(1:05) It is important that you make the most of whatever marketing budget you have. When was the last time you evaluated your marketing programs? It is likely that strategies that may have worked in the past are no longer having the same effect.
(0:54) There can be no denying that user reviews have risen to the top for influencing customer decisions. So, it only makes sense that they should weigh heavily in your marketing plans. However, I find that some marinas are uncomfortable and even skeptical of the review process. This is not a view you can afford to keep any longer.
(0:45) Why? Because no matter what you feel, customers are embracing user reviews and in a big way. Don't take my word for it. Just look at a handful of the hundreds of studies done in recent years:
- 97% of UK consumers claim to trust online reviews and over two thirds state that product ratings and reviews are the most helpful feature when researching products. [Jupiter Research, 2007]
- 87% of respondents said they would trust a friend's recommendation over a review by a critic, while 84% said they would trust user reviews over a critic. [Marketing Sherpa, 2007]
- 75% of consumers do not believe companies tell the truth in their advertisements according to Yankelovich research. Further, consumer reviews are trusted 12 times more than product descriptions by the company according to analysis by eMarketer.com.
- Review readers noted that reviews generated by fellow consumers had a greater influence than those generated by professionals. [comScore/The Kelsey Group, October 2007]
- 97% of consumers who made a purchase based on an online review found the review to be accurate. [comScore/The Kelsey Group, Oct. 2007]
- 88% of respondents reported that they had posted or planned to post positive reviews about their online shopping experience. [Nielson, 2007]
- 94% of reviewers reported wanting to support good travel service providers as being their main motivation for leaving a review. [TripAdvisor, 2007]
(0:07) User generated reviews are becoming the single biggest influence in the decisions your customers are making. Now is the time for you to embrace this medium and use it to build your business.
(0:02) And that's the marina minute.