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Bad Reviews Can Be a Very Good Thing
By: Jeannine Wheeler
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What’s so good about a bad review?

Ask brands today that are using good (and bad) reviews — as well as other forms of consumer-generated content — to substantially boost their messaging, improve their products, and redirect their marketing plans.

This, according to a Target Marketing webinar sponsored by Bazaarvoice that tackled the question: What’s in a review? Drawing marketing insights from consumer-generated content.

Strategist, author, and "conversation agent" Valeria Maltoni was joined by Bazaarvoice marketers Andrew Mindard and Carrie Griffiths.

A few takeaways:
  • Three-star reviews are rare and the most helpful to improving services and products. Brands can use them to their great advantage.
  • Rubbermaid’s relaunch of its Reveal Spray Mop was a great example of reviews spurring a remodel and of brand sensitivity to consumers.
  • Consumer-generated reviews can be used at the discretion of the brand.
  • Brands retaliating against BAD reviews is a BAD idea.
  • Most problems spotted in bad reviews are about not keeping promises.
  • Never delete a bad review from a website (unless slanderous). Just say "we hear you."
  • While a survey is brand-centric and includes what customers are willing to tell you, a review is experience-centric and is what people tell each other.
  • 26% of retail-site shoppers and 37% of brand-site shoppers interact with consumer-generated content.
  • Products that had between 0–30 online reviews had increased orders of 25%.
  • The relationship between brands and consumers sits at the intersection of discovery, engagement, and action.
  • Successful brands today build relationships from "point-of-need," rather than "point-of sale."
  • People bring their whole selves to online retail experiences.
  • The funnel for a properly networked marketplace is Relationship, Conversation, and Transaction.
These and other valuable insights can be found on this link to the webinar.


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About the Author
Jeannine Wheeler is a PR Director who has worked in three countries, including Russia, the US and the UK. She is currently Sr. Vice President of Pure Energy PR, a full-service boutique communications firm with a focus on the energy, healthcare, technology, construction, real estate & land development, tourism & hospitality and food & beverage industries. Jeannine is in the firm's Austin, Texas office.
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