In recent years, marketing to consumers has become increasingly challenging as continuing fragmentation of media and information overload has led customers to become less and less interested in companies’ brand messages delivered through traditional media such as radio, television and billboards. Now that customers are armed with IPods, TiVo machines, search engines and spam filters, they have gain unprecedented control over media and to content to which they are exposed.
A Yankelovich Partners Study found that 60 % of US customers find marketing to be irrelevant to them personally. Almost 70 % are interested in products and services that would help block marketing attempts. The same study also found out that customers respond more favorably to marketing when they have control over what they see, when they see it and when they can be active participants in the marketing process. Marketing is no longer about just marketing a product or services. It is about marketing a feeling and having the customer experience the product or the brand.
You cannot afford to close your eyes to them, because they’re…the most explosive outbreak in the information world since the Internet itself. And they’re going to shake up just about every business. Blogs are not a business elective. They’re a prerequisite. (Baker & Green, 2005).
Blogging for Relevance
With approximately 73% of U.S. adults using the Internet at home, work, or another location, it is not surprising that blogging has become another way for people to connect in this digitally savvy world. Significantly, the younger generation is clearly more digitally connected; 88% of Americans aged 12–29 are online, while only 32% of people over the age of 65 are online.
The biggest advantage of blogging is that it “lets you participate in communities you want to cultivate. Clearly, individuals are much more comfortable using blogs as a place to express their opinions and read about the opinions of others, including those held by businesses.
Blogging for Sharing Expertise & Experience
Many leading consultants, writers, and academics share their expertise via blogs, providing readers with the most current information in their respective fields. Thought leaders such as Tom Peters, Charlene Li, Guy Kawasaki, and Seth Godin are some of the well-recognized names in the blogosphere.
Blogging for Understanding Customers
Blogs provide an opportunity for ordinary people to voice their opinions, they enable companies to see their businesses from the viewpoint of the customer. Companies that allow customers to communicate directly with them can get a deeper understanding of their customers’ likes, dislikes, interests, and concerns. This provides marketers with an opportunity to respond or address customers’ comments, while setting the expectation that their opinion will result in a better product, service, or brand in the long run.