Monday, October 29, 2012

The New Chain of Influence

The best way to reach future customers is through existing customers.

That’s the chain of influence. Now that people have replaced their trust in traditional authorities with trust in each other, they don’t want to hear from the companies who make the products, and certainly not the experts who review them, they want to hear from the amateurs, the real people, who actually use the products.

Rotten Tomatoes, the world’s best film review aggregator, is a fascinating example. For every movie listed, they post two kinds of reviews. First, the ones from approved critics, usually certified members of writing guilds or film associations, who review movies for a living. And second, the reviews from registered users, usually film fanatics and regular people, who simply love going to the movies and sharing their experience.

Who are we more likely to trust?

Well, if I’m going to leave the house and part with my precious time and money, personally, I care less about critical acclaim and more about casual approval.

The balance of power has shifted.