When I took my latest gig as Director of Internet Marketing Strategies at Backbone Media, Inc. I asked the President of the company, Stephen Turcotte if I would be able to continue with my research into the study of corporate blogs and their value to companies. Stephen said yes, and so I’ve been working on getting bloggers to take the 2nd corporate blogging survey these last two months. Last year I conducted several interviews with a number of corporate bloggers:
- Dowdell, Macromedia. John's Answers
- Sean Corfield, Macromedia. Sean's Answers
- Brooke Brown, Brooke's Answers
- Heather Hamilton, Microsoft
- Gary Lerhaupt, Dell Gary's Answers
- David Paull, - David's Answers
- Todd Sattersten, 800CEOREAD Todd's Answers
This year we conducted a bigger study with over seventy companies responding. We also interviewed six companies for case studies.
The results of the blogging survey were published today, we have a PDF, and a cool website all about the corporate blogging survey results. As part of the survey, it suddenly struck me that I should start a blog about the survey. The blog on the blog survey proved useful in answering questions and gathering feedback.
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learnt from this year’s survey is that blogging is helping companies to really fulfill the promise of the marketing concept. Not many people would necessarily think of the marketing concept as a promise. I do, based on experience the marketing concept is a goal to be achieved by companies. To learn how to build the best products in an industry, a company really has to survey their customers constantly. As Microsoft and Macromedia are discovering, to produce some of the best promotional marketing results actually requires asking questions of your customers about product development. When a customer comes to believe that your want they’re input in developing a product, they start to believe that they have a very tangible stake in the product, why they helped build the product didn’t they? This process of asking customer’s for their ideas on blogs turns a customer into a product evangelist.
This one on one interaction has happened before in marketing, thousands of times before in individual customer calls. The difference with blogs, now many more customers get to see how a company is treating their customers and asking for feedback. That public interaction is translated into even more customer evangelists, some are bloggers who write about the process and link back to you. There you have it, a focus on product development for a corporate blogging content strategy brings many benefits all at the same time: Product development, loyal customers, online PR, more links and higher search engine rankings.