Blogs Ad Valuable Conversation to Marketing
Led by Intelliseek CMO Pete Blackshaw, the Chicago ad:tech panel, held Tuesday, called "What Blogs Are Teaching Us About The New Rules of Marketing," provided the audience with a broad over view of the issues companies need to consider when debating the launch of a corporate weblog or marketing-related weblog. The recurring theme throughout the session centered on the need to stay true to the brand and to live within the company guidelines both legal and otherwise.
After introducing the audience to Axe Deodorant's Evan and Gareth blog effort which followed the efforts of two guys trying to write the book on how to pick up girls, Axe Senior Brand Development Manager David Rubin said part of the popularity of blogs is fueled by people's desire to engage in voyeurism. He also suggested that for corporate blogs to be successful, they need to be authentic, speak in a non-corporate voice, be published regularly and be able to accept negative comments on the brand.
Sprint Online Marketing Manger Makaela Meadows had to battle with her legal department and educate them on the benefits of a corporate weblog and the necessity for then to be open, free flowing and unrestricted by the usual corporate marketing practices. She told the audience that the old method of using corporate communications to control brand conversation needs to yield to one that relinquishes control yet actively joins conversations about the brand. Blogs, she said, are a perfect means to do this.
All panelists spoke to the ability of weblogs, because of there continually changing content, to obtain higher search engine results compared to traditional. static corporate websites. The practice of linking from site to site and blog to blog was also suggested to be of great benefit to a company's online reach.
Rubin added joining the conversation is far better than not talking at all. He told the audience to expect negative brand commentary but that consumer brand evangelists who blog will also be on hand to counter negativity. The net is blogging offers a company a far richer, two way conversation than does traditional, top down, one way marketing communications.
The panel and topic was of interest and spirited. I was not clear how Steve Curtain and Digitalgrit fit into this equation, self serving infomercial? I appreciated the views of Ms. Meadows. Mr. Rubin was on topic and target, giving me idea on how to move my company into the land of the blogs.