Forget Focus Groups – Use the Blogosphere!

Buzz Factor – HIGH – I found this little Buzz gem in B2B Marketing magazine 3/13/06. Check out the Buzz Factor this consumer products company got using the blogosphere to do its customer research:

Hughes, a St. Louis-based channel-marketing agency, sniffed out about 20 active home decorating bloggers. And for three months, it listened. More than 1,000 blog entries referenced the paint maker during that time. The research revealed that many people didn’t understand the difference between primer and paint. They knew the brand, but they didn’t know the company was in the paint business.

Ok, I realize paint and technology are quite different. BUT the idea remains: Tapping into the blogosphere community is a potential source of significant customer feedback (hello BUZZ), and it sure as heck beats a focus group any day. Technology focus groups in particular are, well, useless. Consumers of your product or service will NOT be able to evaluate it – let alone innovate on it – in a one-hour session just because you wrote the best test script EVER.

Buzz Factor – The Downside – Hey, blogs aren’t perfect either. By their very nature, they are the work of anyone who can fog a mirror, acquire Internet service, locate a blog and feel passionate enough to write about a product or service. Is that who you want to entrust your destiny to? Then again, who would you rather listen to – a passionate blogger, or a guy just coming in after work for a free $100 bucks and some coffee?

You make the Buzz call …

1 comment to Forget Focus Groups – Use the Blogosphere!

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