by: Lynette Webb

This statement is deliberatively provocative, but there's a kernel of
truth to it - underestimate the power of search results at your peril.
product quality - LW.jpg

These days I feel like I'm being irresponsible NOT to research services or products online when they're more than a nominal cost... and even just 2 minutes surfing is enough to make up my mind to buy or keep looking. So, no matter how glitzy your TV ad or outdoor campaign... if when I search on google the results reveal that there's a chorus of complaints/problems being aired - and no apparent public response by the brand or supplier in question - then it raises serious doubts and more than once has stopped me purchasing.

The airing doesn't have to be in a formal organised fashion eithe, with lots of commentary... just as powerful can be laments posted on isolated blogs in sheer frustration... That's why I've picked this particular image as illustration. Too often marketers focus on the traditional 'obvious' forums for picking up on complaints (like the 2 guys talking in the picture) but somehow don't notice the 'graffitti' undercurrents.

There are many reasons why search marketing - including SEO - is vital for businesses and brands. 'Reputation management' is yet another justification...

The wording on this chart is my own but I can't take credit for the concept... it's been said by many people, not least Chris Anderson (he of long tail fame).
Image thanks to Alexome via Flickr CC www.flickr.com/photos/alexome/44011992/

Original post: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lynetter/453864699/ 

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