Influential Customers Think User Reviews are Planted

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According to a new study, some of the most influential consumers believe companies are guilty of manipulating reviews through other means, as well.

PR firm Burson-Marsteller surveyed 1,000 influential consumers and found that an increasing number of them believe fake reviews and positive comments left by corporations are prevalent and problematic. The study revealed that 30 percent of consumers are concerned, up from 20 percent in 2001. Fifty-seven percent said they’d be less likely to buy a product if they suspected the company paid someone to leave a positive review.

Marketers depend on “e-fluentials” — people who influence their social network’s purchasing habits and decisions — to interest others in their product. But most of these people aren’t on board with the whole compensation-for-recommendation idea. That doesn’t mean they don’t want to use their influence; they just have other motivations — such as an honest interest in offering helpful information.

Ame Wadler, chief strategic officer at Burson, says companies can feel free to leave reviews, so long as they do so honestly:

“There’s no rocket science here: transparency matters. Those entities that are the most transparent and say, ‘It’s us and we’re proud of what we’re saying,’ do far better than those organizations that don’t reveal themselves.”

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One Response to Influential Customers Think User Reviews are Planted

  1. […] Affiliate Freebies and Marketing Ideas wrote an interesting post today on Influential Customers Think User Reviews are PlantedHere’s a quick excerpt By According to a new study, some of the most influential consumers believe companies are guilty … to buy a product if they suspected the company paid someone to leave a positive review. Marketers … to interest others in their product. But most of these people aren’t on board with the whole […]

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