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Kia Master

I have always wondered why advertisers have never really focused on customer service and customer satisfaction in their ad campaigns (save recent NatWest ads) unless it’s just a mention at the end of the 30 seconds of self-promotion or a pop-up line to be read for a couple of seconds; but Kia Motors (UK) Limited is starting the New Year with a full marketing campaign based on what people think of them in an attempt to garner yet more praise from the public.

Starting on television this week, and supported by press ads, posters, digital advertising and a cinema ad, the campaign is based on the fact that Kia won ‘Best Car Manufacturer of 2012’ in the Which? awards and that in a 2012 survey consumer organisation JD Power ranked the Kia Sportage the most satisfying car to own.

The advert carries the strapline: ‘Cars which speak for themselves, customers who speak for us’; and the advert itself uses an animated keyboard wall to demonstrate all the customer reviews, with different backgrounds and visuals highlighting the new range of cars.

Lawrence Hamilton, Marketing Director at Kia Motors UK Ltd., said “After speaking with consumers, it became very clear how important customer advocacy and peer-to-peer recommendations have become, especially for big-ticket items with longer purchase cycles.”

“Our pioneering seven year warranty is an expression of confidence in the quality of all out new range of cars, but we know what we say as a brand is far less convincing and compelling than what real owners say. So, we made it easier for customers to really get to know what owning a Kia is like in real words from real people”

Kia claim that they are the first vehicle manufacturer to publish genuine, unfiltered, independently-verified owner reviews in an attempt to show that they are openly accountable to its customers. In fact, since Spring 2012, in partnership with an independent third party review website called Reevoo, more than 3,000 customer reviews of Kia cars have been posted to the company’s website. These reviews have an average product satisfaction rating to date of 9/10, but the website doesn’t just stop there with the review: it also encourages prospective customers to ask current owners questions on the site.

Personally, I find that online reviews are either wholly positive or wholly negative with no real in-between, primarily because I believe that people will only bother to post if they feel strongly enough about the product, in a good OR bad way; but it still doesn’t stop me looking at reviews before I buy anything, and thinking twice if there are any negative comments.

Research into public interest in online reviews has shown that 72% of consumers trust online reviews with 67% reading between two and ten reviews before making the purchase decision, so it is good to know that I am part of the norm – although readers of some of my other blog posts may beg to differ!.

And 22% of adults are influenced by comments and reviews of other internet users, as I have indicated above. Think for yourself if you check out a review of a holiday resort or hotel you are planning to visit and someone posts that they had the worst holiday they have ever had there. Despite it being one bad review out of 10 you will certainly think, even for just a minute.

It is this online review system that Kia are using to draw attention to themselves as “the first car manufacturers to fully utilise the interest in peer to peer reviews with an independent third party website.”

The reviews are available to read on www.kia.co.uk/reviews