More people are writing fake travel reviews but consumers are starting to clock on, a user feedback platform has warned.
Speaking at the 2016 Travolution Summit, Feefo chief commercial officer Matt Eames said unauthentic reviews were are – and should be – illegal.
“The feedback economy is already changing,” he said. “If you can’t guarantee the authenticity of a review it should be illegal. Advertising authorities have had that instruction for a number of years and companies have been fined for it.
“I think it will become more prevalent but consumers are more savvy than many businesses give them credit for. They know if they are looking at a review that’s completely made up or real.”
Eames added that ‘content’ has come a long way since the digital revolution with the transition from “marketers writing for the chief executive” to a Google-style key word search and then consumers being fed information.
Video, he said, is now the best way to reach consumers.
But, he added that people think an overload of video content from companies becomes stagnant, which has driven the recent rise in user-led content many firms are using in their marketing material.
“Many companies are getting it wrong by producing adverts that are just uninteresting,” he said. “Getting users to do more of that has to be the way forward.”
He went on to explain how Red Bull has committed “practically all of its advertising budget for the year” on Felix Baumgartner’s freefall from the edge of space.
“It cost $33million to do that but it got a huge following,” he said.
Charlie Ashe, head of digital strategy at VE Interactive said younger generations were more open to being involved in user-led marketing content.
He said: “My mum would be absolutely terrified if her name came up on an advert, whereas I would find it pretty cool.”
Ashe added that to get users involved in marketing you must approach the right people by “getting to know them”.