Posts Tagged 'Yelp'

How do marketers reach Millennials?

The question in the headline was a recent topic at RetailWire. The issue is that “millennials” are driven more by word-of-mouth than by traditional advertising media. Conventional ways of shaping opinions (and affecting consumer behavior) may not work for marketers and retailers as this segment of the population grows in importance. Here’s my comment:

It’s become a cliche to describe Millennials as “tribal,” but there is some truth to it based on their consumer behavior patterns. The most obvious sign that word-of-mouth matters is the importance of social networking and review sites as tools to spread opinions to a broad audience. Some marketers have clearly done a better job than others — either using Facebook and Twitter as “new media” ad tools, or exploiting customer reviews on sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor.

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Word-of-mouth marketing meets the 21st century

Here’s a RetailWire comment from a recent panel discussion about “word of mouth” marketing. The issue is whether retailers need to be more tuned into what their customers are saying about them, as technology migrates from the back fence to the smartphone. My opinion:

Assuming the integrity of reviews posted online, there is no doubt that sites like Yelp! and TripAdvisor have taken the idea of “word of mouth” to a completely different level. It’s true that the user of these sites misses the face-to-face aspect of personal conversations with friends and family, but these sites are powerful points of reference for consumers’ decision-making.

As TripAdvisor in particular evolves from a pure review site to an e-commerce site for hotel booking, it can build upon the sort of data mining and engagement models that companies like Amazon have already mastered.

Review sites: Retailers, ignore at your peril

From a recent RetailWire discussion about review sites, the topic centered on whether retailers (as opposed to service providers) will be impacted by online postings at sites like Yelp, Google+ and so forth. Here’s my comment on the subject:

It’s hard to ignore the impact of review sites (Yelp, TripAdvisor and others) on consumer preferences for hotels, restaurants and other service providers. And virtually every business that you can find on Google Maps has Zagat or other user ratings attached to it. This may be a relatively new phenomenon for traditional brick-and-mortar retail stores, but they had better be prepared for it because the growth and impact of these sites will be dramatic in the next few years.

Online reviews: Take ’em with a grain of salt

Today’s RetailWire discussion centers on the value of online reviews at Amazon and other sites. The focal point is Amazon’s tendency to rate more positive reviewers as “more trusted.” Here’s my take:

It’s not surprising that those most motivated to post reviews on Amazon or elsewhere are the most enthusiastic about the product/book/service they are reviewing. As a regular reader of these reviews, I’ve learned to take them with a grain of salt. (Just as importantly, it’s worth recognizing when a book gets “down-rated” on Amazon because of reviewers who complain about the Kindle price even if they haven’t read the book.) No system of online reviews — Amazon, TripAdvisor, Yelp or others — is going to be flawless.


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