Intuit and other software companies spinning bottle w/ Social Media

Posted on February 17, 2010

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Article referenced, Intuit Program Combines Reviews, Social Networking, Feb 14, 2010, by Todd Wasserman via Brandweek.com (see link below for entire article)

From marketer’s standpoint and previous to the referenced Brandweek article, I would have thought software companies would be fishing in deep waters with web2.0 but apparently they too, are just dipping a toe in social media pool. It seems like a natural space for software.

[This tax season, Intuit’s TurboTax is hoping to get big returns out of a marketing push that combines product reviews and social networking.

The Friends Like You program, which launched this month, identifies people within a consumer’s Facebook, MySpace or Twitter networks who may have reviewed the product and lets consumers “friendcast” those reviews on their social networks.

Though it may seem unlikely that a person in any given network has reviewed TurboTax, Seth Greenberg, director of national media and digital marketing for Intuit, has done the math and says it’s plausible.

In addition to identifying Facebook and Twitter friends under a “your friends” link, the program also lets consumers see reviews from people in similar tax situations, like those who just bought a house or had a baby. ]

I do see a benefit to online reviews, not much on the manufacturer side but more on the retailer side. Retailers are perceived by the consumer as being less interested in a specific product’s sell-ability and more interested in offering a customer service feature, regardless of what branded product the consumer purchases. The retailer sends a message, Purchase here, we are customer-centric, knowledgeable and fair.

I am more interested in hearing about Intuit’s criteria for posted comments. Any scrub factors? Any incentives? If used to drive revenue is there click-thru to purchase products? How will success be measured? Will they reuse the content and re-purpose later, if so in what capacity?

Albert Einstein said “…the most difficult thing in the world to figure out is income tax.” With that said, I never understood, in advertising, why tax services didn’t offer tax tips? Good old tax tip…something easy to relay, it’s of value therefore engaging to the consumer, its timely, and top of mind with every adult audience this time of year. Tips, would be easy to brand / package and could be placed in interesting, social media spaces.

I agree, that when participating in a social media environment, one is less interested in buying. However, when watching your favorite tv programs, one is less interested in buying too. It’s all consumer ad conditioning.

Whenever you offer something of value albeit a tax tip, that is where consumer engagement takes place and sales develop.

I applaud Intuit,Seth Greenberg’s approach that they stand to learn and become better from this campaign.

Not to disclose it all but do hope you share some of the learnings in a follow-up article…

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