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Bazaarvoice Social Summit 2012 Review

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Last week I attended the Bazaarvoice Social Summit in Austin, Texas. It was a good conference focused on the power of user generated content to help sell and influence purchases. Here's a few key stats that demonstrate just how powerful this can be: there's a 100% uplift for ecommerce sales among those who look at reviews versus those who do not and newsletter sign ups increase 62% among those who read reviews. There is no doubt that reading opinions of others with similar experiences can help influence positive behavior. 
 
Bazaarvoice also announced a new display program, Bazaarvoice: Media, that leverages the power of user generated content powered by Bazaarvoice. You can now take the content that you know about your reviewers' interests, demographics, and sentiment to provide banner creative that is targeted to the website's audience. This is an excellent opportunity for display advertisers to add more relevance to their campaigns.  This is also a great compliment (and something that excites me as a marketer) to bazaarvoice-ven.pngthe Responsys display offering in the sense that brands can target specific customers with relevant, sentiment based content. The display channel now has similar targeting and messaging capabilities as email, enabling brands to build better relationships with their customers.
 
To the right is an example diagram of how Bazaarvoice is helping to provide more relevance utilizing the customer profile, interests, and sentiment data. To learn more, visit the Bazaarvoice site.
 
The was quite a lot of talk around proving ROI and measuring ROI for social, a hot topic for sure.  The Social ROI breakout was great.  The main focus was measuring social's efforts across ALL your efforts.  This type of thinking is spot on, as social is not always the last click within a buying process, but it definitely helps influence purchases as customers move down the funnel. This is how companies are measuring uplift as a result of user generated content (100% increase in conversions for those looking at reviews vs. those that did not).
 
I think the best presentation from the event came from John Gerzema.  His presentation on Consumer Centricity: Building Around the New Consumer provided great insight to see how a multitude of small to large business across all kinds of industries are taking advantage of the new consumer.  Instead of focusing on theories and high level content, he shared insights into how these companies were using his key objectives to Consumer Centricity: proof by example.  One of the most memorable examples was how the Sweden Government is using Twitter to be more local and authentic. They actually hand over their Twitter account to one Swedish citizen per week to give perspective on what life is really like in Sweden. Each person gets full access to the account to post updates, pictures, etc. The government believes that allowing citizens to make updates will show the true values and beliefs of the Swedish people. Here is a story on Mashable for more detail.
 
To sum things up, the conference was about the increase in user generated content and how we as marketers have a big opportunity to leverage this data to create a better experience for our customers.
 
Did you attend the event? What were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments.

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