent fate of the U.S., France, and others) by having our future outlook diminished, we decided to put cycles against our technical debt during this sprint. As we’ve added more users to Rival IQ, we have seen a dramatic increase in the amount of work our systems do on a nightly basis to ingest data, screenshot websites, and summarize this information for your consumption. Many parts of these systems date to the original Rival IQ days (March 2012), and needed some attention to keep their operation from being a distraction.

Here are the full details of what we came up with for the newest version of Rival IQ :

  • Landscape summary in dashboards. Until now, if your focus company in Rival IQ did not have a presence on a particular marketing channel, your dashboard information for that channel was completely devoid of information. You could get to the information if you knew the magical Rival IQ dance, but since we’re aiming to save you time, it is safe to say that there was room for improvement. Now, if you are focusing on a company that isn’t present on a channel, your dashboard will summarize the presence and activity of your competitors on that channel, enabling you to quickly ascertain if your competitors are gaining an edge on you by marketing in channels you’re not. See screenshots below.
  • More complete information in Analyze. In a similar situation to your dashboard, if a competitor was not present on a channel, the charts you viewed in Analyze would simply exclude that company. This led to confusion, at best, and prevented you from getting a true picture about the true activity of your competitors. Now, you’ll find that we include and clearly label missing channels and data for all of your competitors in our Analyze charts.
  • Infrastructure and paying down technical debt. Geek out alert, you can skip this next paragraph if you don’t get down on the engineering details. This sprint, we worked to increase our screenshotting capacity by upgrading to phantomjs 1.8.1, trying out AWS’s new second-generation instances in EC2, and getting up to date on our nodejs installation. Additionally, we upgraded our work queue infrastructure to be simpler to operate and more resilient to failures (man, the internets fail in strange ways). Three cheers for SethP on this one. Cheer. Cheer. Cheer!

Here is what our new dashboard tiles look like for companies that are not present on any given channel:

dashboard

What’s next at Rival IQ?

As we’ve said before, there is certainly a lot that we could be working on over the next couple of months. We continue to look toward adding additional channels to Rival IQ, and we keep growing our list with all the ideas you folks are putting out there. Top among them include improvements to how we display, filter, and track changes to web pages in your account; the addition of aggregate statisics and insights about the content production of your competitors; and access to more summarized information that will save you from that magical Rival IQ dance I mentioned previously.

Help?! And thanks!

We continue to grow and evolve our vision of how Rival IQ can help you market better. Your feedback and input really does make a difference, so please don’t hesitate to email us or use our in-app messaging to let us know how to improve things for you.

And last but not least, thanks to the folks that gave us some feedback love during the last couple of weeks. We love you: MattH, AdamS, JasonH, PaulineR, JasonK, MattL, RussellB, ToddS, BenW, DavidC, CarlosS, WilM, DavidZ, DavidN, EricC, and AdamL. Now we just have to get to getting your suggestions parsed and injected (in some way) into Rival IQ.

Thank you for your continued support.

The Rival IQ Team: John, SethP, and Doc

The Matrix and a Baby

Welcome to the latest product update from your favorite competitive tracking team! We just released a powerful new feature in our latest release and have some other great news!

A new baby and an Activity Matrix for profiles

Rival IQ baby #2 arrived Friday! Congratulations to Doc (Seth Bridges) on his new baby boy, Parker. Parker was a couple of weeks early so there was a mild scramble as it became apparent Doc was going to disappear a bit earlier than anticipated. All that said we were able to push out a powerful new feature today and want to tell you a little about it.

Turning data into insights.  Rival IQ present lots of data, and sometimes its hard to see the forest for the trees, cones, and needles. We’ve heard you loud and clear that you want more help summarizing the key things that have happened in your competitive landscape. We are excited about our new Activity Matrix. For each profiles, we summarize the significant recent developments (if any), with progressive reveal: first at the overall profile level, then by company within the profile, and then by activity type for each company, finally linking to other parts of the app for those cones and needles. Did a competitor make a positioning change, overhaul their website, make a big move in social, or ramp up their website link building? You’ll find it here first. We think you’ll find its a big step in moving from data to insight… and there is more to come. This is available within the Profile Manager .

Significant changes in your competitor landscape in matrix format for quick insights and action

Competitor Activity Matrix

Help us out!

Referrals are a great compliment.  Like what you see at Rival IQ?  Nothing makes us happier than a referral to a friend or colleague.

Shout outs to extra special supporters from the past couple of weeks. We love the comments and feedback and a big thanks to:  TraciF, MaritaR, LynnR, MattT, SeanN, LionelC, MattH, FrantzN, WilM, ToddB, and WillF.

Thank you for your continued support.

The Rival IQ Team: John, SethP, and Doc

Profiles Give You More Power

Welcome to the latest product update from your favorite competitive tracking team! We’ve got some hot new features in this release, so read on, and then check it out!

Kicking off with shoutout time. You folks are greater than a warm cup of cocca after a long day of skiing. Big thanks to: IanS, TimR, ClintW, TraciF, BuzzB, MaritaR, WilM, WillC, LynnR, MattT, IrinaM, ScottA, DavidP, BardiaA, BradB, AivarasR, RussellB, JanH, MarkH, and DaveP.

Rival IQ, Now With Profiles and Other Goodies

After spending our previous sprint getting ready to leave beta, we were back to building features this time (we know, it makes us happy, too). With the lure of the now snow covered mountains (company ski day anyone?) and the imminent arrival of the second Rival IQ baby, we spent the last two weeks in an even more focused state than usual. Speaking of focus, let’s get to it.

If you have ever found yourself using Rival IQ and thinking, I wish there were an easy way for me to track many distinct sets of companies, each with their own focus company and tags, this release is for you! Profiles are now available, and we have enabled this feature (part of our Agency plan) for all of you to try.

What else? Here are the full details of what’s waiting for you in Rival IQ :

  • Tracking Multiple Profiles. A profile in Rival IQ is a collection of items including a focus company, a set of tracked companies, and a set of tags. Everyone using Rival IQ until now had a single profile in their account. With this release, all customers on our Agency plan and customers in their first 30 days gain access to the ability to create and manage additional profiles in Rival IQ. It is like having separate Rival IQ accounts for each client or group that you manage without the hassle of having separate accounts!
  • In-dashboard Metrics Details. The landscape graphs in your Dashboard that indicate where you rank in each of the various metrics we present are now interactive. Pull your mouse over the where-you-stand graphs to get the details of which competitors are doing what without having to jump into the Analyze page.
  • Account Management and Subscriptions. OK, we acknowledge that this is a less interesting feature, but we promised we’d tell you when it was up. You can now visit your Account Management page and complete your subscription to Rival IQ. Remember, your first 30 days are free, so signing up now won’t cost you anything until your 30 days are up.

Here is a look at the new profile manager:

profiles

And the dashboard details when you mouse over the graphs:

mouseover

What’s next at Rival IQ?

Certainly, there is no shortage of features and improvements that we can make in Rival IQ. Over the next couple of months, we’re planning to cover the waterfront, making improvements in summarizing information from the data that we’re presenting currently, introducing more flexibility in our page change following system, and adding new data sources (e.g. Google+) to Rival IQ. Pile on some technical debt, a little bug fixing, and implementing good ideas that come from you all (hint, hint), and we’re not worried about being idle.

Help us out!

Find something that confuses you, frustrates you, or you think is missing? Let us know so that we can make it better! Find something you love? We like hearing about those things, too.

Tell your friends and co-workers about Rival IQ. Each of us at Rival IQ see every piece of feedback that comes in through our support channels. More folks using the product means we get more feedback. Tell your people about Rival IQ. They’ll thank you, and we’ll use their input to make the product better. Everyone wins.

Thank you for your continued support.

The Rival IQ Team: John, SethP, and Doc

We’re out of beta. Let’s do this thing, together!

Happy New Year, everyone.  We hope you had a safe holiday season with your families.  Welcome to our first Rival IQ update of the 2013 competitor tracking season.

If this is the only paragraph you read of this post, we have a favor to ask. Can you all help us spread the word about Rival IQ by visiting our follow page and following/sharing on your favorite networks? Thanks, favor asking over.  Back to our regularly scheduled program.

New Year Shoutouts! Thanks to all of you for your input, feedback, and conversations during the last couple of holiday weeks: TimR, ScottM, WillC, JeffD, MatthewB, LowellR, ToddS, IanS, and BrunoA. You all rock. But you knew that, right?

Our beta is over, and we’re doing this for real!

As we’ve alluded to previously, the time has come for us to enter a new phase of being at Rival IQ by calling a close to our beta and beginning the general availability of our product. We are extraordinarily thankful to each and every one of you for using Rival IQ and providing feedback during the last nine months as we have evolved the product into what it is today. Our new site is up and has product details and pricing available. Go check it out! We would love to know what you think.

OK, Rival IQ is generally available. Now what? In general, this means we are charging a monthly fee for access to Rival IQ. Additionally, we are not gating signups any longer, so signing up for Rival IQ will get new customers immediate access to an account.  Everyone who signs up through the site gets their first 30 days of Rival IQ for free.  You know, to try it out and find out how much you love it.

If you participated in our beta (you know who you are), starting today, your Rival IQ account begins its new life with 30 days free of charge. Should you decide to become a paid member of Rival IQ during your first 30 days, you will receive a 50% discount on your Rival IQ subscription for the life of your account. It’s our way of saying thank you for your incredible support during our beta. Just as an FYI, our payment system isn’t live yet but will be soon. Don’t worry, we’ll let you know when it is up and ready to go. If you want to commit in the meantime, just shoot us an email, support@rivaliq.com.

What’s next at Rival IQ?

Profile support for multi-client and multi-market analysis. Early on, we created tags as a way to create competitive subgroups within Rival IQ to simplify analysis for customers tracking lots of companies. It turns out that tags are not sufficient for Rival IQ customers performing analyses centered around multiple clients or markets. As a quick workaround, we enabled you to change your company within Rival IQ, but he time has come for the real solution to be born: competitive profiles. Soon, customers using our agency/multi-market plan will have access to the ability to create and manage multiple profiles within their account, each profile with its own focus company, tracked companies, and tags.

Lend a hand to Rival IQ!

Find something that confuses you, frustrates you, or you think is missing. Have something that you’d like to see improved in Rival IQ? Let us know so that we can make it better. Find something you love? We’d appreciate you letting us know that, too.

Tell your friends and co-workers about Rival IQ. Each of us at Rival IQ see every piece of feedback that comes in through our support channels. More folks using the product means we get more feedback. Tell your people about Rival IQ. They’ll thank you, and we’ll use their input to make the product better. Everyone wins.

Thanks for your support, and here’s to a great 2013 for you and your customers!

The Rival IQ Team: John, SethP, and Doc

LinkedIn and Inbox Dashboards

Welcome to the newest Rival IQ product update, holiday style!

As is our new trend, we’re kicking things off with shoutouts. For this holiday version, I need you to sing along at home. “You know JillieneH and CharlesL and PaulineR and DavidP…ColinM and MattE and DannyS and ShaneM. But do you recall, the greatest feedback of allllllll?” OK. We had more feedback than reindeer, so thanks, also, to the rest of the Rival IQ feedback elves: TomZ, SeanN, GregM, and ToddS.

The rain is here, but so are new features!

You often hear that little work gets done between Thanksgiving and the end of the year. Despite various incarnations amongst the team of the cold that SethP has deemed the “walking death,” we’ve been determined to avoid becoming another productivity statistic.

Here are the early Christmas presents we have for all you digital marketing gurus in Rival IQ:

  • LinkedIn data. We are now presenting company metrics from LinkedIn throughout Rival IQ including info on followers, updates, and comments. You’re excited, we can tell. But wait! There’s a catch (two, actually). First, the next time you visit Rival IQ, you will be prompted to connect your LinkedIn account to Rival IQ (this is the only way we can provide you this data and be compliant with LinkedIn’s ToS). Please rest assured, in no way are we pulling any data from your personal network. Rather, we are pulling data from companies you track in Rival IQ. Second, we cannot show you any history from your LinkedIn metrics that isn’t immediately available from LinkedIn (again, compliance). These two caveats aside, we still think you’ll be pleased.
  • Weekly Dashboard Emails v3.0. Later today, you’ll receive your first weekly dashboard email from our third attempt at such functionality. We really respect your inbox and have tried not to overload it with content that doesn’t get over the quality bar. Hence, we’re on our third version. After you see your dashboard email, please (super please) let us know if it is valuable to you or how we might improve it to give you more value.

Here is a look at LinkedIn in the Channel Overview page:

channels

Did you know?

In watching many of you use Rival IQ, we have realized that some of our features are less than discoverable. We’ll get better on this, but in the meantime…

Did you know that “Power Mode” in Analyze let’s you dig deep on your metrics by selecting a custom set of metrics and time periods? Check this out:

power1

power2

Did you know that we have a bookmarklet that lets you follow any company in Rival IQ while browsing the web?

bookmarklet

What’s next at Rival IQ?

Bringing the beta to a close. It’s almost general availability time. Let’s face it. Nothing lasts forever, and so must the Rival IQ beta come to a close. During the coming weeks, we’ll be working to get our public website built out, changing our signup flow, and starting our current users on a full-fledged Rival IQ account. Because we really value all that you have added to our product, we will be offering special pricing to all of our beta customers. Expect to see more details soon!

Lend a hand to Rival IQ!

Find something that confuses you, frustrates you, or you think is missing? Have something that you’d like to see improved in Rival IQ? Let us know so that we can make it better. Find something you love? We’d appreciate you letting us know that, too, since that’s the only way we’re getting paid for the moment.

Tell your friends and co-workers about Rival IQ. Each of us at Rival IQ see every piece of feedback that comes in through our support channels. More folks using the product means we get more feedback. Tell your people about Rival IQ. They’ll thank you, and we’ll use their input to make the product better. Everyone wins.

You read to the end again. Congrats, you’re a star.

The Rival IQ Team: John, SethP, and Doc