BusinessWeek's Bruce Nussbaum has a great take on a recent McKinsey study that says that while companies are excited about technologies such as P2P and social networks that allow customers to talk to each other, they are still scared of blogs, which allow customers to communicate with them.
Nussbaum adds, "The great challenge to companies these days is to learn how to let consumers in, how to open a conversation with them that is honest and real. It looks like lots of managers have yet to get that signal."
Karl offers his take: "Blogs, on the other hand, are written by humans that talk to other humans -- employees to customers, employees to partners, employees to investors, employees to stock markets, employees to press (or at least that seems to be the terrifying image)."
I think that's part of it. But I think the bigger issue is, companies have never really let their customers have a chance to talk to them, and the uncertainty over what they would say scares them. And letting customers say it on THE COMPANY'S BLOG makes it scarier.
But if companies would view a blog as a chance to collect feedback from customers, and then let that feedback shape and change their future marketing to make it more effective (And remember, more effective = costs less), the medium would be more popular as companies move forward. And it's not just with blogs, how many companies honestly reach out to their evangelists and do everything they can to empower them to market for the company? Damned few. Again, it's uncertainty=fear.
And fear=paralysis. Which is why so many companies are scared to move. Unfortunately, stopping in the middle of the road isn't the best alternative.
The Viral Garden, Marketing