Local business owners can not ignore the power of consumer reviews on the web today.  And savvy business owners are watching and responding to customers whether the comment is positive or negative. The consumer is looking for real conversation and referrals to make their buying decisions.

Consumers over the last ten years have seized upon the World Wide Web as a platform to access more authentic perspective on prospective purchases. Witness yelp.com, epinions.com, gizmodo.com , and tripadvisor.com, among a whole host of other similar sites. Some such web-based enterprises now provide direct customer perspective for very specific purchases. This internet business provides raw, unfiltered testimonies -- both in written and video form -- from current undergraduate students about what it's really like to go to various colleges and universities. Admission departments surely cringe, but prospective students increasingly rely upon this real perspective, versus the official glossy brochures put forth by the self-promoting schools themselves.

The same holds true for destination marketing!  Check what consumers are saying - it may be the saving grace for your business in this economy.