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  • Sam Decker

I’ve Joined a Word of Mouth Startup!

I started my career in startups, mostly early, Series A companies. Then I spent 7 great years at Dell (I’ve been blogging here for over 2 years). But as my friend Roy Williams says, you have to decide to pull the trigger and ride the next bullet.


Effective now and announced tomorrow publicly, I am VP of Marketing and Products for Bazaarvoice, an Austin Ventures-backed startup focused on building word of mouth for online brands. We’re still in ‘stealth mode’ on our full product rollout, but the press release on me joining the company is below. I felt it’s appropriate to post it to the blogging community early!

More to come in the forthcoming days. I’ll be at WOMMA this week and FirstLook next week. Drop me a line if you’ll be there. And if you’re interested in a Q&A for your blog on word of mouth or eBusiness, send me a few questions at sam @ bazaarvoice dot com.


For more information contact: Emily Brady or Anna Jarrard 650.692.6107 or 510.521.4830 emily @ or anna @


Former Dell Marketing & eCommerce Leader Sam Decker Joins Bazaarvoice

Stealth Company Attracts Word of Mouth Marketing Expert Who Built Into World’s Largest Consumer eCommerce Site

Austin, Texas – January 17, 2006 – Bazaarvoice, a new company aimed at online brands who want to drive greater business impact from word of mouth, today announced that Sam Decker will join the company as vice president of marketing & products. Sam previously led the growth of, helping it become the world’s largest consumer eCommerce site in 2003 (source: comScore).

Decker is a word of mouth marketing expert who brings over 14 years of experience to Bazaarvoice, including authoring one of the first books on customer evangelism for the technology industry titled “How to Market with Computer User Groups” and on guerilla marketing titled “301 Do-it-Yourself Marketing Ideas.” A frequent speaker at online retailing events and author of a popular marketing blog (, Decker combines market vision with a practical understanding of how to achieve customer-centricity in today’s business environment.

Decker, a Six Sigma Greenbelt, describes the state of word of mouth in business: “There is a deep gorge between word of mouth impact and the reality of systems, processes, and culture in most companies. In my experience, customer-centricity accelerates when strategy, tools, and analysis are put in motion that have a frequent, visible, and measurable impact to the business. Bazaarvoice is a pioneer in results-oriented word of mouth, and I’m excited to be a part of the next generation in online commerce.” As vice president of marketing and products at Bazaarvoice, Decker is responsible for leading corporate marketing and product strategy.

Before joining Bazaarvoice, Decker spent 7 years of marketing & eBusiness leadership at Dell, Inc. From 1999-2003, he led Dell’s consumer website and developed many best practices in analytics, merchandising, and product management. Sam pioneered Dell’s successful customer segmentation and customer-centricity strategy, and later directed marketing for a $1 billion plus installed-based marketing division. Before Dell, Decker spent over six years leading marketing at B2C and B2B startups, including a company that developed word of mouth strategies for Apple Computer, Inc. (AAPL), Borland, Adobe, and others. Decker serves as chairman of the board of advisors for the Web Analytics Association, and is on the board of advisors at Austin Texchange.

"Sam will bring his Apple and Dell experience to Bazaarvoice to help clients facilitate online word of mouth marketing. He’s a great addition to the Bazaarvoice team,” said Guy Kawasaki, managing director of Garage Technology Ventures and former chief evangelist of Apple Computer, Inc.

“Attracting an executive like Sam, who has such a deep understanding of word of mouth, an extensive background in building world-class eCommerce sites, and a result-oriented management style will enable Bazaarvoice to extend our word of mouth solutions to the world’s top brands,” said Brett Hurt, founder and CEO of Bazaarvoice. “We are delighted Sam is part of the Bazaarvoice team.”

About Bazaarvoice Based in Austin, Texas, Bazaarvoice develops managed technology, services, analytics and expertise to harness and encourage word of mouth marketing and bring it closer to a company’s brand and customer experience. The company is privately held with venture capital funding from Austin Ventures. For more information, please visit the company’s website at



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