Corporate Blogging Survey 2005

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September 30, 2005

Blogging For Retailers

Shel Israel discusses retailer blogging. I think it’s a matter of having a good content strategy for a retailer. Microsoft, Boeing, General Motors and Macromedia all have products where they need to give feedback and information, while retailers concentrate on customer service and product delivery.

I think your point; "There's also the question of how interesting the content would be. There is a huge difference between a product manager writing about the struggle to bring something new to market and a shoe department manager explaining why the white shoes are displayed prominently at Easter," is correct, the content strategy of a retailer would not be very interesting. However, I was thinking this is the same story with Stoneyfield farms, you can only write so much about Yogurt, yet the company is successful with blogging, why, Stoneyfield focuses on their customer demographics and interests for their blogging strategy. Stoneyfield talks about healthy babies, kids and organic farming, plus yogurts. I think the association with a customer lifestyle and their interests that would be the key to success for a retailer. I can imagine REI blogging about hiking, rock climbing and canoeing.

It appears that quite a few existing retailers are already dipping their toe into the blogosphere and achieving some successes, according to the review of a Comscore report on blogging and retailing in USA Today bloggers spend slightly more than the average Internet user, 6% more.

In the corporate blogging survey this summer, Backbone Media discovered that by focusing on your customer's ideas as a content strategy for blogs a company can receive both medium and long term product development benefits, but also immediate marketing promotional benefits. We developed the crossing the cultural divide model for companies to follow, developing a content strategy for a retailer within the crossing the cultural divide model might work, but only if a retailer focuses on the interests and lifestyle of their customer. REI provides climbing walls and a mountain bike course in their retail stores for customers to try out equipment and give customers the chance to imagine using REI products in their lives. I think a blog telling stories about climbing and mountain biking in the wilds can encourage customers enjoy their hobbies, and associate the retailer with that enjoyment. Maybe for retailing blogging is the ultimate in product placement!

Thanks Greg Manter for the USA Today story.

Posted by johncass at September 30, 2005 6:03 PM

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