Friday, February 24, 2006

Business Blogs: The World Is Watching...And Blogging

Not that it's much of a surprise, but the whole world is picking up on the value of business blogs. That value can be seen from halfway around the world, yet some business owners still can't seem to see past the end of their noses.

In an article on Thehindubusinessline.com, author Priyanka Jayashankar points out:

GM isn't the only one. More businesses worldwide are launching corporate blogs to zero in on clients' woes. "Since both customer retention and acquisition are extremely expensive, companies can ill-afford to ignore bloggers," says Meenakshi Sachdev Varma, CEO and Managing Director of Good Relations India Pvt Ltd, a public relations firm.
That's a critical issue. Getting and keeping customers commands a great deal of a business's resources, no matter the company size. In all my years in Marketing and Advertising, I've seen unbelievable amounts of money spent on client retention and acquisition, on nothing more than a whim ("Well, we've got to do something."). I contend that your ROI on a business blog is far more measurable than traditional media because, "We've always done it that way."
Some companies have realised how blogs can make or break a brand and they have
tried to reach out to online groups through corporate blogs. "Skillful blogging can boost your company's credibility and help it connect with customers," says Preeti Desai, President, Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI).

It's a myth that a corporate blog is just a place for customers and college students with too much time on their hands to go to complain. It's a place to build your identity.
PR agency Good Relations has designed blogs for clients in the HR, knowledge management and manufacturing sectors. "A growing number of brand strategists see blogs as a primary source of consumer feedback, research and communication," says its MD, Meenakshi Sachdev Varma.

Customers too can interact directly with the company and get an immediate response to their feedback through blogs. "Instead of spamming with so-called
product news and consumer updates, companies and executives can use blogs as a
platform to talk informally to customers, vendors and employers," says MSN's
Rajnish.

Informally does not mean unprofessionally. It has more to do with honest interaction. In this day and age where companies are almost assumed to be cheating customers to their own ends, honest communication is nearly a novelty.

Your business blog can help develop brand loyalty that would make your competitors jealous. And that's never a bad thing. ghostblogging@veritymedia.com.

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