Thursday, September 4, 2008

Blogging: The Low Cost, High Return Business Marketing Tool - Part 1: The Power of Communication

“What we’ve got here is…failure to communicate.” ~Captain, Cool Hand Luke

Today’s consumers crave human contact. We’re tired of voicemail with its menus full of options that don’t offer us solutions. The deluge of professionally prepared information that is intended more for influence our decisions more than to provide us with answers to our questions or speak to our concerns. Mechanical voices try to assure us that our calls are important but the humans that record the voices don’t answer those calls.

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(l 2 r: Incomplete - fine art photo, AliciaBockPhotography, You Don't Say original painting, Hilarie Galleries)

The humans we are able to reach are often barely able to speak our native language and they read responses off of a script. Buyers distrust corporations because of a lack of connection. Headlines tell us tales of corporate abuse, ethical scandal and illegal conduct. Companies are seen as monoliths without souls, run by slick lawyers and crooked accountants calling the shots and keeping their drone-like employees in line. Many people have a negative view of marketing. A suspicion has built that there is no human behind the refined language of a press release or advertisement. Consumers have built up their mental filters, purchase technology such as TiVo, and use spam filters to evade marketing messages.

Click the grid for a larger view
(l 2 r: Code Green tee, Binary Winter, Robot Notecards, Creative Apples)

Into this atmosphere of distrust comes the culture of blogging. Blogging brings interaction, it’s informal, it allows for typos, grammatical error, and the occasional forbidden word. Real people write Blogs and they allow discussions to begin with real customers who want to talk back. Blogs permit participants to move from one topic into another and back again. Bloggers feel free to interrupt one another to ask questions, make suggestions and challenge arguments.

A recent American Express survey found that only 5 percent of businesses with fewer than 100 employees have blogs.[1]

This post is part one of a series. In spring of 2008 I completed a marketing class as a requirement for my degree program. My final project was a 20-page research paper and I chose the subject, "Use of blogs as a marketing tool". This series will contain pieces from that paper. My hope is simply to inspire those, like us, with small and micro businesses, in their blogging (and marketing) endeavors.

So why should you care about this information? Simply put, because it could affect your business in a very positive way!

This post is part of a marketing series. Please see my archives for parts two through eight.

The photos displayed in this post represent items sold by our talented fellow small business owners, in their online Etsy shops. Please visit their shops to view other terrific handmade items.

[1] Alboher, Marci. "Small Business: Blogging's a Low-Cost, High Return Marketing Tool." [Weblog] 27, Dec 2007. The New York Times. 26 May 2008 .

Cartoon courtesey of toothpaste for dinner, copyright 3.07.

copyright pfeiffer photos 2008 - all rights reserved. do not use my writing or photographs without my permission. Contact me HERE for info and permissions...thanks!


S T E P P I E said...

I love the "Incomplete" piece!

tanyBUG said...

this is going to be a great series!

Pfeiffer Photos said...

steppie: I do, all her images!

tanybug: I'm happy to provide a service (hee hee!) Gives me fodder for the blog for days! :)

Iris E. said...

I loved Digging to America. I found it very surprising, in that I started out thinking it would be one kind of book...and it wasn't. I enjoyed the characters so much.

Hey, thanks for your comment! I would love to send you a little thank you ATC for taking the time to say hi.
Email me your address, if you would:

Iris said...

So true; your blogs put a semi-personal face to your business...I can't wait to read the following issues.

Pfeiffer Photos said...

iris e: I just finished the was not what I thought it might be either but that's typical of Anne Tyler. She has a gift I always enjoy! Will email our address today, thanks! ~tina

Pfeiffer Photos said...

robin@creations: I learned from my first blog (which is now defunct) that the personal is necessary to keep the interest. Makes sense since most of the blogs I follow are more personal than business, too.

Parts 2 & 3 are posted for reading as I type...enjoy and stay tuned for more to come!


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