So, I’ve been invited to huddle with some Oracle people in the Bay Area later this month to discuss Marketing 2.0. The topics are generally around opportunities that New Web provides to reach customers, influencers, etc. I’m flattered to be invited, so thanks to those responsible who read here.
I hope to add some value, despite my dearth of marketing training and knowledge. A comment on my iPhone post yesterday from Frederik, who works at Jajah, shows an increasingly common way that companies use New Web to reach customers.
This wasn’t even the first time this blog has drawn comments from a company I discussed. Remember my post on Fuser? Emily from Fuser addressed my criticisms of Fuser in comments. I blogged more recently about the Blog Council, and Andy Sernovitz, who runs the council’s overseeing authority GasPedal, commented.
It’s clear that Marketing 2.0 includes combing the Interwebs for any mention of your company and engaging anyone who mentions your company. Whether this is planned by the company or simply absolute dedication by these employees doesn’t really matter to; it just works.
I’m glad Fuser and Jajah cared enough to comment on this little blog with 500 some subscribers. I’m sure they focus their attention on bigger fish like TechCrunch, GigaOM, Scoble, ReadWriteWeb, etc., but it feels good to get a response. I’m glad Andy addressed my questions about the Blog Council, even though I don’t have the power to authorize Oracle’s membership and probably wouldn’t attend if Oracle did join.
What matters is that these people, and by association their companies, care about engaging me. I don’t see them as official spokespeople; I see them as people in a supermarket line who overheard me say something, in a helpful, not eavesdropping way. This humanizes the company. So, from now on, I’ll think of Frederik when I hear Jajah or Emily when I hear Fuser. As I observe the Blog Council, I’ll remember what Andy said.
Jeremiah had a similar experience with much larger companies. He blogged a list of complaints about Oracle, Delta and Real Player. He got responses in comments from Oracle (me) and Real Player, which assuaged him to some extent. His issues didn’t get fixed, but he seemed to feel better that we were listening to him. Delta never did reply, and as a result, other people have picked up that story as a negative against Delta.
Negative press on a few blog posts is like a drop in the ocean to Delta, but the small effort required to leave a courtesy reply would have been equally small. And it would have made Jeremiah feel important and better about his complaints.
So, maybe Marketing 2.0 is good customer service. Paul talked about great customer service, and I certainly remember the places where I get good service. In a transparent world, engaging your existing customers with thoughtful assistance in blogs is equal parts advertising and customer service. Plus, it’s a double score, since you’re 1) helping to keep a customer and 2) showing your awesomeness to potential, targeted customers.
Of course, being genuine is the only way to succeed here. That goes without saying.
Anyway food for thought as I collect ideas for the seminar later this month. Add yours in comments.