On Valentine’s Day, The Wall Street Journal did a “Questions For…” piece in its The Advertising Report section (B3D) that was all about love.  Smart love.  A marraige based on building out open communication.

“Minding the Blog Is the Next Big Thing in Managing Brand,” read the subhead.  I carried this article in my man purse for a week before reading it.  Glad I got to it!

One evening a while back, I saw that Technorati and Ogilvy North America had created an alliance to provide new services for clients interested in reaching consumers…consumers who are spending time creating videos and blogs rather than watching TV or reading news created by traditional media.

I really dig a great soundbite.  Here’s one from Steve Hayden, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide vice chairman & chief creative officer (now there’s a title!):  “Our whole industry for 200 years has been focused on talking  or broadcasting.  We need more listening.”

Here are some gems from Technorati Chairman and CMO Peter Hirshberg. 

  • If you went to a cocktail party and heard everything everyone was saying about you all the time, and took it all really seriously, it might drive you nuts.  You need to use judgment.  But it turns out that if you read what people are saying, you very quickly get a sense of how you are playing. 
  • Marketers need to be careful to not overreact.  Is there something you could learn (from a blog, a comment, or consumer-generated content)? 
  • The important thing is to read this stuff (blogs, comments) and consider it.
  • Marketing organizations really ought to have somebody on board whose job is to listen to, converse with and ensure the company is engaging with its customers, whether they are on blogs, MySpace, YouTube, whatever.
  • These people, the new 24-year-old person you will hire, you will be amazed by the knowledge they bring to the table.
  • You should respond if someone (online) says something inaccurate.  You should go on to the blog that day and correct it.  If someone says something great, you should thank them. 
  • If a brand pays attention to its customers, wonderful things happen.
  • Prestige, high-concept brands, brands that really put a lot of time into curating and polishing every aspect of it, take longer to get on board, because they think there is more to lose.  In fact, there is more to gain.
  • Until maybe last summer (2006), when you said “the blogoshere” to a brand: it ducked.  The basic reaction was, “I hope they don’t say bad things about me.  I’m not sure I want to advertise on a blog, because I can’t control it, and I’m very nervous about letting my users talk about my brand online because that would be giving up control.”
  • This is until about nine months ago (summer 2006).  Then all of a sudden, I think brands saw an emerging growth of MySpace, of YouTube, and the blogosphere.
  • The brand people got over the control issue.  They actually realized that the next generation of branding involved listening to and including the audience in marketing and building a dialogue.
  • The most interesting action in the blogosphere is really in the hundreds of topic areas where communities coalesce and people are having conversations.
  • Blogs are just one form of user-generated content.  There are Podcasts, video, pictures.  All of this stuff is growing.  We’ll probably see a lot of growth in areas that aren’t blogging, but the blog isn’t going away, because it really does give the audiences a voice. 

Makes me wonder.  There was a time when broadcast was not essential to Intel’s PR department.  But some progressive, forward-thinking people gathered enough insight and momentum to convince the right people it was time to treat broadcasters as a key audience.  Building good relationships with broadcast professionals has been important to Intel for decades now.  We’re now very fortunate to have the opportunity to build helpful relationships with a whole new set of people.  We the interested people.

2 thoughts on “Technorati’s Peter Hirshberg in WSJ on Ogilvy Alliance

  1. Hi Peter,
    Isabelle Loeb from Aspen please call me – nothing to do with glass. Thanks.

  2. The tools we have at our disposal allow us to manage many conversations, and that is the power of this two-way, conversational Internet that we have now, and that is the challenge!

    The problem is that conversations take time. In Internet 1.0 we suffered from “information overload.” In Internet 2.0 we will (in addition) suffer from “conversation overload” if we aren’t careful!

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