Trends: Blog monitors and more UGC

A leading New York marketer predicts that 2007 will see the arrival of blog monitors in PR agencies. That’s one of ten forecasts offered by Renegade Marketing CEO Drew Neisser on The Wise Marketer website (requires registration).

In 2007 marketers will enhance their ability to defend against potentially ruinous blog attacks by dedicating resources to blog monitoring and blog response. The role of Blog Monitor will finally become a full time position in the communications department, as opposed to the occasional activity of a lone blog enthusiast. In addition to tracking blog noise, the Blog Monitor will actively engage other bloggers, correcting untruths and responding to issues as they arise. Corporate blogs will also be an important defensive weapon, assuming the authors are empowered to tell the truth (even if that means admitting a product’s shortcomings).

This brings to mind the recent problems with laptop batteries catching fire. Bloggers publicised the issue relentlessly, keeping up the pressure on Dell and Apple to issue recalls.

Neisser is also bullish on user-generated content:

User-generated content (UGC) seemed to be all the rage in 2006. Everyone from Doritos to Mentos, MasterCard to Panasonic, Chevy to Oreos, offered user generated content programmes. And not without good reason. Consumers really responded. Mentos’s effort to ride the wave of consumer interest in watching Coke bottle geysers has created a corresponding explosion in sales (up 17% over the previous year). Looking ahead, however, marketers will need to raise the stakes if they hope to get consumers involved in such campaigns. One way will be to offer cash (or other incentives), not just for the winners as Doritos is doing, but for all UGC that other consumers end up watching. This “pay for play” approach is certainly gaining traction with the emergence of Current TV (which is paying for ads) and (which is paying for content). Creative consumers will undoubtedly follow the money.

Hat tip: Michael Carney’s Marketing Digest

One Comment

  1. Thanks for referencing my Top 10 for 2007. Not sure “bullish” is the best way to describe my feelings about UGC. While I think that UGC programs will be ubiqituous in 07, I believe most will fail faster than Martha’s Apprentice. The challenge for marketers will be to come up with UGC programs that are somehow different from all the rest, providing consumers new reasons to participate. Otherwise, it’s time to find fresh ways to cut through.

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