Eerie having Fortune and Ogilvy & Mather both gush about business blogs. I guess we really are at a turning point.
From all the recent coverage on blogs, I'm guessing David Kirkpatrick of Fortune is a blog convert, or at least extremely intrigued. His latest story interviews an advertising (gasp!) icon speaking on the beauty of blogs in "Want Truth in Advertising? Try Blogs". The angle is definitely skewed on product blogs...which I'm not even going to start on.
[L]egendary ad-man Steve Hayden, vice chairman of New York-based Ogilvy & Mather. Said Hayden: “If you fudge or lie on a blog, you are biting the karmic weenie. The negative reaction will be so great that, whatever your intention was, it will be overwhelmed and crushed like a bug.”
... Marketers can use blogs to their advantage, Hayden says, but he stresses that they have to cautiously tread into this new medium.
Condensed summary (it's all a worthwhile read):
1. Blogs can serve as a trusted source. "When those magazines review a product it’s generally a universally good review, because they don’t want to lose the advertising revenues. So you go to the blog to get the real review."
2. They can provide companies with reliable feedback. "The advertiser has to accept that what’s on any blog won’t all be positive. Negative things will be said. But consumers are sophisticated enough to filter out the good from the bad."
3. They provide an outlet for happy and unhappy customers. "But the point is that even with all the ranting and raving over a number of problems with the [Porsche] Cayenne because it was a new model—it didn’t interrupt sales. On the message boards and blogs the overall conclusion was it was still a great car. There was an acceptance of the problems.”
4. They can serve as a reality check. "People believe stuff that is flavored with the reality of bad news. Yet typically when you go to a marketing department or an ad agency, the first thing you hear is that everything we say about this product must be positive.”
5. They can help companies reach an influential audience. "What the bloggers say is pretty significant to us as a research tool."
Has your company’s CEO blogged, or spoken to a blog, yet? Maybe it's about time.