Brace yourself for the next form of advertising and marketing. It's your customers' product ratings and reviews -- the good, the bad and the ugly. In the Web 2.0 world big brands are evolving to look, listen and learn from their consumers in a public forum.
A report from Jupiter Research, for instance, issued a call for retailers to "use consumer-created content throughout the full circle of customer interaction," citing research that 48% of online shoppers find it critical that retailers post reviews. That report also found that the number of online shoppers who found reviews the most important feature in a site doubled from 2005 to 2006.
The key to this report is that this open form of interactivity will cause a direct response from a consumer and help convert customers.