Business owners and executives underestimate the value of  investing in online reputation management.  A new landmark study by ReviewInc reveals a significant gap in the preferred advertising and marketing mediums of businesses when compared to what consumers actually pay attention to. In May and June 2015, ReviewInc conducted a study of 1,020 U.S. business owners, general managers, executives and marketing managers. The study asked them to identify which advertising medium they believed was most effective for their business.  The study was immediately followed with a survey of 1,000 U.S consumers.  The same mediums of advertising identified by the business owners were presented to U.S. consumers in which they were asked which of them they trusted most.  Based on the results, ReviewInc was able to identify advertising mediums in which businesses appeared over-invested and mediums in which they were under-invested.  A gap of 5% or less was categorized as in line with a good marketing mix.  A gap of +/-6% to +/-10% was categorized as marginally in line with a good marketing mix. Anything above +/-10% would be out of bounds.  These out of bounds categories should be heavily considered for either increased or decreased advertising budget investment.

Online Reviews (such as on Yelp, Google+ and other review sites) were identified by consumers as the most trusted advertising medium by far.  However, business owners believed that their website and social media ads were more effective.  Only 11.1% of business owners identified Online Reviews as the most effective.  This resulted in a significant under-investment gap of 25.7%, the only gap above the 10% threshold – and by a long shot!

The second most trusted medium was traditional media (Radio/TV/Newspaper). Interestingly, this is still the most expensive adverting group.  Considering that reputation management with online reviews is one of the cheapest forms of advertising, the combination of the under-investment gap with the return on investment value clearly implies that businesses should increase their investment in online reputation management and online reviews management.

Online business reputation is an investment. Smart businesses are already increasing their investment in online reputation management systems and online reviews management. Can a business afford to wait while their competitors take advantage of this dramatic shift in marketing strategy?

ReviewInc can help businesses get more reviews everywhere and enhance their reputation.  For a no obligation consultation call ReviewInc at 877-9REVIEW or leave a note here and have an expert contact you.