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August 18, 2021

Local Marketing Insider #014 // How to Mine Reviews for Untapped Marketing Insights

Discover your next great marketing insight from the language used by your customers. Pull phrases and insights from customer feedback sources.

Sometimes great marketing messages can come straight from your customers.

The way they view your product or industry, their expectations and motivations, and the language they use to communicate those feelings will likely provide you a deep well of marketing inspiration. 

You may even be able to use customer language directly.

3 places to find customer/prospect review content:

  • Online reviews (yours + competitors)
  • Amazon (books or products related to your business/industry/topic)
  • Sales and customer service calls

Spend some time combing through review content. Make note of descriptive language. Look for patterns or common themes.

To stay organized, structure your notes into three buckets:

  • Memorable phrases
  • What people want
  • What people are mad about, in pain over

Use these new insights to tweak your website, product messaging, GMB descriptions, pretty much any relevant marketing touchpoint.

While you research, add a “problems identified” column, making note of any consistent issues. These notes could be useful to improve products or customer experience. 

See The Process in Action (2 Examples)

To try this out I picked two local Burlington, VT businesses to see what I could find. I spent about 20 minutes each reading Google reviews. Having no prior marketing experience with these businesses, I was able to create relevant and differentiated positioning and messaging.

Example 1: A Single Pebble

Type of business: Chinese restaurant, Burlington, VT

Memorable phrases

  • “They're able to get textures and flavors I didn't know were possible.” 
  • “Missing the authentic tastes of home in Flushing, A Single Pebble fills the void”
  • “If you leave hungry, its on you.”
  • “Best Chinese food in Burlington”
  • “Phenomenal tastes”
  • “Buzzing with people even on a Thursday night”
  • “We had the tasting menu. It was a bargain for two people at $40 each to share 9 dishes”
  • “Wonderful family-style dining”

What people want

  • Standout authentic Asian food in a place where very little exists
  • Properly seasoned food
  • High-quality vegan, gluten-free options
  • Charming outdoor seating
  • Lovely staff
  • A great anniversary spot
  • Generous portions

What people are mad about, in pain over

  • How little quality, authentic Asian cuisine exists in Vermont

Problems identified

  • Over seasoning
  • Some dishes too “soy heavy”
  • Lemon shrimp entree overpowered with lemon flavor
  • Single bathroom experience is unpleasant

A Single Pebble positioning based on feedback from Google reviews:

Standout, Authentic Asian Cuisine in Burlington, Vermont

Popular among visitors and locals alike, A Single Pebble stands a cut above with its phenomenal tastes, textures, and flavors. Consistently buzzing atmosphere, charming seating, and lovely staff defines our tucked-away downtown location. 

Try our chef’s choice tasting menu for a memorable experience. We also offer a variety of vegan and gluten-free options.

“Missing the authentic tastes of home in Flushing, A Single Pebble fills the void”

Example 2: Outdoor Gear Exchange

Type of business: Outdoor sports retailer, Burlington, VT

The Memorable phrases:

  • “The staff can not be any better. So friendly and helpful. Its been that way for over 20 years, I'm guessing the owners are pretty great if they always attract awesome employees”
  • “OGE is the jam.” 
  • “I order a pair of new skis yesterday at 3:00 p.m. and they were delivered to my home in New York City by 12:30 p.m. today.”
  • “They will always be my first choice for outdoor gear.”
  • “The staff are friendly, welcoming and very well informed and experienced without being condescending.”
  • “REI on steroids”
  • “Dog friendly as hell”
  • “Go downstairs for sure”

What people want

  • Dog friendly
  • Well-organized consignment section

Problems identified

  • Young, arrogant, rude staff

Outdoor Gear Exchange positioning based on feedback from Google reviews:

The First Choice for Outdoor Gear

“REI on steroids” and “Dog friendly as hell”, OGE is a different kind of shopping experience. Explore a wide variety of new outdoor gear upstairs, peruse our well-organized consignment section downstairs, or place an order from home. Find us on Church Street in downtown Burlington, VT.

“OGE is the jam.” 

“I order a pair of new skis yesterday at 3:00 p.m. and they were delivered to my home in New York City by 12:30 P.M. today.”

Thanks for reading Local Marketing Insider. I hope this exercise can help you uncover ideas and insights you haven't thought of before. 

Thanks to Copyhackers for providing this initial insight.

If you enjoyed this issue please share it with friends or colleagues.

See you in 2 weeks - Jake, Marketing @Widewail



Jake Hughes

I’m the Director of Marketing here at Widewail, as well as a husband and new dad outside the office. I'm in Vermont by way of Boston, where I grew the CarGurus YouTube channel from 0 to 100k subscribers. I love the outdoors and hate to be hot, so I’m doing just fine in the arctic Vermont we call home. Fun fact: I met my wife on the shuttle bus at Baltimore airport. Thanks for reading Widewail’s content!

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