Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Let me Know What you Think!

I just came a cross a great post called ROI of Business Blogs by the folks at Quartz Mountain Communications. The key takeaway for me was the idea of using a blog as an online focus group to test new products, concepts or ideas. According to the data in the post the ROI for that type of use is substantial. Here is some information on a case study of General Motor's FastLane blog:

"FastLane has about 100 people commenting on the blog each month, which is equivalent to gaining customer insight on products and brands from a traditional focus group. We estimated that the value of this was equivalent to running a focus group every month at the cost of $15,000 a month, or $180,000 a year. Voila – there’s the value of the blogging benefit laid out in black and white."

As you can see, that is substantial value. I wish eBay would do more of this type of focus group before they launch some of their initiatives or at least invite me to be part of the focus groups they do conduct. (I have sooo much too offer)


Dan said...

The difference between eBay and many other online companies is the vast experience of its entrepreneurial users. eBay should leverage this asset while they can.

Randy Smythe said...

Dan, eBay actually thinks they listen to sellers. In my 5 years selling on the platform I had access to Executive Management. They listened to my comments and suggestions and then did what they were planning on doing anyway.

A perfect example is the fee change for Media in the UK. That type of approach was something I was asking for 3 years ago for the US site and its just now being tested in the UK. When it comes to fees they put their fingers in their ears and yell I can't hear you!

Kevin Henney said...

Thanks for the link, Randy. Now that the folks at Forrester Research are trumpeting the benefits of business blogs, perhaps we'll see more big companies like eBay using their blogs as a way to better interact with their customers.