-Yes I know, your reputation precedes you…

Does a great product sell itself?

Sorry, I don’t think so (disagree if you like – comments are most welcome). This is unfortunate for anybody who feels they don’t have time for marketing, but the reality is that before you or I can even start to judge the quality of the offering we need to know that the product exists.

I’m not suggesting that companies forget about improving the quality of products and services, but I think we can all agree that everybody needs to factor in a reasonable marketing budget, right?

Get personal

Personal recommendations are worth their weight in gold. I even bought something from a Russian website that looked more than permissibly dodgy, and the payment  process turned out to be painfully slow but I was still happy to go ahead, because I knew that my friend had received her shoes and there were no subsequent signs of fraud.  Now, if I’d stumble upon that website through an ad, the page design and the location of the business would have sent me running in other direction…

Lesson learnt?

Do we assume that business A automatically gets repeat custom by being good? Sure, sounds reasonable, but it doesn’t automatically follow that you get new customers.

Incentives that don’t cost your business anything and still drive sales. is a good example of a company that gives incentives to its customers. The incentive doesn’t cost them anything and it builds a positive online reputation.

You can send invites to people that I think would be interested buying , and the beauty of it is that I get vouchers for the first purchase that my friend makes. New customers spends and old customer is encouraged to spend again!

Because any sane individual would only send invites to their friends, the credibility of the website is automatically boosted through personal through a personal recommendation.

Oh no!!! This really grumpy person is unhappy with us and now the whole world knows…

Laziness to the rescue. Correct me if I’m wrong, but experience in search marketing shows that people are generally quite lazy and won’t go past the first page when they are looking for something. This works to your advantage if you have something to hide, for instance a bad review, embarrassing pictures or plain lies about you. Whatever it is, there are ways of making that content escape the radar of the average internet user. You just need to bury it on the web. Very deep!

Don’t bury your head in the sand,

bury the bad content by flooding the internet with positive content to protect your brand. Make sure that meticulous SEO work goes into showcasing all the great content that you desperately need people to see. Search Engine Optimisation is one of the most important tools in the online reputation management toolkit, but remember, a reaction has to be swift and needs to be implemented on a grand scale, otherwise you might as well not bother, as you’ll be paying for the services and not get gain anything from the exercise.