Once upon a time, we had phone books or called 411 for a number. Junk mail was delivered by the tons every year and magazines piled up on the table as trees were dying all around us. Our main source of information on companies we might do business with came straight from a TV, radio, or print ad.
But times – they are a changin’.
Unsolicited junk now lands in my email much more often than in my mail box. I own over a thousand book and magazine copies – and they fit in my purse on a Kindle Fire. And the newest marketing madness?
People like me who are using their voice to spread the word!
When I need to find the nearest restaurant, I don’t pick up a phone book, I just plug the name – if I know it! – into my GPS and hit “go”. If all I know is that I want cupcakes or a nice relaxing place to have a glass of wine with a friend, I just type ‘wine bar’ or ‘cupcakes’ into a search engine and let the masses help me make an educated choice.
I can quickly find out who’s been there, who liked it, what problems they’ve encountered, and sometimes even the best things on the menu, whose section I want to sit in, or the name of the sales clerk who went out of her way to be helpful.
So what if I don’t know who you are? What do you have to gain by lying about your experience?
When I look at my personal blog posts, reviews I’ve posted on a travel or apartment reviews website, even my check-ins on Facebook or my Tweets when I’m out and about, it hits me that I’m constantly selling goods and services for companies I adore. I’m also sending out signals to shy away from those I’ve had negative experiences with.
So I’m not merely taking – I’m giving! I’m truly part of something bigger!
We’re all working together – with people we’ve never even met – to build this community for sharing feedback and helping others find what they want, need, and value in products and services.
And that is an amazing feeling! Not only can my customer experiences can guide others to the right places but as consumers we are exercising our collective voice with a few clicks and we are being heard worldwide.
We no longer need companies to tell us how great they are – and even when they do we don’t have to trust them at their word. There is such empowerment in the word of mouth of millions of consumers!
So you don’t have to find us anymore, Mr. Business Owner. We’re finding you! And we’re deciding whether to do business with you or not based on your online reputation. Better treat us customers fairly and conduct business with integrity.
Cause these boots are made for walking, and we’ll start a social stampede!