What Works In the Product Review Process

Last Updated Oct 15, 2007 10:41 AM EDT

Previously Matt Sarrel described some of the common ways that companies participating in product reviews tend to irritate the reviewer. Today he's back with more pointers about what works in the product review process:
  • Be polite and respectful of the reviewer and his/her time. All magazines are scaling back and we're busier now than we've ever been. None of us have time to talk to someone who rambles on and on. Similarly, we are too busy to have to deal with someone who is pushy, insistent, and rude.
  • Know your audience and have your client tailor his presentation to meet their needs. For example, when pitching PC Magazine be ready to answer questions like "How does it work" and "How does it compare to competitors". When pitching YRB Magazine be ready to answer questions like "Why is this cool?" and "Which celebrities are using this?"
  • Never allow your client to repeat marketing fluff and talking points for a whole meeting.
  • Don't let meetings run over time. Leave some time at the end for questions.
  • Give the reviewer what he needs - tech support, analyst contacts, case studies, reviewers guide (reviewers guides are a big part of Sarrel Group's business and are a great way to provide input about test procedures without seeming heavy handed)
  • The product to be reviewed absolutely must arrive on time. This about the reviewer's schedule and his deadlines, not your client's marketing objectives. We have dropped products that would have won the roundup because they arrived too late.
  • NEVER, EVER LET YOUR CLIENT WHINE LIKE A PETULANT CHILD IF HE DISAGREES WITH THE REVIEWER. That is a sure fire guarantee that the reviewer won't ever want to talk to him again.
  • If your client says, "You reviewed this wrong because you don't understand the product/technology", then take him out back and put a bullet in his head because that's what he's just done to his relationship with the reviewer.
  • Stay in touch. Maintain a relationship with the reviewer. Be available when the reviewer is on deadline and needs expert commentary. Over time, the reviewer will trust you and your client and that will benefit everyone.