With the power of the Internet people all over the world can now openly express their opinions on pretty much anything. While some people see the drawbacks in this fact, marketers are seeing an opportunity to get as close to proof that there are people out there who will champion for their favorite products. And if there's one person who can speak about why they love handbags or a children's toy then there are likely others that will be willing to try it out as well. Here are some tips for evaluating and using personal testimonies in marketing campaigns.
One of the best things about the world is that we are all different in our tastes and needs. In terms of marketing that means that what works for one person will not necessarily be perfect for another. When you encounter personal testimonies for decorations, for example, you want to make sure that the person giving their opinion has a similar situation as yours and they were expecting similar things from the product. One salon might be perfect for the person who's looking for a budget manicure before a first date but might not be the best choice if you're interested in a full day of treatments before your wedding.
When companies use personal testimonies you need to remember that you're only going to be hearing one site of the story. They are obviously not going to put anything on their website or in advertising that speaks ill of their product or service. So if you're really wondering how good a law firm is or which hairdresser you should choose then you should see if you can find testimonies on a third party unbiased website. This is the only way to get the full story. An example of a website that incorporates third party reviews can be found here at Royaldentalcentre.com - their home page links to another site that features real reviews from actual dental patients.
If you're trying to market your company and are including personal testimonies then you should make sure that each one is speaking to as broad an audience as possible. Some marketing firms choose to have people answer questions about the company instead of just saying whatever they would like. This focuses your data and makes it easier to work with when you're building a marketing plan. You also want to make sure that you're being represented by a number of different people. If you're a real estate agent for example, you might want to have testimonies from a first-time buyer, someone who is retired and downgrading to a smaller home, and a commercial real estate investor.
When you're reading personal testimonies you should also check for editing. If there are clearly sections of the person's review taken out then you might want to be a little suspicious of its overall truthfulness. Companies are not allowed to change what a person says but they are allowed to omit certain details.