A Marketing Mokuso

mokuso /mohk-so/ - Meditation or meeting of the minds. This is an open forum about the world of marketing. Please feel free to visit, comment, or post.

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  • Monday, August 14, 2006
    Blogging at its finest.
    This is the new era of blogging and we're seeing it in full swing. Many large corporations are using blogs as a channel for both advertising and consumer opinion. By creating a blog that both links to your corporate site, you can benefit ten fold.

    To begin, Internet shoppers can both rate and read reviews of your current product, post questions, and inevitably, make the purchase. This was the story behind Ice.com(R)'s Pinny Gniwisch, the EVP of the Marketing department. Gniwisch learned the power of the blogosphere but more importantly, the power of appreciation.

    Ice.com(R) learned that by blogging and linking with a low budget can really be beneficial and profitable. Marketing Sherpa covers the case study in great detail but I've taken some important excerpts to reflect on:

    Two years ago, Ice.com(R) Marketing EVP Pinny Gniwisch noticed from his site traffic logs that he was getting an unusual amount of traffic from independent blogs. Turns out dozens of bloggers who loved fashion frequently linked to SKUs they admired in Ice.com(R)'s jewelry selection.



    Gniwisch decided to test several very different blog ideas. Each, however, shared the same seven rules of thumb:
    #1. Look like a blog -- not a company site. The templates used were absolutely prototypical of average consumers' blog templates. On first view, these looked like "normal" blogs.
    #2. Don't totally hide ownership It's one thing to look like a blog, it's another to mislead the public. If you poke around at any of the blogs, it's clear who the owner is.
    #3. Hotlinks are your friendsUnlike landing pages and merchandising pages where outside links are verboten because you don't want to confuse traffic, blogs link to all sorts of places as part of the value of their content. Instead of fearing the outside links, Gniwisch decided to embrace them, both to provide a more realistic blogging experience and also to encourage other bloggers to link in.



    Results were mixed, but upbeat. The good news is Sparkle Like The Stars alone brought in $50,000 worth of sales in December 2005. Sparkle Like The Stars is currently getting between 10,000 and 15,000 unique monthly visitors, 31% of whom click through to the main Ice.com site. The conversion rate on clickthroughs is about 1%, which Gniwisch says is "higher than many affiliates but lower than search marketing which converts at 2%."This blog also continues to get higher and higher search rankings for terms such as celebrity jewelry," which has helped traffic arc upwards by roughly 30% per typical month this year.

    All in all, the blogger test was a great success and many other large corporations are jumping on the bandwagon. Blogging is definitely a new avenue for marketing and it's here to stay.
    posted by Marketing Sensei @ 8:23 PM  
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