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Thursday, Aug. 24, 2006 at 10:49 am

Two Ways to Get People’s Attention

By Bryan Eisenberg
August 24th, 2006

I hope by know everyone is aware of the traffic cost inflation problem. Even more so, I hope we are all aware how resistant customers are to advertising.

Even in Search Engine Marketing, we have seen many studies which show that people are less likely to click on an a PPC ad than a organic listing. This also fits in with the fact that people focus in on the active area on the screen and only glance towards the sides. In other words they are looking for content. Meaty, juicy, relevant content. What content has become the hottest content as of late? Why of course consumer generated content. It is a total win-win for everyone. Consumers get relevant content from the voice of other customers and retailers get content they didn’t have to pay staff for and that usually impacts conversions positively.

Now imagine for a moment you could use all this user generated content not only to persuade and convert people who are on your site, but what if you could also use it to drive potential customers there. Sounds like a good plan, huh?

I think so too. That’s why I am so proud that my good friends at Bazaarvoice have just implemented a syndication feature to the already pretty cool Bazaarvoice ratings and reviews functionality.

Imagine you are on the prowl for a shiny new video iPod. Go to Smarter.com and do a search. You’ll eventually get to this page for the 30Gig Black Video iPod, click on the review tab or the link under the product rating and you’ll see the syndicated reviews from Bazaarvoice clients Overstock.com and CompUSA. Cool, right? Their current syndication partners include Smarter.com, MSN (always one of the top converting search engines), PriceRunner and Froogle, with more to come soon. I’m sure you wouldn’t be surprised that conversions on these clicks are very high (we’ve already seen a 60% higher than the average visitor on the landing page conversion in one analysis).

How likely are you to click on one of these reviews? Do you think your customers might? Any suggestions?

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Comments (2)

  1. Do I check reviews whenever they’re available and figure those into my purchase decisions? Absolutely! Would I expect prospective customers to do the same? Huzzah — all should and many would.

    There’s the inevitable catch, though. Check that iPod page you link to. Let’s say you’re director of marketing at TigerDirect; you click your company’s listing and find headlines like these: “Ripped off on return of defective product.” “Rebate amount may never come.” “Rebate RipOff.” Those were the subject lines of three of the top four reviews just now.

    In an ideal world, product and marketing managers would steel their jaws, jump up, and say “Let’s improve our product and customer service to meet these concerns right now!” We all know how common that particular reaction is. Think airlines and cell phone carriers.

    The question, to me, is not whether reviews and open customer communication will improve conversion rates for a good product, one that provides good perceived value to its customers. Nor is the question whether exposing your company this way will force its every level to take the customer seriously and improve your product, ultimately benefiting both customers and sales. Surely it will.

    The question is, How you convert the folks tasked with marketing an average product or competing on price to open up its own public communications channels, e.g. Web site, to unfiltered customer reviews and comments. Methinks the answer is that you can’t until the client delivers a product or service that will stand up to that kind of public scrutiny.

  2. We completely agreee with you. Those marketers who work for companies whose products can’t withstand public scrutiny are in terrible trouble.

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Bryan Eisenberg, founder of FutureNow, is a professional marketing speaker and the co-author of New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling books Call to Action and Waiting For Your Cat to Bark and Always Be Testing. You can friend him on Facebook or Twitter.

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