As a follow-on to yesterday’s post about getting your blog noticed by influentials, i.e. A-List bloggers, I thought I would describe a scenario just recently presented to me. I have been asked by analyst Shar VanBoskirk of Forrester Research if I would be willing to blog about their upcoming boot camp on integrated marketing on May 5. It’s a full-day intensive workshop being held at their offices in Cambridge. I said “Sure, I’d be happy to mention it, but I don’t think it will get picked up by other bloggers and thus it won’t spread through the blogosphere.” So the effectiveness of such a promotion strategy is limited. A-List bloggers, like everyone else, are forever tuned in to the station “WII-FM” â€” What’s In It For Me. As such, Forrester’s message would be much more contagious, if there was a “free prize inside,” so to speak, for the bloggers who read my boot camp “plug.” In other words, the way to spread the word about the Forrester boot camp is for Forrester to make an irresistible, exclusive offer to bloggers who blog about the boot camp. For example, what if Forrester gave away some exclusive piece of research that normally only their clients have access to? It doesn’t have to be an entire report, just something exclusive and something bloggable. Like a “scoop” on an upcoming report. Or a synopsis of key points or perhaps a mini report. Now what if the bloggers who blog about this integrated marketing boot camp get access to this exclusive information as part of the deal? In fact, what if Forrester Research turn this into an ongoing program, kind of like how Microsoft is wooing influential bloggers with their “Search Champs” program (where they hand-pick influencers and fly them to Redmond to wine-and-dine them and to discuss how Microsoft might improve their MSN search engine). Hmm… “Forester Research Champs.” Sure, they’d be buying off bloggers. But everybody would win, including blog readers. Bloggers get access to exclusive research early and often â€” as long as they agree to blog about Forrester. It is an interesting proposition. Forrester, what do you think?
Shar VanBoskirk says
Honestly, I think marketing through blogs is a great idea, esp for a business like Forrester’s where so much of our marketing comes through the promotion of ideas rather than traditional product marketing. One of our marketing strategies has always been marketing through influencers, like press. We see blogs as a natural extension of our existing PR. We are starting to experiment with blogs, following the best practices outlined by my colleague Charlene Li in her research Blogging: Bubble or Big Deal.
We also like blogs because they provide a way for people to express their opinions freely, which corresponds well with Forrester’s corporate philosophy. We believe in the freedom of editorial voice. In fact, its the basis for our business: strategy opinions developed through objective research. With this in mind, we’d love you to blog about our upcoming boot camp “The Integrated Marketing Toolkit,” but only if you find it interesting. We would never sell our opinions and wouldn’t want you to either.
So please write about our boot camp if you find it interesting and relevant to you. I’ve outlined the boot camp details and a “pay for performance” opportunity below:
*I’m leading “The Integrated Marketing Toolkit” boot camp with Jim Nail at Forrester’s Cambridge offices on May 5.
It’s going to be a very full day helping B2C and B2B marketers create ways to leverage multiple channels to create deeper, more engaged customer relationships. We’d love to have about 20 attendees and would welcome existing Forrester clients and non-clients alike. The event costs $2500; registration information is available here
*If your blog does drive an attendee to our boot camp, I will be happy to provide you a copy of the Forrester report, “The Essentials of Integrated Marketing,” the research providing the foundation for our boot camp.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and if you have any questions about the boot camp!