Friday, February 09, 2007

Class 10 Agenda: Programs & Techniques: Blogging & Communities

10; Programs & Techniques: Blogging & Communities

Learning Objective(s):

  • To understand three different approaches to how companies are using blogs and three different levels of involvement.
  • To articulate objectives that can be accomplished through blogging.
  • To identify the pros and cons of gaining customer insight through blogs and customer communities

Readings for This Class:

  • Blog Marketing. Andrew Corcoran, Paul Marsden, Thomas Zorbach, & Bernd Röthlingshöfer. 2006. Pages 148-158. (CM)
  • Understanding Blogs and Private Communities. Communispace White Paper. 2005. Pages 1-8 (Bb)
  • What Companies Gain from Listening: The Effect of Community Membership on Members’ Attitudes and Behavior in Relation to the Sponsoring Company. Communispace White Paper. 2006. Pages 1-11 (Bb)

Content & Activities:

  • Discuss what should be emphasized in the presentations.
  • Finish up from last class: Measuring Advocacy and Net Promoter Score
    • Industry Measurement of Loyalty and Advocacy: Net Promoter Score as an Organizational Discipline.
      • Overview of NPS
      • How companies are integrating the process into organizations
      • Critiques of the NPS
  • PowerPoint: Blogging and Communities
    • Approaches to blog marketing (from Connected Marketing book)
      • Blogvertorials – extension of classic PR, “blogger outreach”
        • Example: Nokia – Nokia seeded its new camera phone with a number of cutting-edge bloggers in Finland. They didn’t ask the bloggers to write about the phones but many bloggers did. It generated a lot of traffic to the Nokia website.
        • Example: Dr. Pepper and Raging Cow (what not to do) – Dr Pepper offered a number of young bloggers incentives to discuss their new milk-flavored product called “Ragin Cow”. Dr Pepper asked the bloggers not to mention that they briefed the bloggers about this but the word got out, which led to tremendous outrage.
        • Example: Wal-Mart
      • Business blogs (aka, corporate blogs)
        • Example: Stonyfield Farm – uses blogs to create interest around lifestyle issues surrounding their product: The Bovine Bugle (a blog about Jonathan Gates and his organic dairy farm in Vermont) and Baby Babble (a places for parents to meet up rant, offer, and seek advice…).
      • Faux blogs – a form of stealth marketing
        • Example: Sega – Beta 7 – an advertising agency created a fake blog authored by an imaginary videogame tester called Beta 7. The new ESPN 2K4 game was sent to the blogger where Beta 7 posted a review. The review stated that it was extreme that it triggered blackouts and fits of violence. To prevent the software from reaching the stores Beta 7 launched an online campaign to ban the software – all a ruse to stimulate sales.
        • Example: McDonald’s Lincoln Fry campaign – this featured an imaginary individual who found a fry shaped like Abraham Lincoln. The blog got over 2 million hits and was linked to a McDonald’s Superbowl commercial. When it was found out to be a fake blog the ad spots got even more press.
      • Sponsored and Paid Blogs – paid blog programs controversial in the blogging world
    • Objectives for blogging: (“From interruption to engagement, from control to collaboration”)
      • Generating interest – Stonyfield Farms
      • Drive action/sales –
      • Create goodwill – Microsoft’s Scobleizer
      • Establish expertise – English Cut blog (Thomas Mahon, Savile row tailor from London)
      • Customer dialogue – FastCompany, a business publication, invites readers to suggest ideas for stories
      • Employee dialogue – Variety “Have You Heard” collaborative blog; it’s designed to keep employees up on the latest industry trends
    • Levels of involvement with online WOM.
      • “Monitoring” is a somewhat passive strategy (done without a spirit of engagement; goal is more for “intelligence”-gathering and control)
      • “Listening” is a more active approach (done with a spirit of engagement; often a precursor to dialogue)
      • “Joining in” is even more active and involves participating in ongoing discussions and/or creating a space for those conversations to take place. (Sometimes this is not appropriate if it’s perceives as being invasive; sometimes you need to be invited in).

To Do (for next class):

  • Readings:
    • None
  • Activities
    • All groups need to turn in their papers.
    • Prepare for presentations

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