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Barcamp Talk: Growing A Business With Online Reviews


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An introduction to using online reviews, presented at the Barcamp tech conference in Sydney, late 2008.

Published in: Technology, Business
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Barcamp Talk: Growing A Business With Online Reviews

  1. Growing A Business With Online Reviews
  2. Filling In The Gaps <ul><ul><li>Online reviews </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>??? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Profit </li></ul></ul>What this presentation covers
  3. Number of years each channel took to reach a market audience of 50 million? Radio: 38 Television: 13 Internet: 4 Souce:
  4. 87% of Australians have purchased something over the Internet. 53% of Australians made a purchase in the last month Source: ACNielsen Global Online Shopping Habits Study
  5. Source: Consumer survey, JC Williams Group, 2006 91% of survey respondents cited consumer content as the #1 aid to a buying decision
  6. The crowd is building a new channel to drive their buying decisions
  7. Customers can get advice from each other directly
  8. For many businesses, your actions speak louder than your advertising department
  9. What Determines Reviews? <ul><ul><li>Audience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Market </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Product </li></ul></ul>
  10. Audience Factors <ul><ul><li>Education level (Selling to experts or businesses) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enthusiasm (Customer word-of-mouth) </li></ul></ul>
  11. Market Factors <ul><ul><li>Long tail or emerging markets (Limited exposure from traditional media) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Commoditisation (Ease of comparison) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Low barriers to entry </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Customer lock-in </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Market maturity (Ability to innovate) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of incumbents (Brand experience) </li></ul></ul>
  12. Product Factors <ul><ul><li>Product is sold in volume / Service is repeatable (Reviews are reliable) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expense </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Upfront pricing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ongoing expenses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Complementary products </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Information assymetry (Buyers know more than sellers) </li></ul></ul>
  13. Hints For Small Business
  14. Most Word Of Mouth Is Positive <ul><li>80% of product ratings on the Bazaarvoice review site are 4 or 5 stars out of 5. </li></ul>Source: “J Curve,” Bazaarvoice and Keller Fay
  15.   <ul><li>Small businesses usually don't have economies of scale, or well-established brands.  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Differentiated on service? Good word of mouth is a cheap way to grow. </li></ul>
  16. <ul><li>Online reviews magnify word of mouth... 10x, 100x, even 1000x </li></ul>
  17. How Do You Encourage Reviews? Got a store? Add a point of sale reminder   Track how your customers find you: Referrer logs Customer surveys    
  18. Take Direct Action <ul><ul><li>Contribute to an independent wiki page </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Add customer testimonials and case studies to your site </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Track blog mentions and embed them as an RSS feed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Start you own company blog  </li></ul></ul>
  19. How Do Reviews Fit Into Existing Channels? Channel Independent Expert Comes To You Based On Customer Experience Direct Advertising Indirect Advertising Professional Reviews Amateur Reviews
  20. Crowdsourcing Is Powerful <ul><li>Reviews from fellow consumers have greater influence than those by professionals. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Source: comScore/The Kelsey Group, October 2007 </li></ul>
  21. What Makes A Good Customer Reference? <ul><li>Customers who are the most similar to you </li></ul><ul><li>Case studies from impressive customers are not as valuable as case studies from happy, but typical customers </li></ul>
  22. The internet lets your customers unionise against you But they don't strike, they just go your competitors.
  23. Future Of Review Sites? <ul><ul><li>Hybrid of professional reviews and moderation atop amateur content? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>May not be entirely advertising supported. Can use referral fees or negotiate pooled funding from businesses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Niche review sites run by enthusiasts will always have a place </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
  24. <ul><li>Existing media voices and brands may extend their websites to provide online reviews of their own products, eg David Jones, Vogue or Microsoft </li></ul>
  25. Example Australian Review Sites Review Space Site General Reviews Yabble Restaurants Eatability Teachers Rate My Teacher ISPs Whirlpool Web Hosting Hosting Jury Wikis Wiki Matrix Employers Revyr
  26.   Discussion Time Presented in Sydney, AU on 15 Nov 08 by David Soul Originally posted on