The dynamic, always-on nature of the blogosphere quickly gravitates to unmet needs. That's the heart of effective marketing.
I'm so blogged out these days, sometimes I can't see straight. Over the past year, I've authored or created over a dozen blogs, delivered a dozen or so Webinars on blogging, attended two highly intimidating blog conferences, answered an unstoppable number of blog creation questions from clients, and helped launch a blog portal that analyzes over 4 million blog posts a day.
Sometimes, I find myself stepping back and saying, "Dude, do you really get blogs, or are you just another impostor?" Every time I blink, another blog trick, tool, ad gizmo, or blog "world theory" emerges. How do I make sense of it all?
Enter Sundar Kadayam, my company's CTO. Sundar is a data-mining guru and one of the core architects of our blog portal. Late one night, an email showed up in my inbox that had absolutely nothing to do with selling product, driving revenue, or hitting the numbers with our board. It had to do with the recent, horrific tsunami.
In a powerful burst of passionate reflection, Sundar shared some thoughts on the December 2004 tsunami, specifically, on the important, mission-critical role blogs played. I read his note with almost embarrassed humility. It dawned on me this "tech guy" knew far more about communication and marketing than Mr. Marketing himself.
Blogs played a critical role in communicating about the tsunami, far more significant than Dan Rather's scrutiny, Wonkette's gossip, Matt Drudge's scoops, or the recent blog "toe-dipping" of GM's CEO. With almost natural instinct and unaided serendipity, bloggers brought voice, texture, passion, relevance, and immediacy to this tragedy. The work continues, albeit far below the radar of those removed from Southern Asia. Sundar and his team transformed that memo into a wonderful showcase of tsunami insights. Today, I'll highlight a few communication points from his spot-on memo:
I close with personal thanks to many of my office colleagues, some of whom I gloss over in my frenetic day-to-day tasks. I'm a marketer in theory. But in so many respects, the engineers and technologists in our office, many of whom have family and friends in the affected areas, turned out to be the real marketing experts in the context of understanding this horrible crisis.
For that, I'm grateful. I hope the viral effect of my own message enlightens others.
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Pete Blackshaw, whose professional background encompasses public policy, interactive marketing, and brand management, is executive vice president of strategic services for Nielsen Online, a combination of Nielsen BuzzMetrics, a firm Pete helped cofound, and Nielsen//NetRatings. One of Pete's key focuses is helping brands interpret, manage, and act on consumer-generated media (CGM). A former interactive marketing leader at P&G and founder of consumer feedback portal PlanetFeedback.com, Pete cofounded the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA). He authors several blogs, including ConsumerGeneratedMedia.com, and is the author of an upcoming book from Random House, "Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3000: Running a Business in Today's Consumer-Driven World."
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