Blog: Something My Son Does Along in His Room

Thu, Nov 17, 2005

Articles, Strategy + Marketing

In 1966 at 10, my brother got a printing press for Christmas.   No – not a Heidelberg – more like a Hasbro.  Ah yes [whispered while dreamily gazing skyward] to be published, or better yet, owner of a media empire. Tediously committing his prose to rubber type, he published Vol. 1, No. 1.  Monotony assured there wasn’t a No. 2. So what is the allure: smoldering punditry, opinion relief, mainline ego fix, fun, profit, power, influence?  At 10, it was most likely a warm hug from Mom.

It’s plain to most that competition for our attention is epidemic.  Most attempts are practically pathetic.  What once stopped us cold is easier dismissed today; we own new snub skills. Consumers are more attention savvy than ever.  Media speaking, sex is the only sure thing.

As “marketeers” what do we do next?  You won’t catch me agreeing with the “mass marketing is dead” pundits, but I will bandwagon that it’s less effective daily.  Likewise, it’s hard to make a good traditional ad that cuts the clutter while improving brand image, it’s expensive too.

Nothing grabs attention more than a human voice close to the ear.  Most marketing messages shout at us from a distance.  A whisper is often more effective than a shout.  A human voice close to the heart speaks louder no matter how soft the sound.  In a whirlwind of competing voices, we will favor the one most personal, interesting, believable, accountable; the most human.

Businesses benefit from human voice.  Without a human voice, emotional connection to a brand ranges from thorny to expensive.  What made the ’86 Boston Celtics brand so powerful?  They possessed an emotional connection so strong it was hard to think of them as a business.  Since then, the NBA has lost brand equity because they now look too business like; exit human voice, enter unveiled capitalism.

A human voice piercing the wall of rhetoric surrounding Iraq came to us through blogging.  Front line soldiers published their accounts.  In business, distain for Microsoft can be quelled by connecting to dozens of blogs authored by MS employees.  Blogs are personal dialogs published globally for communities with common interests.  Collectively blogs increase the bandwidth and reach of human interaction: mass micro-publishing, millions strong.

Blogs [or “web logs” said fast 20 times] are small websites with a common format.  The participants are either authors (posters) or visitors (commentators).  Authors rant – visitors respond, it’s a simple format.  Imbedded in the blog are links to other blogs made through footnote-like connections, lists of the Author’s favorite bloggers, or a link credited to the responder.  Through these links, dedicated blog-aholics can build a web substantial enough to snag large enterprises.

Bloggers can be vicious in bringing accountability to bear.  The high-end bicycle lock company, Kryptonite, discovered just how vicious when a product defect was amplified as bloggers instructed would-be lock hackers to effortlessly defeat their best product.  What’s more, blogger-sluething crossed media when John Stewart of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show parodied the quick razor sharp examination of the blogosphere.  (Fact Obsessed Bloggers)

Strong relations with important target groups is what Peter Drucker professed by writing: “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.”  New communication tools like blogs can transport a strong understanding into the realm of participation.

Innovative companies are compelling web dwellers to participate in product development and promotion.  By facilitating the creative process and offering rewards ranging from monetary to ego stroking, such companies as Lego tap into on-line networks.  In turn, markets become vested in the brands through a process of co-creation.  The upshot is a network of advocates and a strongly targeted product.

Dream of controlling a radio station? Real-time (geek speak for “without delay”) worldwide personal publishing is morphing into personal media channels.  Not an Aliens sequel, Podcasting is hip slang for personal audio commentary or entertainment made readily available through the web and rendered mobile via Apple I-pods or other portable media devices.

Forty years later, hugs from Mom still motivate some but rubber type is history.  Opinionated ego seeking pundits litter the internet providing us with millions of relentlessly updated rants on thousands of topics.  Enthusiastically, I toss my $.02 worth [$.015 wholesale] into the Pacific sized blog pool [DeBoer Blog]. My motivation: money, fame, and influence of course [Mom hugs me just for showing up].   Honestly – I’ll settle for a higher search engine ranking resulting from the additional blog content.

Blog, emotional

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