Brand Stewards Start To Listen

Media Post reported a few weeks ago on the relationship between Technorati and Ogilvy.

In an effort to help clients better understand the blogosphere, Ogilvy North America has enlisted the services of blog-tracking company Technorati.
“We believe the blogosphere can have a considerable impact on brand health,” Carla Hendra, co-CEO of Ogilvy North America, a WPP Group agency. She said that Technorati will aggregate blog content relevant to Ogilvy clients, and then will work with Ogilvy’s senior creative directors to integrate existing word-of-mouth into campaigns.

Today, WSJ (paid sub. req.) has more on the story.

Steve Hayden, vice chairman and chief creative officer of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide said, “Our whole industry for 200 years has been focused on talking or broadcasting. We need more listening.”

The newspaper then shares its interview with Peter Hirshberg of Technorati. Here’s one of his responses to a question about real time conversation tracking:

Marketing organizations really ought to have somebody on board whose job is to listen to, converse with and ensure the company is engaging with its customers, whether they are on blogs, MySpace, YouTube, whatever. In other words, companies have field-marketing people, companies have public-relations people…specialties built up around a traditional communications environment…. If you have one person who minded this, it would be good. That one person could do many things. They can manage a blog. They can respond to blogs. They can listen…. You should hire someone who is of that world, hire someone who can focus and understand social-networking by nature.

I agree with Hirshberg’s assessment. But how many agencies have acted on this advise? How many have even considered it? And where would this person fit into the existing agency structure–PR, Planning, Interactive?

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am now head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.