The Anchorage Daily News has a case study about Boeing’s use of a corporate blog in its fight for sales against Airbus. Randy Baseler, VP of marketing, blogs about the company at Randy’s Journal. And he’s pulling no punches in his competitor messaging, here’s an extract from his October 7 post:
So Airbus has officially launched the A350. Nobody should be at all surprised. Well, maybe there is one surprising aspect to all this. The fact that it took them so long to respond to the 787.
I suppose 23 airlines signing up for 273 Dreamliners finally got their attention.
But now that they’ve woken up, they still haven’t got it right. I say that because, despite the four or five times they’ve changed this airplane over the last nine months, the A350 still falls short.
Ouch. Apparently the site gets 16,000 hits per month, peaking at 26,000 in June when Baseler blogged during a major international airshow.
“If you’re a customer deciding between an Airbus product and a Boeing product,” [Jim] Condelles [a member of Boeing’s communications team] said, the blog is a place to come and review Baseler’s arguments. “Maybe it tips you a little in your decision making.”
The site isn’t a classic blog since you can’t comment directly to to specific post. Instead you have to use a separate email form which then enters all the comments together on a different page, divorced from the original post. It’s not really a discussion, more a series of remarks, but it’s a start. And it gives Boeing a more human and immediate voice. It would be great if we could get some testimonial from a Boeing customer that they were influenced in their decision-making by the blog. But the mere attempt by Boeing suggests the company believes it could affect sales, which says something in itself.