For consumers buying at online retail sites such as Amazon or Ebay, researching customer reviews has been a way of life for a long time. This practice of reading customer reviews has become increasingly commonplace for local business patrons in recent years and is expected behavior in industries such as restaurants and travel. Marketing coach, Chris Gunkle believes that the presence, or absence, of a positive reputation online could make or break the success of local businesses in the near future. “More and more, consumers are seeking out the experiences of others before deciding to buy a product or service. In fact, according to a recent Nielsen survey, 70 percent of consumers will make a purchase based on consumer opinions posted online,” says Gunkle. “If you understand how to generate positive word of mouth online, you will have a huge competitive advantage in your marketplace.”
It is broadly accepted that news of a negative experience at a business will travel ten times faster than that of a positive experience. What’s even more concerning to Mr. Gunkle, though, is the amplifying effect of the internet and social media platforms. “The figure of bad news traveling 10 times faster was established before the rise of the internet and social media. Today, if somebody has something bad to say about your business, it can reach hundreds or thousands of people in an instant. That is a reality you need to be aware of and protect yourself against.”
According to Mr. Gunkle, traditional marketing efforts, such as direct mail, radio advertising and print advertising, are no longer enough to grow a business. “While you will still be able to reach customers through traditional advertising methods, consumers are now more likely to do research on your business prior to contacting you. If what they find is not flattering, it is likely that you will not gain their business. This will result in not just a loss of sales today, but any future sales from those customers, as well,” he explains.
With Google’s recently introduced reputation monitoring dashboard within Google+ Local, it is obvious that reputation is becoming more important in the marketplace. “When Google is introducing new tools to monitor reputation, you know it is important and will likely be a more important factor for ranking in search engine results pages,” commented Mr. Gunkle.
Because of the increased visibility and use of online reviews, Mr. Gunkle advises business owners to develop a reputation marketing strategy that can be integrated into a comprehensive online and offline marketing plan to help showcase their positive reputation.
To learn more about Chris Gunkle and how to develop an effective marketing plan that will quickly build the credibility of the business, visit ChrisGunkle.com.
Visit http://www.chrisgunkle.com/ for more information.
Name: Chris Gunkle
Organization: Chattrbox Marketing