Biz Blog Profile Series: Dr. Lasky's Blog, Indium Corporation

03/14/2005

Welcome to the first of a continuing series of Biz Blog Profiles! A behind the scene look at how corporations, non profits and higher education institutions are using blogs to support their marketing goals.

Indiumbuilding_1Biz Blog Profile: Dr. Lasky Blog, Indium Corporation

Rick Short, Director Corporate Communications, Indium Corporation, is the visionary behind Dr. Lasky's Blog.  What makes this case especially fun for me, is Rick is a "graduate" of AMA's NYC workshop Blogs: Marketing Beyond the Website. Thanks Rick for your kindess and generosity in sharing the story of very unique blog strategy.

The Indium Corporation
is a B2B, global electronics assembly materials manufacturer with facilities in China, England, Singapore, and the USA.

Why Indium Company is Blogging

Indium Company is blogging to facilitate the direct connection between its technical customers and its key technical staff.

Supplying materials to the world’s leading-edge electronics assembly manufacturers is demanding and fraught with tough competition. If a supplier is not reading vague and infrequent cues from the marketplace critical product development time may be misdirected and wasted.

 How Blogs Fit Into Indium’s Marketing Strategy

Indium’s initial blog, thoughts, observations, comments, and questions from one of their renowned technologists, Dr. Ronald C. Lasky, fits into the company’s overall Marcom strategy by filling a gap – it encourages and enables customers who are using the internet to read Dr. Lasky’s blog and to provide their thoughts and reactions.  It prompts these reactions right at the moment when the customer is in a “search” mode, and when they have simple e-mail capability right at their fingertips. Sidebar:The blog is prominently linked from the home page on the company website.

 According to Dr. Lasky, “Blogging is a great method of staying in touch with our customers.  It offers a quick way to share and record observations and ideas, and to solicit feedback.  It lets our customers learn of, and weigh in on, important issues.”

 Selling-in to Management

Indium Corporation sold the concept of blogging to its management by:

1. Having a management-level person responsible for monitoring new developments in communications

2. Assigning trusted individuals with the blogging responsibility

3. Focusing the blog topics tightly

 Key Challenges

The key challenges that Indium Corporation has encountered include committing to the time required to manage a meaty and meaningful blog and having the patience to allow the tool to mature naturally, without forcing it on the market too heavily.

Expectations

Indium’s expectations are that blogging (viewed by this company as merely a recombination of existing journalism and communications tools) can be a technique to reach a unique segment of the customer base.

 Lessons Learned

At this time, the main lesson learned is that the customers are out there – reviewing the website – and that they are willing to engage.  During the shakedown portion of the implementation, while the blog was live but not yet promoted, several people found the blog, read it, and began discussing their needs with Dr. Lasky. Blogging serves this market niche quite well. 

Future  Direction

As for the future, a second blog, focused on talking to their customers regarding Marcom topics was recently launched, and a third, focused on the China market is in the works.

 Rick Short On Biz Blogging

As a B2B Marketer, I don’t want to over-or under-emphasize the tool. My goal is to experiment with blogging as a part of a healthy Marcom mix.

Since my Marcom department’s mission is to “Increase corporate revenues, profits, and/or image via …”, I am interested in blogging for two reasons:

1. It is merely a re-mix of existing techniques and capabilities (nothing new under the sun – and not a cure-all). 

2. There is great power in tapping into “comfortable” tools when they are freshened up a bit (familiar, little to invent, understood by customers, etc.).

I was thrilled with the opportunity to be “first to market” with this tool in my space, and hope that Indium Corporation reaps the benefits of that.  One of my Marcom philosophies is to talk 20% of the time and listen the other 80%.  If we do this right our customers might seize upon this tool as another way to speak directly to people within our company.

Check out Rick Short’s Blog. We’ll save that story for another day!

 

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