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.

 

A tale of 3 charities…

As I sat in the opulent offices of the cavernous LATalkRadio studios, I looked across at the empty chair where Wendi Cooper usually sits, and shouted,”Wendiiiiii. Can you hear meeee?” But alas, she could not hear me, Peter Soby, because she was in Las Vegas at the ERA D2C 2013 Convention. So I got to be Wendi Cooper this week. And since I was Wendi Cooper, I brought Kathy Christopherson in to be my me (Since I am usually Wendi’s sidekick)! And it’s confusing banter just like that that got the show started off this week!
But in all seriousness, I had a great time filling in for Wendi. And Kathy did an amazing job filling in for me! When Wendi handed me the keys to the show, I decided that I wanted to do a show spotlighting 3 Los Angeles-based charities. First off, Fritz Coleman, the extraordinary weatherman from NBC4, called in, and he talked about the charity called, Valley Interfaith Council (VIC).
Next, we got a phone call from Sylvie De Toledo, the Founder of Grandparents as Parents (GAP). Sylvie is an amazing woman and she talked about the organization and also the fact that she is one of the Top 25 nominees in the CNN Heroes showcase. And this is out of over 10,000 individuals and organizations nominated!
Finally, Kathy spoke on behalf of the amazingly compassionate charity called Dirty Dog Squad, an animal rescue organization.
We certainly missed Wendi this week and I look forward to having her back next week and hearing all about her adventures at the Direct 2 Consumer Convention. But today was a really nice breather to spotlight some amazing individuals and charities doing some incredible things for people and animals! Stay tuned next week for Wendi and more direct response!
Below are the websites of all the charities mentioned in the show. You should go to each of them and learn something about them and perhaps donate your time or money. Thanks for listening!
Valley Interfaith Council (VIC) www.VIC-LA.org
Grandparents as Parents (GAP) www.grandparentsasparents.org
Dirty Dog Squad www.dirtydogsquad.org
Project Don’t Go Back (PDGB) www.PDGB.org – I did a “shout out” at the end of the show for this organization. They are amazing as well. They are doing outreach for men who live in halfway houses who have been released from prison and jail and offer them aide and support in their transition back to the outside world. Be sure to check them out.
You can listen to the show or download the show and listen later at the following links:

RED is the new color of money!

Saturday mornings on your local stations is filled with infomercials – in fact there are entire stations dedicated to only airing 30 minute infomercials.  Patrick Raymond, Owner, Writer, Executive DR Strategist (I left out the TV as I had that expression) of Raymond Entertainment Direct, {RED} brings 21 years as a creative professional to the table and the microphone.  Today we discuss how direct response creative agencies (now being called branded entertainment) are very different than general market agencies. We’ve been doing performance based marketing for 20 years – so our clients (RED’s and CSRP’s) rely on us for much more than to produce a commercial.  Learn what it involves and how deep the client relationship runs.  Today we dish about using celebrities; what Kathy Ireland is up to; secrets to great testimonials, and much much more.  (You saw that one coming!)  I love when I have one of my close colleagues (and competition) on the show – it’s just so much fun to talk shop and leave some great direct response marketing tips for everyone to enjoy!  The C Spot is unplugged conversation – we just let it flow.  Enjoy the Show!

Listen to the show here:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/september-5-2013/id513363396?i=165746713&mt=2

Fritzmania!

On The C Spot last Thursday was Fritz Coleman, Southern California’s “Best Weathercaster” – [NBC] Channel 4 News since 1982; a stand up comedian and  serious humanitarian, Fritz has been honored for his dedication to community service many times.  In 1999 the City of Los Angeles named Fritz Coleman the “Treasure of Los Angeles.” He received the  Humanitarian of the Year Award from the US House of Representatives for his fundraising efforts on behalf of the American Red Cross.  In 2004 Fritz received two Humanitarian Awards, one from the Shelter Partnership and the other from the California Hospital Medical Center.  Fritz’s love for life and family is his nature.   No wonder he also loves to be a stand-up comic.  Fritz has performed at The Improv and The Ice House, and on September 28, 2013 he’ll bring his act,  “Fritz and Friends an Evening of Comedy” to VIC (Valley Interfaith Council) www.vic-la.org, in support of its assistance program for the elderly.  What drives Fritz Coleman?  What’s it like to be on TV for 31 years talking about the weather? How did Fritz inspire me to get closer to the open mic?    You may be thinking, “what has this got to do with marketing?”   It has everything to do with marketing! Whenever I can use my show to bring attention to serious and worthy causes then The C Spot IS the marketing tool.  Internet radio reaches around the world.  Internet radio lives online in podcasts forever.  It’s available to share and download 24/7 365!   What better way to keep a cause alive than to do so through Internet Radio?  It’s the smartest marketing tool today!   It is our responsibility as humans to use our voice to make this world a better place.  Of course, in true Cooper style, I reveal secret Fritz sightings as far back as 1989 on Sunset Blvd., and bring to light 3 degrees of separation that we share on many levels.  Remember, September 28, 2013 at 6PM at VIC 818-880-4842 ext 3002 for donations, tickets and VIP seating and reception – it’s sure to be Fritzmania!  www.Vic-la.org – delivering over 350,000 meals on wheels a year and so much more!  Thanks for listening!

Listen to the podcast of the show here:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/fritzmania!/id513363396?i=165178133&mt=2

BEFORE NOW – Rock and Roll with a Twist!

Jose Luis “Chocs” Campos sent me an email asking if he could be on The C Spot to promote his band, Before Now, and their gig at The Mint on August 16th, in Los Angeles.  I didn’t hesitate, even though Alternative Rock is not my thing, as I admired his passion to market the band.  I agreed as long as we talked about what it takes to self market an Alternative Rock and Roll band and build a following in today’s digital space.  Chocs came to L.A. In 2004 from Mexico, to pursue his dreams and is quite the established “new generation master of percussion.”  Chris Poulson, drummer turned Lead Vocalist, joined us in-studio.  Khris Campbell and Kevin Wolfe, the other 2 band members unfortunately couldn’t join us.  I fell in love.   With these two extremely talent young men with a desire to Make it No Matter What!  This is what I’m talk’n about when I say, “bringing a product to market even if the product is you”, and why I love The C Spot.  “Rock and Roll is really here to stay!”  http://www.beforenowmusic.com tells it all!  http://www.joseluiscampos.com/   http://www.kevinwolfe.com/   http://www.kriscampbell.com/  http://www.chris-poulson.com/  – Enjoy!

Absolutely Abdo-licious!

I love my colleague and friend  JOHN ABDO!  A former Olympic athlete who is now regarded worldwide as an authority on life motivation, health, fitness and athletic conditioning.  John has been a Professor of Fitness Sciences, Master Fitness Trainer, and was recently inducted into the National Fitness Hall of Fame. How I know John is as the creator of the Award-Winning invention, The AB-DOer®, which has sold over 7 million units in over fifty countries, and he’s the formulator and spokesperson for the #1 Male-Health Formula sold on TV today, Androzene®.

John is a powerful and passionate man in all he does…even my radio show!  I love this guy and you will too!  Www.johnabdo.com.  Like us on Facebook – C Spot Talk page…:)

Listen on iTunes Podcast: http://ow.ly/m5dq4

“I’m All Yours” but don’t make this Ginger Squat!

Singer Songwriter, Rachel London returns to The C Spot!  On April 12, 2012 Rachel was my guest and shared her first single “Toxic Magic Tragic”
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/im-all-yours/id646016892?i=646017645.  Today, her latest single
I’m All Yours”  https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/im-all-yours/id646016892?i=646017645, just dropped on June 4, 2013 (2 days ago) and is already getting airplay around the world.  Rachel has come a looooooonnnnnggg way since her last visit, in a very short period of time.  What’s her secret?  What did she do to market herself, her music? How did she get those doors open to work with people like: Jon Secada, Mark Hudson (Ozzy Osborne, AeroSmith) Rudy Perez (Billboard’s Producer of the Decade, and worked with JLO and Christina Aguilera)  Troy Remi (Timbaland, Sean Paul) and Wendy Starland (Hall of Fame SongWriter who discovered Lady Gaga and Gavin Degraw) and Mike Gonsolin (Limp Bitzkit, The Veronicas, Sam Adams).  Damn girl!  She is “Pop Artist of the Year” nominated for the 2014 Music Awards.  What can’t she do!  Thanks for listening…and share!

Listen on iTunes PAodcast: http://ow.ly/lR916