From Online Media Daily:
MARKETERS INTRIGUED BY BLOGS, FEAR THEIR POWER
CHICAGO -- Marketers at Ad:Tech Tuesday indicated a deep ambivalence towards blogs, saying that their companies urgently want a blog presence but, at the same time, fear the consequences of letting consumers freely express their opinions.
Steve Pinetti, senior vice president of marketing at Kimpton Hotels, expressed a sentiment seemingly shared by many when he told the audience that, "the blog, as a form of word of mouth marketing, is something we're very, very focused on, and we're doing our homework right now."
Yet, he added, with 60 percent of the hotels' business coming from word of mouth referrals, unflattering comments can be devastating. When consumers start bad-mouthing his hotels on the Web, he doesn't respond well. "I have a heart attack," he said during a panel discussion on the online marketing issues that most concern chief marketing officers.
Catherine Muriel, chief marketing officer of E-Loan, countered that the free publicity conferred by bloggers outweighs any potential negative comments. "If you have a heart attack every time someone writes something that's not nice about you, you're going to be ... spending a lot of time at the cardiologist," she said.
That tension between, on one hand, wanting to increase visibility and consumer engagement, and, on the other, fearing bad publicity, appeared repeatedly at Ad:Tech Tuesday.
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