Being in the dialogue – Midwest Airlines

With 20% of employees at large U.S. companies now contributing to blogs, social networks, and other Web 2.0 services (according to IDC), the trend is no surprise, with companies finding ways to capitalize on this activity with their own social networks because of the competitive advantages they can gain.  Marketers have long acknowledged that word-of-mouth is important but that communication was always going in one-direction.  Blogging has taken one-way conversations of many-to-one and flipped it on its head.  The blogger has an equal voice and has as much opportunity to be heard as huge corporations or government institutions.

Blogging is important because it helps put a face on the large faceless mask of large institutions.  Suddenly someone can reach out and touch a person and seek out their perspective, expertise, or just plain say “Hello, thanks for being out here.”   There is power in the corporate blog.  Midwest Airlines leveraged their blog to create a personal connection to a new group of customers – traveling women. With more and more value being placed on service, Midwest Airlines wanted to have a blog that was targeted at the traveling population of woman for getaways, but one that had a personal touch.  Tish Robison started their blog which features services that are of interest to woman.

But those aren’t the reasons why Tish has a community willing to even wear Travel with Tish t-shirts!  The blog has a following because it is written from a personal point of view.  For example, she told me that she includes items like the amount of walking involved, or recommendations for when and when not to take a cab.  Marketing’s job is to provide a lens for Midwest’s blogging personality, for the market to see that personality.  The crucial part is to find someone who can make it personal, relevant and true.  The ROI has been excellent, providing approximately a 10:1 return, though much more return can be assumed that may have been triggered by the blog, but booked using alternative methods.  Blogs can extend your corporate personality and can be a very valuable source of information.  Midwest
is gaining insight into one segment of its customers need.    Check it out and meet my friend Tish!!!