Stupid Bowl: Ads vs. the Informed Customer

Isn't this funny? Buy Bud Light!

Hi gang! It’s appropriate to have the Super Bowl and Groundhog’s Day in the same week, because while you’re watching the big game you can see advertisers repeating the same tired clichés of marketing again and again.

You will see a bunch of ads competing to see which can be the loudest and the dumbest. Take a drink every time someone gets hit in the nuts on a commercial – you’ll be wasted by kickoff.

The era of brands telling you what they are is over.  Now, the customer truly is king thanks to social media. This brings me to today’s post:

I was reading “Six ways to turn Yelp into your most effective marketing channel” by Kathi Kruse and thought it a perfect demonstration of the new rules of marketing.

Review sites like Yelp are becoming the place where people go to find information before making a purchase.  The customer is no longer uninformed, so it no longer matters what kind of spin you put on your products via advertising – the web sees all and knows all. Indeed, as Kruse notes, “84% of people say that online reviews influence their buying decision (Nielsen).”

Me and the mechanic – a Yelp love story

I Have the Power - of online reviews and positive word of mouth!

A great example of the power of Yelp: If you have a car, you probably know how difficult it is to find a good mechanic.  When my car needed work, I took to the web to find shops nearby and then compared them on Yelp.  I settled on this place Transtastic because of the great ratings.

The owner of the shop was following many of the suggestions that Kruse makes.  First off, he had “Check us out on Yelp!” signage up in the store. This shows someone who is confident that they are providing good service – they are openly encouraging you to rate them and to read what others are saying.

After the repairs were done, he politely asked me to share my experience on Yelp, and I have to say that I’ve never had a better experience with a mechanic. I then took to Yelp to share my experience with others.

This place was considerably more expensive than some other mechanics. Through good work and fostering positive word-of-mouth as a quality, honest mechanic, Transtastic has earned the right to charge a premium price. They don’t have to tell you how great they are; they let the customers do it for them.

That is the power of social media – something that all the stupid Super Bowl ads and groin kicks in the world can’t buy!


2 comments on “Stupid Bowl: Ads vs. the Informed Customer

  1. Jack Tors says:

    Good article Mr. Johnson. I believe Yelp is an even more powerful tool for those businesses located in the city. Most city dwelling consumers have countless options within walking distance or accessible via public transportation. (Restaurants, bars, retail, etc). Today, vendors need social media just to stay competitive. As you state, any positive feedback no matter how little, can make the difference. Transtastic is a perfect example, as it is surrounded by mechanic shops on either side and across the street.

    I do have a question… Has there been any research in bogus reviews? As websites such as Yelp continue to grow in popularity, one would think there is the potential for owners, investors, friends and family of company XYZ to dilute the real and possibly negative feedback shared online. Just curious.

    Good Day.

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