Customer Reviews – “Sometimes the More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same”

Customer Reviews – “Sometimes the More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same”

It didn’t start with the internet and smartphones. Consumers have relied on the recommendation and referrals of friends and family when making decisions on what products, brands and services to buy for about as long as there have been products, brands and services to buy. Whether buying a new car, selecting an electrician or finding a family physician, the experience and opinions of people we know and trust is a key driver of sales for businesses across virtually all industries. What’s new with today’s wired consumer is now almost 9 out of 10 people trust online recommendations from strangers as much as a personal recommendation. Successful businesses, big and small, work tirelessly to build their reputations. It can be a point of differentiation in the marketplace and a key reason why a consumer connects – or doesn’t connect – with your organization. While you can’t buy or control the “voice of the customer”, businesses can take several basic steps to listen to what consumers are saying online and build a strategy to use that important feedback to improve and grow. Your online reputation is one of those situations where ignorance is not bliss. You need to constantly monitor what consumers are saying about your business because what they’re saying will affect your business. How depends on what you do with their feedback. Given the increased willingness of consumers of virtually all ages to write reviews, it’s important to make this a routine part of your marketing process. This can be a challenge for any size organization if done manually. Fortunately, there are automated solutions that consolidate client reviews in...
Yellow Pages Are They Still Relevant?

Yellow Pages Are They Still Relevant?

Yellow Pages – Are They Still Relevant? For decades, Yellow Pages Advertising played an important role for National and Local brands. While never a “darling” of the media world, Yellow Pages filled a need, providing buyers important seller contact information. Unlike other forms of advertising that are intended to build awareness, brand and drive demand, Yellow Pages strength has been to connect with consumers far along on the “Path to Purchase”, when the consumer was ready to buy. For Advertising, Marketing and Media Professionals over the age of 40, Yellow Pages likely played some role in the media mix for a wide variety of products and services they managed. Well, the “worm has turned” in recent years. There is no debate whether technology and the proliferation of online information and content impacted the Yellow Pages industry…that is undisputable. With all the information resources available to today’s consumers, online sources drive the vast majority of local search activity. While slow to respond to changing consumer shopping and buying patterns, the Yellow Pages industry has made attempts  to remain relevant by reducing the number of books published, by targeting the distribution to those consumers who are more likely to reference Yellow Pages, and by introducing a variety of pricing and bundled services designed to expand coverage and reach. Whether those attempts are short term “life support mechanisms” or will result in a much smaller but still relevant industry, remains to be seen. For today, however, the answer to the question of whether Yellow Pages Advertising is still relevant to advertisers and marketers is… “It Depends.”  So what determines if Yellow Pages...