In a time of Covid, we’re faced with many marketing techniques that happen diminished or completely removed from our quiver. Things like live events, IRL seminars, and other traditional advertising channels such as transportation or in-room media. The reason I’m bringing this up is that means budgets are shifting. Of course, digital media has always had strength but never before have we been such ravenous digital consumers as this year. What’s that mean? Whether we like it or not, ratings and reviews could be more important than ever.

I’ll preface this article’s remainder by saying that no one given technique is the answer to all your marketing woes. With digital marketing living being more of a standardized budget, we see the need to maintain, monitor, and engage with consumers to participate in ratings and reviews for products and services.

Psychologically, we are conditioned to statistically read (or review) the most positive reviews and the worst. Often it’s a 3 to 1 or 5 to 1 ratio. The exciting thing about ratings and reviews is that we are also so skeptical about the nature of the way we communicated to. The most significant amount of authenticity is still found in “word-of-mouth” marketing, whether we get that advice from family and friends or a trusted source. We have a direct trust in the individual. Still, the individual should uphold what they say about a particular product or service even in a minor capacity.

The Five Star Mentality —

So let’s go back to that 5 to 1 ratio. Nothing feels better than getting good reviews, and you as a marketer and any business or brand that might be reading this material know you should always strive to get optimum rating. Beyond having a product or service that is deserving of such reading, you often need to nurture and uplift morale to convey the messaging that would incentivize a customer to leave such a review. A happy, well-educated (brand, not necessarily formal) staff creates a better product.

Why a “One Star bad” is Good —

Nothing tends to terrify a client more than when they get a bad review. The immediate “gut shot” is that [something] is casting in a bad light. More often than not, we immediately scramble to determine how we could’ve ever gotten to this point. A one-star review? How? Did the product go up in flames and kill a bus full of nuns? Perhaps the latest cotton that we used in our new line of socks has created unstoppable foot cancer?

90% of the time, a one-star review is simply that your customer is an asshole or a bitch; mileage may vary.

When do you write a review? Where is your head at? Typically, you are either elated or completely angry, often with no middle ground. Anger is a powerful motivator to incentivize action. However, the same cannot be said for a useful review, and that is why implementing and developing rating and review techniques that your staff can implement are so important.

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But not all is lost with a one-star review. As consumers, we can smell even decent Marketing a mile away and illuminate a bad review from our perception of a brand merely knowing the types of reviews that get one star.

  • “The support center wasn’t open 24 hours a day.”

  • “When I received my product, there was a tear in the packaging.”

  • “I thought it would be bigger based upon the photos that were online.”

  • “It worked great until I got drunk and threw it into a wood chipper; it no longer functions as advertised.” OK, that might be a little far-fetched, but I think you understand what I’m trying to say.

The point of outlining the one-star reviewer allows us to illuminate them from the equation, thereby making it only the “best-of-breed” reviews. It’s almost as if your product has enough reviews to get a few jerks to spaz out about something insignificant; you even create more authenticity in your product.

Always Pet Their Head —

You know I’ve taken you on a little journey about bad reviews, that doesn’t mean to say you should ignore them. It is absolutely essential that you “kill them with kindness” by engaging any bad reviews that you find on a ratings and reviews site. One of the most important things you can do when opening up this communication line is to email you or communicate with you by phone, thereby taking the situation off-line in front of your potential consumer. If you’re not willing to do that, you still need to have a conversation as vulnerable as it may make you feel. Work to understand the situation and answer truthfully as a lie will always, always, come back to haunt you.

Three Stars Is The Oracle Of Your Future —

This leaves us with the three-star review, or perhaps you could refer to it as a middle ground. These reviews are without a shadow of a doubt the most important. These reviews are authentic and give a genuine consumer sense of how your product her service is both good and bad. I can’t stress enough that these are the reviews you should be fundamentally forecasting roadmaps of change.

Let’s look at a logical product lifecycle. You can R&D till your heart’s content, but until someone utilizes it in the manner that THEY see fit, you’ll never truly get a realistic understanding. One of the elusive three-star reviews is so important that they’re not as mad as hell, nor are they in love with you. This is the most valid form of authenticity that you’ll probably receive — therefore, listen up!

Moreover, the engagement that you have with these individuals needs to be as exploratory as possible. It’s not enough to find out what the problem was, but won’t let them buy the product in the first place. Remember, a three-star review’s lifecycle often has to do with both the good and the bad. It should be your mission to determine those points and math as much of the gray area in the middle as possible. Brands that when are the ones that understand they cannot be all things to all people, and if you are unwilling to explore these conversations about people WILLING to give you feedback, you will eventually be passed by a brand or service that does.