Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Marketing with Product Reviews

Extract from cnet review - the Nokia N900 Smartphone (click here for full review)

The good: The Nokia N900 offers a powerful mobile Web browser, plenty of storage, a 5-megapixel camera, and an ultrasharp display. It's also fast, multitasks well, and has excellent call quality. Wi-Fi, 3G, Bluetooth, and GPS are all onboard.

The bad: The user interface isn't very intuitive. Ovi Store for the N900 isn't live yet, limiting the number of available apps, and it doesn't sync with Exchanger Server 2003. The phone is a bit bulky and not all apps work in portrait mode.

The bottom line: While it has yet to reach its full potential, the Nokia N900 is a powerful mobile device with excellent browsing capabilities and vast customization options. However, its unintuitive interface and other limitations make this a smartphone for tech enthusiasts and early adopters only.

Almost every product reviews will have something about good points, bad points and an overall recommendation. Unfortunately, I have never seen any review that gives a perfect rating without any bad points.

Even the "best smartphone" around, the iphone 4 also has it's bad points;
The bad: Multitasking entails some trade-offs, and home screen folders are limited to 12 apps. AT&T reception continues to be spotty, and you'll need a case for the best calling reception. Also, we'd prefer a 64GB model.
Next on the list of "editor's choice", the HTC Droid Incredible is not spared from bad points;
The bad: You can't use voice and data at the same time. The multimedia experience is adequate but still behind the competition.
So, why do companies continue failing to completely satisfy customer expectations? Or in this case, review-editor's expectations? Are customers expectations being totally unrealistic for current product development standards to achieve? Or current marketing research managers talking to the wrong target audience, and should include review editors in their Delphi research panels?
The task of anticipating and meeting customer's needs effectively and profitably is not getting easier. Marketers need to be updated with product development roadmaps and actively monitor the evolving needs and trends to stay ahead of the competition. A concept that is not new, but extremely useful, is participating in customers discussion forums. Again, referring to the Nokia N900, there is a powerful forum for developers and phone owners to discuss openly their post-purchase experience and expectations. (read more about the Maemo forum).

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