When I talk about my vision for the future in which “WE” become the media, where we are incented to create feedback and reviews so that our connections can hear from a “friend” about a given product or service, I often get back the same response:
(and I quote from @TonyKinard) “To your point regarding advertisers giving incentives to encourage word-of-mouth marketing, I tend to agree… but I find myself wondering about how that might potentially devalue true consumer advocacy. It can become a slippery slope for market perception on word-of-mouth marketing when there are alterior motives at play. There’s a huge difference on the value I place on a product recommendation from a ‘friend’ based on their motive for that recommendation.”
It’s a good point but my answer is this:
I have three sisters. One hates every movie she sees. One loves every movie she sees. And one gives honest, thoughtful feedback on the movies she sees. Who do you think I listen to when told about a movie that just came out?
Sounds trite, but its that simple. If people are giving out crappy recommendations, their friends will stop listening to them. Happens in real life and would happen online.