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#BSocial15 Recap: How to Translate Meaningful Product Reviews into Business Impact

Earlier this week at Bazaarvoice Summit 2015, Crowdtap helped leading CPG and retail marketers understand how to inspire meaningful reviews at-scale – and then translate those reviews into lasting business impact by fostering ongoing relationships with consumers over time.

Below is a summary of the key takeaways from our session, which included a Playtex® Baby case study presented by our partners at Energizer Personal Care.

Brands need authentic reviews – and they need a lot of them

Online ratings and reviews have become a critical piece of the marketing mix. This isn’t news to forward-thinking marketers who understand that today’s definition of a “brand” is inherently shaped by what consumers – not marketers – say about it.

People trust peer recommendations more than they do traditional advertising, and these recommendations need not come from family or friends to be deemed trustworthy. In fact, nearly 9 in 10 consumers trust online reviews as much as they do personal recommendations (source: BrightLocal, 2014).

What’s driving this consumer trust? According to the BrightLocal study, it’s an even split between quality and quantity, meaning that marketers are challenged to drive authenticity at scale.

Education and engagement are integral to inspiring ‘meaningful’ reviews

Unpacking the statement above, let’s take a look at what we mean by “meaningful” reviews. At Crowdtap, we define meaningful reviews as those that occur when the reviewer is engaged (he or she feels valued by the brand) and brand-educated (he or she has the context needed to write an informed review).

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Crowdtap helps brands drive meaningful reviews by leveraging the direct connection we facilitate between marketers and consumers to engage real people with the brand and educate them on the brand and its products. Moreover, through Crowdtap’s integration with Bazaarvoice, marketers can amplify the impact of their sampling efforts by syndicating consumer reviews across brand and retail websites.

One step further: The business impact of relationships beyond the review

So you’ve built a community, facilitated sampling and generated meaningful reviews – what’s next? When members participate in sampling programs with Crowdtap, their experience serves as the starting point in an ongoing partnership. Marketers can then nurture these sustained relationships over time to achieve countless objectives beyond promoting product trial and driving reviews.

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An always-on approach to the relationships you establish with consumers can be leveraged beyond simply generating reviews and promoting trial. Consider the power of involving these active and engaged advocates in product innovation efforts, or tapping them to gather agile brand and category insights and validate marketing decisions on-the-fly.

Marketers can also inspire the community to create and share content that can be used to feed a brand’s paid, earned and owned channels (see Playtex® Baby examples below), and amplify existing marketing activities through word-of-mouth.

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Building an authentic relationship with consumers is the first step toward driving meaningful reviews. Beyond the review, these direct and ongoing connections can lay the groundwork for a longer-term strategy in which your customers help inform and power the full spectrum of your marketing on a continued basis.

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