Corporate Blogging Survey 2005

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August 25, 2005

Shel Identifies The Human In You Through Blogging

Hear; hear I say to Shel Israel’s post on marketing and dehumanization. Marketing is all about discovering your customers’ needs and wants and satisfying them efficiently, and profitably. I believe anyone who has been a customer is a natural marketeer. You know how you should be treated as a customer; therefore, you know how to market to people.

Internet marketing provides a means to contact many people at once, and there in lies the danger and temptation to dehumanize people. Ironic that blogs, the web, are helping to build bridges with customers in ways we had never thought possible until recently.

A great example of this process is...

...the case study from the corporate blogging survey on Microsoft.

“With a company as large as Microsoft with 57,000 employees (2004 estimate), customers don't know who to contact and the company has a very impersonal face. Employees in the company are not bad people; they just don't understand the customer's needs. Blogs are helping Microsoft to listen and become more customer focused.

The move to more transparency within Microsoft is a big change in mindset. When George Pulikkathara first joined Microsoft in 2001 he ran a giveaway campaign for some Microsoft products, when he was sending out the products he signed the thank you cards sent with the products with his own name. Management told George that he should sign the cards "Microsoft" as any benefit to the good deed should accrue to Microsoft not an individual within the company. Under the direction of bloggers like Robert Scoble and Soma Somasegar there is a new drive to have more transparency in the company. Microsoft is realizing that to remain competitive the company has to rely on the expertise and skills of its employees, by empowering each Microsoft employee, each employee effectively becomes a real functioning brand manager for Microsoft whose role is to help the customer no matter what role they play in the company. Sometimes that transparency means that Microsoft will be criticized by customers and even employees, the new management thinking is that such criticism is good as Microsoft then has the opportunity to react and respond. With blogs, communicating that response quickly and effectively has become a lot easier in the last few years.

Today individual Microsoft product teams are stating their goal is to reach out to customers and humanize their products and technologies. Blogs are helping them to achieve those goals.?

Posted by johncass at August 25, 2005 10:36 PM

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