Information Influences Perception

Consumers tend to do some research, especially before they make a major purchase. The question for marketers becomes how to get your products in front of consumers during this research phase. If you successfully bring your product to someone’s attention, there is a good chance that it will become a part of their set of potential buys. Considering this, it is clearly beneficial to get your products buzzing in the world of reviews.

Word of Mouth

Word of mouth has often been heralded as the ultimate marketing mechanism. People trust other people, and when they hear something about a brand or product, especially from someone they know, it is likely to make an impact. A Harris Interactive poll taken last June reported that 71% of respondents “claim reviews from family members or friends exert a ‘great deal’ or ‘fair amount’ of influence” over their purchase decisions. It makes sense–information form a trusted source can lay a foundation for your own thoughts and ideas.


  • It is extra important to take care of your “brand ambassadors” in any way that you can. They feed your word of mouth and help others form positive opinions about your offerings.
  • Harness social media. People connect with friends and family via social media every day. Find ways to get conversations started about your products here where new customers will be discussing your products with friends. Also be aware that reputation monitoring on social media can be valuable. You will likely find out what consumers dislike about your products from social media monitoring before you do from a focus group.

Online Reviews

If potential buyers can’t find an acquaintance to advise them, the next best thing for them is to take to the internet and see what other consumers are saying. Online product reviews are everywhere. Online consumer searches can be as broad as registering a query about a product category or as finite as searching for a specific model number. Many people take to the internet to help make purchasing decisions. Websites like Yelp would not exist otherwise. There is one negative aspect to online reviews and that is potential mistrust. Some consumers have heard (and it’s likely true) that companies pay people to go online and give positive reviews of all kinds of products. This means that some consumers might look online, but that they won’t put full trust in what they find. Additionally online reviews tend to favor an extreme. People who love or hate a product will take to the internet and share their opinion, but people who are merely satisfied generally will not. In any case ignoring the potential of online reviews would be detrimental. After all, it’s free virtual word of mouth.


  • Make sure your products are up for review. If a platform allows you to list your products, do it. That way they are there if someone does come across them and wants to offer an opinion. Not being able to find an online review for anything but a brand new product might signal something negative for consumers who use the internet for so many daily activities.

Getting your products in front of customers is the basis of marketing. People have to know what you sell before any perceptions can be made about your brand. Finding ways to make sure that you are reviewed is a good and possibly cost effective means of promoting your offerings. If you are seeking other means of getting conversations started about your products or just want to network within the Tampa Bay Area, visit us online.


Ad Age


Scientific American

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