G2’s Survey and Enterprise Feedback Management (EFM) software categories are among its most populated and active in terms of vendor engagement. We are fortunate to have so much input from industry experts to ensure these categories are reflective of the market even as it fluctuates.
Recently we have made some changes concerning these categories, including new methodology guidelines and the addition of a related category to the site. In this article, we discuss the history of these categories, previous challenges with our taxonomy in regards to the feedback software space, and the solutions we have implemented to improve them.
G2's Survey and Enterprise Feedback Management (EFM) categories
What do these software categories do?
Survey software allows users to create surveys, disseminate them, and collect feedback responses. The Survey category aims to cover products that provide the baseline features required for a feedback collection solution as well as survey tools that aren’t strictly B2B.
Enterprise feedback management is the next stepping stone with regards to complexity in this particular market; in addition to the feedback intake functionality provided by survey tools, enterprise feedback management software delivers analytics dashboards and automatic calculation of metrics like Net Promoter Score (NPS).
In many cases, users would have to export their data from a survey product and use separate software entirely to analyze and visualize it. With an enterprise feedback management solution, users have the option to solicit and analyze feedback within a single platform.
There are academic research survey tools that provide some data analysis functionality as well, but these types of products will more than likely fit into G2’s Survey category rather than Enterprise Feedback Management. The rationale here is that the term “enterprise feedback management” is associated with business-specific use cases. The Enterprise Feedback Management category is intended to capture a much more narrow market—one that focuses on customer experience and feedback specifically as opposed to academic survey responses.
Two main roadblocks continuously arose concerning the Survey and Enterprise Feedback Management software categories:
The relationship between the categories themselves: Enterprise feedback management products naturally builds on top of a base set of necessary feedback collection features provided by products that would be categorized in Survey. By virtue of enterprise feedback management products’ feature set, all products that qualify for the Enterprise Feedback Management would qualify for Survey as well. Allowing products to be in both categories would clutter the former and leave its category Grid unreadable. That doesn’t drive value for buyers looking for product reviews to compare products or for vendor visibility on the site.
A gap in G2’s taxonomy: A few vendors previously categorized in Enterprise Feedback Management began differentiating themselves from the rest of the space by adding another layer of complexity. On top of built-in analytics and a clear focus on business use cases, these products also provided features to support closing the loop on feedback. It was clear that the Enterprise Feedback Management category was no longer a good fit for these types of products.
The new Experience Management category on G2
To fill this gap in our taxonomy, we recently created the Experience Management software category. Products in this software category provide all the features of tools in Survey and Enterprise Feedback Management categories, in addition to features that facilitate closed-loop actions. This can include negative feedback notifications, features that support feedback response, and automated workflows to turn feedback into action items.
The experience management market is still an evolving space, and its core, distinguishing features might change as the market settles. The Experience Management software category on G2 captures what the market looks like right now and we are prepared to make modifications as the landscape fluctuates.
In the same way that enterprise feedback management products provide a bit more in addition to the features found in survey tools, experience management builds on the core features of enterprise feedback management by adding even more functionality. We still view these three categories as stacking in functionality with each iteration building on the previous.
Market representation and G2’s category taxonomy
There is a significant overlap in features between products in the survey, enterprise feedback management, and experience management markets. There isn’t a consensus regarding how these spaces should be evaluated in relation to one another. Some market research experts might argue that these are overlapping subcategories within a broader survey business software ecosystem; others might not even see the differences between the groups of products as noteworthy enough to separate them at all. There is some credence to this view, especially when looking primarily at how some vendors view their products and bring them to market.
While we were able to solve one major issue by creating the Experience Management Software category, the clutter issue was still open. Our goal was to prevent G2 software categories from being too redundant while still creating an accurate picture of the market. The best solution to achieve this was to make Survey, Enterprise Feedback Management, and Experience Management categories mutually exclusive, meaning products can only be in one of the three categories at any given time. When products add more functionality and qualify for another one of the three, they will have to be removed from the category they are in currently.
We are aware of some of the concerns vendors might have with our methodology:
What if our competitor isn’t in the category our product qualifies for?
What if some categories get more traffic than others?
We have ensured that each of the three categories highlight the other two as potential alternatives to buyers in their definitions, meaning each of the categories will mutually benefit from visitor traffic to the others. While the categories are mutually exclusive, we want them to exist as an ecosystem where both buyers and sellers understand the relationships between them to make informed B2B purchasing decisions.
One of the benefits of G2’s taxonomy is how flexible it is. As the market changes or new types of software appear, we make modifications rapidly. We don’t expect the market to look this way forever, but for the moment, we aim to capture it within a framework that makes sense for both vendors and buyers.