The Power of Few – Review or Influencer

Malcolm Gladwell’s bible to marketers, The Tipping Point, has been held close to marketer’s hearts since 2000.  In 2000 Gladwell offered remarkable insight into the “the power of few’ and how they influence the masses.

In recent years the term “influencer” is being used over and over again.  So, what does it really mean today?

As a recent guest on TheBeanCast, May 30, 2016, we discussed  the power of few and how it applies to 2016’s digital landscape.   Although, I didn’t really say what I was thinking…because I didn’t realize what it was until now – I offer it here.

As a direct response marketer we have always relied on testimonials to influence a purchase.  Without real, believable, and vetted testimonials a product didn’t have much of a chance.  Since 1990 testimonials have long been the influencing factor of direct response marketing.  Why was Gladwell’s “power of few” such a revelation in 2000?  And how much do Influencers today  affect sales of a product, service, or brand.

As an entrepreneur, a marketer, and the Owner and Manager of a consumer goods company, easyGopro – ergomonic toilet stool,  I find the following to be true.

Launched with a very limited budget and resources in November of 2014 on Amazon.com, to-date we have sold over 40,000 units, yet  have 432 reviews, just over 1%, based on most data, this is typical across Amazon.  You may wonder why that’s so when anyone can leave a review and Amazon encourages it.

 Quality vs. Quantity.

In order to increase the quantity I would need to dedicate resources to send an email, one by one, to each Amazon customer making sure to follow the very strict rules.  Since Amazon is our main revenue generator there is nothing I want more than to NOT SCREW UP A GOOD THING.  As a direct to consumer marketer I know that just one too many touch points with the customer can cause back lash – such as –  “I loved my easyGopro until I was bugged by the Seller to leave a review so here it is.. your product sucks.”  Yes, this review would live forever on Amazon.   It’s human nature – happy customers are not the squeaky wheels.

As an Amazon Seller, we are often bombarded by emails from companies such as   “I love to Review.com”.  This service encourages a Seller to give free product for a guaranteed review.  Okay, so what’s wrong with that picture?  In easyGopro’s case that would cost no less than $18.00+ each review.

Why would I pay $18.00 for a review?  Some please explain that to me.

Plus, there is nothing worse than reading contrived reviews.  Take it from me, the longer the review the more likely it was paid.  If you see a photo attached – beware – attaching photos is a fav of “paid reviewers”.

What if you, as a consumer, found out that 50% of the reviews were given FREE product?  Paid reviews are supposed to “disclose” perhaps the reason for long reviews – no one gets to the end to see the disclosure.   I digress, doesn’t that taint the influence reviews have on your purchase or how you feel about that brand?

That’s why I believe in quality over quantity – or the power of few.  Make no mistake – reviews are Influencers and are powerful.   The 432 reviews easyGopro has may not be many against our sales and  our competition’s 3,000 reviews, but ours are guaranteed REAL. REAL PAYING customers who have posted because they desire to influence others without an agenda.

Next time you see thousands of reviews on a product, or you are influenced by reviews, remember  there are aggregate companies such as Bazaarvoice.com  that gather  reviews across the web and show up as one total on retailer’s sites across the web.  This is misleading at best as Walgreen’s customers may have only bought 5 and commented on none, but you are seeing 1,200 positive reviews (aggregated).   Amazon does not allow this, but it does allow  Ilovetoreview.com through its sacred walls.

Next time you are being influenced to buy  a product or service, ask yourself by whom.

 

Rise above JCP – Rise Above!

Branding expert David Brier of www.RisingAbovetheNoise.com joins me for an unplugged, unscripted, and never boring LIVE 50-minutes.  If you’ve ever wondered about branding, or get it confused with marketing, or trademarks, or whatever (now I’m confused), then this riff session is brilliant and entertaining.  Plus, I’ve been waiting to discuss the recent nightmare of JCP, I mean JC Penny, and The GAP’s failed attempt a couple of years ago, at rebranding.

Little did I know that my dream would come true today but even better,  David boasted about the blog he penned for Fast Company, or was it Forbes, that sent The Gap [new brand attempt] into a state of total crash and burn!

David is a total ninja; a Fast Company expert blogger; a SlideShare ROCKSTAR and total branding genius.  But wait there’s more!  David received 1st Place in the 2013 Shorty Awards, (Oscar of Social Media).  Enjoy and thanks for listening.

http://ow.ly/lFqCX

DRTV Magic!

Rick McIntosh, owner of McIntosh Productions, (www.drtvmagic.com) is my rock’n guest today! Rick has had 8 DRTV hits in the past couple of years, which in itself is a miracle because only 1 in every 3 DRTV commercials tested makes it out of the gate. There was only one glitch! I couldn’t get Rick on the phone so the first 10 minutes! It’s live radio beamed across the universe and so I knew sooner or later it had to happen to me. Rick simply couldn’t get his IPHONE to slide open when I was calling! We all know that’s the greasy finger syndrome and Apple really work on that.

Today we discuss DRTV late night YELL and SELL commercials and why they make so much damn money. We have a lot of fun because Rick and I go way back, and we are not afraid to reminisce about Billy Mays, Sully, Vince Offer, Bill McAlister, and other great, and not so great, people in DRTV.

You see, in a very small industry that makes a huge amount of money for many, producers are often the last to get the credit. My question to Rick to is is, why? Because unlike any other advertising medium in the world, DRTV producers take on so many hats and then are the ones left in the corner when the marketer doesn’t execute the backend properly and then judged by that failure. This show is rated 5 Stars! Check out Rick’s work at http://www.drtvmagic.com!

Listen on iTunes: http://ow.ly/lFhbb

WTF are they thinking!

This past week a few things happened in my 20 year career in direct response that, well let’s put it this way, sent me over the proverbial “edge”.  Nadia Lessani has joined me in studio to share her discoveries about the closed minded direct response television industry and how closed minded, and uncreative it really is.  Learn  C Spot Run Productions has managed to stay out side of that darn box, and be vibrant with new ideas in the creative approach and how blending for the past 16 years the knowledge of the backend management with the front end creative has been a winning solution.   Today I grew a set of balls and went where no one has gone before.  Call me crazy…but someone has to call it, and that’s what I did today.  Enjoy the rant and then us out at www.cspotrun.com.  For your latest work go to my YouTube channel, Wendi Cooper formerly known as C Spot Run Direct (channel until Youtube changed it).

Listen on iTunes: http://ow.ly/lFgTL

 

Crawford like the Salad Waldorf like Cindy

If you have ever wondered what it would be like to write direct and produce infomercials or what it takes to have one produced, then today’s show is for you.  Jim Crawford and Marsha Waldorf are a husband and wife powerhouse who together make-up what the direct response industry calls THE POWER COUPLE.  We talk creative but we also talk about why “producers” are so different in the direct response space than any other.  It’s a great show when my competition joins me in-studio and stays for another hour after!  Learn how the backend plays into the creative an important factor that most creative / producers do not pay attention to.  Visit Jim and Marsha at www.Waldorfcrawford.com or just give them a call.  Trust me you will be in great hands!  Come visit us on Facebook – C Spot Talk and get in the conversation.  Thanks for listening…and sharing!

Listen on iTunes: http://ow.ly/k6fye

Chris Steele: Upholder of Justice, Entrepreneurs & Trampolines

My guest this week was Chris Steele. He is an actor, spokesman, entrepreneur, radio show host and advocate for entrepreneurs all across America. He is being considered for a role of playing a superhero on a TV show which is apropos: Chris is the most handsome guy I know in all of Direct Response if not all of the television-hosting space. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to sit across from him and look at him while interviewing him since he was calling in from his office. If you want to see how handsome Chris is, go ahead and Google him, just be careful because you never know what might come up! Chris makes sure to clarify to Google “Actor Chris Steele” so you don’t get any surprises! (Or, you can just go to: http://www.actorchrissteele.com)

Besides acting and being a spokes man, Chris is a true family man and he is a great free spirit. He and his wife and kids rented an RV for one year and traveled across the whole country homeschooling the kids along the way while exposing them to all of America. Next, Chris realized the potential of recreation and exercise with trampolines and opened up his own huge trampoline center. Finally, he has a weekly radio show called American Underdog (www.americanunderdog.com) which actually has a format quite similar to mine. He interviews entrepreneurs from across America and advocates for them and gives them helpful tips as well as giving them a platform to market their invention or product. By the end of the show, Chris and I both came to the realization that everybody is really connected and the service we provide for people out there is really great because it gives us the opportunity to help so many people expose and market themselves and their products. And what is better in life than the satisfaction of knowing that you helped someone else! I will be at the Response Expo next week so I will be replaying my show from December 20, 2012 interviewing the inspiring Peter Soby. I will be back live next Thursday, August 11. Until then… Go out and find somebody to help or do a good deed for!

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/march-28-2013/id513363396?i=142003895&mt=2

Google me “JOE”

I have wanted to have Joe Jaffe on my show ever since we met one cold and dreary night in Indiana.  Although I didn’t have a radio show at the time, nor did I ever think I would but since I do now, it’s a good opening for the show notes.  Joseph Jaffe is a marketing and advertising expert and successful author of  3 books “Life after the 30 Second Spot”, “Join the Conversation” and “Flip the Funnel”.  All must reads (me included – I must read them!)  Joe’s attitude and passion for doing the right thing and truly seeing the bright side is complemented by his sense of humor and engaging presence.  Of course his knowledge, creativity, and expertise always leave his audience with much to think about.   Joe’s latest venture is  “Evolution” – or is it “Evolation” hmm. His new company is a unique play on marrying start ups  with brands.  It may sound odd, and it is different, but it’s really worth a listen because there is something to this “link” that is really helping start ups and brands come together in a very contemporary way.  If you think you may have the NEXT BIG THING then listen to what Joe has to say…personally, I could listen to Joe all day, and I think he could listen to Joe all day, but hey don’t we all listen to ourselves all day anyway?  You can find Joe at www.startupforbrands.com and www.jaffejuice.com – or you could just Google… “Joe”.  Thanks for listening and enjoy, life.