Thursday, October 9, 2008

Le Blog Effect...Michelle Blanc at MIXX Montreal

Among the notable presentations this week was the one delivered on Monday by Michelle Blanc at IAB MIXX Montreal.

Michelle is the founder and President of Analyweb, a consultancy specializing in e-business management and marketing. According to, her blog at, is one of the most influential French techno blogs in the world.

Michelle’s presentation showed how companies can build their businesses through blogging and demonstrated the impact blogging has made globally on the way businesses plan and manage their reputations online.

Here are some of the notes I translated from her French presentation:

Contexts in which corporations use blogs internally
  • Knowledge Sharing (63%)
  • Internal Communications (44%)
  • Project Management (30%)
  • Employee contact management (23%)
  • News on Events (23%)
  • Team Management (20%)
Benefits of an internally focused corporate blog
  • Improved Communications (77%)
  • Can replace existing administrative processes (41%)
  • Replaces Email (39%)
Contexts in which corporations use blogs externally
  • Blogs are used principally for PR and Marketing (61%)
  • For Communicating Mission Statements and Management Visions (61%)
  • More than 40% report having a CEO blog
  • 35% use blogs for regular communication with clients and business partners
  • The eMarketing chart below indicates that blogs are increasing in importance for consumers as they look for customer care information online

Benefits of an externally focused corporate blog
  • Improved brand awareness (78%)
  • External Communications (78%)
  • A vehicle to collect client feedback (66%)
  • Revenue Generation (20%)
  • Improved product or service visibility (58%)
A Pew Internet Study revealed that 16% of US adults (32 million) read blogs regularly. Making blogs even more influential, is the fact that journalists at highly profiled publications use blogs to gain valuable insight as well as « the scoop » from a broad perspective. According to research from Euro RSCG Magnet and Columbia University, half of American journalists read blogs on a regular basis and 26% of those read them daily.

Michelle presented an interesting slide from that showed the Head of the Tail of Francophone media consumption. The point Michelle was making was that four blogs appear in the head. This appearance indicates the penetration blogs have made into everyday media consumption.

How to Build a Successful Blog
  • Be transparent
  • Maintain an appropriate and consistent tone whether it is informal or formal etc.
  • My favourite point was that good blogs show passion and readers sense passion because it's impossible to fake it
Tracking & Monitoring
  • The brand(s)
  • The company
  • Company Management
  • Future Employees
There was some fantastic data shared on how to measure ROI for the implementation and management of a blog. The formulas were based on number of unique viewers vs. dollars spent to advertise in a channel to attract those same viewers, investments in SEM/SEO, PR, focus groups etc. It really addressed some of the barriers to blog adoption that I've heard in the past.

Finally, Michelle mentioned the power of blogging as a tool for reviews and reporting poor customer service. Savvy bloggers with content rich articles and dense keyword usage can create unfavourable exposure to corporations within the search engines. Here’s a daunting article on the subject. I loved the shot she used for this...

The content of her presentation matched the sentiments of some of the largest brand marketers in North America. I’ve heard many speeches about how these brands have quickly learned to embrace bloggers as a powerful social media channel. I’ve also heard many examples of backlashes for underestimating their influence.

The presentation was very rich in content and I had an opportunity to speak with Michelle after she spoke. I'll share some of the content of that discussion on future posts.


Craig Klein said...

Great article! Using a blog in connection with a good web site designed for conversions and a good online contact management system that includes auto-responders can be an "automatic selling system"!

Sonia Carreno said...

Thanks Craig. Auto-responders....sounds interesting. Are you referring to a CRM tool?