From Media Daily News at www.mediapost.com
Next Big Player In Consumer Media: Consumers
By Ross Fadner
Friday, August 20, 2004
Peter Blackshaw, Intelliseek chief marketing officer, had an unusual firsthand experience with the impact of online word-of-mouth. It started with his purchase of a hybrid car. Blackshaw was initially very satisfied with his purchase–so satisfied, in fact, that he took the initiative to do what many early adopter/influential types across the globe now do on a day-to-day basis: write about his experience on a Web log. Blackshaw founded HybridBuzz.com, which became a mouthpiece for Blackshaw and other early adopters with fuel-efficiency on the brain to talk about their like-minded enthusiasm for hybrids.
…consumer-generated media (CGM). CGM refers to commonly archived online content that is readily accessible by other consumers or key marketplace influencers. Blackshaw uses the term CGM–and not word-of-mouth–because there is one crucial difference between the two terms: CGM is highly measurable, although very few market research firms do so.
see HybridBuzz.blogspot.com, and see another hybrid site located at mixedpower.com
Cincinnati’s Pete Blackshaw seems like a very nice guy. And, you’ve just got to feel for him. Now, give him credit – reading several entries throughout the archives (from day one to the end), he did not lose his sense of humor about the whole experience.
From the ‘vegan’ incident to the rapture of a stereo without background noise, Pete starts out with the excitement of a ‘early adopter’ and you can feel it in his writing.
The entire blog is a study in anthropology (the culture of early adopters) to sociology and psychology (how the public reacts and how he reacts to the public) and more. It is also a very interesting marketing experience because both Pete and his wife are marketers.
As the car fails to live up the marketing/advertising hype of Honda, Pete begins to blog his (and his wife’s) dissatisfaction. Well, maybe Pete didn’t realize just how many people were reading his blog at first, but he learned that as he complained – people took notice. And he makes an observation that we should all note – “dissatisfaction is ‘viral'” – the next thing you know, CBS News is doing a story on HIM and HIS CAR!
His first month with the car (and blog) Pete made 10 posts. Then, the car wasn’t living up to his dreams. For whatever reason, the blog posts dropped off. One post in November, none in December and one in January were all he could muster. Then, in February, a fire was lit (around the 24th). He posts his ‘plan of attack’ to get answers from Honda. He discusses his attempts to communicate with Honda. During the ordeal, Pete has written his Congressman, Rob Portman, too.
I share Pete’s enthusiasm. My brother and I have been discussing the desire to get hybrid cars. Like Pete, we really want this technology to work. We think the world needs hybrid (if not totally fossil fuel free) vehicles.
I wish Pete luck. Lord knows he deserves a break.
I’ll not go on any more, but get this – the funniest (or saddest, if you’re Pete) thing I read was, ” One thing is certain. This “runaway” blog is getting way more mileage than my hybrid car…”.
So, the power of consumers – and the power of blogs. Cool article and cool blog. Go read it! hybridbuzz.blogspot.com