Prior to joining Bazaarvoice, I was a marketing leader at several tech companies, including IBM and Syniti. I believe my career in marketing has been helped by the fact that I worked in sales before.
Being paid to do this every day is simply a bonus, and when my friends and family ask me about my job at Bazaarvoice, I usually say, "I love my job and my mission at work, and being paid to do this every day is simply a bonus" What's the reason? I get to be a business leader, an observer of retail trends, a brand ambassador, and most of all, an everyday shopper every day.
What sort of brands have you worked with and what should retailers know about user-generated content (UGC)?
Bazaarvoice works with brands and retailers from all sectors of retail, from food and beverage to beauty and automotive. It is almost certain that the top brands in each category are brands and retailers that we work with.
Retailers who are customer focused are aware of organic and user-generated content. All retailers should be aware that authentic and organic content such as ratings and reviews have a 2x to 4x multiplier effect for brand awareness, purchase conversion, and brand trust.
While many brands and retailers lean single handedly on branded content for shopper engagement, taking an 'and' strategy to inject both branded content with user-generated content on all channels along with paid channels like digital ads, owned channels like the brand's website, and earned and shared channels like
In your opinion, why is UGC more than just reviews of products?
Over the years, ratings and reviews, particularly text-based reviews, have been the original and prevalent form of User Generated Content, but the term is more inclusive by design. User-generated content is different from brand-generated content. Reviews, photos, videos, product questions and answers are also extensions of User Generated Content. The voice of the consumer is represented by user-generated content.
They help prospective customers make informed purchases. They are useful for all types of marketing and advertising, as well as providing valuable insights that can help brands and retailers improve everything from their messaging to their processes to the products themselves. All areas of a business can be improved by user-generated content.
Why do you think UGC should be a major priority for retailers?
It needs to be more of a priority. Brand trust and loyalty are at an all time low due to the Pandemic. Consumers want to hear from each other more than they want to hear from the company they are buying from. More than half of brands and retailers are considering moving their budget away from paid advertising to owned and earned content creation. More authentic user generated content in their paid and owned media is believed to improve the performance of their ads and content. It's a top of mind topic for a lot of people.
How does removing negative reviews impact retailers, and should they ever be removed?
In my opinion, this is the holiest place for authenticity. Negative reviews add to the trust of your brand if they are authentic.
Negative reviews should not be removed unless they are found to be fraudulent. Consumers like to see negative reviews. Negative reviews on a product page help consumers to know that the reviews are legit, if they are all positive and 5 stars.
In your opinion, what are retailers’ opinions of marketing solutions for 2023 and how does UGC factor into their plans?
Retail media networks are increasingly engaging and incorporating content that is based on the voice of the consumer, and hence user-generated content, as I observed in meetings with retailers around the world.
Retailers are using the combined effect of marketing solutions in the digital and social domain as part of their overall commerce solution design principle and solution stack. Some of the retailer's best practices include vendor scorecards to measure and encourage use of user generated content and digital marketing solutions.