Alec has a riveting post about the Blog Council that is being formed by some of the largest companies in the world to get a grip on things.
Fortunately what this means is more time out of the office for corporate suits who need to then hire agencies to do the work so I'm happy to see that the council will exist. It means more work for those of us who are acknowledged by our peers as knowing how to do it.
I had a flattering call yesterday from someone who basically said "I'm always reading about your clients, not my company." I explained that from day one I built my business to be about talking to the people who need to know, not those who don't matter. It in media its called audience, not universe. One of the biggest problems in all facets of marketing communications today is the lack of understanding of differences between the two.
To make it easy, think of the cable industry. For many years they talked about the number of HOMES PASSED. That meant how many homes had cable running past them, versus who had CABLE GOING TO THEM. Now that the percentage is over 72 percent, they can say they are in nearly 3/4s of the USA's homes which is a far cry better than simply having cable out there, but not connected.
Blog sites, podcasts and video blogs, as well as controlled circulation newsletter and publications, which understand and produce content for their audience are rapidly becoming winners. For example, I know my audience is made up of the following:
a) Other Bloggers--Because They Link Back or Mention VoIPWatch or my name (a simple Google search proves this every day.
b) VoIP, Telco, Telecom and Mobile Industry Executives-they tell me they read me at conferences, send private notes, refer me to start ups or just tell others that they read VoIPWatch.
c) Analysts and Reporters-I get calls and emails to comment or provide perspective
d) Industry Consultants-I get calls and email queries wondering what I think about x and y, which usually precedes some deal in the sector months later.
e) Clients and Future Clients-never let it be forgotten that $14.95 a month for this blog is the one of two forms of (subtle) self promotion that I run an asymmetrical marketing agency. With seven current and former clients acquired in 2007 by the likes of IBM, Google, eBay etc., my little boutique of now 15 professionals must be doing a lot of something right. We're also seeing former clients who graduated come back, as well as alumni client contacts ask us for help when they land some where new.
The one constant is they all read VoIPWatch, and in turn I'm writing, highlighting and summarizing for them, not trying to write for the masses. The Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg and USA Today's Ed Baig and a host of others do that better and with greater aplomb and insight than I could ever muster (unless I chose to be a full time reporter.) They understand their audience and so do I.
By knowing your audience versus the overall universe, which is the holy grail of real marketing, you end up with a loyal and consistent audience, which in turn makes it easy to shape your coverage to meet their interest. Blogging is one of those delivery mediums and more and more companies will either get it, or they won't.
For those that do my applause.
For those that don't you know who does.