To make it even easier to do that from a mobile device at the point of purchase, develop and deploy a webpage or even a micro-site that links to external reviews, as well as those gathered directly from customers – then add a QR code, web address or some type of URL shortener (e.g., bitly) on product labeling. Bottom line, make it as easy as possible for prospective buyers to access easily comprehensive review information in one place. This can make the difference between buying your product or someone else’s.
To help make reviews all that they can be, be proactive. Instead of waiting for people to write a review, encourage the process in all major marketing channels – website, social media, and on labels. Make it easy for people to send their comments directly to you and/or provide information for third-party sites.
While Facebook “likes” are one way of getting some positive feedback, a full review – especially one with attribution – is more powerful and influential in the long run. Here are some ideas to consider that can help make your reviews a key part of your overall marketing and sales program:
1. Republish and promote. Testimonials about your product always have been a cornerstone of marketing campaigns. Once someone has posted a positive review about your product, take it and use it in a variety of other ways. Possibilities include: website callouts to reinforce key assertions and ideas on a particular page; additions to handouts at trade shows; inclusion in a business plan or other document tied to funding for business expansion; creation of a PDF that can reside on a website and/or be included in a sales/marketing packet; and serving as the basis for follow-up with select customers to see if there’s interest in developing a full-blown case study.
Use discretion and common-sense when “re-using” these reviews. Depending on circumstances, you may want to contact the reviewer to make sure they’re okay with the wider usage; or gather further details (e.g., full attribution) that can make the review more powerful. In any case, be sure to provide full information about the review source for complete transparency and accuracy.
2. Turn a frown upside down. Sometimes, the best reviews emerge from the ashes of discontent. While it’s typically good policy to reach out to anyone who’s expressed dissatisfaction and tried to problem-solve, this can sometimes result in the best review of all. If it’s a core issue related to dislike of your product, that may be tough. But, if it’s a concern related to pricing or delivery commitments, you have a great opportunity to make a friend by making it right…and then some.
3. Drive market research/product improvement. While “formal” efforts, such as surveys and focus groups, can yield considerable intel, also use reviews to help identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Look at the complete repository of current reviews to see if there are consistent areas of feedback, both good and bad, related to everything from labels to quality (e.g., “I love your product, but the labels degrade easily.”).
In certain circumstances, this may even form the basis of a product improvement campaign around the concept of, “You spoke, we listened.” Then, detail how the changes were driven by consumer feedback, which is golden in this era where a nimble and mindful response demonstrates authentic awareness and commitment to constant improvement.
4. Leverage reviews for a crowdsourcing campaign. Based on the tone and specifics of reviews, enterprising product manufacturers can develop a crowdsourcing campaign. The theme can range from branding-related issues to product quality improvement via a contest to find the most compelling and appropriate solutions.
5. Use reviews to counter negative publicity or damage to reputation. Sometimes, despite best efforts, product manufacturers get caught up in a negative environment. In some cases, this may be tied to an issue with an industry as a whole. In others, it may relate to discovery of problems with certain long-established product ingredients/constituents (e.g., talcum powder). An errant social media post by an employee, a civil disturbance at a place of work, discovery of product tainted with anything from bacteria to metal shavings…there are so many watchful eyes and so many ways for missteps to occur. If/when this does happen, being able to document a healthy track record of support via positive reviews can help mitigate the impact.
Theatrical productions long have succeeded or failed based on the reviews of influential critics. Now, everyone has the chance to be a critic. Embrace this as a way to showcase good work, as well as counter less-than-favorable feedback.
Mark Lusky is a marketing communications professional who has worked with Lightning Labels, an all-digital custom label printer in Denver, CO, USA, since 2008. Find Lightning Labels on Facebook for special offers and label printing news.