Last night was the AMA Tampa Bay Presents: Interactive Media Special Interest Group. It was the third meeting about Interactive Media. Blogging, Twitter, Social Networks, Podcasting and Video as a means to get your message or branding accomplished. SEO
In response to BusinessWeek's article about blogs and social media, Dan Schoenbaum wrote that "Direct mail and email marketing is dead. Blogs and online communities are the conduit to the buyer today, aspiringly when selling to tech-savvy buyers. The business week article was right on the money. A significant paradigm shift is well underway, corporate America has been slow to recognize the opportunity, but this is changing quickly."
Direct mail has always been tough. Getting people's attention is. Email marketing works in numbers. 0.1% of 5M emails is enough of a response. But 0.5% of 50,000 (expensive) mailers is not. It's about ROI obviously. And I have to wonder if non-tech savvy users see more email marketing than the TS (tech savvy). And if you are not marketing to the TS, how does blogging help you?
Feedburner has 66M subscribers, but that is world-wide. The Long Tail is significant here because passionate readers are the ones reading your blog. So its about the niche (and the niche reader). For marketers, this means that they will have to be in many sites at once. For instance, if I was selling pet food, I would be on every pet forum and pet social network. (There are more than you think!). If I was an oncology pharma rep, I would be on the cancer sites. You can start with banner ads, but if you really want to make an impact, you have to join the conversation. That's what a Blog is about - and so is Facebook and LinkedIN. People connecting to like-minded folks to further their goals and to feel helpful. So that means you can't be the Used Car Salesmen. Which means that sales is different today. Which means sales will cost more and take longer (just what that sales rep wants to hear). But if your company's reps are always providing support, information, customer care, that is a great Brand!