While at the ANZA Technology Network – 2007 Gateway to the US Summit, I attended the Marketing Business Forum panel discussion. This was a question and answer session on how emerging technology companies can gain traction using innovative marketing tools and tactics.
The panel speakers:
- Burton “Buzz” Bruggeman, CEO & Founder, ActiveWords Systems
- Shel Israel, Author, Blogger, and Social Media Expert
- Mike Manuel, Voce Communications
The two hot topics of the hour were “Social Media” and “Blogging.”
Mike’s thoughts on social media:
Traditional, yet still highly influential, social media mediums include message boards, user groups, and forums. However, blogs, vlogs, podcasts, and wikis are becoming the more popular social mediums of today. If done correctly, social media can be an effective marketing strategy to reach larger audiences. Mike believes that the various mixes of social mediums is developing a new brand of influencers, enabling companies to pinpoint smaller niche audiences.
Buzz shared a story on how blogging helped him enhance his relationship with customers:
Buzz believes you cannot afford not to blog. While working with his technical team, he realized they were the only ones using a certain type of terminology. Through blogging he was able to have conversations with customers and learn that his messaging was wrong. Additionally, he was able to find someone who became their biggest evangelist. Blogging allowed him to obtain feedback from prospects and incorporate features into the product roadmap.
Sean and Ann Marcus have written an article on How Do Blogs and Wiki Help Me Collaborate With My Customers that has some tips that are relevant to this topic, three key ones:
- Plan Ahead: schedule your level of effort and some publication targets and stick with them.
- Focus for Effect: pick a few topic areas that are relevant to your prospects and explore them.
- Cite References: so many new bloggers write as if they were distributing hard copy; link to your sources.