Tac Anderson – a serial entrepreneur who blogs at newcommbiz,
Michael Brito of Intel who writes the blog Conversations Matter,
Rohit Bhargava of the Ogilvy PR blog,
Anne Plese of Cisco where she works with the Cisco Data Center blog and
Kelly Feller of Intel who writes at the Armchair Marketing blog. Correction to original post: Kelly was the moderator of the session.
Here are my notes from the session.
• Tac owned a skateboard shop and instead of creating a website, he created a Myspace page. It turned out to be huge because all of his customers were there. While working for HP, he ran an ad campaign allowing people to vote on their favorite blogs. It got people involved in the process and it was a big success. You can read about it here.
• Michael Brito - Yahoo tried to do an American Idol-like contest entirely on line. People would video themselves singing country songs and then watchers would vote. Hundreds of people participated. The second phase flew the top 10 to Nashville where they performed in front of judges and the winner got a record deal. It was a big success.
• Less successful were efforts that did not use evangelists on line to push their efforts and allow people to participate.
• Rohit – 100 athletes, 100 blogs - Lenovo Voices of the Olympic Games is a blog and a YouTube channel. It allowed visitors to follow the individual journeys of 100 different athletes from many different countries. It helped to personalize the games.
• Lenovo incentivized the athletes by giving them laptops and flip cameras. The athletes’ passion came through.
• Corporations need to find their own voice. It can be difficult because bigger corporations don’t know who they are. Blogging can hlep a corporation define itself.
• The “Are we there yet?” - stories from the road blog for Ford was a big hit. They blogged family road trips rather than using car magazines to write about their cars. They gave 5 families Taurus cars for 3 weeks to take on family road trips. They used mom and dad bloggers to tell their story. (I can't seem to find a link to this site.)
• Anne Plese – her job was to make a new Cisco technology relevant to their customers. Their product managers were asked to write white papers in response to real-time conversations on IT buyer blogs. The marketing team got to know all of the conversations that were going on about the products and they all got involved in the conversations on blogs external to Cisco. There was no lag between the launch of the product and the response to the customer reactions. Cisco developed a blogger relations focus. They nurtured their relationships with bloggers the same way you nurture the relationships with the old school media and analysts.