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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Are Case Studies Dead?

If you're into promoting a service, product or membership of some kind, you understand the value of online reviews. In the recent Local Consumer Review Survey, and blogged about by Search Engine Land, 72% of consumers located in US, Canada and the UK admitted to trusting online reviews (even if they were written by strangers). This was the second iteration of the survey, the original being conducted in 2010. The comparison of changes in consumer trust in just two years is interesting and worth the read.

But whether you decide to select, purchase or join because of an online review may be more based on what kind of product, service or organization you're looking into. Buying a skirt or going to a restaurant based on a rating may be sufficient but basing the choice of a roommate on social media stranger-penned reviews may not be ideal.

What about when you're buying a high ticket item for business purposes? Do you still find peer/consumer reviews relevant? Do you need to be acquainted with the person before your trust their opinion? Does it matter whether it's posted on an independent site like a LinkedIn group or the organization's website? Are case studies driven by the marketing department just another form of TPS Reporting?

Love to hear your thoughts. 

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