Friday, June 24, 2005

Blogs find a place as marketing tools

I discovered a fascinating article this week about using blogs as focus groups. Woah! Wouldn't have thought of that! Well, U.S. Cellular did. Their ad agency found a way to peek in on the blog conversations of their target market, get a sense of their opinions about cell phones and design their ads accordingly. They found that the casual, authentic views of their customers (even if not entirely representative) gave them valuable insights.

Of course, you'd have to be careful here. The demographic characteristics of bloggers (male, under 30, etc.) may mean that your target is not represented in the blogosphere. From the perspective of privacy-conscious librarians, it may seem a little too much like spying, but people are putting this stuff out there for others to read. Not sure if you'd find a lot of library chatter out there, but you may at least get a sense of who your patrons are, their activities, interests, etc. At my school, I check in on our Student Government Association's blog to keep up with our undergrads.

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