Lemur z i l l a Zone News
Friday, November 08, 2002
what's hot what's not
Viability of blogs as a business tool.
On a link from Mitch Ratcliffe comes this Essay about the uselessness of blogs in the business world.
Mark is wrong but he comes from the world of the email news letter, which is a push technology. blogging cuts into this and will reduce his reach and market share.
Companies are so blind when it comes to the use of the internet for marketing. The clueless index works like this. the more clueless a company is the more 'companysucks' domains they own.
Large corporations just like midway carnivals, regarding the customer as a 'chump' whose sole job is to cough up cash, and are extremely uncomfortable having to actually listen to someone who has a different take than the internal marketing department, focus group, or other not invented here responses. Some of the premiere examples of this behavior are the auto and toy companies.
The etoy vs e-toys mess has been chronicled pretty well.
Volvo was an interesting case. They created a bleeding edge site to hustle new Volvo's. On their site was a link that customers could use to ask questions.
The amount of response and the type was so massive they pulled that site down. People were wondering where they could get parts to keep their current cars running, why it took forever to get parts and service on their cars, and to brag about their cars lasting so long.
The next site had a link for service and parts. Now when you share, this information is broadcast across the company and the volvo dealer nearest to you would reply inside of 24 hours with an answer, and a follow up phone call if you provided your phone number.
The bottom line here is that their service and parts operations which in most dealerships form the largest part of overhead, (start out the month in the hole as dealerships, regard them on the books as liabilities rather than support), saw dramatic increases in profitability and customer satisfaction.
Now that Ford owns them, all bets are off as the attorneys for Ford are still on the brand domination warpath. EFF Wins a Partial Victory in Ford Case
I'm not even into marketing per se, but if I had a bunch of websites that were put up by folks with their own money, that were discussing my products, I would be reading them every day, supporting them with product information, correcting inaccuracies, getting my toes in the water in terms of finding out what people who already like my products are thinking, and addressing issues of why they don't like my products or features, which would be a hell of a lot cheaper than litigation, and in some cases would be able to post trial balloons for upcoming products.
I do a fair number of websites for wrecking yards/'automotive recycling facilities'/junkyards and deal with this crap from the other end. 'cause in the wrecking yard, if it is a popular part, it is a piece of shit from the factory.'
I am becoming a master of the website disclaimer.......
The companies that are encompassing the web that I have noticed are computer component companies such as AMD, ATI, nVida and others. No Blogs of their own, but the amount of testing and comment sites is truly astonishing.
The only way I see blogs becoming a significant part of corporate culture and an effective communication tool, is to fire 98% of the lawyers, cut the tongues out of the marketing department, and make the CEO reply to every request, question and criticism.
Blogs would definitely transform business. Those that step up will dominate their markets. Those that do not should be preparing their Chapter 7 or 11 papers.
A lot of folks on the web are faulting the democrats and offering advice as to what they should have done. Where were they before? I say to hell with the old boy, farm club system. It's time for the Internet Party.
p i x e l v i e w
Mitch Ratcliffe is definitely an other. The 21st century holds the promise of rich multimedia across the web. Mitch was blazing this trail in the 20th century. From code to finance.
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