Has blogging and social networking changed the marketing game?

Panel at AlwaysOn with Charlene Li of Forrester, Jeff Nolan of SAP, Steve Rubel of Edelman, Brad Silver of brandimensions, and Jay Stockwell from Intelliseek/Buzzmetrics.

The big question – are brands scared of losing control and how can they react?

There’s a continuum between control and transparency believes Steve Rubel.

Some companies adopt blogging because they are forced by events which plunge them into it, others see their customers discussing their brand and want to engage. An example of these issues which flare up being the Comcast technician who fell asleep and was filmed by a customer, the video of which received 2m hits on YouTube in three days. Companies need to have a defensive alert system to be able to react to this quickly, but more importantly to listen to what their customers are saying and take action in product development, strategy and approach.

Companies should find bloggers who are interested in their brand and align with what those bloggers are looking for. Organizations need to understand them rather than see bloggers as merely a channel to transmit marketing messages. That will fail since it will not be authentic.

‘Blogs are a microphone approach – you don’t get much communication back’ – Charlene Li as she states that building a community for a consumer brand may encourage greater interaction. That said, will consumers migrate towards brands or should those brands take small slices of their content and inject them into the places where their communities already are. If this latter, then it needs to be done delicately. If the former, then the community may be small initially but may contain the most ardent fans.

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  • Hi Morgan,
    The person on your panel from Nielsen BuzzMetrics was Jay Stockwell.
    But it’s not all just about blogs when dealing with social media. Blogs are one platform among many. Charlene Li is right…blogs are very much like microphones, not gatherings. That dynamic is true whether it is a company blogging, or consumers. That is why it is so crucial to pay attention to various other forms of expression as well — many of which are more suited to seeking and swapping recommendations in an intimate setting versus speaking with mixed or little expectation that anyone is listening or respond.
    – Max Kalehoff
    (happen to be one of those Nielsen BuzzMetrics guys)

  • Morgan,
    Progressively, I think that Marketing has to splinter into component parts. The only constant being brand and notably, brand values. These values are as much owned by consumers as organisations.
    If one examines all the other areas of marketing, they are being disintermediated.

  • Has blogging and social networking changed the marketing game?

    Panel at AlwaysOn with Charlene Li of Forrester, Jeff Nolan of SAP, Steve Rubel of Edelman, Brad Silver of brandimensions, and Jay Stockwell from Intelliseek/Buzzmetrics.