Underrated Series – Part 4

helpful tips.jpg

Welcome to the latest edition of our new weekly blog series, The Underrated Series. Each week, we will highlight an important, often underrated component of marketing success.

Last week’s underrated topic was product design.

What are we underrating this week? Social proof.

You likely think that your product or service is amazing. It’s got loads of value and it’s definitely worth the price you charge for it. Right?

But that really doesn’t matter. Because customers know that you think it’s amazing. You have an incentive to tell them it’s amazing. That’s what marketing is, and customers are wary of marketing.

But what happens when someone who has no incentive to tell them it’s amazing does?

We call that social proof, and it’s one of the most underrated tools the marketer has in his tool belt.

Social proof encompasses many different things. But what they all have in common is the goal. That goal is demonstrating to customers that your marketing claims are true by bringing in third-party sources.

It could be trust seals, like BBB Accreditation or industry certification. It could be sales figures, ie. over 1 billion sold. It could be satisfaction rates from customer surveys. It could be online reviews or testimonials. It could be a vibrant online forum or social media outlet.

It could be a combination of all or some of the above. But whatever it is, it’s proof to the market place that your claims are true. As consumers, we look to others like us to confirm our purchases. And strong social proof can help overcome the fear inherent in making a new purchasing decision.

Have something you think deserves more attention? Send us your suggestions for the Underrated Series using the comments below or submit them here.

Is BBB Accreditation Worth It?

Is your business accredited by the BBB?

The Better Business Bureau is one of the longest standing consumer trust organizations in the country. Their mission is to protect consumers from deceptive businesses or business practices.

Being accredited by the BBB means that they have reviewed your business practices and put their stamp of approval on what you are doing. It’s a symbol to consumers that you are who you say you are, that the claims you make on your website and in your promotional material are true, and that the likelihood you’re going to rip them off is low.

If your business is not accredited, you likely still have a business listing on the BBB website. And you will have a grade, from A+ to F, telling consumers what the BBB thinks of you. If you’re accredited, it will say so on that listing. If not, it will tell people you’re not accredited.

Determining whether or not BBB accreditation makes sense for you depends on several factors.

  1. Are you accredited or certified by any other third party organizations?
  2. Do you have a strong rating with the BBB?
  3. Does third-party accreditation matter to your customers?

If there are no other companies or organizations giving you their stamp of approval, you have a less than stellar rating with the BBB, and accreditation matters to some percentage of the market, then you may want to look into BBB accreditation.

It’s fairly cheap and easy to register.

For more information, visit http://www.bbb.org/council/for-businesses/about-bbb-accreditation.