So after a day back, the thing that's on my mind the most is the amazing exchanges I've had with many of you over the past month. Several discussions I've had today have come back to blogging. And the most frequently asked question is about the marketing value, and if how they could ever be used to sell something.
Oh, by the way, this posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights...
Here are two responses I sent to Microsoft employees, the first to Joe:
Are blogs part of the answer? I think so, but only after they “cross the chasm” and ordinary people write (and of course read) them. I imagine our customers will read a daily update of what we’re thinking if it relates to them. For sales reps at retail, it might help if we could give them ideas for how to better sell our products, or how to answer tough customer questions, or offering glimpses into what we’re doing in the future, or linking to the latest download of a game or a patch.
Mostly, I think a blog could give them a sense that they’re being heard, and that they have an insider contact at Microsoft. The thing I love about blogs is that they scale, but they remain personal. You might have 100 people reading your blog, or 10,000, and they all feel like they know you personally. That’s really cool.
And another, to a Microsoft Sales Manager in Australia...
My job is to build community for our retail partner’s sales associates, and I’m beginning to think about how blogs can be used there. I think I’ve learned over the past two months of blogging (and reading others’ blogs) that it really is hard to put into words.
I think having (others at Microsoft) blog could bring about a bit of “social” change, showing that we have a “human face” and maybe begin to build some trust. I think that if a (potential) customer was reading a blog, and could read (and comment/contribute) to what we’re working on, they’d know that we're listening, and I think they’d be more prone to trust us. The nice thing about blogs is they have a very personal feel about them, but they scale infinitely (I feel like I know Doc Searles from his blog, even though he doesn’t know me).
I'm just happy to be engaging others in the discussion about something I care so much about: communicating with customers!
Did I mention that this post is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights?...