Marketing Mix Investment Gap: Online Reviews

no hear no speak no see

Business owners and executives underestimate the value of  investing in online reputation management.  A new landmark study by ReviewInc reveals a significant gap in the preferred advertising and marketing mediums of businesses when compared to what consumers actually pay attention to. In May and June 2015, ReviewInc conducted a study of 1,020 U.S. business owners, general managers, executives and marketing managers. The study asked them to identify which advertising medium they believed was most effective for their business.  The study was immediately followed with a survey of 1,000 U.S consumers.  The same mediums of advertising identified by the business owners were presented to U.S. consumers in which they were asked which of them they trusted most.  Based on the results, ReviewInc was able to identify advertising mediums in which businesses appeared over-invested and mediums in which they were under-invested.  A gap of 5% or less was categorized as in line with a good marketing mix.  A gap of +/-6% to +/-10% was categorized as marginally in line with a good marketing mix. Anything above +/-10% would be out of bounds.  These out of bounds categories should be heavily considered for either increased or decreased advertising budget investment.

Advertising Investment GapOnline Reviews (such as on Yelp, Google+ and other review sites) were identified by consumers as the most trusted advertising medium by far.  However, business owners believed that their website and social media ads were more effective.  Only 11.1% of business owners identified Online Reviews as the most effective.  This resulted in a significant under-investment gap of 25.7%, the only gap above the 10% threshold – and by a long shot!

The second most trusted medium was traditional media (Radio/TV/Newspaper). Interestingly, this is still the most expensive adverting group.  Considering that reputation management with online reviews is one of the cheapest forms of advertising, the combination of the under-investment gap with the return on investment value clearly implies that businesses should increase their investment in online reputation management and online reviews management.
Consumer Trust in Ad MediumBusiness - Preferred Advertising Medium

Online business reputation is an investment. Smart businesses are already increasing their investment in online reputation management systems and online reviews management. Can a business afford to wait while their competitors take advantage of this dramatic shift in marketing strategy?

ReviewInc can help businesses get more reviews everywhere and enhance their reputation.  For a no obligation consultation call ReviewInc at 877-9REVIEW or leave a note here and have an expert contact you.

Review Sites Spending Big Money On “Eyeballs”

As Seen On TVIf you’ve been watching your favorite sports team, sit-com, drama or news show, you may have seen a commercial for one of any number of review sites.  Recently, Apartment Ratings has joined the advertising blitz with TV commercials aimed at attracting more visitors.  The more visitors review sites get, the more they can charge for advertising (which is usually how most review sites monetize their site).

With a 30-second TV commercial costing anywhere from $30,000 to over $500,000, it means that review sites have recognized that there is a huge audience looking to read reviews.  Let’s have a quick look at several well known review sites that have spent significant dollars to lure in more visitors:

Apartment Ratings

Avvo

Angie’s List

Health Grades

YellowPages

Foursquare

TripAdvisor

UrbanSpoon

Zillow

SuperPages (Mobile App)

Your business reputation is an investment. With significantly increasing consumer traffic to popular review sites such as these (and many others), business owners and marketing managers need to take more control of their online reviews.

ReviewInc can help your business get more reviews everywhere and enhance your reputation.  For a no obligation consultation call us at 877-9REVIEW or leave us a note here and we’ll contact you.

SURVEY: Why DON’T People Write Reviews?

In a survey comprised of 1,160 respondents, 59.6% male and 40.4% female, it was found that what inhibited people from posting an online review was:

When sorted by age groups, the findings got more interesting. Below, you can see that people aged 55-64 reported ‘Unwanted Attention’ as a main deterrent for writing an online review, while people aged 18-24 reported ‘Hard to Write the Review Itself’ as a main deterrent.

This tumbles down logically since older people have a tendency to be more reserved.

It also makes sense because young people are seemingly always on the go, and cannot seem to be bothered by something as time-consuming as putting together a review. (After all, many of the people in this age group are likely in college and probably have ENOUGH things to write such as essays, reports, etc.)

What’s even more interesting, is that of the respondents who claimed it was ‘Hard to Write the Review Itself’, half of them had a reported income of $150,000 or more.

Could it be that this group of high-earners are busy with the very jobs that are earning them that amount of income, that they cannot be bothered to do something as tedious as composing a review?

The main takeaway for this survey is that many people cite unwanted attention and the difficulty of writing the review as two main reasons why they would not write a review online.

That being said, gently reminding your customers that they can in many cases use their initials instead of their full name on online review sites could help to alleviate these concerns.

ReviewInc automates and addresses all these concerns.  To learn more, give us a call at 1-877-9REVIEW or email us at support@reviewinc.com.  Take charge of your online reputation today!

What’s Better Than a Super Bowl Ad for Your Business?

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These days, running an ad during the Super Bowl can cost upwards of four million dollars for a 30-second spot. While this gives you a large amount of exposure, it also can do a lot of damage to your wallet. … Continue reading

What’s the Most Effective Source of Advertising? (Hint: It’s not your website)

In a ReviewInc survey conducted in late November of 2014, with 2,042 respondents comprised of 63% males and 37% females, it was shown that 36.4% most preferred to consult reviews on Google+, Yahoo, Yelp, etc. before making a business service purchase decision.  In the same survey conducted in 2013, 34.9% indicated that reviews were most important.

To conduct the survey, respondents were asked:

When choosing a service or professional (such as a doctor, mechanic, plumber, attorney, etc.) what is most important?

Survey respondents could only make ONE selection to indicate what was most important. With the choices placed in random order, these were the results:

Key Age Demographic Differences

55% of the 25-34 age group reported that Reviews on Google+, Yahoo, Yelp, etc. were the most valued resource to refer to when making purchase decisions. This compared to 41.90% of the 18-24 year-old set that chose Reviews on Google+, Yahoo, Yelp, etc.

This shows just how important online reviews are with the younger crowd. With technology ever-prevalent, young people have mostly been using devices such as smartphones and tablets to get most of their information. This is why it is crucial to pay attention to your online reputation.

Age groups that chose Reviews on Google+, Yahoo, Yelp, etc.In this survey, senior citizens (ages 65+) still preferred the Traditional Yellow Pages. 25.80% of those ages 65+ chose Traditional Yellow Pages.

This goes to show that even though the use of online reviews is gradually rising, the tried-and-true Yellow Pages Book still remain to be a constant among the older generations. So varying your marketing mix with your marketing efforts is also very important.

Age groups that chose Traditional Yellow Pages Groups

Population Density Differences

While we expected higher density populations to prefer Reviews on Google+, Yahoo, Yelp, etc. more than less dense populations, we were surprised at the preference levels of lower density populations.  Of the urban population, 41.10% preferred Reviews on Google+, Yahoo, Yelp, etc.  Not too far behind was that 30.20% of the rural population, which showed a preference to Reviews on Google+, Yahoo, Yelp. etc.

Cities are where many may not only work, but dwell. Often, people commute from suburban and even rural areas to work in the nearest city. So it makes sense that these individuals are consulting online reviews, likely from their work computers and mobile phones, when making purchasing decisions. But even though there are more people in the inner-cities, it is equally important to pay attention to your client-base in rural and suburban areas.

Population Density groups that chose Reviews on Google+, Yahoo, Yelp, etc.

Key Income Bracket Differences

The study revealed that higher earners had a tendency to consult online reviews when making a purchase decision. Of those earning $100K or more annually, 66.70% indicated that online reviews were most influential. This further underscores that reaching the segment with the most discretionary money requires excellent online reviews.

Key Conclusions

  • If you’re investing in your business website but are ignoring your online reputation, you are likely missing out on a huge opportunity
  • Online reviews still overall the most valued resource in purchase decisions, even above a company’s website
  • Online reviews prevalent for high earners (and even more so in urban settings)
  • Yellow Pages still among the top resources for people aged 65+ but have little influence over the younger population

Interested in a free consultation on how to improve your online reviews and overall reputation management? Give us a call at 1-877-9REVIEWS or email us at support@reviewinc.com today!