Blogging Campaign Doubles Sales, Disrupts Norm, Trumps Tradition
Gapingvoid blogger Hugh Macleod worked with U.K. wine brand Stormhoek to use blogging as a means to increase sales. It worked. Big time, doubling sales in less than 12 months. The increases didn't come from the hundred or so bottles he sent out to U.K. bloggers who might blog about it and get a few of their friends to buy a bottle. Surely, they did drink the wine and did blog about it but the big increase in sales came from what Macleod calls The Porous Membrane, the wall between internal brand conversations and external consumer conversations.
Macleod posits blogs are a good way to make things happen indirectly and that they are disruptive to the status quo. To double sales inside of a year can't possiblely come from a few more people drinking a couple of bottles of wine. It can, however, come from a vastly improved internal attitude and sales process. The simple fact that the wine was out there and was being blogged about became part of the story telling sales process. As the sales force went out to supermarket buyers and importers, there was a new, different and exciting story to tell. Additionally, a retail outlet is far more likely to take on an increased inventory if it knows the product is getting talked about. The mindset is that if they're talking, they're more likely to buy. That's exactly what happened.
Stormhoek joins Audi, Budget and others who have intelligently grasped the benefits of blogging as a communications channel beyond the simple product or character blog so many other marketers have launched which are just poorly focused websites created blog style. It's all really very simple and it's been said so many times before. Blogging enables conversation. If people converse with one another, they better understand each other. If they better understand one other, they better interact with each other. If they better interact with one another, things happen more smoothly. A big budget brand campaign is a briefly-worded, single-messaged megaphone approach. Not much can be forced through that megaphone and what is forced through is often misinterpreted. A blogging campaign throws the megaphone on the floor and picks up the martini glass creating a cocktail party at which people talk to people normally in a language unencumbered by pointless brand blather.