I’ll start by saying I LOVE listener testimonials as part of station imaging, and celebrity testimonials are also effective on the air. Nothing sells a radio brand better than a sincere, well produced story from a passionate listener or credible celebrity. Their recommendation is highly valuable.

But only if those listener testimonials are believable. The marketing world is filled with fake testimonials, and consumers are more and more skeptical when they see or hear them. It’s become so widespread that federal laws have been passed against them in some countries.

Amazingly, 90% of all consumers assume testimonials in marketing messages are “made up”. Wow.

On the other hand, they tend to trust reviews for a product on Amazon, or other non-sales, third party platforms. But most consumers do not trust testimonials when they see them as being in a brand’s self-interest.

In other words, there’s a difference between “reviews” and “testimonials.”

Does that bias extend to radio? Of course. How do we deal with these trust issues as programmers?

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Celebrity Testimonials Must Be Specific

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