All of us are aware that [tag]testimonials[/tag], [tag]product reviews[/tag], and [tag]word of mouth[/tag] [tag]referrals[/tag] are highly valued. But what sparks praise from a client to spread like wildfire through parched grassland? Are there strategies to help ignite the process?
In the past, a proud business owner posted client letters on the lunchroom bulletin board and sales managers stuffed them in every packet that left the mail room. Subsequently, a few customer reviews migrated to the company website and there they sat, much like the dust that clings to the screen of your monitor. Then, things started to change.
Amazon was one of several early innovators quick to promote the collection and dissemination of customer reviews on the web. Several factors lead to their success, but clearly a major contributor was their ability to become a catalyst for [tag]customer-to-customer[/tag] conversation. The basic concept, encourage customers to talk amongst themselves. Also, they had the foresight to make the necessary technology investments and use a resource initially overlooked by their competition â€“ free labor (i.e., their customerâ€™s knowledge and time).
Although the landscape continues to change, there are key elements that remain the same – the value of your customerâ€™s knowledge and time, and the need to make the necessary investments in technology.
On the cutting edge today is the use of â€œpush technologyâ€ coupled with strategic word of mouth (WOM) marketing campaigns. As we peruse the Internet for new client strategies, we find a 130 year old brand, W. Atlee Burpee & Co., adopting new technology tools to drive growth – email marketing and RSS feeds linked to, well, you guessed it, customer reviews. And the result? Measurable growth in sales after attaching reviews to product RSS feeds.
We also find research supporting customer preference for Amazon and Circuit City over Best Buy and Walmart when making online purchases. Why? Amazon and Circuit City provide customer ratings and reviews where the others do not (see links below for references and more info).
It’s not a secret that customers respond to other customers more readily than they respond to canned marketing messages. You know and we know because we help our clients implement these strategies everyday.
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At Bazarrblog: Burpee Leverages Customer WOM Via RSS
Research at eVOC Insights: Ratings, Reviews and the Customer Decision Process: Amazon v. BestBuy v. CircuitCity v. Walmart
[tags] WOM, eoecho.com, [/tags]