Marketing Pilgrim's Reputation Channel

Marketing Pilgrim's Reputation Channel is sponsored by Trackur.

Study Shows an Increase in Local Competition Encourages Negative Review Fraud on Yelp


Yelp knows they have a problem with fake reviews. They say they have it under control thanks to a sophisticated filter system which removes around 25% of all incoming reviews. But a new university study called “Fake it Till You Make It” (a weird name for a University study but whatever. . . ) pretty much says that as long as Yelp exists there will be fraud – not because people are mean and unethical – but because the incentive to get a high rating is worth the risk.

In addition to a study of positive fake reviews, Boston University’s Georgios Zervas and Michael Luca of the Harvard Business School studied incidents of negative review posting against competitors.

Training Point: You Are Being Watched ALL THE TIME

If there is one thing that companies need to be telling their employees is that they should NEVER assume that no one is watching them.

The latest instance of someone being caught on tape shines a ‘not so positive’ light on the United States Postal Service (USPS). As if this quasi-governmental agency isn’t suffering from enough bad publicity, this latest video showing an employee making a very special delivery isn’t going to help its already sullied reputation.

Because employees don’t understand the true reach of video cameras or they simply don’t care (which is the more likely to be correct answer), public relations people and those with the responsibility of protecting the reputation of a company have increasingly high job security these days.

Apple Knocks Coca-Cola Out of the Top Spot for Best Global Brand

After thirteen years as the #1 Best Global Brand, Coca-Cola has been dethroned by not one, but two technology companies.

This year, Interbrand put Apple in the number one spot with Google as number two.

They came up with those placements by evaluating three key areas:

  • The financial performance of the branded products or service
  • The role the brand plays in influencing consumer choice
  • The strength the brand has to command a premium price, or secure earnings for the company

best global top two


Apple first hit the charts in 2000, coming in with a  brand value of USD $6.6 billion. Now they’re at $98.3 billion which could easily be described as a “meteoric rise.” Interbrand says it’s Apple’s ability to anticipate and act on consumer needs that pushed them higher than ever before.

Offensive Tweets Lead to Unemployment for Business Insider CTO

Business Insider’s Chief Technology Officer Pax Dickinson was forced to resign over a series of offensive angry tweets that actually date back several years.

Ironically, it was one of his least offensive Tweets that led to his downfall.

pax feminism tweetEven though his Twitter posts are technically not a reflection on his employers – we all know that logic doesn’t hold up. You can cry “right to free speech” and “what I do on my own time” all you want, but a technology officer publicly deriding women in tech isn’t going to get you a Christmas bonus.

What I don’t understand is why it took Business Insider so long to show this man the door. Back in 2010, he posted one of the most offensive Tweets I’ve ever seen from an intelligent human. Since then, he’s posted rape jokes, racial and gay slurs and he even publicly challenged one of his complaining co-workers to come say it to his face.

British Airways vs The Disgruntled Customer: A Twitter Parable

Once there was a good son who was very upset on his father’s behalf. The father flew to Paris on British Airways. Unfortunately, one of his bags went somewhere else. The man was disturbed so he asked the giant corporation for help but for two days his cries for help went unanswered.

The son, being a good son, wanted to help his father in his time of need, so he decided to use a very large, very loud megaphone to get the giant’s attention. It was a very special megaphone called a “Promoted Tweet.”

paid complaint

The giant wasn’t the only one who heard the man’s words. People all over the land of Twitter heard it, too. Then scribes and town-criers carried the man’s word out to the far corners of the web world and it wasn’t long before everyone had heard about the father’s plight.

Customers Say iTunes Provides the Best Mobile Media Experience.

Just a few minutes ago, I wrote about the companies that exceeded customer expectations online. Now we’re going to drill down and see how people feel about the mobile experience. According to ForeSee, Retail is getting some of the best numbers in mobile, followed closely by Travel, Financial Services and Entertainment.

forsee mobile satisfaction

Good scores, but no one is anywhere near 100%.

Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee says,

“With the fast pace of consumer adoption of smartphones and tablets, companies need to recognize the mobile platform is at least as important as the desktop web environment. These mobile benchmark scores suggest there is much work to be done. Companies see the opportunity and they are trying to move fast, but they must be sure to do things the right way to meet the expectations of customers or risk turning them away to competitors.”

Customers Say Amazon Provides the Best Online Experience. Who Provides the Worst?

Tempkin Group caught up with 10,000 people who had interacted with a website in the prior 60 days and asked this question:

Thinking back to your most recent interaction with the websites of these companies,  how satisfied were you with the experience?

The respondents rated their experience on a scale from 1 to 7 and Tempkin averaged out the results to arrive at this — a list of the best and worst on the internet by customer experience.


No one scored 100% but Amazon took the top slot with a 77% rating, a full 2 percentage points higher than the next guy in line USAA Bank.

Though they landed in the 70% or under category, these companies still had at least 10 points over their competition: Kaiser Permanente, Advantage Rent A Car, eBay, QVC, Sonic Drive-In, Charles Schwab, and Fidelity Investments.