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Testament to Endorsement (KitGuru at the 2016 Target Open Day)

Posted On - 22/07/2016 08:53:27

Testimonials and endorsements are great - but can they always be believed?Which is more believable? You telling a customer you're great or another saying the same? Now, you don't need us to tell you or explain why – so we won't.

Of course they'll be those who think you got a friend to endorse you – so it isn't really true. Meaning while they work for some they don't for others.

But what if there were a way to get believable recommendations, ones with real ‘cred'?

The talk of the town

Word-of-mouth – trustworthy, credible marketing with the bonus it happens all by itself. Well, we've already discussed how some don't see them as trustworthy. As for it being on auto-pilot, yes, it does just happen. But that's also its problem. Not everyone will just sing your praises. If they do it'll be when they want or remember. And when they do they'll say what they want.

It's not word-of-mouth is bad – it isn't - it's that getting the endorsements is unreliable. It's out of your control. There must be a better way.

Call of duty

No-one likes a show-off. But sometimes you really should show just how proud you are. Here's why. Your customers want the expert, personal service you give. They already know how good you are. But your prospects don't. And they really should.

Why? Well, you can let them buy where they choose. Or you can help them clearly understand what they're doing. That they're taking a chance. Thing is, you don't have a choice on this you're obliged to tell. Why? Well, you're proud of your reliability and the quality service you give, yeah? You believe you're truly better than your competitors, right? OK, then answer this: what does letting prospects choose others' shabby service - without you warning them first - say about you? What does that say about your integrity? Can't really keep quiet can you?

Endorsement marketing

This is about using endorsements in marketing. You know the stuff: Freddy Flintoff for Jacamo, Jean-Claude Van Damme for Coors beer. The celeb draws eyes; the personality adds some form of ‘cred'. It's well trodden, well known ground. Many big brands use it.

The tricky part in endorsement marketing is everyone knows the celeb's being paid, so the backing can be seen as hollow. Add in a questionable link between the celeb and the product and it all falls over. Freddy does Chanel? Keira Knightley does Jacamo? We don't think so.

But with some thought this can be avoided. Take James Parsons (Sheldon Cooper) in the Intel ads. A celeb actor, who we know isn't a real scientist, plays the part of a theoretical physicist extolling Intel chips. Does that work? Well, at the same time as we know James probably doesn't know that much about microprocessors (sorry if you do James), we know Sheldon would. So, yeah it does. It works well.

Product review marketing

The issue with endorsement marketing is authenticity. In fact, it's the whole issue with marketing, period. How can anything you've paid for that says good things about you be trusted? You wouldn't say you were bad or mediocre or average would you? You wouldn't say "use us we're no worse than anyone else"?

Buyers today completely get this. So they ignore what you say. What matters are comments on online forums and what others say on social media. 67% consumers say endorsement from an ‘unbiased expert' makes them more likely to purchase. The question is, who are they and how do you get their review?

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