Sunday, 18 February 2007

Blogs for Business.

Are Blogs really going to be able to continue to be truly independent representations or will they be hijacked, manipulated for the good of the corporate.

Blogs, tags and Wikis offer perfect opportunities for organisations to use in the area of product development. An organisation can use blogs to push out ideas, concepts relating to current product enhancements or indeed new products. This will automatically generate a buzz around the Internet with target consumers being more than happy to offer valuable feedback, but just as importantly they also push the concepts out to like minded individuals through their network of contacts. This is where organisations can, if managed properly, engage with a wide network of users to deliver the products that consumers want, hence limiting risk and cost in product development. The smart organisations can also use these networks for competitor intelligence gathering, used to its full potential an organisation could potentially identify and react to competitor activity much quicker than has been possible in the past. Market research is already benefiting from the advantages offered by the internet with larger samples, wider geographic & demographic reach and cheaper data collection & analysis. Blogs are just an extension on these benefits enabling organisations to develop two way communication with a very targeted group of people.

General Motors have taken full advantage of the ability to use blogs with key consumer groups of their vehicles. They believe that by using a dedicated blog they have a virtual focus group with whom they can conduct regular research. The financial return on developing this blog can also be measured. If they were to conduct research to deliver the information obtained it would be at a cost of $15,000 per month (Forrester Research)

What does the future hold for blogs, will they be used in the same way they are today or will they start to become dominated by business?

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