Peer Pressure - PDF

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					MICHELLE MANAFY
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Peer Pressure                                                          their business lives as well. This shift is already happening. Hill &
                                                                       Knowlton found that today’s tech decision makers give user-
                                                                       generated sites equal importance to traditional media sources
                                                                       when considering tech purchases. Decision makers consider their



w             here did you sit in the lunchroom? Did you have the
              “right” lunchbox? Was it right because it came in
              your favorite color, it was the one everybody had,
or it smacked of counter-culturalism? Don’t pretend you didn’t
care what other people thought; you did, and you still do. Even
                                                                       personal experience (58%) first when short listing tech vendors,
                                                                       followed by word of mouth and industry analyst reports, tied at
                                                                       51% (“Tech Decision Makers,” January 2009).
                                                                          Without a doubt, “controlling the message” through approved
                                                                       case studies and testimonials reduces the worry that there will be
when we opt to go our own way, we do so fully aware of which           an all-out flame war on a company’s site. However, younger
way the masses are headed.                                             consumers in particular have an expectation of transparency from
    Today, the influence of our peers has taken on a new guise,        the companies they chose to do business with. They respond well
through the infinitely expanded sphere of community online.            to companies unafraid to tweet “oops, we’ll fix it” instead of
While we are all socially motivated to one extent or another, today,   tightly controlling and spinning the message.
the role of social life extends well beyond the lunchroom, and it is      Still, the greatest fear for companies considering enabling user
profoundly impacting every aspect of business.                         reviews on their sites is that feedback will be negative. This is not
    User reviews are one area in which the power of public opinion     the case. Having collected nearly 5 million customer reviews from
is rocking the way business is done. As Carolina K. Reid, one of our   more than 350 retailers, PowerReviews’ blog, InSite, has a pretty
frequent contributors, put it, “If a product on Amazon doesn’t have    clear picture of the distribution of product ratings. It finds that
reviews, it is essentially in a black hole.” Today’s web-based         “92% of all reviews are positive.” And with regards to the other
consumers are increasingly influenced by the opinions of others in     8%, Forrester Research’s December 2009 report, “Myths and
the form of user reviews and rating systems. If your company           Truths About Online Customer Reviews,” states that “Fewer than
doesn’t provide feedback mechanisms so that visitors can express       one-fourth
				
DOCUMENT INFO
Description: While people are all socially motivated to one extent or another, today, the role of social life extends well beyond the lunchroom, and it is profoundly impacting every aspect of business. User reviews are one area in which the power of public opinion is rocking the way business is done. Customer reviews are viewed as the No. 1 social media tool for driving sales and customer engagement, according to e-tailing group PowerReviews' "Community and Social Media Survey" from September 2009. Consumers of all ages increasingly expect to see the comments of their peers integrated into their shopping experiences, which inevitably extend into their business decision-making process.
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